International law firm Withers has set up a new practice in the US state of Texas aimed at domestic and international tax and estate planning for ultra-high net worth individuals and families with interests in the US and abroad.

The practice will be led by Houston-based partner Kevin T. Keen, who joined the firm earlier this year and is qualified in and maintains an active practice throughout both Texas and Florida.

Keen's work will also entail counseling multinational families and non-US citizens on wealth transfer planning, pre immigration and expatriation, asset protection, family office and private trust company formation and operation, and tax minimization planning generally.

Jay Dinwoodie, chief executive of Withers' global Private Client and Tax division, said: "Texas has so much appeal for successful families, offering an attractive business climate, dynamic cities and very competitive tax rates compared to other states.

As we increasingly see families and businesses relocate to Texas from states such as California and New York, our new presence allows us to bring high quality planning advice to those clients. Kevin's expertise and relationships make him a natural fit for Withers' premiere private client and tax team as we strategically enhance our bench strength to continue addressing the needs of our global client base."

Keen added: "Becoming part of Withers' global platform has already been a boon to my clients who are increasingly international in scope. We are thrilled to continue offering holistic, cutting edge advice to our clients from a new base in Texas, and to assisting all those who are planning to make a new start for their family and business in the Lone Star State.

Working in collaboration with my colleagues on the east and west coasts, and across Europe and Asia, we are uniquely positioned to provide a full package of coordinated solutions for virtually all of their legal and tax needs."