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Joseph M. Bellew
Senior Counsel
7 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-1636
Phone: 410.347.8702
Fax: 410.234.2344

Joseph M. Bellew represents small to medium size businesses and their owners in connection with the personal, business, and professional aspects of their lives.  Because of his experience working with these clients, Mr. Bellew is able to assist them with the many and varied issues and problems they encounter.

Business, Corporate and Tax

Mr. Bellew has assisted clients with planning and executing business, financial, and personal strategies.  He earned a Master of Law in Taxation, and he has extensive experience in a variety of tax-related matters, including: 

Business formation (including corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies)

Buy-sell transactions and agreements

Income and estate tax planning

Estate and business succession planning

Real Estate

In his real estate practice, Mr. Bellew has represented clients in the transactional side of a real estate project, including:




Asset Management

He is also experienced in representing landlords in their leasing and management work, including negotiating hundreds of commercial leases.  Prior to joining Baltimore Gas & Electric Company as assistant general counsel for real estate matters, he represented a Fortune 100, New York-based pension fund with respect to the drafting and negotiating of commercial leases for properties in the mid-Atlantic region.

While with Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, he served as the sole in-house real estate attorney, handling legal and business aspects of BGE’s real estate acquisitions and dispositions, leases, and easements, working in close collaboration with the company’s operating units and affiliates.  In that position, he collaborated with and oversaw outside counsel’s handling of the development, permitting, zoning, and approval processes related to the company’s properties.

Estates and Trust

He has counseled clients in numerous estate matters, including:

Traditional tax planning vehicles such as bypass trusts and marital trusts

Irrevocable life insurance trusts, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, charitable trusts, personal residence trusts, trusts to receive retirement benefits, and grantor retained annuity trusts

Fiduciary and individual income, estate tax, gift tax, and charitable planning

Estate planning.

In the area of estates and trusts administration, Mr. Bellew has experience in the regular and ongoing handling of:

Probate matters

Preparation of federal and Maryland estate tax returns

Preparation of fiduciary income tax returns.

He has also represented estates before the Internal Revenue Service in the audit of federal estate tax returns. As part of his estates and trusts practice, he has helped clients organize and maintain non-profit organizations and charitable foundations.

Memberships & Activities

President, Chairman of the Board and Pro Bono Counsel: St. Elizabeth School Foundation, Inc.

Member: American Bar Association, Taxation and Real Property and Probate Sections

Member: Maryland State Bar Association, Estates & Trusts and Business Law Sections

Member: Baltimore Estate Planning Council


  • University of Baltimore School of Law (LL.M., Taxation 1990)
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D. 1984)
  • University of Pittsburgh (B.A. 1980) magna cum laude