Terry N. Prendergast

Terry N. Prendergast

Trust Company Attorney

My Story

Terry Prendergast is a South Dakota trusts and estates and trust company attorney at Davenport Evans. Terry joined the firm in 2017 with a prestigious career of nearly 40 years practicing law in Sioux Falls. Interacting with counsel and clients across the country and the world, Terry extols the virtues of South Dakota’s top-in-the-nation trust laws, flexible procedures and low tax environment, stating, “To open up people’s eyes to one of the best kept secrets in business—that South Dakota has a flexible, advantageous and responsive environment for business, estate and wealth planning, gives me great satisfaction.”

Terry’s professional background:

  • Provided legal counsel to hundreds of trust clients with trusts containing assets ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $5 billion.
  • Worked with trust company clients with over $180 billion of assets under management in South Dakota.
  • Worked on transactions ranging from $5,000 to $300 million dollars.
  • Served as special counsel for multiple institutes of higher education in South Dakota, and as hearing examiner for the South Dakota Board of Regents.
  • Served as special counsel for the formation of three public captive insurance companies for the State of South Dakota, its agencies, and various authorities for the State of South Dakota.
  • Served on Governor’s Task Force on Trust Administration Review and Reform, 2010-2018.
  • Past Bar Commissioner, Past Chair, Law School Committee and Continuing Legal Education Committee, State Bar of South Dakota.
  • Past Member, USD Law School Foundation.

Terry has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, for the highest level of professional excellence for his legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards. He has been selected to Best Lawyers® in the area of Trusts and Estates, the Best Lawyers® 2022 Real Estate and Infrastructure Edition in the area of Real Estate Law, and has also been ranked in the top 5% of practicing attorneys in South Dakota by Great Plains Super Lawyers in the areas of Estate Planning & Probate. Terry has a Band 1 individual ranking in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide in the area of Private Wealth law, and was ranked by Chambers and Partners in the area of Corporate/Commercial law. One Chambers commentator noted, he is “very good at creating trust companies and advising trust companies – he probably does more of that than any other lawyer in the state.”

Terry worked his way through college as a sports reporter for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader during the school year and sold books door to door for the Southwestern Company during 6 summers. As a die-hard sports fan, Terry helped in the start of the Northern League (the first independent professional baseball league) in 1992. He was a co-owner of the Sioux Falls Canaries independent minor league baseball team with Mike Veeck from 1998-2009, and can tell you about some crazy Mike Veeck promotions.

Terry is also active in the community. He is Past President and Board Member of both the Lutheran Social Services and Lutheran Social Services Foundation, Past President of the Siouxland Heritage Museums, Past President of the Sioux Falls Downtown Kiwanis Club, Past President and Board Member of Feeding South Dakota—Food Service Center, Inc., Past President and Board Member of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, Past Chair of the Elks Youth Services Committee, and current Vice President and Board Member of the South Dakota School for the Deaf Foundation. He serves his church as Chancellor and is also on the Investigations Committee of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.

While not at the office, you will find Terry spending time with his wife, Susan, two sons and a daughter-in-law. Terry enjoys all types of spectator sports, travel, and reading. You can always find Terry under the basket in the front row at Augustana basketball games helping the referees, or in the front row at Sioux Falls Canaries games assisting the umpire.

Statements on this page do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter or athletic season.

Position: Of Counsel
Direct: (605) 357-1229
Email: tprendergast@dehs.com

Super Lawyers Terry N. Prendergast


Professional Experience

Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP 
Of Counsel: 2017 – present 

Redstone Law Firm LLP 
(formerly Murphy, Goldammer & Prendergast)
2003 – 2017 

Boyce, Murphy, McDowell & Greenfield 
1979 – 2002 

Law Clerk to Honorable Fred J. Nichol, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court of South Dakota 
1978 – 1979


Augustana University 
(B.A., with honors, 1975) 

University of South Dakota School of Law (J.D., with highest honors, 1978) 

University of South Dakota 
(MBA, 1978)


Admitted to Practice (State): 
South Dakota, 1978 

Admitted to Practice (Federal): 
United States District Court, South Dakota, 1978 
United States Tax Court, 1981 
United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1982 
United States Supreme Court, 2016

Professional Memberships

Governor’s Task Force on Trust Administration Review and Reform,2010-2018

Author: Terry N. Prendergast, South Dakota Special Spousal Property Trusts: South Dakota “Steps-Up” to the Plate and Hits a Home Run for Surviving Spouses, 61 S.D. L. Rev. 431 (2016).

Protecting what you’ve built.

Phone Numbers

Driving Directions

Davenport Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP

206 West 14th Street
P.O. Box 1030
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1030