In the latest Florida Board Certified Lawyer of the Month feature, we sat down with Kristopher Robinson, co-founder of Robinson Collins in Jacksonville, to discuss his practice.
AALM: Tell us a little about your practice – your firm, the type of matters you handle and your team.
KR: I am partners with my wife, F. Susannah Collins. She is a fantastic family law attorney, and we like to think of our office as a boutique law firm for the family. In addition to her practice as a family lawyer, I handle practically any transactional matter you can think of, from trust and estate planning and administration, to real estate closings, business formation and compliance, tax return preparation for individuals, small to mid-size businesses, nonprofits, trusts and estates.
AALM: Why did you choose to launch your own practice?
KR: I historically practiced with other senior attorneys that did the same things I did. I wanted something different. I wanted more flexibility in my firm while maintaining the small firm feel. So, after practicing for a little more than a decade, I took the plunge and partnered with a lawyer that practice in a completely different area. I would say it was a great move, we have enjoyed great success and have complemented each other’s practice over the years.
AALM: What compelled you to seek board certification?
KR: I felt like I had the education that set me apart from most practitioners, so gaining board certification in taxation and wills, trusts and estates seemed like the natural next step for me. In such highly technical areas of law, staying at the pinnacle of skill and understanding is crucial to maintaining the confidence of your clients, and board certification certainly is a big part of maintaining that confidence.
AALM: Is there any particular case that has stood out in your career as a turning point?
KR: When I was practicing at my first law firm, I had a case where the IRS was trying to collect a joint liability from a former homemaker whose former husband had become a drug addict and ran up tax liabilities that he did not pay. As if her life was not difficult enough, the IRS refused to grant her innocent spouse relief because they had offset 17 cents from one of the years to another. Since she did not request relief within a certain time period of that offset, they denied relief on a technicality. I took the case all the way to Tax Court, got relief for my client and the IRS had to pay attorney fees in excess of 10 times the amount they were claiming she owed. This case was probably the case that made me want to base my entire practice on helping individuals with tax matters.
AALM: What are you most proud to have accomplished professionally?
KR: I am most proud of including my family in my legal profession. I have two children and four stepchildren. I am married to my law partner, our eldest child is a practicing attorney and most of the children following behind her want to pursue the law in one way or another. Being able to build the practice the way I want, to maintain that family focus and to watch my children pursue what we are so passionate about is very rewarding.