Meet Steve Robinson. He’s a 1982 Harvard Law grad who spent the formative years of his legal career practicing corporate securities law at large law firms in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1994 he started his own, small firm where he continues to practice corporate law. He is not a litigator.
If you think that doesn’t sound like the typical profile of a business divorce lawyer, you’re right. But in recent years Steve has leveraged his knowledge and experience helping clients form, finance, and operate business partnerships into a sub-specialty advising owners of closely held firms facing the prospect of a contentious split with their co-owners.
Steve appeared on my radar screen earlier this year when I came across a series of articles he highlighted on LinkedIn addressing various business divorce topics. Steve’s articles, with titles like “The People Problem” and “The Importance of BATNA,” have a decidedly different slant from the kinds of articles you read on this blog which focus on substantive and procedural law in business divorce litigation. Rather, Steve writes from the perspective of a transactional lawyer shepherding clients whenever possible away from the courtroom to the negotiating table.
I recently interviewed Steve for my Business Divorce Roundtable podcast which is linked below. Steve and I had a lively conversation centering on the win-win versus win-lose approaches of transactional lawyers versus litigators. When I started the interview I assumed we’d end up agreeing to disagree on which approach can best resolve business divorce disputes but, as you’ll hear, by the finish Steve and I were on common ground in the belief that skilled business divorce professionals must be able to strategically employ both approaches to achieve the best results for their clients.