2019 Vault Rankings
“The firm culture is outstanding”
“The fact that we have no billable-hours requirement means we can all have lives outside of the practice of law.”
“Occasional long hours”
“I suppose occasionally being overly busy is what I would say if pressed, but that's just the nature of practicing law and not something particular to my firm.”
Founded in 1960 by Russell M. Robinson and Robert W. Bradshaw, Robinson Bradshaw is one of the most respected and consistently highly-ranked firms in its region. The firm specializes in corporate and commercial law, particularly complex corporate transactions and litigation. Robinson Bradshaw lawyers are regulars on lists like "Best Lawyers in America," Chambers USA's "Top Leading Lawyers for Business," and Business North Carolina magazine's "Legal Elite."
Bill Those Hours Somewhere Else
Robinson Bradshaw is notable for its absence of a billable-hours requirement. The firm believes that by refraining from internal examinations of individual billable hours, its lawyers focus more on the work itself rather than the time spent on or compensation earned from the work. Perhaps this feature is what led to the firm being described by the book America's Greatest Places to Work with a Law Degree as having "an amazing management philosophy, one of a kind.”
Not Just Business
Robinson Bradshaw's tradition of community service has strong roots in one of its founding fathers, Russell Robinson. Robinson is a trustee of The Duke Endowment and a leader in Charlotte nonprofit organizations on issues of healthcare, welfare, poverty, childcare, and higher education. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Davidson College for his service. More recently, Mark Merritt returned to the firm after serving as the general counsel of the University of North Carolina, where he handled matters ranging from college sports issues to controversy over a Civil War monument.
The firm's lawyers are consistently recognized for their commitment to pro bono work, and the firm itself has received several local accolades, including the North Carolina Bar Association's Large Firm Pro Bono Award and the American Bar Association’s first Pro Bono Publico Award. Summer associates are even encouraged to get in on the pro bono goods through a joint program with the North Carolina Bar. The firm helped create the Children and Family Services Center in Charlotte, a center that has become a national model for the effective delivery of services to urban poor families and children. Robinson Bradshaw attorneys handled all the legal work for this Center, from incorporation to leasing to loans. The firm received the Outstanding Firm Service Award in 2018 from Council for Children’s Rights.
J.D., ABA, and…ESPN??
In addition to corporate and litigation matters—like representing the governor of North Carolina in litigation challenging proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution—Robinson Bradshaw has developed for itself a niche in sports law. The firm's relationship with sports began in the 1990s, when it developed connections with NASCAR teams and drivers while securing licensing for one of its clients who had bought a NASCAR-licensed sportswear line. Soon after, the firm represented UNC Charlotte and South Florida college teams during the Conference USA merger. Conference USA's commissioner later moved to the Southeastern Conference and brought his connection to the firm along for the ride. As a result, the firm has negotiated television contracts with CBS, Turner, and ESPN for the SEC and the NCAA; has been in the middle of the recent conference realignments; and is representing the SEC in litigation over major issues in college sports.
Robinson Bradshaw's affair with sports has continued to grow. The firm's attorneys have negotiated high-profile deals like Bank of America's New York Yankees sponsorship, the Southeastern Conference's $3 billion deal with CBS and ESPN, and the NCAA's $11 billion deal with CBS and Turner Sports. The firm has also litigated significant court cases involving college and professional sports, including putative class actions challenging the validity of NCAA rules, licensing and sponsorship disputes for NASCAR teams and drivers, and litigation claiming that student-athletes should have been paid for the use of their images in television broadcasts of sports events.
101 North Tryon St
Charlotte, NC 28246
Phone: (704) 377-8141
Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: Allen K. Robertson
Total No. Attorneys 2019: 141
1st year: $150,000
Summer associate: $2,700/week
6 out of 6 (2018)
Chapel Hill, NC
Charlotte, NC (HQ)
Rock Hill, SC
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights
Condemnation and Real Estate Disputes
Consumer Lending Litigation
Corporate and Commercial
Corporate and Securities Litigation
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Employment and Labor
Finance and Capital Markets
Fund Formation and Investment Management
Governmental and Internal Investigations
Intellectual Property and Technology
Land Use and Zoning
Mass Tort and Product Liability
Mergers and Acquisitions
Nonprofit Organizations and Foundations
Real Estate Development and Finance
Sports and Entertainment
Startups and Venture Capital
Trusts and Estates