Sarasota, Fla. — Three attorneys from Nelson Hesse, LLP are joining forces with Kirk-Pinkerton, PA, significantly broadening the areas of expertise at one of Sarasota’s oldest law firms. The addition of attorneys F. Steven Herb, Gary W. Peal and Robert K. Robinson augments Kirk-Pinkerton’s roster and makes the firm an industry leader in real estate law, corporate law, tax law, estate planning, land-use decisions and business law, personal injury law, commercial litigation, and criminal law as well as government relations, public records law and labor and employment law.
“Since it was founded in 1955, Nelson Hesse has always been one of the preeminent law firms in Southwest Florida, and we’re thrilled to bring Gary, Rob and Steve on board,” says Kirk-Pinkerton CEO and personal injury attorney Bill Robertson. “Each of them is a leader in their fields, and their decision to join Kirk-Pinkerton gives our firm an in-house expertise no one in the area can match.”
Herb served as senior partner at Nelson Hesse, a firm he joined in 1979 after earning his Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati and serving for four years in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate General. He has concentrated on corporate, business and real estate law, including the preparation of contracts, collections, product liability and warranty litigation, and is a trained and certified Mediator and qualified to serve as an Arbitrator in resolving disputes outside of the courtroom.
He has also served as the national legal counsel for more than a dozen boat manufacturers. He plans to continue and expand his recreational boating, general business and real estate law work, as well as his active mediation practice, at Kirk-Pinkerton.
“As senior partner at Nelson Hesse, I would only consider combining our talent with an equally well respected law firm, and Kirk-Pinkerton certainly fits that requirement,” Herb says. “The firms’ cultures are in fact very similar, and my clients will benefit from the expertise of the attorneys here. The family-like culture among the staff is also consistent with Nelson Hesse, and I feel energized by the warm welcome that we have received from everyone at Kirk-Pinkerton.”
Peal joined Nelson Hesse in 1988 after earning his J.D. and Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida. His practice has focused primarily on estate and trust planning, corporate and business law, probate and trust administration, elder law and pension planning. He will continue that work at Kirk-Pinkerton and bolster the firm’s expertise in those realms.
“I’m excited to continue representing clients in estate planning, probate and tax matters, and I’m particularly eager to join Kirk-Pinkerton because of the firm’s experience in so many areas of law,” Peal says. “All of my clients’ needs can now be handled by one firm.”
Robinson, who earned his J.D. at Mercer University, joins Kirk-Pinkerton after a 13-year tenure as city attorney for the City of North Port and after nine years with Nelson Hesse. He has extensive experience in land-use issues, including working with Developments of Regional Impact and comprehensive plan amendments. He is also an expert in labor and employment law and has been involved in numerous arbitrations and administrative hearings on behalf of employers. At Kirk-Pinkerton, he will focus on all those areas, and is eager to help expand the firm’s work representing clients dealing with local government.
“As a fifth-generation Floridian, tradition and history are part of the foundations of my life,” Robinson says. “I have already had the privilege and honor of practicing with two of Sarasota’s oldest firms, Bowman George, and Nelson Hesse, and now I have the chance to be a part of another of Sarasota’s oldest and most influential firms, Kirk-Pinkerton. The government, land-use, employment and appellate practice areas I bring to the firm help make Kirk-Pinkerton one of the most well-rounded law firms in Southwest Florida.”
About Kirk-Pinkerton PA
One of Sarasota’s oldest law firms, Kirk-Pinkerton PA was founded in Sarasota as Williford & Kirk in 1926 and represented both John Ringling and his family in the ensuing decades, focusing on real estate acquisition and land development. Ever since its founding, the firm has played a major role in the development of the Sarasota area and has helped shape the future of the region. Today, the firm is home to 15 attorneys who practice in a wide range of fields. Kirk-Pinkerton’s office is located at 240 S. Pineapple Ave., Sixth Floor, Sarasota. For more information, call 941-364-2400 or visit kirkpinkerton.com.