USA: Robinson+Cole Elects Rhonda J. Tobin Managing Partner
HARTFORD, CT (February 19, 2021) – Robinson+Cole’s partnership has elected Rhonda J. Tobin as its next Managing Partner, effective March 1. Tobin will be the first woman to lead the 175-year old AmLaw 200 firm, and will succeed Stephen E. Goldman, who has led the firm since the beginning of 2016.
A trial lawyer who has spent her entire thirty-year law career at Robinson+Cole, Tobin’s practice focuses on the litigation, arbitration and mediation of complex disputes involving insurance and reinsurance coverage. She has significant trial experience in state and federal courts, and has been involved in high-profile coverage litigation on behalf of insurers, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, sexual abuse claims involving the Catholic church and academic institutions, and coverage issues arising out of the #MeToo movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. Tobin’s reputation, as well as her expertise and knowledge in insurance coverage litigation, led to her election as a Fellow of the highly-selective American College of Coverage Counsel. Tobin has served on Robinson+Cole’s Managing Committee for the last 12 years and as a chair of the firm’s Litigation Section for the past 13 years. She played a leading role on the 2019 committee that developed the firm’s current Strategic Plan, and was part of management’s proactive response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the firm.
“I’m extremely proud and humbled to be entrusted to lead our great firm of incredibly talented lawyers and professional staff,” said Rhonda J. Tobin. “We have achieved so much over the last few years, and I look forward to continuing the aggressive growth of our practices while also maintaining the essence of our identity. Our 175-year legacy is built on our strong collaborative and inclusive culture – among our lawyers and staff, with our clients, and in the communities where we live and work. I am honored to have this opportunity to build upon that legacy by continuing to embrace change in the years ahead. It is especially meaningful to take on this role at the firm that has been my home for the last 30 years.”
During Goldman’s five-year tenure, the firm developed and began the implementation of a three-year Strategic Plan, improved its profitability significantly, doubled the size of its New York office, opened offices in Philadelphia and Wilmington, and added leading national practices in bankruptcy, insurance coverage and real estate development. The firm also hired a new Chief Operating Officer, a new Chief Information Officer and its first Chief Talent Officer. Building on the firm’s 2015 Diversity Action Plan, Robinson+Cole achieved Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule Certification and added 20 women or otherwise diverse attorneys to its partnership ranks. The firm intends to continue its growth in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Wilmington, with a focus on expanding several of its practices, including healthcare, business transactions and bankruptcy. Goldman will continue to serve as chair of the firm’s lateral growth committee and will continue to be involved in strategic planning as he also devotes more of his time to his trial practice.
Commenting on Tobin’s election, Goldman stated: “I am extraordinarily pleased by the election of Rhonda Tobin. I have known and worked closely with Rhonda for over 30 years, and I can’t think of anyone more qualified to be our next leader. As I have said to our partners, there is no question that Rhonda is the right person at the right time, especially as we approach both the challenges and the opportunities that will be presented by what we hope will be the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rhonda is an incredibly talented lawyer, and was always the first person I consulted when confronted with difficult issues. She is a great strategic thinker and is highly respected by all of our lawyers and staff. By becoming the first woman to serve as our firm’s Managing Partner, Rhonda is also achieving a milestone that is both important and long overdue. I look forward to the firm’s continued growth and prosperity under her leadership.”
Speaking about the firm’s Strategic Plan, Tobin noted that “Our Strategic Plan identifies Collaboration, Civility and Inclusion as our core values. Continuing the growth of the firm while perpetuating those values was the goal of the Plan and is my personal goal as well. Our culture – the mutual respect and admiration that we have for one another – is the glue that has held the firm together through tough times and that has facilitated our success during good times. That was never more apparent than over the last 12 months, when our lawyers and staff bonded together to obtain outstanding results for our clients and great accomplishments for our firm despite confronting innumerable challenges. The loyalty and commitment of our lawyers and staff have never been stronger, and I look forward to guiding our firm to continued success with this extraordinary team.”
Tobin serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Hartford Stage. She was recognized in 2020 by Business Insurance as one of its 30 “Women to Watch” in North America, and by the Hartford Business Journal as one of its 15 “Women in Business” honorees. Rhonda has been listed as one of the Top 250 Women Litigators in the United States by Benchmark Litigation since 2014, and one of its Local Litigation Stars in Connecticut since 2015. Rhonda is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and The Connecticut Bar Foundation, and has been active in the Professional Liability Underwriting Society, the Defense Research Institute (DRI) and Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM).
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