Black Srebnick: Legends of Litigation Add Northern Exposure
Forged on the reputation of founder Roy Black, who has been described as “one of this generation’s greatest trial lawyers,” the thriving Miami firm of Black Srebnick Kornspan & Stumpf continues to evolve and reach new heights nearly three decades later. Most recently, they announced their first location outside of Miami with the opening of a Palm Beach office.
Heading up the Palm Beach office is accomplished civil litigation attorney and new partner Lance Shinder. Shinder, who focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation cases in both Florida and New York, is recognized for his skills and success in litigating and resolving high-stakes, multimillion-dollar business and real estate cases on a national scale.
After operating his own thriving practice for more than 20 years, Shinder expresses real enthusiasm about joining the Black Srebnick family.
“It’s the best thing that’s happened to me,” he says. “I’m thankful I was presented with the opportunity and I’m thankful I was smart enough to accept.”
Black echoes that positive outlook in welcoming the Palm Beach-based partner. “I have known Lance for over a decade and have worked with him as co-counsel on several cases,’’ he says. “He is an outstanding lawyer with superb legal skills and is an excellent addition to our firm.”
Joining Shinder in the Palm Beach office are associates Chelsea Hackman and Kyle Johnson whose impressive litigation skills have resulted in the successful representation of businesses and individuals resolving civil business and commercial litigation claims in state and federal court. Hackman is a familiar face to Shinder as she has worked with him for several years. Johnson joined Black Srebnick from a well-regarded Florida-based civil litigation firm.
Shinder’s pleasure in the merger is understandable; he’s partnering with a team of professionals who have consistently demonstrated strength and excellence in and out of the courts. It’s a proud history that dates back to the firm’s founder.
A dominant and influential mainstay of the Florida legal community, Black originally rose to the forefront as a criminal defense power-house gaining national notoriety in celebrity cases such as the William Kennedy Smith rape trial in 1991. Over the years, partners Howard Srebnick and Scott Kornspan infused the firm with their own special brands of magic bringing a wealth of success and experience and expanding the areas of practice to both appellate and civil litigation. Like its counterpart, the civil litigation practice specializes in high-stakes “bet-the-farm” cases involving some of the world’s largest and most well-known multinational companies, real estate developers, celebrities, and successful businesspeople.
In 2016 the baton and responsibility for the civil litigation practice was passed on to co-managing partner Jared Lopez.
“The evolution of the firm has been to continue providing high-level quality legal services to clients in the business community the same way we have for our criminal clients by leveraging our reputation and experience,” says Lopez.
Howard Srebnick, who chairs the firm’s appellate practice, enjoys the rare distinction of having had two certiorari petitions granted by the Supreme Court. Based on his and the firm’s reputation for meticulous representation, Srebnick has also gained national celebrity status with such cases as the criminal tax fraud trial of three-time, Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves and his sister Katiucia as well as NFL Super Bowl wide-receiver Tony Martin accused of money laundering, all of whom were acquitted.
“These are just a few examples of the outstanding work our firm has historically and consistently provided to our clients,” says Lopez. “Although we are a smaller, boutique litigation firm we have the ability to perform work of the caliber typically only seen in much larger firms.”
Co-managing partner Scott Kornspan, who has been in a management role for more than 25 years, offers the same intensity and cachet of litigation skills, but according to Lopez has also helped shape the culture that supports and infuses this powerful litigation team.
“Scott has done an amazing job recruiting superior talent and been the driving force in developing the deep and formidably skilled bench in both criminal and civil litigation,” he says. “His name might not appear in as many headlines, but Scott has worked behind the scenes on virtually every major case the firm has handled.”
“While every individual within Black Srebnick has both the skills and experience to work on these significant cases, I think one of the characteristics that remains both our strength and makes us unique is our team approach,” adds Lopez. “We have the ability to focus our servicing with this team-oriented approach to give clients a maximum level of service. We are not a high-volume practice so we can provide that specialized service to our clients. Long time partners Maria Neyra, Jackie Perczek, and Mark Shapiro – each of whom has worked at the firm for more than 20 years – are the core upon which the firm’s team-oriented approach was developed.”
TEAM STRENGTH EXTENDS TO NORTHERN DIVISION
Coinciding with this concept is the firm’s long-standing philosophy to grow organically in response to the needs of their clients.
“We’ve never subscribed to the idea of hiring new talent solely for the purposes of building our staff numbers,” Lopez says. “The opening of our Palm Beach office is a perfect example. We identified a need and in response to our growing client base in that area we determined that it would best serve our clients to have the convenience and accessibility of a local office.”
“Lance was the obvious and ideal choice to head this up,” Lopez continues. “The additions of Lance, Chelsea, and Kyle will allow us to continue this growth while continuing to provide unparalleled service to our existing clients and their needs.”
It’s a marriage that seems mutually satisfying to all parties.
“For many years I had been approached by much larger firms, but let’s face it, if you’re lucky you might get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a legend like Roy Black,” says Shinder.
“At the end of the day, the firm’s unique culture really starts at the top and that personality trickles down,” he adds. “It was honestly a no-brainer for me, I never had any hesitation. I love the people and I recognized this as a great opportunity.”
Because he’s already had the experience of operating his own firm, Shinder has hit the ground running eager to create as big a footprint for Black Srebnick in the north as they have in South Florida. “We are affectionately referred to as the Northern Division,” he says with a good-natured laugh.
According to both Lopez and Shinder plans for expansion of the Palm Beach office is certainly a possibility but is a decision that will be made with the same measured consideration as they’ve applied to the Miami home office.
“We certainly have room for expansion,” says Shinder, “but again it has to be a good fit and that’s something that Jared is very attune to and makes thoughtful and strategic decisions. It’s another reason why this firm has very little turnover. They make good hires, good decisions.”