Robinson+Cole has earned a reputation for its special interest in serving nonprofit, or tax-exempt, organizations. These organizations range in size from well-established community organizations with multimillion-dollar annual budgets to start-up organizations with modest levels of financial activity. Our clients include hospitals and health care organizations, private foundations, supporting organizations, educational institutions, social service agencies, cultural and performing arts organizations, religious organizations, trade and professional associations, and public municipalities.
We typically serve as general corporate counsel to our nonprofit organization clients, providing advice on a range of matters that may include:
We represent clients in matters before the Office of the Attorney General, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Revenue Services, the Probate Courts, and other authorities. We assist clients who may wish to engage in a combination of nonprofit and for-profit activities. We have extensive experience advising our clients in negotiating and closing tax-exempt financing transactions.
The activities of our exempt organization clients are diverse and wide-ranging, so we use a cross-disciplinary approach to create legal solutions tailored to the unique characteristics of each tax-exempt client. Our group includes lawyers who focus their practices in these areas:
Created program rules and related materials for the U.S. Composting Council's Seal of Testing Assurance Program for compost products and the compostable certification program in conjunction with the Biodegradable Products Institute.
Representation of an urban parish in defending its right to demolish a dilapidated building next to the sanctuary for a developer under a long-term lease agreement that will fund the mission of the church for decades into the future. After the demolition of the building was approved, an advocacy group formed to require the congregation to maintain and rehabilitate the building, at substantial cost and with little future value. Robinson & Cole defeated an injunction action intended to force the parish to preserve the building and prevent development of the property.
Representation of three foundations to investigate embezzlement from the foundations, which were incorporated in three different states. An employee of the foundations’ management company embezzled over $1 million from the foundations collectively by writing fraudulent checks and making fraudulent wire transfers. Representation involved working with a forensic accountant to investigate the extent of the loss, analyzing electronic bank records and computer software, and interviewing the management companies’ employees and the independent auditor’s personnel. Robinson & Cole coordinated the foundations’ reporting of the findings of the investigation to attorneys general offices that oversee the foundations and assisted with the Department of Justice and Secret Service’s investigation and prosecution of the wrongdoer. Robinson & Cole also assisted the foundations in seeking recovery from the management company and the independent auditors.
Representation of the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County related to its merger with United Way of Westport-Weston to become United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
*These matters were of counsel prior to an individual attorney joining Robinson+Cole.