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Robin Rathmell

Partner  |  Kobre & Kim
JURISDICTION

Washington DC
New York
British Virgin Islands
England and Wales

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Asset Protection
Dispute Resolution
Asset holding structures

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Working on high-profile civil and criminal asset forfeiture and related trusts matters, as well as commercial and insolvency litigation around the world, often involving parallel actions brought by both U.S. and non-U.S. government agencies.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Don’t be a lawyer, be a problem-solver.

What is your favourite quote?

"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

1. Travel! It’s essential to meet certain clients face to face – not just if they have sensitive business to discuss, but also to build or maintain a human relationship. We’re not out of the COVID woods yet and Zoom meetings are starting to feel very old.
2. Travel Part 2! I think as the world opens up again people will travel far and wide and “rebound” from their locked-down 2020. Catching our high net worth clients wherever they are seeking sun or snow will be exhausting but necessary.
3. Travel Part 3! The world will open at different paces – concepts such as vaccine passports will affect who can travel where, and the inevitable (and tragic) unequal distribution of vaccines means that high net worth individuals based in non-first world countries may be more constrained than their competitors and may be harder to reach for their lawyers.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stop analyzing the client’s problem as a black letter law question. It is a commercial and/or relationship problem that needs to be addressed holistically. Clients want someone that understands this and can explain a solution to them based on the outcome they want to achieve, not on the (undoubtedly brilliant) lawyering that is going to get them there.

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

1. Be as available and responsive as possible. Show them that you are still fully engaged. Reply to texts/ emails faster than ever before, even if it’s just to let them know you got their message and are working on it.
2. Video wherever possible. It is nowhere near as good as in person but much better than a conference call or email. Make an effort for your Zoom- if they are joining by video, don’t just dial in. Try not to take calls when driving or otherwise distracted. You wouldn’t be driving during an in-person meeting so don’t do it now.
3. Obviously your health, safety, and legal obligations come first, but if you can travel to see them, do. They really appreciate the effort during these times.