This ROBS Attorney article is the 3rd of a three part series on the history of the ROBS industry and the difference between using a promoter and an attorney to create your ROBS program. The first is available here, the second here.
Enter Frank Selden Law, ROBS attorney
For most of my experience with the ROBS industry I legally represented clients undertaking or having problems with a ROBS funded corporation. I accepted clients from, and became familiar with the products of, most of the ROBS promoters. I did not expand into creating the entire ROBS concept because I had no interest in starting a plan admin service. Fortunately, I found a true TPA who handles 401K plans that contain qualified employer securities. An ERISA attorney started that TPA specifically for ROBS clients unhappy with their promoter admin services.
This TPA does not create ROBS concepts for people. They do, however, offer what I believe is the best TPA service for your ROBS company. They design and write your 401K plan specifically for your corporation. They have an investment platform that allows employees, including you, to invest into mutual funds through the Mid-Atlantic Financial. When I first learned about their company at a 401K plan administration conference, I knew immediately that my clients needed this solution.
I now work with them to create the best ROBS concept available. Frank Selden Law, PS creates your ROBS concept as a legal service. The TPA creates and administers your plan. We do not create or administer your plan, and they do not act as your attorney. We do not share fees with them, and do not receive any compensation for referring you to their company. By the way, if you have a TPA you prefer to use, I will work with them instead. You are not required to use that TPA in order to use my ROBS creation services, but you are required to have a TPA.
What is the difference of a ROBS attorney versus a promoter?
I believe that the ROBS concept created with a ROBS attorney is better for the client, and that a true TPA is better for the client. However, neither of them are easier.
When I create the ROBS as a legal service that means, among other things, you have an attorney answering your legal questions for you. We still have administrative staff handling the paperwork or non-legal functions. Right now, I am the only attorney in the firm. We accept only 1, no more than 2 clients per week. To expand that, I need another attorney. A promoter simply hires another sales person and (hopefully) trains them well.
The ROBS promoters are not regulated. They are not backed up by E&O insurance or by an equivalent to the BAR association. You can check out my bar listing here: https://www.mywsba.org/LawyerDirectory/LawyerProfile.aspx?Usr_ID=34350
Why not create a promotion company like Fischer (an ERISA attorney) did with Benetrends? Lots more money in that. Just not my style.
Anything illegal about the ROBS promotion business? No, just a different experience and result. You are my legal client, and that means something to me. My goal is 100% right, 100% of the time, treating each client as an individual.
I can sleep at night with my service the way it is. Yes, we could charge more. If I billed this as a typical legal service with a billable rate of $300 / hr (less for non-legal work) I could not compete with the ROBS promoters on price. The bottom line is, I love this work. It’s creative, entrepreneurial, helping people realize their dreams. I dreamed of a Jerry McGuire kind of law firm and I have it. As Dicky Fox said: “In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.”