Robert W. Briggs

Chairman Emeritus & Partner | Cleveland

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Assistant  |  Lisa B. Stayer  :  [email protected]

About Robert:

I am a partner, chairman emeritus and former CEO of Buckingham. My areas of focus are business, trusts and estates and nonprofits.


I have experience serving in leadership roles for both local and national foundations where I have led entities through key transitions including board restructuring, investment changes and overall directional shifts. My involvement in foundation leadership, collaboration and team-building allows me to provide our clients with exceptional strategic advice and comprehensive legal counsel.


My professional experiences are diverse and include my own entrepreneurial endeavors. Such experiences have helped me develop important and sophisticated perspectives that enable me to better serve our clients. I am also a licensed realtor in Ohio and Michigan. I have extensive experience in buying and selling real estate both personally and professionally.


  • Served as counsel for numerous businesses and foundations
  • Serves on the Distribution Committee of the GAR Foundation (2012 to present)
  • Served as former CEO of Buckingham
  • Joined the law firm of Herndon & Bartlo in 1970, which merged with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC in 1971, and elected shareholder in 1974
  • Served on the board of managers for the firm from 1985 to 2000, president and CEO from 1990 to 2000, and chairman of the board from 2000 to 2004
  • Served as a staff judge advocate with the United States Air Force from 1967 to 1970
  • Served as president/executive director of the GAR Foundation from 1996 to 2011
  • Served as president of the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (2014-2016)

  • The Ohio State University College of Law (J.D., 1966)
  • Duke University (B.A., 1963)
  • Licensed Realtor in Ohio and Michigan


  • New York
  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Tax Court

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (2008-2021)
  • Named Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" for Corporate Law (2017)
  • Ohio State University Law Alumni Award (2016)
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers Business Edition® for Trusts and Estates Law (2015)
  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio’s Super Lawyers® (2004-2005), as voted by his peers
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™, which is the highest possible rating in both legal and ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar.
  • Crain’s Cleveland Business Power Pack, as one of Northeast Ohio’s most influential business leaders (2002, 2007)
  • Named to Inside Business Magazine’s Power 100 (2008-2011)
  • Honorary Chair of The Summit County Historical Society’s 2013 Summit Awards (2013)
  • Named to the Power 100 List (2013)
  • Named Crain’s Cleveland Business Difference Maker (2011)
  • Named to Crain’s Cleveland Business Who’s Who: 150 names to know in Northeast Ohio (2010)
  • Project Love/Purple America’s Gordon E. Heffern Award for Values, Ethics and Community (2013)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Akron (2012)
  • Ohio Grantmakers Forum Philanthropy Award (2011)
  • Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award (2010)
  • Sir Thomas More Award (2009)
  • Honorary Doctorate, Baldwin Wallace College (2008)
  • Northeast Ohio Regional Leadership Task Force Regional Vision Award (2006)
  • 1st Annual H. Peter Burg Regional Vision Award, Team NEO (2006)
  • Honorary Alumni Award, University of Akron (2002)
  • Community Service Award, Great Trail Council of the Boy Scouts and the Northwest Summit County Rotary (2001)
  • Distinguished Service Award, Akron Community Foundation (2001)
  • Hope Award, Northeast Ohio Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis Society (2001)

  • Bay Harbor Community Council, Legal Committee
  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Board Member
  • GAR Foundation, Distribution Committee Member
  • Great Lakes Biomimicry, Emeritus Director
  • Jacobson Foundation, Trustee
  • Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis, Board Member
  • Summa Behavioral Leadership Council, Board Member and Chair
  • Values in Action, Project Love/Purple America, Honorary Director
  • The 50 Club
  • Catawba Island Club
  • Firestone Country Club
  • Shoreby Club
  • Bay Harbor Yacht Club
Past Affiliations
  • Bratenahl Homeowners Association, Board Member
  • Buckeye Producing Co., Member, Board of Directors
  • Union Club, Member
  • Invent Now, Inc. fka National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, Trustee and Chair
  • 2016 Aspire!, Boys & Girls Club Signature Event, Co-Chair
  • 2015 Summa Sapphire Ball, Co-Chair
  • Stonebridge Tower Homeowners Association, Director
  • FirstMerit Corporation, Risk Management Committee and Executive Committee, Member, Board of Directors
  • Independent Sector, Board Member
  • Akron City Club, President and Member, Board of Directors
  • Akron Community Foundation, Secretary, Trustee and Two-Term President
  • Akron Neonatology, Inc., Member, Board of Directors
  • Akron Porcelain and Plastics Co., Member, Board of Directors
  • BancOhio National Bank, Akron, Board Member
  • Blossom Music Center, Co-Chair, Board of Overseers
  • Cascade Club, President and Member, Board of Directors
  • Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation, Trustee
  • Congress Lake Club, Member
  • Fund for Our Economic Future, Chair and Member
  • GAR Foundation, President
  • The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Chair and Trustee
  • Law Enforcement Foundation, Campaign Chair and Member
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society (Northeastern Ohio Chapter), Chair
  • Musical Arts Association (Cleveland Orchestra), Trustee
  • National City Bank, Northeast, Board Member
  • National Inventors Hall of Fame, Board Chair
  • Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, subsequently President and CEO 2014-2016, Trustee
  • Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition, Trustee
  • Northeast Ohio Universities Collaboration & Innovation Study Commission, Member
  • Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, Board Member
  • Ohio Venture Capital Authority, Co-Chair and Member
  • Old Trail School, Vice President and Trustee
  • One Cleveland dba One Community, Co-Chair and Trustee
  • Summa Health System, Trustee
  • Summa Health System Foundation, Trustee
  • Summit Education Initiative, Trustee
  • Walsh Jesuit High School Board of Trustees, Chair and Member
  • Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, Board Member
  • Portage Country Club


  • Akron Bar Association
    • Past Board Member
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Emmet Association of Realtors
  • Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors
  • Ohio Realtors
  • National Association of Realtors


  • Lorain Community College Commencement (2014)
  • “Northeast Ohio: It’s Up To You,” Akron Roundtable (2011)
  • Baldwin Wallace University Commencement (2008)
  • “Northeast Ohio’s Regional Economy and the Progress Fund for Our Economic Future,” Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Meeting
  • “The Fund for Our Economic Future,” Cleveland City Club Forum (2005)
  • “Fund for Our Economic Future,” Cleveland Plain Dealer (2008)


Our attorneys will provide a collaborative, thoughtful approach to your legal needs. We look forward to connecting with you.