Robert C. Edmonds,
founder of the firm, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Bard College with honors in Greek History in 1968, having spent college field periods at Ropes & Gray in Boston and at Newsweek in New York City. At Bard he served as president of the Student Senate and Chair of the Community Council and he also started two businesses in New York City, one in the travel industry and one in consumer printing. He received a J.D. degree from New York Law School, and was admitted to the New York bar and U. S. Tax Court in 1973; to the U. S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York in 1975; and to the U. S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in 1984.
Mr. Edmonds started his practice as an associate at Hatfield, Brady and Taft, located at 277 Park Avenue, where he initially specialized in trusts and estates work. He developed estate plans for the firm’s high net worth clients under the guidance of Edgar Hatfield and Henry Cassorte Smith, both well-known T&E attorneys. He also handled a rare Cy Pres case in Jefferson County and litigated trust matters for private clients against major institutions. In mid-1973, when one of the firm’s corporate clients needed representation in the Middle East, Mr. Edmonds was dispatched to Tehran. This was to be the first of his many trips to the Middle East during a period of intense commercial activity there, and Mr. Edmonds gained broad experience there developing and negotiating sales, training and distribution contracts under intense pressure - often in airports or in remote cities.
Mr. Edmonds became a partner at Hatfield, Brady and Taft in 1975. After Mr. Hatfield’s death in 1979, the firm merged with Miller, Montgomery & Sogi to become Miller, Montgomery, Sogi and Brady. The new firm, whose principal U.S. office was located at 200 Park Avenue, had a substantial international practice with offices in Tokyo and Taipei. The firm continued to grow and eventually merged into Kelley, Drye and Warren in 1983. Mr. Edmonds believed that his client base of closely held companies, individuals and professional practices could be most effectively serviced in a small firm environment and founded Edmonds & Co., P.C. in May of 1983. Mr. Edmonds seeks to acquire in-depth understanding of his clients’ businesses and financial issues, and this has created lasting relationships that involve him and the firm in a multi-faceted general practice. For businesses, he often serves as outside general counsel; for individuals, as adviser and counselor.
Outside of, and complementing, the practice of law, Mr. Edmonds has a variety of interests and involvements. He served as president of the Bard College Alumni Association from 1970 to 1972, and again from 1997 to 1999. He was elected a trustee of Bard College in 1972 and served as such until 1977. For more than ten years he has lectured the junior and senior classes at Parsons School of Design (The New School), addressing the legal and other issues that newly minted designers will encounter as they start businesses, raise money, acquire or create intellectual property and enter into employment in the industry.
Mr. Edmonds has also contributed his time to a number of arts related organizations. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Playwrights Horizons, on Theater Row in Manhattan, from 1975 through 1981 and as its Chairman from 1978 to 1981; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bard Music Festival since its inception in 1989 and as its Chair since 2003. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Episcopal Colleges for many years (1983-1999), as Annual Giving Chairman for the Girl Scouts of Westchester and Putnam Inc., from 1989-1991, and as a member of the Board of Directors of AMIRUS, Inc. (formerly the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra) since 1995. Most recently, in 2005, he joined the Board of The Friends of Canada’s National Ballet School. He also serves as trustee of several private foundations, including the Bettina Baruch Foundation.
His legal affiliations include The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; the New York State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.