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Experience

Phil is a seasoned attorney with a strong business law background. He began his legal career as an associate attorney at Hill, Ward & Henderson, P.A. in Tampa. He practiced in the areas of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, construction law, and complex commercial litigation.

Phil then served as a federal judicial law clerk at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida for over five years, during which time he clerked for the Honorable Catherine P. McEwen and the Honorable Caryl E. Delano. As a law clerk, Phil gained invaluable insight into the judicial decision making process.

Phil then decided to focus his practice on taxation and estate planning matters. He graduated first in his class from the prestigious University of Florida Graduate Tax Program, the nation’s # 1 public university advanced tax law program. After earning his LL.M. in Taxation, Phil joined the Johnson Pope family. He advises business owners and other entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and families, with their tax, estate planning, and asset protection needs. Phil’s practice includes formulating and updating estate plans and business succession plans, as well as drafting the various legal documents necessary to implement those plans. Phil has also been asked to serve as an adjunct professor of estate planning at USF – St. Petersburg, beginning in the spring semester of 2019.

Distinctions & Memberships 

  • Admitted to The Florida Bar, 2008
  • St. Petersburg Bar Association
  • Suncoast Estate Planning Council
  • Member of Tax Law section of The Florida Bar
  • University of Florida Law Review, Notes & Comments Editor
  • Order of the Coif, an honor for those graduating in the top 10% of their class
  • Recognized as the top student and book award recipient in the following courses:
    • Taxation of Gratuitous Transfers
    • Civil Tax Procedure
    • Estate Planning
  • Jesuit Alumni Council
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Planned Giving Advisory Council

Education

  • University of Florida, LL.M. in Taxation, 2017
  • University of Florida, J.D. magna cum laude, 2008
  • Dartmouth College, A.B. cum laude, 2005

When He’s Not Working Hard for Clients

Having met in Gainesville during their first year of law school, Phil and his wife Melissa are avid Gator fans—in all kinds of weather. Although unconfirmed, Phil may be the only person who can claim to have experienced a national championship while a student at UF in the three major sports: football, basketball, and baseball. As a Tampa native, Phil is also a passionate follower of Tampa Bay’s professional sports teams and a proud supporter of Tampa Bay’s booming craft beer industry.

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