Our History

In September 1976, James O. (“Jay”) Fergeson, Jr., returned to Sarasota to establish a boutique law firm specializing in the areas of federal and state taxation, wills, trusts, and estates. Jay opened his practice in downtown Sarasota. J. Ronald (“Ron”) Skipper, a specialist in wills, trusts and estates, joined Jay in 1978.

Jay and Ron expanded the firm to add civil trial and real estate attorneys to meet the growing needs of clients. This marked the transformation from a specialty firm to the full-service firm that exists today.

We offer a full range of legal services to complement Sarasota’s growing economy and the expectations of our clients. All services are provided by knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with the assistance of a proficient and dedicated support staff. Many of our employees have been with us for more than 25 years.

The Florida Bar has a certification program to identify attorneys who have demonstrated special knowledge, skills and proficiency in certain areas of law. More than half of our attorneys are board-certified specialists in their respective areas of practice. Few firms have this kind of experience and specialist distinction to meet the needs of clients.

Our Community

Our firm’s strengths are not derived solely from our legal abilities and years of experience. We are proud of our attorneys’ level of commitment to our community.

Our attorneys are highly active in our local and state bar associations. Our lawyers serve or have served as directors and officers of many businesses, civic organizations and artistic organizations in the community. These include the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Exchange, Tidewell Hospice and Palliative Care, The Argus Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Florida Guardianship Foundation, Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council, Charitable Gift Planners of Southwest Florida, Mote Marine Laboratory, Women’s Council of Realtors, Sarasota County Board of Realtors, the Humane Society of Sarasota County, the Sarasota Concert Band, and the Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble.

Recognition, Awards & Certifications

Our attorneys have received extensive recognition by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the legal profession, competence, and experience. Professional accomplishments include distinctive recognition by the following organizations:

  • Best Law Firm®, U.S. News & World Report
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Lawyer of the Year
  • Florida Super Lawyers
  • Florida Legal Elite
  • Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent* Peer Review Rating

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.