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Robin D. Ferriby

Senior Counsel
fax +1 248.530.9175

Robin D. Ferriby assists foundations and nonprofits on a variety of governance, grant-making, and charitable gift matters, and counsels individuals, families, and businesses on charitable giving and estate planning strategies and techniques.

Whether the client is an individual, a family, a nonprofit, or a business, Robin applies his decades of legal and non-legal experience to assist clients to not only achieve their goals and objectives but also consider the policy and practical implications of those decisions. Clients seeking to establish best practices, policies, and procedures benefit from Robin’s involvement in various nonprofit, tax, and estate planning associations which permit him to provide clients with information on new laws, regulations, and current industry trends.

Robin counsels clients along the entire continuum of their legal needs. For estate planning clients, this might involve drafting a client’s first estate plan, amending an existing plan, adding charitable or other gifting techniques, assisting in estate and trust administration, or protecting a beneficiary’s interest. Often these matters involve a family business, other unusual assets, or unique family circumstances for which Robin can provide guidance and experience.

For private, family, or business foundations, community foundations, membership organizations, and other charities, Robin assists from initially establishing these entities to completing divisions, mergers, and terminations. Along the way, Robin’s clients look for guidance on a variety of governance, policy and procedure, grantmaking, and charitable gift acceptance matters.

From the simple to the complex, Robin wants to know his clients’ goals and how he can help achieve them. For this reason, Robin is sought out by clients for guidance on both routine and complex matters. Gifts of closely-held business interests, intellectual property, and other unusual assets are areas in which he can assist. These matters may also involve counseling foundations and charities on board and staff succession considerations, employment matters, real estate transactions, intellectual property concerns, and donor relationships.

Robin’s clients benefit from his extensive involvement in the passage of legislation and regulations affecting estate planning, tax, nonprofits, and charitable giving. In Michigan, this experience has included the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (probate code), the tax apportionment act, the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, the Community Foundation Act, the repeal of the Michigan inheritance tax, and the repeal of the Michigan intangibles tax, as well as other legislation. He also works on federal statutes and regulations involving donor-advised funds and charitable organizations.


J.D., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan, 1987
B.A., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1983
Fellow, Michigan Political Leadership Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan


Center on Community Philanthropy at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, 2017 Distinguished Scholar in Residence


Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation

State Bar of Michigan, Probate and Estate Planning Section, Taxation Section, Business Law Section, Master Lawyers Section

Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit

Planned Giving Roundtable for Southeast Michigan

National Association of Charitable Gift Planners

Michigan State University Alumni Association

Ohio State University Alumni Association

National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Oaks Chapter of the Michigan Society

Detroit Athletic Club, Past Member

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Planned Giving Council

Detroit Institute of Arts, Tannahill Estate Planning Council

Legal/Financial Network, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Impact Investing Committee for the Council of Michigan Foundations

Michigan Nonprofit Council for Charitable Trusts

Margaret Dunning Foundation, Director and Secretary

Advancement Network, Past President

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan