Lawyer, Dealmaker and Workplace Strategist
Robin Bond of Transition Strategies
by Sharon A. Shaw

“I wish I had known you when …”

It’s a refrain heard often by Robin Frye Bond, Esq., principal and founder of Transition Strategies LLC, an employment law firm based in Wayne. Although some clients come to her after the fact, Bond empowers all of her clients to negotiate for pay, perks and protections in both new job offers and for enhanced severance deals. She also represents clients in civil-rights discrimination claims, noncompete disputes, breach-of-contract claims, executive-compensation matters and wage-payment claims.

The road to building a successful firm has been long, winding and fulfilling. Originally from Beaver Falls, Pa.—“the cradle of quarterbacks,” she says—Bond began her career as an Air Force attorney, prosecuting criminal cases and then serving as a legal advisor to the Air Force Surgeon General’s staff. Following two in-house counsel positions, she was recruited to become the legal counsel for Hahnemann Hospital, where she had responsibility for overseeing and coordinating legal functions. While in-house counsel, she served as lead attorney on numerous major mergers and acquisitions, information systems and real estate deals; reviewed, negotiated and drafted employment and other organizational contracts; managed and conducted internal investigations of allegations of wrongful conduct; and was a trusted advisor to the hospital’s senior management staff.

“I always had my hand up,” she says. “I wanted to learn how to do everything.”

By 1997 she recognized an underserved niche of executives who needed an agent and decided to use her deal-making skills to fill it. “How many times do you get these opportunities to negotiate for pay, perks and protection?” she asks. “These are your greatest opportunities to leverage [your value].” Transition Strategies was launched, and has been successfully serving the needs of individual employees, for more than 15 years.  

Over the years, numerous employers have also turned to Bond as well to provide employment law counsel to their small businesses, services she and her “of counsel” attorney Walter J. Stickley Jr., the former general counsel of the PQ Corp., are well positioned to provide. Because Bond and Stickley have been on both sides of the negotiating table, she says, they have the ability to troubleshoot workplace situations quickly and effectively, to efficiently solve problems and to bring deals to closure.

Bond says the best time for a client to get in touch with her is before something has erupted.  For example, an employee should get in touch with her if they suspect their name might be up for a promotion, if they believe the relationship is not going well with their boss, or if they hear rumors of a company layoff and have reason to believe their position is at risk.  She suggests, however, that proactive individuals don’t wait until they hear such rumblings before forming a strategy, and instead often work with her to develop tactics and options before these events come to fruition. “Even if you are happy, you should think about being well-positioned strategically,” she says. “I represent lot of top executives who are forward thinking. It’s like playing chess; they don’t just sit there like a frog in the pot waiting for it to boil.”

Bond tries to teach others to be strategic, both through her law practice and as a public speaker—even the name of her firm, Transition Strategies, suggests her forward-thinking nature. But with the recession affecting so many people, Bond says she felt she needed a bigger platform to reach the many people so in need of career advice. In May 2013, she published her first book, “How to Negotiate a Killer Job Offer,” which is available on Amazon. In her book, she shares the kind of to-the-point advice endorsed by prominent businesspeople such as Mark Cuban, who wrote the foreword to “How to Negotiate a Killer Job Offer.” He wrote, simply, “Robin’s great—buy this book!”

“The book contains a lot of bottom-line, practical advice—not academic studies,” she says. “It is a how-to book on the art of negotiation. It teaches you how to think and what to say.” Using her proactive negotiation process, Bond illustrates how to research one’s worth in the marketplace, demonstrate value to a prospective new employer and evaluate perks such as stock options, as well as make an apples-to-apples comparison between job offers and then negotiate for compensation.

“The timing was great,” she says. “My book came out just before ‘Lean In’ by [Facebook COO and former Google executive] Sheryl Sandberg. She claims women don’t know how to negotiate for what they are worth. My book gives them the exact tools they need to overcome this roadblock, and get it right.”

Bond is regularly quoted in a variety of television, radio, online and print media. She has been cited as an authority on employment law matters in articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The New York Post, as well as Time, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, The Boston Globe and The Detroit Free Press, among others. She has also served as a contributing legal analyst and commentator for programs on CNN and FOX, and also appeared for several years as a commentator for truTV’s on-air trial coverage.

Although she is a successful executive coach, author and public speaker, Bond is first and foremost a highly skilled attorney. She was selected to the 2013 Pennsylvania “Super Lawyers,” list for employment litigation.  Only the top 5 percent of attorneys in her field—a mere handful of them being women—receive this honor. Additionally, Bond has been honored as the Top Employment Attorney of the Main Line of Philadelphia for 2011 in the area of Employment Law for Individuals.  She was again selected as one of the top three attorneys on the Main Line in this field for 2013.

“I like to be behind the scenes and make my clients look like they’re the great negotiators,” she says. “Making my clients look their best is my favorite way to work. … To be successful in this field, you have to be able to influence the other side and do it with integrity. I have spent a lifetime developing a reputation based upon integrity. I effectively represent clients by getting the other side to work with us. If you have a good reputation, others respect you and are more willing to work with you and your client to help them achieve the end goal. That matters a lot to me. … We need more ‘gentlemen lawyers,’ both male and female.”

In a recent example of Bond’s approach, she went up against a Fortune 500 company on behalf of a 36-year-old man fired for going out on extended leave. He lost an eye to cancer and ran out of time off before he could return to his job. “I wrote a very persuasive letter that convinced the company to reinstate him,” she says. “He wanted to and needed to work. He and his wife were so grateful, they were crying.  It made the difference between moving forward with a life where he could provide for his wife and children—or a devastating end to life as they knew it. Because I had worked as an in-house lawyer for many years, I was able to write this letter in a way that the company could hear me—and in a way that showed them why they should reinstate this employee. My approach is to show everyone what the right thing is to do, and trust that with enough persuasion, they will want to do it. You always have to do the right thing.”

Other times, litigation is the only course. Under these circumstances, “I go up against the biggest and best law firms and companies throughout the country on behalf of my clients,” she says. This can include claims where an individual has been fired unjustly or in breach of contract, as well as age- and gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation or workplace bullying.  

Although her accomplishments are many, Bond says her greatest achievements are her children. She is a single mother to two kids: Liz, a nurse practitioner in the emergency room of Robert Wood Johnson Hospital; and Michael, who has his B.S. in finance, and works for a hedge fund in Los Angeles. She is proud to report that even they still call for her advice.   

Transition Strategies LLC
88 Militia Hill Drive
Wayne, PA 19087
610-640-5373 |

Photograph by Jody Robinson