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Where Tradition Meets the Future®

Douglas Szabo Elected Managing Lawyer of Henderson Franklin

The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., is pleased to announce that Douglas Szabo has been elected Managing Lawyer by the firm’s stockholders for a three-year term commencing May 21, 2021.

Szabo will succeed Russell Schropp, who has held this position since 2015. “I am very pleased to turn over the reins to a very qualified leader such as Doug, and I look forward to returning to the full-time practice of law when my term expires in May,” commented Schropp.

Szabo shares:

“It is a great honor and privilege that my partners have given me the opportunity to serve as the next managing lawyer of Henderson Franklin. First and foremost, I want to express my deep appreciation to Russ for his hard work leading the firm over the last six years with a steady hand and keen intellect. Throughout my entire 34-year legal career at Henderson Franklin, I have witnessed tremendous growth both in the number of attorneys and areas of practice we provide. Now, I am most excited about the future of Henderson Franklin as we emerge into a post-COVID world and the challenges that may bring. I am committed to Henderson Franklin remaining the preeminent law firm in Southwest Florida while continuing to provide excellent service to our clients and working with our amazing staff.”

Szabo began his career with Henderson Franklin in 1987. He currently serves as chair of the Business Litigation department and is a member of the firm’s Marketing Committee. Szabo represents clients in complex business cases, including corporate and partnership disputes, trade secret litigation, real estate disputes, and breach of contract lawsuits. He also represents companies, financial institutions, bankruptcy trustees, and other creditors in bankruptcy court. In addition, Szabo represents media companies in First Amendment matters.

In the community, Szabo currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida, and is a member of the Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Professional Association and Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Lee County and served as Chairman of its Steering Committee.

Over the years, Szabo has also served as president of the Lee County YMCA Board; chairman of the YMCA Youth Sustaining Funds Drive; a member of the City of Palms Classic Board of Directors; co-chairman of the City of Palms Basketball Alumni Association; and president of the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium Board of Directors.

Szabo has been honored by Florida Super Lawyers, and named a “Top Lawyer” by Naples Illustrated magazine for his work in Business and Commercial Litigation. He received his undergraduate degree from Rollins College (with high distinction, 1984) and his law degree from the University of Florida (with honors, in 1987). Szabo may be reached at 239-344-1260 or via email at

“Serving as managing lawyer of Henderson Franklin during the past six years has been a true team effort,” says Schropp. “Despite the challenging times faced throughout Southwest Florida, the firm has opened new offices, launched new practice areas, and continues to recruit new talent. This is a direct result of the dedication and hard work of all our attorneys and staff.” Schropp will continue his practice in land use and environmental law, representing property owners before local, regional, state, and federal agencies.

Schropp has been recognized throughout his legal career, including being listed as a “Top Lawyer” by Naples Illustrated magazine, honored by Florida Super Lawyers® magazine, named to Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, and being named the “2020 Litigation – Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year in Fort Myers” by Best Lawyers in America®, an honor he also received in 2018.

Schropp also continues to serve in the community in various capacities including the Horizon Council, a public-private board that advises the Lee County Commission on economic development matters. He received his undergraduate degree from Stetson University, his Master of Science Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida State University, and his law degree from Florida State University. He may be reached at 239-344-1280 or via email at

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