New partner will lead the law firm’s land use, zoning and government relations practice.
Moving around and constantly learning new practice areas have been the themes of attorney Patrick Krechowski’s life and of his 20-year career in the law.
Raised in an Air Force family, he was born in North Carolina.
“We lived there twice, I have a sister who was born in Germany and I graduated from high school in Hawaii,” said Krechowski.
His most recent move was into a partner’s office at Jimerson & Cobb.
With Krechowski’s arrival, the 9-year-old business law firm added governmental relations, environmental and land use and zoning law to its practice areas.
“We do a lot of work in real estate and construction, but we haven’t had a strong presence in environmental, land use and government. This is an opportunity for us,” said Charles Jimerson, managing shareholder.
Krechowski also has a track record of diversifying his practice of law since was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1998.
A graduate of the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, his first job in the law was as a Florida assistant attorney general specializing in criminal appeals.
Krechowski then shifted his focus to environmental law and worked for the state Department of Environmental Protection and then for the St. Johns River Water Management District.
“Then the recession hit us and there wasn’t a lot of water and dirt to move around,” he said.
The development downturn led Krechowski to Jacksonville’s Fidelity National Title Group Inc. as an in-house counsel. After working daily with the fine points of environmental regulation law, it was his first experience with title insurance litigation.
“There was a ton of work. Within six months, I had 250 active litigation files,” he said.
A foray into politics also came into play in Krechowski’s multidisciplinary legal career.
A Neptune Beach resident who served on that city’s Code Enforcement Board, Krechowski ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2010 for a Neptune Beach City Council seat.
He didn’t win the election, but “I learned a lot about the city and how it ran,” he said.
He also got to know the incumbent city attorney, who soon retired.
Krechowski was selected from about 20 applicants to replace him in 2011, a job he holds in addition to his Jimerson & Cobb practice.
As city attorney, he is involved in myriad facets of municipal law such as public records, open government law, budget oversight, liability litigation, collective bargaining and other issues.
“It started slow and grew over time,” Krechowski said.
Meantime, he was assigned to Fidelity’s Major Claims Department.
The caseload was lighter, but the new job involved a lot of travel and after several years, he was ready for a change of pace from insurance litigation and the corporate culture that came with being a staff attorney.
“I wanted to go back to what I knew and loved and I wanted to get back to private practice.”
Krechowski joined GrayRobinson’s office in Jacksonville in 2014 and returned to his roots in environmental and land use practice, along with his expertise in government and title insurance law.
He also found time to serve as an adjunct professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, teaching environmental and ocean and coastal law and was treasurer of The Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section and chair of the section’s continuing education committee.
And he’s board-certified by The Florida Bar in city, county and local government law.
“I’m 46 and hopefully, I’ll do this for another 20 years. This is the place to help me make that happen.”