Richard Cole, managing partner of Cole, Scott & Kissane, Miami

Cole, Scott & Kissane managing partner Richard P. Cole has given $20 million to the University of Florida Levin College of Law’s health law program in honor of his late father, a fellow UF law alumnus.

The public university said the bequest funding an endowment is the largest individual contribution in the law school’s history and one of the largest donations to any law school in the country.

Cole’s gift honors Robert B. Cole, the founding chairman of Baptist Health of South Florida.

The donation expands the Robert B. Cole Health Law Endowment, which was created in 1995 to support teaching, programs, research and publications in the area of health law.

“Richard’s incredible generosity will enable UF Law to assume a leadership role in health law,” said law dean Laura Rosenbury. The contribution will allow the school to build on “faculty strengths and better leverage the many opportunities within a major research institution in the third largest state of the nation.”

UF President Kent Fuchs said the gift moves the Gainesville university a step closer to being a top five public research institution.

“Gifts of this magnitude make a significant difference in our progress toward our highest goals as a university,” Fuchs said. “Health law is a critical field today, and this gift will make it possible for our faculty and students to accomplish a marvelous amount of good.”

The endowment will support a chair and professorship in health law, a health law area of concentration in the J.D. curriculum, merit scholarships and an annual symposium bringing together legal and medical communities, government agencies, nonprofits, faculty and law students.

“This investment in our future will support generations of students who will come from around the world to study health law at the University of Florida,” Rosenbury said.

Cole’s law firm is the largest in Florida by number of attorneys with more than 400 in 11 offices.

Cole, a former president of the Dade County Bar Association, is recognized as a leader in personal injury defense and medical, legal and professional malpractice.