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Gibbons Recognized as a Leading Firm in 2013 Chambers USA Guide


June 12, 2013

The 2013 edition of the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business features the largest amount of Gibbons practice areas (10) and individual attorneys (26) ever ranked in the top tiers of this publication. The firm has appeared in the New Jersey section of the Chambers guide since its inception and this year has broken into the New York rankings as well.

Chambers annually rates the nation’s leading business lawyers and law firms through comprehensive interviews with top companies, attorneys, and business executives, plus extensive supplementary research.

“Gibbons has consistently, year over year improved in its Chambers rankings, and we are proud to be recognized as one of New Jersey’s preeminent firms by this leading industry publication,” notes Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons.

The Chambers and client testimonials included below highlight the Gibbons practice groups that ranked in the guide’s top three tiers for New Jersey:

Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Gibbons’s bankruptcy practice group runs the gamut of debtor and creditor representations, and it recently welcomed a new partner to its already significant bench. Notable highlights include representing a trustee of the DBSI Private Actions Trust in litigating against a broker-run Ponzi scheme, as well as acting for United Gilsonite Laboratories in a Chapter 11 procedure. Other current clients include Google and Sharp. Sources say: “Professional, with excellent relationships with other firms and the courts.”

Corporate/M&A: Gibbons’s Newark-based M&A practice continues to grow. The group comprises 19 highly active partners who cater to a range of midmarket corporates, financial sponsors and government bodies on a host of transactional activities. Clients also benefit from the firm’s international strengths, with particular expertise concerning Western Europe, Australia and Japan. Its client roster features JPMorgan Securities and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, and in a recent highlight of the firm advised the County of Monmouth on its $97 million general obligation bond issuance. Sources say: “They are outstanding. The knowledge displayed in each of the practice areas was phenomenal. I was always made to feel like I was the priority.”

Environment: Gibbons’s New Jersey team has welcomed three new partners, as well as gaining a fourth through internal promotion. William Hatfield and Camille Otero add further depth to the firm’s impressive litigation capabilities, while David Freeman brings considerable expertise in the development of contaminated property. The firm’s workload features a variety of high-value contentious cases, including complex multiparty sediment site issues. In standout matters, the team represented Honeywell in connection with the Berry’s Creek sediment megasite case. Other major clients include Hoffmann-La Roche, Shell and Tiffany & Co. Sources say: “The firm’s representation went beyond the simple legal matter – our attorney counseled us on the financial and business decisions involved.”

Healthcare: This team focuses on transactional and regulatory healthcare work, as well as housing expertise in healthcare fraud and abuse among other areas. The broad nature of the practice is exemplified by its recent work on behalf of the medical technology company Stryker in drafting a series of agreements, and for Barnabas Health and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in a number of real estate and land use issues.

Intellectual Property: As well as handling trademarks, copyright and Hatch-Waxman litigation, this team is involved in transactional issues such as IP due diligence and patent management. It represents some of the biggest names in the technology industry including GE and Google, and includes among its ranks a number of former in-house patent lawyers. The team also represents General Cigar Company on brand protection issues. Sources say: “They have the skill and capabilities. They allow me to contribute and they have a good understanding of the commercial realities.”

Labor & Employment: This firm’s employment and labor law practice is largely weighted towards employment law, but is also noted for its handling of traditional labor matters. The group has been particularly active in its representation of pharmaceutical and financial services companies in discrimination and wage and hour matters. Current clients include Manhattan Physicians Laboratories and JPMorgan Chase. Sources say: “They go above and beyond on responsiveness and accessibility and when they do something it is done right first time.”

Litigation – General Commercial, Products Liability and White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations: This regional giant has a reputation for fielding excellent attorneys, and attracts some of the most high-profile cases in the state. In big-ticket work, the team represented the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in numerous litigation matters relating to its sports and entertainment properties. Other standout matters include fraud and bankruptcy proceedings and product liability class actions. JPMorgan Securities, Chubb Group and Brother International are counted among the firm’s impressive clients. Sources say: “We love the firm for their knowledge and their responsiveness. They are also very efficient and very economical.”

Real Estate: This Newark-based real estate practice group regularly acts on behalf of large developers and major corporations across a range of real estate matters. The group has been involved in assisting Honeywell International with the redevelopment of 100 acres of brownfield land in partnership with the City of Jersey City. Other clients include McDonald’s, Hoffmann-La Roche and JPMorgan Chase. Sources say: “They are excellent. They are very responsive and very thorough and they care deeply about their work.”

In addition, 26 Gibbons attorneys received the following reviews in the guide’s individual rankings:

Christine A. Amalfe, Labor & Employment: Christine Amalfe is chair of the department at the firm. Market sources praise her as “a brilliant legal mind,” and remark that “she gets to the heart of the matter and can zero in on how to attack the problem.”

Kelly Ann Bird, Labor & Employment: Market sources praise Kelly Ann Bird for her ability to “understand the realities of running a business and taking those realities into account in her advice.” She focuses her practice on employer training, compliance counseling and litigation.

Russell B. Bershad, Real Estate: Russell Bershad recently represented Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals in the consolidation of its offices into one campus. Sources describe him as a “tremendous lawyer, amazingly gifted and knowledgeable.”

Frank T. Cannone, Corporate/M&A: Corporate department chair Frank Cannone debuts in the rankings this year on the back of strong market praise. Interviewees say Cannone is “extremely responsive” and further highlight his sage business counsel.

Kim M. Catullo, Litigation: Products Liability: Kim Catullo has acquired a exemplary reputation within the product liability arena. Practice highlights include acting for Stryker and Howmedica Osteonic in personal injury and product liability matters.

Mark B. Conlan, Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Mark Conlan is commended by clients as a “workhorse and a straight shooter who does not litigate for the sake of it.”

David N. Crapo, Bankruptcy/Restructuring: David Crapo earns accolades for his business understanding. “His advice is very practical and he really understands the commercial aspects of a matter,” sources state.

David E. De Lorenzi, Intellectual Property: Practice chair David De Lorenzi is an “all around fantastic patent lawyer.” He represented Hoffmann-La Roche in a patent interference matter involving the Japanese Cancer Foundation.

Carla N. Dorsi, Labor & Employment: Carla Dorsi debuts in the rankings having received strong feedback from the market. She provides employment litigation and counseling to management clients.

Irvin M. Freilich, Environmental: The “smart and practical” Irvin Freilich is the environmental team leader at the firm. He represented Novartis in connection with the Rolling Knolls Landfill case.

David J. Freeman, Environmental: David Freeman of Gibbons P.C. focuses on handling environmental due diligence and toxic exposure litigation. He is also experienced in representing the sellers, developers and buyers of brownfields sites.

Karen A. Giannelli, Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Karen Giannelli is chair of the department and lead counsel on the DBSI matter. Greatly respected by clients and peers alike, she is described as a “technical specialist” and “one of the best attorneys in the state.”

John J. Gibbons, Litigation: General Commercial: Former Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, John Gibbons is regarded by sources as one of the deans of the New Jersey commercial litigation Bar. With a career spanning 50 years, he offers an invaluable depth of knowledge in dispute proceedings.

Michael R. Griffinger, Litigation: General Commercial: Michael Griffinger is described by sources as “at the top of his practice.” He successfully defended the City of Newark in a suit brought by Avis Budget Group, and Hertz over a tax on automobile rentals in certain industrial zones in the city, which results in around $8.1 million a year in city revenues.

William S. Hatfield, Environmental: William Hatfield is one of the leading partners advising various clients of the firm on the headline-grabbing Newark Bay Complex sediment case. The matter has a potential value of hundreds of millions of dollars.

John H. Klock, Environmental: Clients have high praise for John Klock, who is “a wonderful guy, with an incredible background in complex environmental remediation projects.”

Bruce A. Levy, Healthcare: “Very good attorney” Bruce Levy focuses his practice on the defense of healthcare providers from allegations of fraud and abuse.

Lawrence S. Lustberg, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations: Lawrence Lustberg has a wealth of experience in criminal defense and appellate litigation before state and federal courts. He is chair of the criminal defense practice group at the firm, and sources describe him as “a great guy and a very gifted attorney.”

Robert J. MacPherson, Litigation: General Commercial: Robert MacPherson focuses his practice on commercial and construction litigation, and represents civil contractor EE Cruz in connection with several infrastructure projects.

Michael R. McDonald, Litigation: General Commercial: Michael McDonald advised Skinder-Strauss Associates on a suit brought by a New York City law firm regarding an alleged unsolicited facsimile advertisement.

Brian J. McMahon, Litigation: General Commercial: Chair of the Business and Commercial Litigation group Brian McMahon focuses his practice on antitrust and trade regulations and securities litigation. He is a seasoned veteran of jury and nonjury trial at state and federal level.

Sheila F. McShane, Intellectual Property: Sheila McShane has a strong record in Hatch-Waxman litigation. She has been lead partner in such matters for well-known multinational companies including Pfizer and Procter & Gamble.

Susan L. Nardone, Labor and Employment: Susan Nardone is described by sources as “very strong in dealing with internal investigations as well as litigation.” She is an experienced employment litigator, with strong experience before state and federal court and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Camille V. Otero, Environmental: Camille Otero is well regarded by peers for her strength in environmental and toxic tort litigation.

Susanne Peticolas, Environmental: Susanne Peticolas is a “very bright attorney, who is very well versed in environmental law.” She is also commended for her negotiation skills.

Frank J. Vecchione, Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Frank Vecchione is regarded by many commentators as the dean of New Jersey bankruptcy law. He is described as “gentlemanly, wise and professional.”