January 4, 2016 - Connell Foley LLP is pleased to announce that Philip F. McGovern Jr., a longtime real estate and commercial transactions partner, as well as managing partner of the firm’s Jersey City office, has been elected firm Managing Partner. Mr. McGovern succeeds Michael X. McBride, who served in the role from 2010 through 2015 in accordance with the firm’s designated permissible terms.
As Managing Partner, Mr. McGovern will work with the firm’s Executive Committee to provide strategic leadership for the firm, its attorneys and staff, as well as all client and business initiatives. He will also maintain his real estate and commercial transactions practice, representing clients in a broad range of matters.
"It is an honor to be elected Connell Foley’s Managing Partner,” said Mr. McGovern. “Since its inception, the firm has fostered an atmosphere of collegiality and camaraderie, as well as an unwavering commitment to providing the best legal services for our clients. I have had the privilege of spending my entire legal career with Connell Foley and consider it a professional and personal honor to now have the opportunity to guide the firm. It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of Bud Foley, Ken Kunzman, Richard Catenacci, Kevin Coakley and Mike McBride, each of whom admirably led this firm at various points from the late 1970s through today. This is an exciting time for Connell Foley, and I am looking forward to working with the attorneys and staff in supporting them in their continued delivery of outstanding service to our clients.”
Mr. McGovern joined Connell Foley as a law clerk in 1983 while in law school. He joined the firm as associate in 1985 and became a partner of the firm in 1993. Since that time he has held several leadership roles, including serving on the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee, Hiring Committee, Management Committee and Executive Committee. In the late 1990’s he became a strong proponent of opening an office in Jersey City, as he saw the potential for real estate and other business development in the greater Hudson County area. In 2002, Connell Foley opened its Jersey City office, with Mr. McGovern leading the efforts. The office has been a tremendous success for the firm and has been involved in a majority of the significant real estate development projects in that city.
Former Managing Partner Michael McBride will remain Chair of the firm’s Construction Group, continuing his active practice representing owners, developers, contractors and vendors in all aspects of the real estate development and construction business. During Mr. McBride’s tenure as Managing Partner, Connell Foley grew substantially, increasing the number of attorneys by more than 20 percent and opening thriving offices in New York, Cherry Hill and Newark. “I am thrilled to pass the baton to Phil,” said Mr. McBride. “He is a tremendous leader and skilled attorney with the vision, expertise and business-savvy to guide Connell Foley in our next chapter. We have worked together for more than 30 years and I know he will serve our firm and our clients well.”
Mr. McGovern’s legal practice focuses primarily on real estate and corporate transactions, real estate development, land use, complex commercial financing and commercial leasing. He has participated in significant corporate transactions, as well as New Jersey State and other municipal financings totaling more than several billion dollars in value. He has also negotiated leases on behalf of landlords and tenants for commercial structures in excess of 3,000,000 square feet. He serves as national real estate counsel or general corporate counsel to numerous mid-cap companies in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining Connell Foley, Mr. McGovern served as a law secretary to the Honorable Alfred M. Wolin, Superior Court of New Jersey. He served a 10-year term as the Secretary to the District VC Ethics Committee, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Peter’s Preparatory School and Chairman of the Township of Nutley Planning Board. He also serves on the boards of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce and the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation. Mr. McGovern received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and his B.A. from St. Michael's College.