Photo of Philip F. McGovern Jr.

Philip F. McGovern Jr.



Philip F. McGovern Jr. is a savvy transactional attorney, concentrating primarily on commercial real estate and corporate transactions, real estate development, land use, complex commercial financing and commercial leasing. Phil applies a keen business sense in identifying opportunities — both for his clients as well as for Connell Foley LLP. As the firm's former Managing Partner and member of the Executive Committee, he has played a pivotal role in Connell Foley's growth, from initiating the firm's initial key expansion into Jersey City 20 years ago to providing a vision for continued growth in New Jersey and New York. Phil also serves as Managing Partner of Connell Foley's Jersey City office.

As general corporate counsel to numerous mid-cap companies in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Phil advises businesses on entity formation, financing, contractual negotiation, acquisitions/dispositions and succession planning. He has also served as national real estate counsel to Telcordia Technologies and outside real estate counsel to New Jersey Natural Gas Company. 

During the course of his career, Phil has assisted several large organizations in significant development projects across the United States. Among these, he represented Mack-Cali, Inc. in the assemblage, joint venture and ultimate development of its most significant residential real estate project in Jersey City, and he advised the United Parcel Company in connection with the acquisition and development of its worldwide communications facility in Mahwah, New Jersey. He also advised Merrill Lynch & Co. in the restructuring of mixed use residential/commercial developments in Charlestown, Massachusetts; Alexandria, Virginia; and Waco, Texas.

Phil also represented the Shell Oil Company in the negotiation and disposition of over 350 service stations throughout the tri-state area. He has participated as underwriter's counsel and corporate trust counsel in New Jersey State and other municipal financings totaling more than several billion dollars in value. He has negotiated leases on behalf of landlords and tenants for commercial structures in excess of 5,000,000 square feet.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.


Representative Experience
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

  • 300,000 sq. ft. warehouse lease for a national beer distributor
  • 120,000 sq. ft. commercial office lease for a worldwide telecommunications company
  • 75,000 sq. ft. commercial office lease for a regional law firm
  • $27 million stock and asset sale of transportation company
  • $5 million asset acquisition of insurance company
  • $76 million combined stock and asset sale of petroleum wholesale and distribution business
  • $19 million stock sale of financial services corporation with stock options in acquiring corporation valued up to $10 million
  • $10-million-dollar stock purchase of plastics corporation
  • $55 million stock sale of chemical corporation
  • $5 million stock sale of pyrotechnic corporation
  • $8 million acquisition of assets of fire suppression system corporation
  • $4 million asset sale of wholesale buying cooperative
  • Counsel to Nationwide Financial Insurance Company on various loans to commercial borrowers (aggregate loan amount in excess of $500 million)
  • Counsel to The Greater New York Savings Bank in connection with various real estate workouts and restructuring of loans to borrowers (aggregate loan amount in excess of $100 million)
  • Counsel to New England Mutual Life Insurance Company in connection with loans to various commercial borrowers (aggregate amount of over $100 million)
  • General real estate counsel to numerous private purchasers and sellers of commercial real estate
  • General real estate counsel to two (2) Fortune 200 Corporations
  • Bond Counsel to the Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority (Bond par amounts in excess of $300 million)
  • Bond Counsel to the Borough of Englewood Cliffs (Bond par amounts in excess of $10 million)
  • Bond Counsel to the Borough of Leonia (Bond par amounts in excess of $10 million)
  • Corporate Trust Counsel to U.S. Bank, First Union National Bank, Wachovia Bank, N.A., The Bank of New York, Commerce Bank (Bond par amounts in excess of $2 billion)
  • Underwriters Counsel to Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch & Co., N.W. Capital (Bond par amounts in excess of $250 million)
  • Corporate Counsel to Flag Wharf, Inc. (former Merrill Lynch & Co. subsidiary) in acquisition of numerous properties along the Eastern seaboard, financings with various lenders and general corporate representation
  • Corporate Counsel to approximately fifteen (15) mid-cap companies in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania


Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Hudson County Chamber of Commerce
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees, St. Peter’s Preparatory High School, Jersey City, New Jersey (2013 to present)
  • Chairman, Township of Nutley Planning Board (1998 to 2017) 
  • Board of Directors, Jersey City Economic Development Corporation
  • Former Secretary, Supreme Court of New Jersey District V-C Ethics Committee
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Banking Law Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Hudson County Bar Association

News & Insights


Speaking Engagements

Blog Posts



  • “Law Influencers” (2022)
  • "Influencers Power List" (2019-2021, 2023)

"Leaders in Law," NJBIZ (2021)

Best Lawyers in America (2013-2024)

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • "Lawyer of the Year," Mergers and Acquisitions Law - Newark (2016, 2023))

"Distinguished Graduate Award," Seton Hall University School of Law (2022)

"Iconic Leadership Award," Hudson County Chamber of Commerce (2021)

"New Jersey's Irish American Leaders," Insider NJ (2018-2020)

"Legends of Prep" Award, Saint Peter's Prep (2018)

"Visionary Leadership Award," New Jersey City University (2017)

“Hero Award,”  Team Walker (2016)

New Jersey Super Lawyers (2012, 2016-2023)

Please see Honor and Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


  • Honorable Alfred M. Wolin, Superior Court of New Jersey


Seton Hall University School of  Law (J.D., 1984)

St. Michael's College (B.A., 1980)


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