West Orange-based Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC (“CSG”) announced that Daniel A. Schwartz has been named managing member, effective immediately. A corporate lawyer specializing in banking, securities, mergers and acquisitions, healthcare and internal investigations, Schwartz joined CSG in 1983.
As managing member, Schwartz will oversee operations and growth at CSG, which has expanded from 18 to more than 130 attorneys in the three decades he has been with the firm. During this time, CSG has also significantly broadened its collective subject-matter expertise, which now spans the legal landscape, including real estate, healthcare, intellectual property, environmental, renewable energy, employment and white collar defense.
Schwartz’s appointment marks the first time in firm history that a managing member is serving the role on a full-time basis. In appointing a managing member to focus exclusively on day-to-day firm administration, CSG has optimized its management infrastructure to ensure that expansion, cultural continuity and world-class client counsel remain seamlessly intertwined.
“Dan is ideally suited to lead CSG,” said Jeffery S. Chiesa, member of the firm. “Over the past 33 years, he has been instrumental in this firm’s growth and evolution. He brings to the role a significant historical perspective, a finely tuned sense of our culture and an astute macro-perspective on various trends shaping the legal services industry’s future.”
Schwartz, a recognized industry star who has represented Fortune 500 firms on merger and acquisition matters throughout his career, is shifting his focus to ensuring that CSG – known for its collaborative and collegial culture – uses its ethos to its advantage in a legal services industry that is rapidly evolving.
“Our industry is facing a shifting paradigm marked by new billing structures and increased pressure on fees from cost-conscious clients,” Schwartz said. “Clients expect their legal partners to work efficiently in developing creative solutions to their business challenges. This requires that firms disassemble their silos in order to bring the most appropriate intellectual resources to bear on every matter, and that they stay on the leading edge of industry trends.”
Key to maintaining CSG’s unique culture, Schwartz believes, is promoting attorneys’ individual growth despite increasingly intense competition for talent in a legal world that has seen a massive increase in turnover at all levels. But, contrary to the greater industry trend, Schwartz notes that attrition at CSG has been unusually low. By ensuring that virtually all its lawyers participate on intra-firm committees, CSG fosters a firm-wide investment in the future. He also credits a compensation structure that looks beyond “rainmaking” as the sole measure of an attorney’s value. This builds loyalty, mutual respect, friendship and trust, which Schwartz says are the principal reasons why very few members have left over the past 25 years to practice elsewhere.
“CSG has always been known for embodying the traits that are required for success with today’s commercial client,” Schwartz said. “Clients want to see continuity and to know that their matters will be handled by teams of experts assembled from all relevant disciplines. Collaboration is part of our DNA and is one of the principal drivers of our growth. As we continue to expand, we’re going to build upon the culture that has set us apart for so many years.”
Schwartz graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. While at Columbia, Schwartz was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served as the writing and research editor for the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. He earned an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University.