Governor Chris Christie today announced changes to his senior staff leadership, including the departure of Chief Counsel Chris Porrino, following nearly four years of service in the Christie Administration, including the last 18 months as chief counsel. Thomas P. Scrivo of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter will succeed Porrino as chief counsel to the governor. Porrino will return to practice at his former firm in the private sector, Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
Porrino will serve through the end of the month, when he will rejoin Lowenstein Sandler, as co-chair of the firm’s national litigation practice. Porrino will focus on civil and criminal trial practice while leading the firm’s 100-attorney Litigation Department.
“Since Chris came on board as my Chief Counsel and every single day since then, he has been by my side as an invaluable source of guidance and wisdom for this administration – even during the most challenging of times. Chris’ leadership has played a pivotal role in delivering results for the people of this state and I am incredibly proud of the work we have been able to accomplish together,” said Governor Christie. “I want to thank him for taking on one of the most demanding roles in public service in New Jersey and express my gratitude for all he has done for the people of New Jersey. On a personal note, I cannot thank him enough for his friendship to me. I wish him luck in his new role and know he will continue to accomplish great things for his family and for the people of New Jersey.”
Prior to joining the Governor’s office, Chris Porrino served as the Director of the Division of Law from February 2012 to January 2014, where he oversaw a team of 500 lawyers. During that time, the Division of Law was a major difference-maker on behalf of New Jersey citizens, achieving important outcomes in historic litigation, including the landmark Harvey Cedars “dunes” case which he argued before the state Supreme Court. The Court threw out a $375,000 jury award to the Harvey Cedars couple who argued that their view of the ocean would be diminished by dune construction. Porrino then negotiated a settlement of that case whereby the State obtained the needed property from the couple for $1. This outcome paved the way for the State to further protect its coastline.
Porrino continued to build on that record while at the Governor’s office, where he worked closely with the Governor and members of the Legislature from both sides of the aisle to secure the passage of countless pieces of critical legislation. As chief counsel, Porrino was appointed to serve on the Special Panel of the Future of the Port Authority, a bi-state panel created to make far-reaching reform recommendations on the Port Authority’s governance, operations, and accountability. He additionally helped resolve the dispute between Triple 5 and the Jets and Giants football organizations that allowed the American Dream project to move forward.
Thomas Scrivo is joining the Christie Administration from McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter, LLP, where he serves as the Managing Partner of the Firm’s Newark office and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He is an experienced trial lawyer and a trusted advisor to clients in the public and private sectors. He has extensive experience in a diverse range of practice areas, including complex commercial and business litigation, labor and employment law, local government and redevelopment law, construction litigation, health care law, estates and trusts litigation, professional liability litigation, patent, copyright, trademark infringement and anti-trust litigation, toxic tort and product liability litigation, class actions, and securities litigation.