Platkin to depart Murphy administration (in mid-Oct.), become partner at Lowenstein Sandler

Chief counsel Matt Platkin will depart Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration next month to pursue an opportunity in the private sector at Lowenstein Sandler, it was announced Wednesday night.

At Lowenstein, Platkin will serve as a partner in the firm’s white-collar criminal defense and business litigation groups.

Parimal Garg. (Governor’s Office)

Platkin will leave the Governor’s Office in mid-October. An announcement on his successor will be made in the coming weeks. Parimal Garg, the deputy chief counsel, is thought of highly by the governor.

Platkin has served as chief counsel to Murphy since the beginning of his administration, in January 2018. He is considered one of Murphy’s most trusted advisers — someone who is brought in on all major decisions. His role has increased dramatically during the state of emergency caused by the pandemic.

On Wednesday night, Murphy praised Platkin in a release.

“For the past five years, Matt has been by my side counseling me on every single consequential decision I’ve made,” he said. “From raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour to enacting the nation’s strongest equal pay legislation, Matt has served our administration with integrity, talent and a deep sense of purpose. I look forward to continuing to rely on his counsel as he begins the next chapter of his professional life.”

Platkin, in a statement, called serving the governor the honor of his life.

“From promoting common-sense gun safety to guaranteeing paid sick leave to reforming our criminal justice system, we’ve made meaningful progress to improve the lives of every New Jerseyan,” he said. “I’d like to thank the governor, Lt. Gov. (Sheila) Oliver, first lady (Tammy Murphy) and my exceptional colleagues for giving me the opportunity to fight for a stronger and fairer New Jersey for every family, and I look forward to continuing to be part of the Murphy team in the years ahead.”

Chris Porrino. (File photo)

Platkin, in a statement, said he is looking forward to joining Lowenstein, where he will work with Chris Porrino, who served as both chief counsel to Gov. Chris Christie and as the state’s attorney general.

Porrino, in a statement, said he is thrilled to have Platkin join the firm. The fact the two served governors of different parties is a plus, Porrino said.

“Our bipartisan team is unique in its ability to serve the business community in all aspects of litigation and complex problem-solving,” he said. “Matt’s very recent and in-depth government experience further bolsters that ability.”