Dunican to transition to executive chair at Gibbons, which will begin search for new managing director

Gibbons P.C. Chairman and Managing Director Patrick Dunican will transition to the role of executive chairperson, effective Feb. 1, 2022, the firm announced Thursday.

Dunican, who has served in both roles for nearly two decades, said he has determined they would be more effectively performed by two people.

Gibbons has begun the process of identifying a new managing director, who will assume the post Feb. 1.

Gibbons officials said the executive chairperson and the managing director will work cooperatively to execute the firm’s strategic business plan. To that end, Dunican will serve as the chief public spokesperson for Gibbons and, in consultation with the managing director, develop and implement platforms to advance new business generation, practice development, firm expansion, client relations, marketing and public relations, and various special strategic and operational projects.

“After leading Gibbons through the challenges caused by a once-in-a-century pandemic, I feel the time for this transition is right both for me personally and for the firm, as we successfully emerge from the past 18 months and move forward,” he said. “I intend to work closely with the new managing director as, together, we position the firm to continue its growth and outstanding service to our wonderful clients.”

Gibbons has created a transition committee charged with identifying among the firm’s many qualified directors a candidate to succeed Dunican as managing director. That process is expected to be completed shortly. Once a new managing director is elected, that person will shadow Dunican until assuming the role.

Dunican has been instrumental in building Gibbons into one of the region’s most prominent and successful law firms, with more than 300 employees and eight offices across New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

Among numerous other accomplishments under his direction, the firm expanded its geographic footprint down the East Coast, established itself as the premier government affairs firm in New Jersey, maintained its status among the finest litigation firms in the U.S., and grew its corporate practice to make Gibbons a “go-to” firm in New Jersey for complex corporate transactions.

The firm also became a unique player in the higher education space and established the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology at Seton Hall Law School. Throughout, Dunican ensured that Gibbons expanded its community presence and remained a first-class corporate citizen, while making diversity, equity and inclusion a real and tangible pillar of the firm’s mission.

“Because of my affiliation with Gibbons, I have been given more accolades and honors than 10 people can amass in a lifetime, but there will be no greater honor in my life than having been the managing director and chairman of the great Gibbons law firm,” Dunican said. “It is time to hand over the managing director reins.”

Dunican’s efforts were lauded by his colleagues. Here are some of the statements:

  • Frank Cannone, chair of the Corporate Group: “I have worked closely over the years with Patrick as he has led Gibbons to its present preeminent position in the regional legal market. The good news is that Patrick is not leaving, but will now be able to devote his energy and outstanding talent and leadership to major strategic issues and projects.”
  • Kim Catullo, chair of the Products Liability Group and administrative director of the New York office: “I have known Patrick for 33 years, first as law school classmates and then as colleagues and friends standing side by side at the great Gibbons firm. His accomplishments on behalf of the firm over the past 18 years are countless. I thank him for his tireless dedication and service to the firm and its incredible people. I know he will continue to do great things in his new role as our executive chairperson.”
  • Karen A. Giannelli, former Executive Committee member, director and former chair of the Financial Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights Group: “When I assumed the role of chair of the Financial Restructuring & Creditors Rights Group at the firm in 2002, Patrick placed his complete trust in me as a practice group leader. Over my 17-year tenure in that position, I knew he supported me and the practice group, especially in its expansion into the Wilmington, Delaware, venue, where the vast majority of middle-market business bankruptcies have been filed for decades. Patrick’s leadership skills are reflected in the many accolades, honors and awards he has received over the years. His transition into an executive chairperson position is a win-win situation for him and the firm, which will continue to benefit from his years of experience and his vast knowledge of the firm’s assets. I wish him continued success, health and happiness in his new role.”