Patricia Costello has been named managing member of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi, becoming the first woman to serve as the leading executive at a firm that started in 1972 and has grown to become one of the state’s largest and most influential.
Costello will oversee the operations of the firm, which has revenue of more than $90 million, 175 attorneys among its 285 overall employees and offices in two states — New Jersey and New York.
The firm’s current managing member, Daniel Schwartz, will continue to serve the firm in the new role of chair of strategic planning and development, where he will manage some of the firm’s most pivotal projects, including the largest project in the firm’s history — the custom design and buildout of the firm’s new headquarters.
Costello, who joined the firm in 2015, said she was humbled by the announcement.
“I am tremendously honored to be chosen for this role at such a pivotal time in the firm’s history,” she said. “CSG’s growth has been the product of a focused and dedicated management team, and I look forward to leading the team as we continue our expansion in the coming years.”
Frank Giantomasi, a member of the firm’s executive committee, said he was thrilled by the news.
“The executive committee is pleased to name Pat as the new managing member of the firm, and we are immensely thankful to Dan for his leadership through the past six years,” he said. “We believe Pat’s management style and ability will help the firm continue to grow and thrive.”
Costello’s goals will include increasing the support, development and advancement of women. Some of CSG’s accomplishments in this area include:
- 31% of CSG’s members (partners) are women (the national average is 25%);
- 58% of the firm’s practice group leaders are women;
- 58% of the attorneys hired in 2020 were women;
- 40% of the attorneys promoted to member (partner) in 2020 were women;
- 50% of the firm’s C-suite management team are women.
Prior to joining CSG, Costello served as the assignment judge in Essex County for 10 years. In this role, she supervised all of the county’s trial and municipal courts, including more than 100,000 filings per year, 1,000 employees and a $55 million annual budget.
Costello is succeeding a highly effective leader.
In his six years as managing member, Schwartz has led the firm through a tremendous period of growth — in revenue, headcount and geographic footprint — all while being focused on maintaining the unique culture that makes CSG a special place.
He has transitioned the firm to a corporate management model — formalizing practice groups, firm leadership and key committees — and has brought in top-level administrative talent to support the firm and provide the tools necessary for continued growth.
“As I look back at my 44 years as a lawyer, my most enjoyable and satisfying achievement, beyond all of the noteworthy transactions I handled, has been serving as managing member of CSG,” Schwartz said. “The combination of addressing the business and financial issues of the firm, and working with our talented lawyers, administrators and staff on a daily basis, has been the highlight of my career.”
His work is not done.
Jeff Chiesa, a member of the executive committee, said Schwartz’s efforts with the new headquarters will be key.
“The development of the firm’s new state-of-the-art headquarters requires the full-time leadership of someone with a strong financial, operations and management background,” he said. “We believe Dan is uniquely situated to bring this vision to fruition.”