Gibbons: New leadership for Commercial & Criminal Litigation and Real Property practice groups

Litigation group, firm’s largest, will be chaired by Alworth with Hradil and Valen named vice chairs; Phillips Smith and Janacek to co-chair property group

Gibbons P.C. officials announced Monday that Frederick Alworth has been named chair of the Commercial & Criminal Litigation Group, the firm’s largest and most wide-ranging practice area.

Alworth’s appointment was one of several high-profile leadership position appointments.

Jennifer Hradil and Thomas Valen were named vice chairs of the group.

Jennifer Phillips Smith has been named co-chair of the firm’s Real Property Group. She will join Douglas Janacek, who has been part of the leadership of the group for more than a dozen years, as a co-chair.

All of the appointments are effective Feb. 1.

Patrick Dunican, the firm’s chairman and managing director, said the four bring great experience and expertise to their roles.

“These longtime firm directors possess the deep institutional knowledge necessary to be effective leaders in their respective practice groups, and they are exceptionally equipped to position the firm for even greater things,” he said. “But, more importantly, they are dedicated to the great Gibbons law firm, its clients and employees, its communities and its future.”

Peter Torcicollo, the firm’s incoming managing director, agreed.

“I’m excited to begin my tenure in February with this talented group of leaders, who are as committed to the success of this firm as I am,” he said.

In their new positions, these attorneys will oversee the work of the attorneys in their respective practice groups and manage group activities and workload. Their oversight responsibilities include fees and billings, matter management, case staffing, associate training and broader professional development, client relations and business development. All have served, or are serving, in various other management capacities at the firm.

A look at the new practice group leaders:

  • Alworth: He has been with Gibbons for more than 30 years, leads the firm’s general equity practice and has extensive trial experience in all aspects of civil litigation, appearing regularly as trial counsel before state and federal courts and the American Arbitration Association. Alworth has served as lead trial counsel in business- and real estate-related litigations throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, Virginia and Florida.
  • Hradil: She leads the firm’s appellate team, directing a practice put on the national map by the firm’s standard bearer, the late John J. Gibbons. Most notably, Hradil led the Gibbons appellate attorneys responsible for the U.S. Supreme Court decision making way for legal sports betting throughout the country, a decision with major economic ramifications for the state and region and the entire American sports and gaming industries. She has also argued appeals before the New Jersey Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Third and Ninth Circuits.
  • Valen: He has spent his entire 25 years in private practice at Gibbons. He has an extraordinary range of experience, serving the needs of corporations and individuals in civil and criminal litigation, enabling him to efficiently handle his clients’ most significant matters involving either governmental or private claims, including commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, internal investigations and shareholder disputes.
  • Phillips Smith: The lead land-use attorney on several of New Jersey’s largest, most high-profile development and redevelopment projects, including a $2.5 billion redevelopment that is being called the largest mixed-use development site in New Jersey’s history, the transformation of the Asbury Park waterfront and the repositioning of a former manufacturing and office site, named “Mixed-Use Deal of the Year” by the leading statewide commercial real estate development association.
  • Janacek: A member of the firm’s Executive Committee, he has been with Gibbons for 35 years. He practices in the areas of real estate development, planning, permitting and redevelopment matters, with an emphasis on commercial, office and industrial developments. He has appeared before planning and zoning boards and governing bodies of numerous municipalities throughout the state, as well as several state and county departments and agencies.