WILMINGTON – Barnes & Thornburg has added eight prominent lawyers, consultants and staff in Delaware, including partners Thomas McGonigle, Shawn Tucker and Michael Maimone. Top level government relations consultants, Mary Kate McLaughlin and Doug Gramiak, are also joining the firm, along with Michael DeNote as of counsel, Sawyer Traver as an associate and Whitney Potts as a paralegal.
Joining from Faegre Drinker, the group collectively brings decades of experience and a deep understanding of Delaware’s critical role in corporate law, business disputes, and financial services, along with public policy and political issues. McGonigle is the partner-in-charge of the Delaware office and will participate on the firm management committee.
“This is an impressive group that knows Delaware and its place of prominence in legal and business matters across the country and around the world,” said Robert T. Grand, Barnes & Thornburg managing partner. “We’re excited to continue to invest in the First State, as growing in Delaware is a key strategic priority for our firm. We believe these new additions also will fit nicely into our broader growth strategy, including our continued expansion in New York.”
Barnes & Thornburg expanded into New York in February 2020 with the opening of a Midtown Manhattan office and lateral partners from some of the city’s elite law firms. Like the continued growth in New York, the Delaware additions are part of a broad firm-wide strategy to grow in strategic markets with top legal talent.
“After getting to know the Barnes & Thornburg team, it is clear this is a very well-managed firm and a good fit that will help support the clients we serve,” McGonigle said. “Barnes & Thornburg recognizes Delaware’s key role in corporate law, litigation, business and politics and is committed to a full-service Delaware office.”
Government Experience in a Booming Market
McGonigle, an accomplished commercial litigator, has a strong background in Delaware state government. From 2009-2012, he served as chief of staff to then-Delaware Gov. Jack A. Markell and managed the governor’s office and cabinet, and was a key adviser as the state dealt with fiscal issues in the wake of the global financial crisis. McGonigle also previously served as chief legal counsel and policy director to former Gov. Thomas R. Carper, now Delaware’s senior U.S. Senator, and as a deputy attorney general in Delaware.
Tucker is a well-respected and seasoned real estate attorney who has successfully quarterbacked some of Delaware’s largest development projects. Tucker’s unique background in government has made him a natural choice for developers and business leaders over the past decade looking to expand in Delaware. Indeed, prior to entering private practice Tucker served as New Castle County’s First Assistant County Attorney responsible for overseeing all land use matters and related litigation in the State’s largest County. During that same time, Tucker led the rewrite and adoption of New Castle County’s zoning and subdivision code – the Unified Development Code. Following the code’s adoption into law, Tucker was then tapped to manage New Castle County’s Land Use Department while also overseeing the new code’s rollout.
“Delaware is open for business and choosing the right team of professionals is a critical first step to ensure that you negotiate the best possible real estate contracts, as well as obtain the right economic development incentives, land use approvals, and building permits in the shortest period of time possible.” Tucker said.
Doug Gramiak, who joins as director of state government affairs, was chief of staff to then-Delaware Gov. John Carney from 2017 to 2019. Active with the Democratic Party for more than 30 years, Gramiak has provided senior counsel to several campaigns in Delaware, other states and nationally. He also previously served as director of an education nonprofit and as political editor for one of Delaware’s leading newspapers.
Mary Kate McLaughlin, who also joins as a director of state government affairs, previously served in two gubernatorial administrations in Delaware, including as chief of staff for the state Department of Education. She also worked as public policy manager for a national pharmaceutical company and as a government and public affairs specialist for an international energy corporation.
Corporate Law Experience and Strong New York Connections
Representing a wide array of companies and industries as well as investment funds, hedge funds and investment banks, Maimone is well known for his work in corporate transactions and litigation. He has significant experience structuring deals with safeguards against potential litigation, and as a litigator before the important Delaware Court of Chancery and Delaware Supreme Court, where he has a deep understanding of how the courts operate and of successful defense tactics.
“Delaware’s status when it comes to incorporation and New York’s status as a place where business happens means the two markets are indelibly linked,” Maimone said. “That’s why it’s important to have legal counsel who understand both markets – a fact that Barnes & Thornburg is clearly acting on as part of its strategic growth plan.”
The New York office opening, which followed expansions in late 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Salt Lake City, Utah, provides Barnes & Thornburg a strong presence in one of the world’s financial centers. The deal-making that happens in New York has strong connections to Delaware, where many companies choose to incorporate and where litigation is likely to occur.
In addition to McGonigle, Tucker, Maimone, Gramiak and McLaughlin, an of counsel and an associate are also joining the firm.
Michael DeNote, who joins as an of counsel, has more than a decade of experience in real estate law and focuses his practice on commercial real estate transactions, financings, land use and litigation. He works with corporate, government and individual clients on financings, development, acquisitions, leasing, low income housing tax credit transactions, and zoning and land use matters.
Sawyer M. Traver, who joins as an associate, handles a range of real estate-related activities, including financing, leases, contracts, litigation and land use. In addition to her judicial clerkship for the Hon. Paul R. Wallace of the Delaware Superior Court, she was a judicial intern to the Hon. Randy J. Holland of the state Supreme Court.
With more than 700 attorneys and other professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Delaware, Indiana, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minneapolis, New York, Ohio, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews.