McDonald Hopkins Announces Transition to New Co-Presidents, Leadership Team

CLEVELAND — McDonald Hopkins LLC today announced executive leadership team appointments that will support the Firm’s growth and strengthen its position as a destination firm for both talented attorneys and distinguished clients.

On October 1, James Giszczak and James Stief became co-presidents of the Firm, succeeding Shawn Riley, who served as president for six years. Riley has become the Firm’s chairman and continues serving clients as a senior member of the Firm’s Strategic Advisory and Restructuring Department. The transition, first announced in April, marks the first time in McDonald Hopkins’ 92-year history that it is managed by co-presidents.

By embracing the co-presidency model, McDonald Hopkins has greater flexibility and representation in attending to client needs, supporting its existing attorneys, recruiting new talent into the Firm, and promoting the Firm’s people-first culture throughout its six U.S.-based offices.

In addition to the succession of president, the Firm has also announced new appointments across its leadership team. Together, the transition underscores the Firm’s commitment to providing exceptional client service along with career development opportunities for the next generation of leaders at McDonald Hopkins.

“Over the past several years, we have invested in ongoing leadership development among our attorneys, and, as a result, we have a group of leaders ready to step into new roles and continue to drive the Firm’s success,” said Riley.

The leadership team appointments, which also became effective October 1, include:

Christal Contini joined the Firm’s Executive Committee and became vice chair of its Business Law Department. She will also remain chair of the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group and retain her position as a leader of the Firm’s Private Equity practice area. Contini’s practice focuses on M&A, including representing family-owned businesses, private equity funds, independent sponsors, physician practice groups, and other healthcare companies.

Michael Latiff joined the Firm’s Executive Committee and became chair of its Litigation Department. Latiff presently co-chairs the Firm's Business Litigation Practice, chairs the Professional Development Committee, and serves on the Firm's Board of Directors. Latiff’s practice focuses on business litigation; automotive; construction litigation; OSHA appeals and workplace safety; trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition; shareholder disputes; and warranty and recall.

David H. Gunning II became the chair of the Firm’s Business Law Department. Gunning’s practice focuses on real estate, financial services, real estate recovery, construction, social corporate governance and impact investing, and commercial finance.

Marc Carmel became the office managing member of the Firm’s Chicago office. Carmel is a member of the Firm’s Strategic Advisory and Restructuring Department. His practice focuses on strategic advisory and restructuring involving companies, private equity and other investment firms, and directors and executives, and the litigation finance industry.

Miriam Rosen became the office managing member of the Firm’s Detroit office. Rosen is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department. She also serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Her practice focuses on counseling employers on difficult employment situations, such as managing leaves of absence, handling internal investigations, implementing complex business decisions impacting employees, ensuring wage/hour compliance, and managing risk associated with employee separations.

James Boutrous now chairs the Firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. Boutrous is also a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department. His practice focuses on labor and employment counseling; labor and employment litigation; Disability, Family Medical Leave Act and related leave; management training and education programs; and trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition.

Timothy Lowe became co-chair of the Firm’s Business Litigation Practice Group. Lowe is also a member of the Litigation Department. His practice focuses on automotive; trade secret, noncompete and unfair competition; sales representative agreements and litigation; directors and officers litigation; business litigation; and data privacy litigation.

Jason Smith now chairs the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group in addition to maintaining his position as chair of its Commercial Finance Group. He is also a member of the Business Law Department. Smith’s practice focuses on finance, including asset-based, commercial, ESOP and real estate finance, business counseling, and general real estate.

“I look forward to leading alongside Jim and all the other talented attorneys and professionals that make McDonald Hopkins such a multidisciplined and dynamic firm,” said Giszczak. “As we considered these changes, we were reminded of how deep our talent pool is and how fortunate we are to have so many people capable of leading and managing our Firm. It’s a testament to our people and our culture that all of those called on to become our next generation of leaders embrace and support the opportunity to drive our Firm forward in our pursuit of continued excellence.”

“McDonald Hopkins’ reputation as a destination firm is made possible by our contingent of enterprising and committed professionals. I am honored to have the privilege to work alongside these individuals on our collective journey to drive growth, profitability, and innovation across the Firm,” said Stief. “We believe the varied skills, backgrounds, and practice areas of focus of our people will position our Firm for success as we take on the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.”

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