Shawn M. Riley becomes president of McDonald Hopkins





CLEVELAND (October 3, 2016) – Shawn M. Riley, elected as president of McDonald Hopkins earlier this year, officially assumed his duties on October 1. Riley, who served as head of the firm’s Cleveland office until assuming his new position, also announced a series of management changes.


“I believe the leadership team we have assembled will help me capitalize on the decade of growth and success we have experienced,” Riley said. “We view these changes as a generational change that coincides with the changes in, and challenges of, the business of law.”   
McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm that was founded in 1930 in Cleveland. Today, McDonald Hopkins has offices in Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach, as well as a Washington, D.C.-based subsidiary, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies. Riley succeeds Carl J. Grassi, who served as president since 2007, and becomes firm chairman. During that period, the firm doubled in size. “I am grateful to Carl for his leadership over the past nine years as well as the strong position in which he has put the firm,” Riley said. 
Riley joined McDonald Hopkins in 1995. Since 2007, he has served as managing member of the Cleveland office, and as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Riley has 30 years of experience advising clients on strategic alternatives, including acquisitions, sales, mergers, affiliations, refinancings, recapitalizations, and restructurings. He has counseled boards of directors on meeting their fiduciary duties in a variety of circumstances in many industries.
A frequent author and lecturer, Riley is highly involved in the Greater Cleveland community where he serves as president of the board of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross and on the board of trustees for Kent State University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Riley formerly served on the Great Lakes Theater Festival board. He was a member of the Cuyahoga County Charter Review Commission and is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland, class of 2012. From 2011 to 2015, Riley served as mayor of the Village of Gates Mills, Ohio.
In addition to Riley assuming his new role as president, six members at McDonald Hopkins are taking on new leadership roles. “This announcement is part of our strategic and succession planning process,” Riley said. “All of these attorneys will be highly valued members of the leadership team.” 
David M. Kall (Cleveland) becomes managing member of the Cleveland office, which has 180 attorneys and other personnel. He is also vice chair of the Tax and Benefits Department and chair of the Capital Markets and Multistate Tax Practice Groups.
James E. Stief (Cleveland) becomes chair, Business Law Department after serving as vice chair since November 2014. He is also chair of the Commercial Finance Practice Group.
James J. Giszczak (Detroit) becomes chair, Litigation Department, where he has served as vice chair since November 2014. He is also co-chair of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.

Michelle F. Kantor (Chicago) becomes chair, Federal Government Contracting and Procurement Practice Group. 

Sean D. Malloy (Cleveland) becomes chair, Business Restructuring Department after serving as vice chair since November 2014.
Benjamin D. Panter (Chicago) becomes chair, Executive Compensation and Governance Practice Group.
Dominic A. Paluzzi (Detroit) becomes co-chair, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.

William J. O’Neill (Cleveland) becomes general counsel after serving as chair of the Litigation Department for 17 years.

About McDonald Hopkins
Founded in 1930, McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm with locations in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach. With more than 50 service and industry teams, we have the expertise and knowledge to meet the growing number of legal and business challenges our clients face.  Our subsidiary, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC, is based in Washington, D.C. McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. For more information about McDonald Hopkins, visit

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Deborah Kelm 



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