Tom McGonigle, the Chief of Staff for Delaware Governor Jack Markell, will be joining Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in its Wilmington office Monday, December 10, adding additional strength and leadership to its Delaware office. He will be resigning from his post in the governor’s administration later this month.

“I have known a number of Drinker lawyers for years and have the utmost respect for them,” McGonigle said. “I chose Drinker because of the quality of its lawyers and clients nationwide. I look forward to serving those clients and helping further build the practices the firm has already established here in Delaware.”

The addition of McGonigle is another step in the firm’s plan to fill the office with skilled lawyers who have strong roots in Delaware, said Drinker Biddle Chairman Alfred W. Putnam, Jr. In 2009, the firm added a group of litigation and real estate lawyers with significant Delaware public service experience.

“Our clients have told us time and again how valuable it is to have strong Delaware litigation and advisory capabilities,” said Putnam, who noted that more than 900,000 business entities and two-thirds of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware. “Continuing to strengthen that capability is important if we are to give our clients the best service and quality in an increasingly complex legal market.”

McGonigle will serve as the head of the firm’s Wilmington office and act as outside general counsel for a number of clients, as well as handle litigation and administration law matters. The position is similar to one he held at WolfBlock LLP, where he was a partner prior to joining Markell’s administration.

As Gov. Markell’s chief of staff since the governor’s election in 2008, McGonigle played a key role in helping Markell select his team and tackled the difficult fiscal issues Markell inherited in the beginning of the administration. Over the last four years, McGonigle played an important role in managing the governor’s office and the cabinet as the administration focused on job creation, improving Delaware’s schools and making state government more efficient. Markell was elected last week to a second term with over 69 percent of the vote.

“Many of us have known Tom for years,” said Shawn Tucker, another leader in the firm’s Wilmington office. “He is a tremendously skilled lawyer and has become an astute adviser with deep understanding of the interplay between the law, policy and business. We are very excited for him to be here.”

Andrew C. Kassner, a Delaware lawyer who serves as Drinker Biddle’s Executive Partner and chair of the Corporate Restructuring Practice Group, noted the arrival of McGonigle signals a continued effort to strengthen its offices in key business jurisdictions.

In Wilmington, the firm’s roster of lawyers also includes a former justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, a former chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery, a former chief legal counsel to the governor, a former Deputy Attorney General and a former Land Use General Manager for New Castle County and Chairman of the Delaware Tax Appeals Board, he said.

“There are not many firms in Delaware that have such a depth of experience,” Kassner said. “Our clients have responded very favorably to our growth in the country’s preeminent business markets, and Tom will help lead us in those efforts both in and out of Delaware.”

In addition to focusing on growth in the firm’s Wilmington office, Drinker Biddle has grown its Los Angeles presence from nine lawyers to 28 since 2009 and its New York presence from 10 lawyers to 24 since relocating to Midtown Manhattan in August 2011.

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