Former Instinet Group General Counsel Paul A. Merolla to Head Manhattan
NEW YORK, Oct. 12 LAWFUEL – US Law News — LeClair Ryan, a Virginia-based law firm, today announced the opening of its New York office at 830 Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Paul A. Merolla, a former executive vice president and general counsel of Instinet Group Incorporated and a former vice president and associate general counsel of Goldman Sachs & Co., Inc., will serve as the firm’s office leader in New York. He is also the immediate past president of the Securities Industry Association’s Compliance & Legal Division.
With its entry into Manhattan, the Richmond-based LeClair Ryan — which currently has more than 140 attorneys in Virginia and Washington, D.C. — will initially focus on expanding its existing services in the financial services industry and corporate bankruptcy arena.
“New York is a natural market for us,” said Gary D. LeClair, the firm’s chairman. “Our existing client base in New York has been drawing our lawyers to the city for years. We have just been waiting for the right opportunity and the right person to lead our New York office. We found that ideal candidate in Paul Merolla, who brings substantial leadership experience in both the investment banking and publicly traded company environments, as well as through his role in the SIA Compliance & Legal Division over the last two years.”
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Merolla, 59, served as senior vice
president and deputy general counsel and, then, general counsel at Drexel
Burnham Lambert. He began his 32-year legal career as a litigation
associate at Shearman & Sterling.
“I am delighted to be a part of LeClair Ryan,” Merolla said. “I
particularly welcome the challenge of assembling a top-flight team in New
York to serve the securities industry, complementing the efforts of our
Securities Litigation and Regulation Group’s attorneys in Virginia and
Also joining the New York office as partners are Michael T. Conway and
Andrew J. Frisch.
Conway, 43, who comes to LeClair Ryan from the law firm of Lazare
Potter Giacovas & Kranjac in New York, will head the office’s bankruptcy
practice. He joined Lazare Potter in 1997 and was named a partner in 2001.
At the firm, he represented creditors and debtors in a wide variety of
industries, including such major bankruptcies as Enron Corp., Global
Crossing, Worldcom, Kmart Corp., One Price Clothing Stores, Union Financial
Services Group, Sunbeam Corp., Unicapital Corp., and Jacom Computer
Services. He began his career in 1992 as an associate at Brodey & Price in
Beverly Hills, California.
“Michael Conway brings to the New York office formidable and diverse
experience in bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and securities,” LeClair
commented. “His body of work extends to guiding companies reorganizing
under Chapter 11 and defending companies, officers and directors in both
the bankruptcy arena and securities litigation.”
Like Merolla, Conway will be involved in actively recruiting additional
attorneys for his practice area. “I look forward to helping build a
talented group of bankruptcy professionals who will work closely with the
attorneys already in the firm’s Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice
Group,” Conway said.
Frisch, 50, who brings 20 years experience practicing criminal law in
New York City’s federal and state courts, will lead LeClair Ryan’s
white-collar criminal defense practice, part of the Securities Litigation
and Regulation Practice Group. He most recently worked as a federal
prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, successfully prosecuting
the director of the Staten Island Ferry Service for the 2003 crash that
killed 11 passengers. As senior litigation counsel in the office’s Business
and Securities Frauds Unit, Frisch also tried senior executives of a
high-technology company for securities and accounting fraud. Before joining
the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1995, he spent over five years as an
associate at Newman & Schwartz, a Manhattan white-collar criminal defense
firm. He began his career in 1984 as an assistant district attorney for
Kings County (Brooklyn).
James A. Murphy, chairman of LeClair Ryan’s Securities Litigation and
Regulation Group, said, “We are excited to add Paul Merolla’s depth of
knowledge of securities law and wealth of experience on Wall Street to our
practice group. Andy Frisch’s background as a federal prosecutor and
Michael Conway’s background in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights will create
a solid foundation for us to build on in New York. We plan to assemble a
talented group of lawyers around them to enhance our already strong teams
in Virginia and Washington, D.C.”
Murphy will be splitting his time between LeClair Ryan’s Richmond and
New York offices.
Founded by Gary LeClair and Dennis Ryan in 1988, LeClair Ryan has grown
to become a full service law firm with 140 lawyers. Headquartered in
Richmond, the firm has offices in Virginia, New York and Washington, D.C.
For more information about LeClair Ryan’s practice groups and
attorneys, please visit: http://www.leclairryan.com.