Former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has accepted a position as partner with Roseland-based law firm Connell Foley.
In her new role, Guadagno will provide strategic counsel in a number of areas, including real estate, litigation, complex civil cases and criminal law, as well as provide legal advice to the firm’s partners and their clients.
“I did my time in public service and now it’s time to go back to doing what I was trained to do in the first place, which is practicing law,” said Guadagno, a Republican who lost the state’s gubernatorial race to Democrat Phil Murphy in November.
“I never expected to be the lieutenant governor of the state of New Jersey. I always expected to practice law,” she said in an interview. “So when Connell Foley came to me in January, I saw a growing firm with services for just about everyone.”
Guadagno said she got to know the firm as lieutenant governor working with Connell Foley managing partner Philip McGovern Jr. when he was a board member of Choose New Jersey. She also worked with Nevins McCann, another partner at the firm, to set up the Presidents Cup golf tournament in New Jersey last year.
“I’m very familiar with all of the areas in which Connell Foley practices in,” she said. “We are going to be working in the areas where I have exposure in not only in the last eight years, but in the last 35 years as a lawyer: real estate, litigation and corporate work. Connell Foley is a leader in those industries so I’m very excited to be joining them.”
McGovern praised Guadagno as “a person of exceptional substance and character.”
“Her breadth of knowledge and experience as New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor combined with her passionate advocacy for businesses make her an invaluable member of our firm,” he said in a prepared statement. “Moreover, her years and results achieved as a federal and state prosecutor speak volumes about her legal ability. We are honored by her decision to join Connell Foley.”
Guadagno said she has no plans to register as a lobbyist, but is willing to offer advice to clients on municipal and state government options.
Before serving in the administration of former Gov. Chris Christie, Guadagno was assistant attorney general for New Jersey and deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Corruption Unit from 1994 to 1998.
“I hope to use my commercial business contacts to do commercial litigation and corporate compliance, and mesh that with my experience as a former federal prosecutor and litigator to do corporate compliance, internal investigations and white collar defense work,” she said. “Again, I will be going back to doing what I always had done.”
Guadagno said she has no immediate plans to once again seek public office.
“I always told students to go out and get the best possible education possible, do something that you love doing and then get into public service,” she said. “After that, you can always go back to doing what you love. That’s what I’m doing – I am going back to what I love, which is being a lawyer.”