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March 18, 2024

Musick Peeler Welcomes New Firm Leadership

Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP announced today that its partnership has unanimously elected Steven J. Elie and Richard A. Galofaro to serve as its new managing partners.

The firm’s partners approved the elevation of Elie and Galofaro, who will split the duties of managing partner previously held by R. Joseph De Briyn. De Briyn, who has led the firm as managing partner since 1985, will remain with the firm as a partner, continue his active legal practice and assist in the leadership transition process. 

“It was under Joe’s steady hand that Musick Peeler grew into the distinguished powerhouse mid-size law firm that it is today,” Elie said in a statement Friday. “Rich and I are very grateful to have his guidance as we take the reins, and we’re thrilled that our attorneys and clients can still count on Joe as a partner.”

Elie specializes in complex business, insurance and environmental litigation and counseling, having handled a wide variety of insurance, commercial litigation, and white-collar criminal matters as well as pre-litigation counseling for businesses, non-profit organizations, and public entities throughout California. 

Galofaro focuses his practice on estate and gift tax planning for high-net-worth individuals and families, the administration of trusts and estates, and probate matters. His experience includes structuring and implementing sophisticated transfer tax planning techniques, as well as advising clients with respect to business and succession planning, charitable giving, and the establishment and administration of private foundations.

Galofaro said that splitting the duties between co-managing partners would allow both attorneys to remain active in their respective practices, make for better synergy between the firm’s executive and legal teams, and maintain their ability to deliver exceptional client service.

“Steve and I share the desire to organically grow the firm over the next several years, especially in certain practice areas that we view as critical components of the firm’s past and future successes,” said Galofaro. “That means that in addition to our thriving litigation and insurance practices, and our ever-growing labor and employment team, we’ll be looking to bolster many of our transactional practice groups.”

Management duties will largely be split based on Elie and Galofaro’s backgrounds. As a complex litigator and elected director of a public entity, Elie will focus more on the organizational and structural duties of the role and will serve as the firm’s face for communications. Galofaro, as a former CPA and trust & estates professional, will focus on the financial aspects of management, ensuring the firm remains competitive in both the marketplace and in recruitment.

“I have every confidence that Rich and Steve will ably lead our Firm as we face the challenges of the day while continuing to serve our clients and provide the quality legal work for which Musick Peeler is known.” De Briyn said.   

“Musick Peeler is one of the last true remaining mid-size firms today, providing the depth and range of a Big Law firm and the personability and service of a boutique,” said Elie. “That’s something that can only be accomplished by a firm that’s responsive to the needs of today’s clients and always ready to adapt to what’s next.”