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Firm Embarks on CEO Transition 

PITTSBURGH (January 10, 2024) - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney announced that James Newell is the firm’s CEO-Elect, effective Jan. 10, 2024. The announcement was made by the firm’s current Chairman and CEO Joe Dougherty, who will continue to serve in his current position through May 2024.

Newell, who currently serves as a member of the firm’s board and the chair of the Financial Institutions, Bankruptcy and Real Estate Section, was nominated as CEO-Elect by a nominating committee of the firm and was unanimously elected by the firm’s voting shareholders.

Dougherty states, “Jim is an exceptional lawyer, a true leader, and an outstanding choice to be the next CEO. He was instrumental in developing our current strategic plan and will continue to focus on and advance our firm’s strategic growth and vision.”

Newell will work alongside Dougherty for the next 5 months to ensure a comprehensive, well-coordinated exchange of strategic, operational and leadership knowledge. His three-year term as CEO and Chairman of the firm will officially begin in May 2024.

“I am extremely honored and humbled by the support and confidence that my partners have extended to me today,” said Newell.  “I look forward to working closely with Joe on this transition. Joe has been a tremendous advocate for Buchanan and he has worked tirelessly to put this firm on a great path.  I’m excited to jump in and execute on our ambitious strategic plan that centers on growth, investment in our people and the further expansion of our innovation platform.”

Dougherty has led the firm through a transformative time including years of strategic growth, improved financial performance and the navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. He spearheaded the firm’s move to an industry-driven approach, which has allowed for more opportunities for lawyers across sections and practice groups, as well as enhanced client value and institutional client relationships. His focus on strategic growth includes Buchanan’s most recent merger with IP boutique RatnerPrestia which was effective January 1, 2024.

Dougherty is a steadfast advocate for diversity & inclusion, hiring the firm’s first full-time Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer in 2020. He has also been a leader in ensuring that Corporate Social Responsibility is a core firm priority.  Additionally, he has been a tireless champion of technological innovation, culminating in the launch of BuchananInnovate and the firm’s proprietary AI tool BuchananArtifex. A leader across the legal profession, Dougherty has strengthened Buchanan’s position in a rapidly changing legal market.

In his 36 years at the firm, Newell has been a constant driving force and strategic sounding board behind the leadership and growth of Buchanan. In addition to his current leadership roles, he has served on Buchanan’s advisory committee, the associates and recruiting committees and as chair of the compensation committee.

Newell focuses his law practice in representing secured creditors and financial institutions in bankruptcy matters and corporate reorganizations. He has significant experience in loan workouts, out-of-court restructurings, the negotiation of intercreditor agreements and the purchase and sale of commercial loan assets. He has represented the bankruptcy trustee in the country’s oldest pending bankruptcy case and the parent-holding company of one of the largest medical liability insurers in Pennsylvania.

 An elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Newell has been selected by Chambers USA multiple times, most recently in 2023 as a leading attorney in Pennsylvania in the Bankruptcy/Restructuring category. He also has been recognized for over a decade in The Best Lawyers in America® for bankruptcy and creditors’ rights and was named Pittsburgh’s Lawyer of the Year in the 2020 & 2023 Editions for his work in these areas along with insolvency and reorganization law.

Active in the Pittsburgh region, he serves as a charter member of the Pittsburgh Innocence Project and on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. He is the immediate past chair of The Pennsylvania State University Political Science Department board of visitors. He also serves on the board of directors of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.