Shareholder Elizabeth Lan Davis Elected to Succeed Co-Founder and Chairman James Murphy
Financial services law firm Murphy & McGonigle today announced a leadership transition with the election of Elizabeth Lan Davis, 47, as Chair and President of the firm. Ms. Davis, whose three-year term begins Sept. 1, 2021, will succeed firm Co-Founder James Murphy, 57, who has served in those roles since the firm’s inception in 2010.
The selection of Ms. Davis as the firm’s first woman of color to lead Murphy & McGonigle was conducted by a shareholder vote, which took place on June 25. Ms. Davis is based in the firm’s Washington, DC office.
"I am honored and humbled to be selected as the next Chairperson of Murphy & McGonigle," said Ms. Davis. "I am thrilled to help lead this all-star team of lawyers into its next phase and build on the strong foundation that James Murphy has achieved in growing from scratch a law firm that is unlike any other in the financial services sector in helping clients navigate a rapidly evolving marketplace."
Murphy & McGonigle has experienced significant momentum in the past year. The firm was named 2021 "Law Firm of the Year" for Securities Regulation, one of its core practices, by U.S. News – Best Lawyers, the first boutique law firm to ever receive this recognition. The firm also expanded its geographic footprint beyond the East Coast by opening new offices in Chicago and San Francisco.
"I couldn’t be more delighted that Liz has agreed to assume leadership of our firm," said Mr. Murphy. "Her legal skills and judgment are universally respected among our clients and our partners. Everyone here recognized Liz as the ideal person to lead the firm to even greater heights through her collaborative and team-oriented approach."
Ms. Davis is a member of the Commodities, Futures & Derivatives; White Collar Defense, Investigations & Compliance Counseling; and FinTech & Blockchain practices at Murphy & McGonigle. She joined the firm in 2018 after serving at the CFTC for nine years, most recently as a Chief Trial Attorney in the Division of Enforcement. At the CFTC, she had primary responsibility over all aspects of federal court litigation and regulatory investigations, along with management and supervisory responsibility. Prior to the CFTC, Ms. Davis spent nine years at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she earned the DOJ’s Tax Division "Outstanding Attorney Award" in 2004, 2006, and 2007.
James Murphy and Co-Founder Thomas McGonigle, veterans of large law firms, founded Murphy & McGonigle in 2010 with 14 lawyers. Their goal of creating an all-star team of legal talent in the financial services sector was realized almost immediately. The firm has been named a National Tier One law firm in both Securities Regulation and Litigation – Securities for nine consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. Chambers USA 2021 said the firm "showcases broad expertise in cutting-edge matters such as use of blockchain, digital currencies and artificial intelligence in the fintech space."
The firm has assembled a deep lineup of financial services talent in the legal sector. There are currently 15 lawyers at Murphy & McGonigle who previously served at the SEC, many in senior roles. The firm also includes three former lawyers from the CFTC, a former Deputy Director of FINRA, the former Chief Regulatory Officer at NYSE Liffe US, a former lawyer from the OCC and five former federal prosecutors. Many others served in senior roles on Wall Street.
"Because of the rapid evolution taking place in financial services, both traditional clients and disruptors have been increasingly seeking out our firm," said Ms. Davis. "We are well-positioned to assist these clients with our insights into government regulatory agencies, experience within traditional financial institutions, and our established track record of guiding entrepreneurial digital asset and fintech entities. It is a very exciting time to practice law at Murphy & McGonigle, and I am looking forward to growing the firm further to meet our many emerging client needs."
Ms. Davis is a member of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association; a former Fellow in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD); and a former Diversity Co-Chair of the Women’s Bar Association of Washington, DC.