Murphy & McGonigle was founded in 2010 by large law firm veterans James A. Murphy and Thomas J. McGonigle. The goal at the inception of the Firm, soon after the financial crisis, has not changed in its operating philosophy today: to assemble an all-star team of financial services lawyers who could deliver top level legal advice and service to clients with cost efficiencies. With a lean administrative structure, the Firm does not have the large bureaucratic overhead costs of many of its competitors, and therefore its billing rates are not impacted by such overhead costs. In addition, the staffing model of Murphy & McGonigle is to provide clients with hands-on service from its most experienced lawyers, another differentiator from large law firms.
In 2012, Murphy & McGonigle merged with New York-based securities law firm Krebsbach & Snyder, enhancing its New York presence and moving to its current Midtown Manhattan location. Remaining true to its commitment to provide sophisticated advice to clients in the financial services marketplace, Murphy & McGonigle opened new offices in 2020 in two pivotal markets for the financial services sector – San Francisco, with its tech-driven disruptors in financial services, and Chicago, home to the commodities and futures marketplace.
In 2021, Murphy & McGonigle announced its first leadership transition since its founding. Chairman and President James Murphy led the Firm through a dynamic first 11 years of existence that included its founding, growth, and the highly ambitious but realized goal of becoming a leader in financial services law amidst a field of competitors who have dotted the legal landscape for 100 years or more. For instance, Murphy & McGonigle was named "Law Firm of the Year" for Securities Regulation in both 2021 and 2022 by U.S. News – Best Law Firms. The 2021 recognition marked the first time a boutique law firm had been so honored.
In June of 2021, the Shareholders of Murphy & McGonigle elected Elizabeth Lan Davis, an 18-year veteran of two federal government agencies, to succeed Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy became the firm’s first Chairman Emeritus. Ms. Davis, the first woman of color to lead the Firm, previously served for nine years at the CFTC, most recently as a Chief Trial Attorney in the Division of Enforcement, before joining the Firm in 2018. An active member of various diversity organizations and an advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal industry, Ms. Davis assumed the roles of Chair and President of Murphy & McGonigle on September 1, 2021. In addition to furthering the Firm’s presence in the financial services industry, one of her primary goals is to continue to advocate for greater diversity within the Firm and in the financial services industry.