The 2020 NJBIZ Law Power 50
June 1, 2020
Sills Cummis & Gross Managing Partner Max Crane and Members Ted Zangari and Jerry Zaro are included in the NJBIZ “Law Power 50” ranking of the most influential attorneys in private practice, public service, corporate law departments and nonprofit organizations in New Jersey.
NJBIZ had this to say about Crane, Zangari and Zaro:
“Profits per partner at Sills Cummis & Gross have grown by 40 percent since Crane became managing partner just over a decade ago. And Sills Cummis has handled some high-profile cases, including that of activist investor Third Point LLC in a proxy fight against Campbell Soup Co. that nabbed Third Point two spots on the soup-maker’s board, and acting as co-counsel in a class action brought by Wyckoff, Glen Rock and Midland Park against the Ridgewood Water Utility to invalidate a 37 percent rate increase over five years. Due to profiteering on personal protective equipment and disinfectants during the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm recently expanded its price gouging practice to include white collar criminal defense attorneys, along with attorneys in its life sciences and health care practices.”
“Remember opportunity zones? Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the federal program was seen as a major advance in the effort to lure economic development to distressed areas. At some point, that activity will return to prominence. And Zangari is the man to see about investing in Opportunity Zones. A member of Sills, Cummis & Gross and chair of the firm’s real estate department along with its government relations and public policy and redevelopment law practices, he is often interviewed for articles and tapped for speaking engagements on the subject. In a ranking of “politically influential law firms” by politickernj.com, the firm was ranked number one among Am Law 200 law firms in New Jersey, and Zangari was described as someone who is “well-liked by insiders on both sides of the aisle.” He steers a team on large-scale mixed use projects including land assemblage, redeveloper designations and agreements, tax increment financing and other public incentives.”
Zaro came in at #10 on the list (only the top 10 are ranked). “Zaro is a trustee and former chairman of the Gateway Program Development Corp. and he chairs the Banking and Real Estate Services Department at Sills Cummis & Gross PC. Zaro is routinely making the case to replace the 108-year-old Hudson River rail tunnels that connect New Jersey and New York City and the 110-year-old Portal Bridge in New Jersey.
The Portal Bridge spans the Hackensack River between Secaucus and Kearny, and opens to allow ships to pass on the river. The bridge regularly becomes stuck, which halts trains from Boston to Washington, D.C.
Zaro is pleading for federal funding. More than 200,000 people travel through the tunnels and across the bridge each day. Zaro and other supporters of the Gateway project note that 20 percent of the American economy depends on the Hudson River tunnels carrying trains between Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston.
As the state economy recovers from the COVID-19 downturn, this massive, shovel-ready infrastructure project could provide a needed boost.”