Our History

Founded in 1986, our firm has become a leader in the New Jersey government, legal and business communities.

Our firm was founded by our current Chairman, M. Robert DeCotiis, as DeCotiis & Pinto, in Hackensack in 1986. Bob had experience as a partner at other New Jersey firms, primarily representing municipalities. Since then, Bob has expanded his practice and become a leader in the New Jersey government, legal and business communities. Our firm has also grown and added other legal and business leaders.

We have experienced steady, consistent expansion, both in the overall size of the firm, and the breadth and depth of our expertise to include a full complement of practices to meet the needs of our corporate clients, large and small, as well as all levels of government, local, state and federal. A few highlights:

• In 1992, Alfred DeCotiis and Edward FitzPatrick joined the firm when Bob DeCotiis joined the administration of New Jersey Governor Jim Florio. The firm expanded from the original founding group to approximately 15 attorneys, and added the litigation and criminal defense practices.

• In 1994, DeCotiis & Pinto, merged with another New Jersey firm, adding 7 more attorneys with practices in municipal finance, and began to rapidly expand its work with the State of New Jersey and its independent authorities, including the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which is still a client today.

• In 1997, Michael R. Cole joined the firm, and our practice expanded into administrative law, as well as experiencing very rapid growth in our trial and appellate litigation practice, representing numerous private and public sector clients. Michael Cole served as Chief Counsel to Governor Thomas H. Kean, First Assistant Attorney General of New Jersey, Director of the Division of Law in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Litigation. The firm expanded to 40 attorneys.

• This rapid growth continued through 2001, by which time the firm had tripled in size. The scope of our practices expanded as well, adding in particular a substantial real estate and redevelopment practice, along with several other specialties.

• In February 2008, Joseph M. DeCotiis and Michael R. DeCotiis were elected by the Equity Partners to serve as Co-Managing Partners of the Firm.  Both Mike and Joe manage the Firm’s day-to-day operations, and are responsible for the Firm’s continued success by working with over 100 attorneys and staff.

Today, the firm is still led by Chairman M. Robert DeCotiis with Managing Partners Joseph and Michael DeCotiis, along with an Executive Committee. The firm continues to grow in breadth and depth of expertise in corporate transactional work, finance, tax, environmental law and labor and employment, while at the same time adding to our base of skilled litigators and government lawyers with unparalleled expertise in regulatory affairs, public/private partnerships and municipal law and in numerous industries, including real estate, energy, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, retail and others.