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Murphy & McGonigle Elects First Female Chair
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Elizabeth Lan Davis, Chairperson-Elect of Murphy & McGonigle
Photo Credits: Murphy & McGonigle

New York based financial services law firm Murphy & McGonigle has announced the election of Elizabeth Lan Davis as the President and Chairperson of the firm. Ms. Davis will become the first woman of color to lead the firm and her three-year term will begin on September 1, 2021. Ms. Davis, based in the firm’s Washington, District of Columbia office, was elected through a shareholder vote held on June 25. She will replace James Murphy, the firm’s Cofounder, who has held these roles since the launch of the firm in 2010. 

Since joining the firm in 2018, Ms. Davis has been a part of the firm’s White Collar Defense, Investigations and Compliance Counseling, Commodities, Futures and Derivatives, and FinTech and Blockchain practices. Prior to joining the firm, she has worked at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for nine years. Most recently she served as the  Chief Trial Attorney in the agency’s Division of Enforcement. She was primarily in charge of all the aspects of regulatory investigations and federal court litigation.

Before joining the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Ms. Davis worked at the United States Department of Justice for nine years and also received the Department of Justice’s Tax Division Outstanding Attorney Award thrice. She also served as the Chief Trial Attorney at the DOJ. She is also a member of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association and has previously served as the Diversity Co-Chair at the Women’s Bar Association of Washington, DC. She completed her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law.


Murphy & McGonigle became the first boutique firm to be named as the  2021 Law Firm of the Year by U.S. News-Best Lawyers. The firm also opened up new offices in San Francisco and Chicago. Formed in 2010 by Co-Founders James Murphy and Thomas McGonigle, the firm has built a profound team of financial services legal professionals that includes 15 lawyers who have previously worked in senior roles at the Security and Exchange Commission. 

The firm’s team also includes former lawyers from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and former Deputy Director of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The firm’s Securities Regulation and Litigation and FinTech practices have also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers and Chambers USA. 

Mr. Murphy, while commenting on Ms. Davis’s election, said, “I couldn’t be more delighted that Liz has agreed to assume leadership of our firm. 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.”

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Talking about her new role, Ms. Davis said, “I am honored and humbled to be selected as the next Chairperson of Murphy & McGonigle. 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.”



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