Firm History

Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP has a rich heritage as one of New Jersey’s oldest and largest law firms. We trace our beginnings to at least 1882, when the firm of Riker and Riker practiced in Newark. Adrian Riker, one of the original Riker name partners, was a prominent New Jersey attorney at the turn of the 20th century, and was president of the Essex County Bar Association in 1904. With offices at Newark’s most prestigious legal address, 744 Broad Street, the Riker firm merged with Emerson, Emery & Danzig in 1948, creating Riker, Emery & Danzig, one of the preeminent New Jersey law firms. Irving Riker, a senior partner in the firm, served as general counsel to the Fidelity Union Trust Company; representation of major financial and lending institutions has continued as a significant portion of our practice to the present day.

Name changes throughout the following years reflect the tenures of New Jersey Attorneys General William Hyland and Peter Perretti, and Dickinson Debevoise, who left the firm in 1979 to join the federal bench. The firm’s name took its current form in 1985, although it is now commonly known as simply Riker Danzig.

Many distinguished members of New Jersey’s legal community are current or former members of the firm. When former U.S. Attorney General and Under Secretary of State Nicholas DeB Katzenbach retired as general counsel of IBM, he joined Riker Danzig. Two former New Jersey Supreme Court Justices joined the firm after stepping down from the bench: Stewart G. Pollock, who is currently Of Counsel, and the late Sidney M. Schreiber. Former Ambassador to Panama and United States Representative William J. Hughes also served as Of Counsel to Riker Danzig.

Former New Jersey Attorney General, Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey’s first African-American to serve in that position, was a partner at Riker Danzig before entering public service. Our partner, Marie Garibaldi, was the first woman President of the State Bar Association and left the firm to become the first female Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey in 1982.  Most recently, former partner Anne M. Patterson was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey in September, 2011. In addition, numerous Superior Court judges, chief counsel to the Governor, Transportation Commissioner, Assistant United States Attorneys, Deputy Attorneys General, presidents of bar associations, and other public servants currently or formerly call Riker Danzig home.

The scope of our current practice is reflected in the variety of our more than 1,000 clients, ranging from multinational and regional corporations to small businesses, charitable enterprises, and individuals. We have become particularly well known for our expertise in complex litigation, complex insurance and reinsurance matters, governmental and regulatory affairs, and transactional matters. Riker Danzig provides these services to significant segments of the public utility, banking, insurance, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and retail industries.

Our strongest attributes are best described by others: recently, the firm engaged a nationally recognized firm to conduct a primary marketing research study to gauge the firm’s reputation among clients and prospective clients. The study found that Riker Danzig is considered the go to New Jersey law firm. Our litigation practice was described by clients in the study as innovative in identifying strategies to accomplish our clients’ goals, and thinking outside the box. One client summed us up as "the best firm in the state for high-level government intervention."

The firm’s proud history serves as our foundation. Combined with the talent and character of our people, the teamwork which is a hallmark of our firm, and the highest quality legal work, we continue to provide our clients with unique, responsive and effective legal counsel.