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Firm History

A Prominent 19th Century Firm Takes Shape

When you work with Riker Danzig, you are choosing a legal team that has been at the forefront of the New Jersey legal community since 1882. Founded by brothers Chandler and Adrian Riker, the law firm of Riker and Riker set into motion the genesis of a law firm that would be engaged in the leading issues of its time, as well as in its surrounding communities.

Well-respected and admired in both the centers of business and government, Chandler Riker was prominently mentioned as a gubernatorial candidate, while Adrian Riker was the President of the Essex County Bar Association. The firm grew under their leadership, preparing the way for one of the most celebrated mergers of the time.

A 20th Century Powerhouse

By 1948, the Riker firm now boasted the presence of well-known and highly-respected New Jersey Superior Court Judge Everett Scherer. When it merged that year with the firm of prominent trial attorney Charlie Danzig, the Riker-Danzig connection was forged, cementing its place as one of New Jersey’s most formidable law firms. Another Riker was now in leadership: Irving Riker, son of founder Adrian Riker. Irving Riker served as general counsel to the Fidelity Union Trust Company, and the Firm’s strong representation of major financial institutions has continued as a significant portion of our practice to the present day.

The Firm’s reputation and impressive clientele attracted other legal luminaries in the years that followed, some of whom saw their names added to the Firm’s name.

  • New Jersey Attorneys General William Hyland and Peter Perretti
  • Dickinson Debevoise, who left the firm in 1979 to join the federal bench
  • U.S. Attorney General and Under Secretary of State Nicholas DeB Katzenbach
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Justices Stewart Pollock, currently Of Counsel, and Sidney Schreiber
  • Ambassador to Panama and United States Representative William J. Hughes

An equally impressive part of the Firm’s history is not just those who chose to come to Riker Danzig; it’s also those Riker Danzig helped to prepare for public service after excelling in private practice:

  • New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey, New Jersey’s first African-American AG
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Marie Garibaldi, New Jersey’s first woman on the highest bench, who was also the first woman President of the State Bar Association
  • U.S. District Court Chief Judge Renee Bumb

Riker Danzig also attracted numerous Superior Court judges, chief counsel to the Governor, a Transportation Commissioner, Assistant United States Attorneys, and Deputy Attorneys General to practice law in our Firm.

Primed for the 21st Century

Our long track record of success continues as we bring the highest level of sophistication to our services, earning our stellar reputation across a broad range of practice areas. This reputation has ensured that we continue to attract top-notch legal talent to meet the needs of our diverse clientele.

Our long-time commitment to serving the public interest has been reflected in recent years by notable State appointments of our partners:

  • Partner Anne Patterson was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey in 2011
  • Partner Zahid Quraishi was confirmed as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey in 2021, making him the First Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history. In 2019, he left Riker Danzig when he was appointed first as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey.

The firm’s proud history serves as our foundation. Today, we boast an experienced and vibrant partnership, well-poised to meet the most complex challenges. 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.

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