Releases and Announcements

Duane Morris Bolsters Boston, Newark and New York Offices with Partners Charles A. Ognibene, Michael T. Grant, Robert J. Brener and William B. Dubon

June 17, 2019

BOSTON, Mass., NEWARK, New Jersey, and NEW YORK, June 17, 2019—Charles A. Ognibene, Michael T. Grant, Robert J. Brener and William B. Dubon have joined Duane Morris LLP’s Boston, Newark and New York offices as partners in the firm’s Corporate and Trial Practices, the firm announced today. In addition, Michael R. Garcia has joined the Boston office as a Trial associate. The lawyers join the firm from LeClairRyan PLLC.

“As our firm continues to grow across practices, adding this group will be a tremendous asset to our corporate clients,” said Matthew A. Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Duane Morris. “Charlie and his team have extensive experience working together on complex legal matters, which will mesh nicely with the firm’s deeply collaborative culture. This team’s focus has been in the automotive finance industry, which melds well with industries in which we have real depth.”

“Charlie and Will bring significant experience in corporate and commercial matters, while Mike and Bob are both successful litigators,” said Brian P. Kerwin, chairman of the Corporate Practice Group. “Their commitment to providing well-rounded counsel and litigation representation to clients, particularly in the banking and automotive space, fits in perfectly with our industry-focused approach.”

“We are excited to welcome these talented attorneys to Duane Morris,” added Michael R. Gottfried, office managing partner for Duane Morris in Boston. “They are highly skilled lawyers who bring a diverse background and service-first approach to counseling clients on their most complex matters.”

About the Attorneys

Charles Ognibene, who led his previous firm’s Business Law Department from 2017 through earlier this year, has extensive experience closing deals, including capital market transactions, loan originations and workouts, as well as helping banks in product development and portfolio projects. He has a deep understanding of the auto finance industry, advising both wholesale and retail finance matters across the country. He provides strategic counsel to banks, finance companies and captives on related matters. He advises on commercial and consumer pool sales, as well as loan origination and dealer loan workouts. Ognibene also leverages his broad commercial background in litigation matters involving his clients.

Ognibene graduated from Boston College Law School (J.D., cum laude) and University of Massachusetts (B.A., summa cum laude).

Michael Grant brings vast experience in consumer finance and banking litigation. He represents banks, servicers, auto finance companies and commercial lenders in state and federal courts. He works on individual claims as well as defending mortgage lenders and servicers in complex class action suits involving statutory consumer lending violations, usury and other contract claims. He also represents lenders in complex commercial loan workouts, foreclosures, negotiable instrument litigation and bankruptcy matters. Additionally, Grant represents clients in wage-and-hour class actions and employment law matters involving discrimination, harassment, noncompete and contract issues.

Grant graduated from Emory University School of Law (J.D.) and Dickinson College (B.A., cum laude).

Robert Brener has over two decades of litigation experience in complex and commercial matters. He frequently appears as lead counsel before state and federal courts, as well as arbitration panels, representing corporations and banks in contract, fraud, RICO, lender liability, employment, real estate and unfair competition disputes. He also counsels clients in the auto finance industry, representing lenders in numerous auto dealer bankruptcies, workouts, class action suits, RICO, consumer fraud, UCC and other litigation proceedings.

Brener graduated from American University Law School (J.D.) and Northwestern University (B.A.).

William Dubon is a trusted counselor to clients in the auto finance industry on corporate and commercial matters. With a strong background in commercial banking, he previously worked with national banks on multiple long-term secondments and automotive floorplan lending.

Dubon graduated from the University of Notre Dame (J.D., cum laude, and B.S.).

Michael R. Garcia focuses on commercial litigation, representing automotive finance companies, commercial lenders and other financial institutions in consumer financial services litigation ranging from individual claims to complex class action suits. He also has experience advising automotive finance companies on state regulatory compliance matters. 

Garcia graduated from the University of Michigan School of Law (J.D.) and Boston College (B.A.).

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s multifaceted legal and business challenges through the collegial and collaborative culture of its more than 800 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally. The firm represents a broad array of clients, spanning all major practices and industries.