Law Firm Helps Shape Westchester County
WHITE PLAINS, NY (October 2014) – McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt, LLP, one of the region’s leading law firms whose expertise has helped guide and shape Westchester County’s development, business and municipal landscape, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary.
MGS was established by the merger of Taylor, McCullough & Geoghegan with Fredericks, Goldberger & Liberman, two firms with long, successful histories in Westchester County. Since its founding in 1984, MGS has specialized in land use and zoning law, commercial and Surrogate’s Court litigation, environmental law, municipal law, real estate law, banking law, and trusts & estates law.
The firm’s clients are a who’s who of businesses from a wide-range of public and private sector organizations including Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profits, banks and municipalities. MGS has obtained land use approvals for some of the most significant and transformative real estate developments in Westchester. Its representation has led to the construction of shopping centers, office buildings and office campuses, residential subdivisions, nursing homes, senior housing, affordable housing and golf courses, among many other types of developments that have created thousands of jobs and generated millions in tax revenues. MGS lawyers have also been successful in litigation, winning tens of millions in judgments and settlements for their clients over the last 30 years.
“We pride ourselves on the experience we bring to the table, board room and court room,” said Frank McCullough, a senior partner and founding member of McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt. “We respect our clients, we value our community and we are proud of our legacy.”
MGS has and continues to play a significant role in adaptively re-using antiquated office parks along the Interstate 287 corridor, most recently with the transformation of 1 Gannett Drive (now called Westchester Park Drive) from newspaper offices and a defunct printing plant into a state-of-the-art recreational campus owned by Life Time Fitness, complete with pools, tennis courts, a café, spa and modern fitness amenities. MGS has also successfully represented Fordham University, Hyatt House (formerly Summerfield Suites) and Aquatots Westchester Swim School in their respective redevelopment projects along the corridor.
The firm has counseled PepsiCo for decades in relation to its Westchester County real estate in Purchase, Somers and Valhalla. MGS most recently represented the Purchase-based multinational food and beverage company in connection with the multi-million dollar renovation of its World Headquarters.
Other clients of note have included Purchase Estates in Purchase, Heritage Hills in Somers, Simone Development, Blitman Building Corporation, The Hebrew Hospital Home in Valhalla, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, the YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester, Mercy College and The Osborn Retirement Community in Rye.
The firm also has substantial experience representing municipalities, including serving as Village Attorney for the Villages of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Croton-on-Hudson, Hastings-on-Hudson and Bronxville. MGS has acted as Special Counsel to the City of Yonkers, the Village of Ossining, the Village of Scarsdale, the Village of Port Chester and the Village of Pelham; and is counsel to the Energy Improvement Corporation, a local development corporation formed by the Town of Bedford.
“In this day and age municipalities require the services of experienced counsel backed up by a full service and multi-disciplinary law firm,” said James Staudt, a senior partner who specializes in municipal law. “It’s a highly specialized niche and over the years our experience, professionalism and know-how has proven to benefit municipalities and taxpayers.”
Of Counsel Charles Goldberger, who heads up the firm’s litigation practice, has completed over 100 arbitration assignments as an arbitrator. As a professor, in 2006 he began the first of seven teaching assignments at law schools in Eastern Europe. In 2003, Goldberger represented 9/11 victims pro bono before Special Master Kenneth Feinberg.
In 2014, Linda Whitehead, a partner with the firm who joined MGS as an associate in 1989, was appointed as the Village Attorney by the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, where Ms. Whitehead was raised.
“Having grown up in Westchester, I take a particular interest in working in and with so many of its communities,” she said. “Each municipality has a unique personality and character, and at MGS we are very good at understanding and interpreting those nuances and that enables us to be successful. I feel privileged to work in communities that are near and dear to me.”
Ms. Whitehead also practices in the areas of environmental law and land use, and oversees the firm’s transactional real estate practice.
Partner Seth Mandelbaum joined the firm in 2005, and has since obtained land use approvals for a wide variety of projects. These have included a hydrogen vehicle refueling station in White Plains; St. Nersess Armenian seminary in Armonk; and most recently a new 350-bed dormitory at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry.
“It’s gratifying to work with a wide range of diverse clients including housing developers, cutting edge green building project builders, colleges, universities and other educational institutions, religious institutions and so many other interests,” he said. “To play a role in helping shape the regional landscape and economy is rewarding both personally and professionally.”
Community involvement is paramount to MGS. Over the years, members of the firm have participated in organizations that promote commerce and sustainable growth. Its employees have been active in numerous legal, business and not-for-profit organizations including state, local and regional bar associations; the Board of Visitors of the Pace University School of Law; the Board of Trustees of the New York Power Authority; The Hebrew Hospital Home; the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester; the Westchester County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board; the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Westchester County Parks; the Board of Directors of the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation; the American Cancer Society Westchester Region Advisory Board; and the Westchester Cycle Club among many others.
“We take pride in being an integral part of the community,” said Goldberger, a founding member of MGS, “and enjoy many long-term relationships in the communities where we live, work and serve.”