David M. Gilden, 25 Over Fifty-five

CONSTANT PRESENCE: David M. Gilden has been a partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP since the firm was established in 1988.
 / PBN PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN
CONSTANT PRESENCE: David M. Gilden has been a partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP since the firm was established in 1988.
 / PBN PHOTO/DAVE HANSEN

25 Over Fifty-Five 2019 Award Winner
DAVID M. GILDEN | Founding partner, Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP


DAVID M. GILDEN WAS originally expected to go into his family’s retail jewelry business in his hometown of New Haven, Conn.

A change of heart at Brown University led him to pursue politics, and he never turned back. After college in 1980, armed with a political science degree, Gilden got involved with two ill-fated Republican presidential campaigns, including George H.W. Bush’s first attempt to win the nomination.

Afterward, Gilden enrolled in the Boston University School of Law, where he earned his law degree in 1982. Six years later, Gilden became one of the eight founding partners of Partridge, Snow & Hahn LLP, where he also served as managing partner for 17 years. “I took a risk. I was the youngest of the partners committed to this brand-new venture, before it was fashionable to do so. … Fortunately, the risk paid off.”

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Gilden led the firm during a period of substantial growth. “Over the last 31 years, we have been able to grow the firm surely and steadily in terms of revenue, profitability and breadth,” he said. “We have gone from a startup to an institution. I’m extremely proud of the firm we have become.”

Gilden manages to make time for his community as well. He has served on the board of directors of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, the Taco/White Family Foundation and Crossroads Rhode Island, where he is also a member of its executive committee. In the private sector, he has served on the board of directors for Providence Mutual Insurance Co., and as general counsel of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. He doesn’t plan to slow down.

“I intend to keep practicing business and real estate law while contributing to the continuing growth and success of the firm and remaining active in nonprofit organizations, while continuing to serve on boards of for-profit business entities,” he said.

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