Merten elected managing partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn

PROVIDENCE – Commercial litigation lawyer Howard Merten has been elected as Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP’s new managing partner, the firm said Monday.

Merten replaces David Gilden, who served in the role since April 1, 2000, and who said in October that he planned to step down.

Gilden, a commercial real estate and business lawyer, maintained his practice throughout his 17-year term as managing partner, and will continue to practice as a partner in the firm.

For 11 years, Merten has served on the firm’s Executive Committee.  He said he is ready to build on Partridge Snow & Hahn’s strong financial success last year.

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“We owe great thanks to David for the stellar work he has done as managing partner of the firm.  He brought a lot of energy to the position, and we will continue to move forward with the help and support of a supremely talented and committed group of partners, associates and staff.  Partridge Snow & Hahn’s tradition of serving our clients and communities to the best of our collective abilities will remain constant,” Merten said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the partnership elected Melissa E. Darigan, a former president of the Rhode Island Bar Association, to work with Merten on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Darigan will step down as co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department to join Richard Nadeau on the committee.

Paul Kessimian, who previously served as co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group with Darigan, now serves as the sole chair of that practice.

Nadeau was also recently re-elected by the partnership to serve another three-year term on the committee. Jay R. Peabody has been named chair of the firm’s Real Estate practice, a position formerly held by Nadeau.

The firm also said that Colin A. Coleman will join James H. Hahn as co-chair of the firm’s Business Law Practice. Coleman recently joined the firm after leading the Innovative Business Law Group in Massachusetts.