John Fitzgerald, audit partner, member of the Executive Committee, and Chair of Law Firm Services at Berdon LLP, has been with the firm since 1991. Mr. Fitzgerald is one of the firm’s key advisors to law practices and also works with closely held businesses in the real estate, hospitality, distribution, and manufacturing sectors. He consults on maximizing opportunities in purchases, sales, and acquisitions; obtaining financing and refinancing; preserving and transferring wealth; and on improving operations.
For closely held businesses, his services include:
- Planning for the purchase and sale of assets, among them real estate
- Developing models to evaluate potential transactions
- Structuring and arranging financing and refinancing
- Providing cash flow analysis and tax projections
- Advising on like-kind exchanges
- Creating succession plans for the transition of control and ownership of family enterprises to preserve and transfer wealth
- Carrying out operational studies and reviews to help increase efficiencies and identify opportunities
For law practices, Mr. Fitzgerald’s expertise extends to:
- Examining the financial and economic impact of partnership agreements
- Assisting in reviewing candidates for mergers or lateral partner additions
- Performing due diligence
- Evaluating internal controls — identifying weaknesses and suggesting approaches to increase efficiency
- Preparing, analyzing, and auditing various special purpose financial statements relating to mortgages and other financing agreements, certiorari filings, and rent escalation clauses
Mr. Fitzgerald is active in the firm’s education committee, training younger professionals and staff in essential audit and professional development skills.
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP AND ACTIVITIES
American Heart Association of Long Island
- Heart Ball Committee
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
New York Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Cooperation with Bankers Committee
- Past member, Apparel and Textiles Committee
Mr. Fitzgerald has authored articles on law firm management issues for ALA Currents, a newsletter of the Association of Legal Administrators; Bloomberg BNA; Legal Management magazine; and Nassau Lawyer. His insights on law firm accounting appeared in The American Lawyer and he was featured in Long Island Business News’ Accounting Ones To Watch section. He is the chief contributor to the Berdon law firm newsletter Practice Made Perfect and has spoken on attorney compensation on the Berdon video series 2MinutesOn.
As a New York Law Journal panelist, Mr. Fitzgerald has also lent his insights to attorneys and firm administrators on key issues facing law practices.
EDUCATION AND LICENSES
Mr. Fitzgerald graduated from the University of Albany with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He was licensed as a certified public accountant in New York in 1994.