George J. Farrell Jr. – In Memoriam

December 12, 2023

We mourn the recent passing of one of our founding partners, George J. Farrell Jr. He was 93.

A major presence in this region’s legal community, George co-founded the firm in 1976. His practice focused on general business law. Active in the business and banking communities of Long Island and the entire metropolitan region, George represented major corporations, banking institutions, and various business enterprises. He will certainly be remembered with great fondness for his bright legal mind and distinctive achievements.

George served as a member of the New York State Assembly from 1966 to 1974, and as a mayor of the Village of Floral Park from 1963 to 1965.

A strong advocate for pro bono work, community engagement, and a positive firm culture, George was a gentleman whose character shaped the firm. He was dedicated to providing service to clients and to the community; these remain core values of the firm today.

We will miss George dearly and continue to be inspired by his remarkable talent, vision, and leadership.



Some thoughts from colleagues, former partners and friends.


Robert Creighton, Managing Partner

George Farrell was a consummate gentleman lawyer. He dedicated his professional life to providing service to our clients and our community. He lived as a true servant leader devoting his energy to the well-being of the community in which he lived. His values continue to inspire and drive our firm today. George had an incredibly positive impact on me and all of us who were blessed with the opportunity to work with him. He will be sorely missed, but his presence will live on in many of us for years to come.


John Barnosky, Partner & former Managing Partner

Growing up as a teenager in Floral Park, I have vivid memories of George Farrell handing out trophies at our sports dinners each and every year. These were the dinners where everyone got a trophy (i.e. “Best left-handed catcher born in November 1942”).

George went on to become an assemblyman for the area. It was a good time in Albany, where the highest trait of a legislator was considered more whether you could negotiate the vote of someone on the other side of the aisle to your cause, rather than how much you could humiliate him.  Deals were negotiated on a handshake—and those deals were kept. 

Those same traits were the linchpin of George’s qualities as a lawyer. Always a good listener, always willing to take the time, and always willing to spend the time to learn the facts. George made an impact and/or played a role in most of the large real estate transactions of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s in Nassau County and throughout the region. He was not only a great lawyer, but a wonderful mentor to new lawyers as they launched their careers. We will miss him, but his legacy remains in the fabric of the firm.


Lisa Vaccaro, Partner

George was an incredible man. He welcomed me to the firm and welcomed me to my new family. Even during some very difficult personal times, I knew that he and the firm were behind me and supportive. We all learned a lot about humility, leadership, and positivity from George, and he will truly be missed.


Hon. James Wicks, U.S. Magistrate Judge and former Partner

George is the very foundation of the firm’s culture. He was a true mentor, providing help, guidance and most importantly, opportunities for many of us, including me for which I am forever indebted. He perfectly embodied what a consummate lawyer should be: compassionate, caring and a trusted advisor to all in need.  Like George Bailey in “it’s a Wonderful Life,” I’m certain he had no idea how many lives he impacted in a positive way.


Michael Stafford, Of Counsel

I first met George in 1969, when I was in the public relations business. I had started doing some work for NYS Senator John Dunne, who was first elected to the Legislature in 1965, the same year as George. One of the other eventual founders of the Firm, John Caemmerer, was also elected in 1965, but I recall had been appointed to fill a vacancy earlier that year and thus had a leg up on seniority. Long Island had a talented and powerful delegation to the legislature back then, particularly in the years George and John controlled the Transportation Committees of their respective Houses.

In my early days of practicing law full-time in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I had the good fortune to work with George and his fledgling firm on a couple of matters, and he was as straightforward and ethical as he was when I first collaborated with him in Albany. Not to mention very helpful! In one deal, he was the lawyer for the Syosset School District, which was selling an excess school building to a non-profit. As the only lawyer on the Board of the non-profit, I was naturally selected (on a pro bono basis of course) to represent them, and my “client” was assured everything would be ok, because I knew George personally. The deal went very smoothly—thanks in great part George’s sensitivity to the desires and the needs of my client—and his help in getting some of the benefits that were available to them, all the while representing his client, the school district, to the fullest. The same non-profit still owns and occupies the building today.

I never forgot that deal and the way he conducted himself. He showed me that “adversarial” doesn’t mean “antagonistic” and I’ve tried over the course of my legal career to emulate him. He will be missed.