Meryl A. Gonchar
By Joshua Burd
Meryl Gonchar, a veteran and well-known land use attorney in New Jersey, has a new home at one of the state’s powerhouse law firms.
The attorney has joined Newark-based Sills Cummis & Gross, where she will co-chair the land use group within the firm’s 33-attorney real estate department.
“Sills is involved in incredibly exciting projects and I am excited to be working on those projects,” Gonchar said. “There are people I’ve known for years and other people I’ve known more recently … and I like them tremendously and I’m excited to be working with them.”
In an interview, she added that “the work is really what the major attraction is.” The move comes after more than 30 years with Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP in Woodbridge, where she co-chaired the redevelopment and land use department. She said her work until very recently has been suburban-oriented, handling land use, zoning and related matters up and down the state, a focus she expects to continue while expanding that scope with Sills Cummis.
The Rutgers Law School, Newark, graduate has deep ties to the real estate community, with roles such as serving as a trustee with NAIOP’s New Jersey chapter. Gonchar has twice been named Lawyer of the Year in the area land use and zoning ranking by Best Lawyers and has been named one of New Jersey’s Top 100 lawyers and a Top 50 woman lawyer by New Jersey Super Lawyers.
“We are positively thrilled that Meryl will co-anchor our statewide land use group,” said Ted Zangari, chair of Sills Cummis & Gross’ real estate department. “Our interdisciplinary redevelopment practice group draws on attorneys from throughout the firm but at its core, redevelopment is all about land use and Meryl is one of the leading lights in our state’s land use bar.
“She has an incredible skill set that my colleagues and I have long admired — Meryl has a sharp intellect but even more significantly, for an attorney who appears before public boards and community groups, are her extraordinary street smarts and interpersonal skills.”