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Harris Beach names Jagel new CEO, replacing Spitz, now chairman

By Eric Reinhardt


Christopher Jagel James Spitz
Christopher Jagel (left) on July 1 replaced James Spitz, Jr. as CEO of Harris Beach PLLC, a Rochester–based law firm with an office in Syracuse. Spitz is now serving as the firm’s chairman. (Photo credit: website of Harris Beach PLLC)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Harris Beach PLLC, a Rochester–based law firm with an office in Syracuse, has named a new CEO.

Christopher Jagel replaced James (Jim) Spitz, Jr. in the role as of July 1, Harris Beach said in a news release issued Thursday. Spitz had served as the firm’s CEO since 2005.

Spitz has been named chairman, a position that had been vacant, according to a Harris Beach spokeswoman.

 “I have worked with Chris [Jagel] for many years now, both as an attorney and a leader, when he was member of the management committee and managing partner of our Rochester office prior to that. I have witnessed his capacity to lead and look forward to his leadership in cultivating the growth of the firm,” Spitz said in the release.

As CEO, Jagel will develop and execute the firm’s business plan, oversee firm-wide operations across the state, and work with the management committee to advance the strategic objectives of Harris Beach.

“Our past has set us up for a promising future poised for smart growth and I am honored to lead this firm as we continuously improve the services we provide to our clients. I am so pleased with where we are as a firm today, and I’m thrilled about where we’re going,” Jagel said in the release.

During his tenure as CEO, Spitz oversaw the expansion of Harris Beach into a regional law firm with “nationally-recognized” practices and two consulting subsidiaries, the firm contends.

As chairman, Spitz will continue to “guide the strategic direction” of the firm, working with the firm’s management committee to “advance Harris Beach’s reputation in the business and legal communities across New York state.”

Founded in 1856, Harris Beach has more than 200 attorneys. Besides Rochester and Syracuse, it also has New York state offices in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Melville, New York City, Saratoga Springs, Uniondale, and White Plains. The firm also has locations in New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.

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