In Memoriam – John M. Callagy
May 2022
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP mourns the loss of our partner, friend, and former Chair, John M. Callagy.

John was a graduate of Georgetown University and the New York University School of Law. John was a preeminent trial lawyer and trusted counsellor to leading companies and institutions including JPMorgan Chase, Ralph Lauren, Foot Locker, and the Archdiocese of New York, among countless others. He represented his clients in high stakes litigations, such as serving as trial counsel to JP Morgan Chase in its claims to recover over $1 billion from insurance companies that guaranteed structured finance transactions involving Enron, and representing JPMorgan in the General Motors bankruptcy.

John was a longstanding member of the firm’s executive committee, becoming the firm’s first Chair in 1992. He was repeatedly reelected to that position for nearly twenty years, until stepping down in 2011. With boundless energy and a steady hand, John led the firm through many challenges, including the global financial crisis and the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. He guided the firm’s forward progress with a clear and optimistic vision for the future, and with charisma and determination that inspired everyone at the firm. John loved the practice of law and the Kelley Drye law firm, which owes him a debt of gratitude.

In addition to his legal work, John was active in the community through service on the board of trustees of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, and he was honored for his leadership and fundraising work by this and many other organizations, including the Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A. John was a brilliant lawyer, a loyal and fierce advocate for his clients, and an incomparable leader. He leaves behind the rich professional legacy of a thriving firm and countless lawyers who admired him, learned from him, and follow his example of professionalism, devotion to clients, and charitable work. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues and all who sought his counsel.

Click to view John’s obituary.