After rising to political prominence as the chief counsel to Republican Gov. Chris Christie and ultimately state attorney general, Porrino returned to private practice as chairman of the Litigation Department at Roseland’s Lowenstein Sandler, his old firm. Perhaps not surprisingly, Porrino’s efforts to build the practice involves connections to state government, this time with Christie’s successor, Democrat Phil Murphy.
In 2018, the governor turned to Porrino for help in dealing with the investigations into allegations by a volunteer for then-candidate Murphy’s campaign that another campaign worker raped her. The alleged victim, Katie Brennan, in May settled a lawsuit she filed against the campaign and the state.
Most recently, Porrino was hired to represent the Andover Subacute and Rehab Center which is facing questions about its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. At least 70 residents died at the facility and it is reportedly under investigation by state and federal authorities.
“Chris remains on everyone’s short list for those with civil, criminal and regulatory trouble – regardless of political affiliation,” one political insider says. This person points to the Brennan and Andover cases, while also noting Porrino’s work for companies associated with George Norcross in the tax incentive investigations and his representation of the Trump golf clubs in the state’s alcoholic beverage control investigation. “Chris seems to be in the middle of every sticky situation in NJ,” the insider notes.
“Trump, Murphy and Norcross—quite the trifecta in a client roster.”