Barton Gilman expands education law group into Pennsylvania with addition of Hennessy, Nagle, Barrett and Attia

Recently, Patricia A. Hennessy, Kathleen M. Nagle and Christopher A. Barrett founded Barton Gilman’s Philadelphia office to serve the needs of public charter schools, private schools, and religious schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Additionally, education attorney Adam Alaa Attia has joined the team.

A well-known charter schools advocate, Hennessy brings over twenty-five years of experience in the representation of charter schools, charter management organizations and charter advocacy organizations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. She advises charter school clients on the application process, start-up, special education, employment matters, and all other aspects of school operations. Hennessy serves on the National Litigation Council for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and is a long-term member of the Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys. She also works extensively with private, boarding and religious schools on a wide range of legal issues, including education reform and school choice issues. Hennessy is a board member of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools and serves as Chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee. She received a J.D. from Temple University School of Law, a B.A., cum laude, from Temple University, and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.

Nagle focuses her practice on education law and commercial litigation, advising charter schools on all aspects of charter school operations to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, and administrative regulations. She also handles complex commercial litigation matters from the administrative level in state and federal courts. Additionally, Nagle has experience representing white-collar criminal defense clients in internal investigations through to grand jury, federal and state trials, sentencing, and appeals. She received a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law, a B.A. from Villanova University, and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Barrett represents and advises K-12 schools, and counsels charter schools from the application drafting process through startup and ongoing operations. He has years of experience serving as solicitor to public school boards of education and charter schools, providing daily counsel to school administrators, public boards of education and charter schools, litigating matters on behalf of his school clients before state courts and state and federal administrative agencies, and providing trainings and seminars to school board members, school administrators, and staff members. Additionally, Barrett provides representation to municipalities, police and fire departments, and government officials in labor and employment matters and complex civil litigation. He received a J.D. from Widener University School of Law, a B.A. from Saint Joseph’s University, and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Attia joins the firm from the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel for the Department of Education where he served as Assistant Counsel. He represents schools in contract negotiations, procurement processes, and application drafting and renewal. Attia served on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Equity and Inclusion Task Force, the Pennsylvania Governor’s LGBTQ+ Work Group, and as a legal aid and translator for the Nationalities Service Center Immigrant and Refugee Service Organization. He received a J.D. from Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, a B.A., cum laude, from Temple University, and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania.

“We are thrilled to have Pat, Kathy, Chris and Adam join the Barton Gilman family – expanding our geographic reach and further enhancing our ability to serve the legal needs of our education clients with experience and excellence,” said partner and education team leader, Matthew R. Plain.

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman serves clients throughout the Northeast with offices in Boston, Providence, New York, and Philadelphia, offering legal services in a wide variety of matters, including education law, employment, premises liability and business litigation, as well as medical and other professional liability defense, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, family law, trusts and estates, criminal defense, corporate formation and intellectual property. The firm and its attorneys have received numerous awards and accolades, including Best LawyersBest Law FirmsBest Places to Work Rhode IslandOutstanding Philanthropic Business, the Common Good Award, and Super Lawyers.

For more information, please contact:

Diana Beaudet, Director of Marketing 617.645.6169 |