Experience

Beth R. Stearns is a partner in the firm and chairs the firm’s practice group, Retail & Restaurant Law/ Commercial Leasing.

Prior to joining McNelly Goldstein, Ms. Stearns was Senior Vice President and General Counsel for nearly 18 years at Villa Restaurant Group/Scotto Properties  (an international restaurant chain with nearly 400 stores and an affiliated real estate holding company).  Ms. Stearns was the Company’s founding and chief
in-house counsel, and during her tenure, she brought the Company from 100 stores and a small portfolio of real property to nearly 400 stores and significant real property holdings.  At Villa/Scotto, Ms. Stearns handled a broad variety of complex corporate matters, such as leasing (including amendments and rent relief agreements), mergers and acquisitions (including liquor licenses), construction contracts, real estate transactions, commercial transactions, franchise issues and commercial contracts for retail/restaurant properties.

Prior to going in-house with Villa/Scotto, Ms. Stearns was a partner at the law firm, Ross & Hirsh (f/k/a Whipple, Ross & Hirsh), where she conducted a broad based general practice handling both transactional and litigated matters, including commercial leasing, financial restructuring and turnaround, and major corporate matters. She also acted as outside general counsel to a local developer/commercial landlord and to national retail chains, including one chain where Ms. Stearns played a significant role in its financial turnaround.

Ms. Stearns has been an invited participant at The Georgetown Law Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute and attends the International Council of Shopping Centers Law Conferences, and she has also been chosen to head a new Committee, Retail & Restaurant Industries, for The Business Law Section of The New Jersey State Bar Association

Education & Admissions

Ms. Stearns received her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, VA. and her Bachelor of Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude in Accounting from The University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Ms. Stearns is admitted to practice in New Jersey; U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey and the U. S. Court of Appeals for The Third Circuit

Email Beth: bstearns@mcnellygoldstein.com