REMBA Alum: John D. Brefach

John D. Brefach
Chief Operating Officer, McCarter & English 

John D. Brefach (EMBA 1999) is the Chief Operating Officer of McCarter & English law firm.  John has been McCarter's Chief Operating Officer for close to 15 years - since 2001, having been promoted from CFO soon after graduating from the EMBA program in 1999. John Brefach has 20 years of finance experience, primarily at law firms. At McCarter & English, he has served as controller, CFO, and COO. He is also a Trustee of the McCarter & English Foundation, Inc.

Although McCarter & English is viewed as the oldest and largest in New Jersey, John writes, “we are equally proud of our regional footprint (Boston-DC) and growth outside of NJ over the past 10 years.  In fact, we have more attorneys outside of NJ than inside.”  The Office of the Chief Operating Officer oversees all of the administrative functions of McCarter & English: human resources, legal recruiting, facilities and services, information technology, regional office management, finance, library services, and marketing. It also manages mergers and acquisitions, negotiates contracts and performs due diligence. The office thus provides the overall support infrastructure and resources to the attorneys to better serve the firm’s clients.

“The EMBA program for me was a real ‘game changer.’ My career was headed in the right direction - started as controller in 1992, promoted to CFO in 1996 - but I needed the skills necessary to take the next step. Skills such as strategic thinking, critical analysis and ‘bigger picture’ understanding," John said. "The course work, the projects, and even the case studies provided real-life scenarios with real-time application.  I still reference my notes from several amazing classes when in need of a solution or confronted with a problem.  I would have never been considered for the COO position, nor would I have been able to function in this role, without the skills and training obtained from the EMBA program.”