Rita P. Campanile is a seasoned corporate/transactional attorney who is passionate about being a trusted, collaborative, business-oriented partner/advisor to her clients and about her commitment to swiftly provide practical, solutions-driven and cost-effective legal and strategic advice and legal services with the utmost integrity, thoughtfulness and professionalism.
Rita began her automotive industry career when the DCH Auto Group (“DCH”) reached out to her to become DCH’s first chief legal officer, as its Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary. DCH was then one of the top 10largest privately held automotive dealership groups in the U.S., with a multitude of brands and rooftops in NJ, NY, CT, CA and China. Within this auto dealership sector Rita was the first female, non-family, General Counsel.
At DCH Rita engineered, led and centralized the group’s legal, compliance and ethics functions into a new Legal, Compliance & Ethics Department. Rita and her department promptly proved to be the trusted and effective guardians of the group’s short and long term financial interests/objectives with Rita ensuring that her high performance department emphasized the highest levels of customer service, responsiveness, quality, productivity and achievement.
Rita’s primary responsibilities as General Counsel included acting as a legal and strategic advisor to the Board of Directors. She was also a member of DCH’s Executive Committee and Advisory Board, and she formed and was actively involved in the many charitable works of the DCH Foundation.
Rita successfully orchestrated and led all legal and related efforts to complete one of the then largest automotive dealership buy/sell transactions which at closing simultaneously earned the sellers $364 million and contributed revenues of $2.3 billion annually (a 21% increase) to the buyer. Successfully completing an asset purchase transaction of this size and complexity in the incredibly compressed 8-month-contract-to-closing timeframe is impressive and unprecedented.
Rita’s deep and broad retail automotive industry legal expertise covers the full panoply of legal services, including: corporate governance; buy/sell (merger & acquisition) agreements; factory franchise agreements; commercial real estate transactions, including commercial lease agreements; environmental laws; employment/labor laws; financing/loan agreements; insurance and all other claims/litigation management; health & safety laws; intellectual property; risk management; internal investigations; ethics; compliance; vendor and all other contract drafting, review and negotiations; outside counsel selection/management drafting and conducting executive, manager and employee training; and creation of a complete library of templates, forms, policies, procedures and training materials.
Prior to DCH, Rita practiced with both prominent law firms and within the legal departments of major U.S. and foreign multinational corporations where she made significant contributions to the achievement of closure on a wide variety of complex and sophisticated deals including domestic and international M&A transactions, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Rita has studied, lived and worked abroad extensively, is fluent in several languages, and has collaborated with business executives and attorneys not only in the U.S. but also in many other countries.
During each of her two law school summers Rita sought out and was selected for unique opportunities: working in the Legal Department of the United Nations in New York City and working for United States Senator Bill Bradley in Washington, D.C.
Rita is a member of the NJ and NY state bars and of various local and national automotive trade associations. She earned her J.D. at the University of Notre Dame Law School and her B.A. from Rutgers University. Rita also studied law at the London School of Economics and at Kings College, University of London.
As DCH’s chief legal officer, Rita was nominated and selected as a finalist in the “General Counsel of the Year Award” program honoring standout general counsels and chief legal officers for their exceptional roles in helping lead their companies to success.
One of Rita’s favorite quotes is Winston Churchill’s : “Never, never, never give up…”
- Juris Doctor, University of Notre Dame Law School, 1981
- Master of Arts, Rutgers University, 1976
- Bachelor of Arts, Rutgers University, 1975
- New Jersey State Bar, 2005
- New York State Bar, 1988
- Ohio State Bar, 1981