STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — James Thomson, owner and managing attorney of Thomson Law PLLC, is deeply committed to the community that he serves.
A native Staten Islander, Thomson has lived on the North Shore for over 40 years. Thomson graduated from St. Peter’s Boys’ High School and went on to obtain his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing and Management.
“When I graduated from SUNY Albany in 2002, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do,’’ said Thomson. “My plan at the time was to find a job and start working. A few of my good friends from Albany had gone to law school straight out of college, and while I was looking for a job, they encouraged me to take the LSAT. I got into a few schools, and I eventually decided to go to St. John’s University in Queens.”
While attending law school, Thomson took the opportunity to intern at a broad range of local law offices, including the New York State Supreme Court, the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, and the Law Offices of Russo, Scamardella & D’Amato, P.C., trying different legal settings to familiarize himself with the field. Thomson graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2006 with a Juris Doctorate, and shortly after, he passed the New York and New Jersey State Bar Exams.
“I was sworn in on Valentine’s Day in 2007,” says Thomson. “At the time, Russo, Scamardella & D’Amato were working on a real estate development project called The Tides of Charleston, which was New York City’s first 55+ community. They needed a real estate attorney for the project, and since I was already interning there in the real estate department, they hired me as an associate attorney as soon as I was sworn in.”
Thomson continued there for the next 14 years, working his way up to partner in 2017, when the firm changed its name to the Law Firm of Scamardella, Gervasi, Thomson & Kasegrande, P.C. Throughout his journey from legal intern to partner, Thomson has overseen thousands of real estate and business transactions, beginning by simply observing, and, over time, performing these transactions on his own.
However, after nearly 15 years with Scamardella, Gervasi, Thomson & Kasegrande, Thomson decided to open his own law firm. “I loved my time at Scamardella, Gervasi, Thomson & Kasegrande; We had a lot of fun being at the center of many things on Staten Island,” says Thomson. “In 2021, I had just turned 40, and we were going through some changes at the firm, trying to figure out our next direction. I had my own vision, and I decided that if I didn’t take the leap then, I probably never would. On March 1, 2021, I opened Thomson Law, PLLC.”
Thomson Law, located at the heart of West Brighton along the Forest Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), primarily represents commercial property and business owners, handling commercial real estate and business asset sales and purchases, the formation and dissolution of business entities, and commercial landlord-tenant matters. The office also handles estate planning matters, including wills, trusts, and business succession planning.
Thomson oversees the day-to-day operations of Thomson Law, which includes the management of two attorneys, Karalyn Buono and John Fink, and a paralegal, Rachel Fundaro. As a team, the firm is constantly collaborating, creating a comfortable environment in which critical feedback is welcome. Thomson makes a significant effort to help clients grow as they work with him, in turn growing the firm as well and allowing Thomson to not only work with clients, but also learn from them.
“I love being around people, which means I’m in constant communication with my clients,” emphasizes Thomson. “When a client calls me with a new idea, I’m happy to walk it through with them, and I get excited when the client’s creativity starts to shine through. We work with clients from the beginning of the process to the end, through all the twists and turns that may come, to achieve the client’s goal, and it’s always worth it when you see a client’s dream come to life.”
For his accomplishments, James Thomson is being honored with a Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Award, which he will receive in the Emerging Businessperson category. The awards, which are presented by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Staten Island Advance, honor the memory of Louis R. Miller, a businessman and West Brighton resident who was also a community leader.
In addition to his steadfast commitment to Thomson Law, Thomson is also a pillar of the Staten Island community. Thomson is a founding member and past president of The Executive Club of Staten Island, a member and past board member of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, a board member of the Emergency Children’s Help Organization (ECHO), and an Executive Committee member of the Richmond County Republican Party. Thomson also currently serves on the Advisory Boards of St. Peter’s Boy’s High School and the Carl V. Bini Foundation.
Thomson also currently serves as legal counsel to City Councilmember David Carr, in addition to providing pro bono counsel to various not-for-profit organizations on Staten Island, including Michael’s Cause, ECHO, and Sailors Snug Harbor Little League. Thomson was recognized in 2015 by the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) as a recipient of the 20 Under 40 Award, in 2018 by City and State Magazine as a Top 10 Up and Comer in Staten Island, and in 2022 by SIEDC as one of Staten Island’s Top 31 Most Influential Business Leaders.
Thomson is currently part of the team launching the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation. The organization was created in memory of Thomson’s brother-in-law, Anthony Varvaro, a Staten Island baseball star, Port Authority police officer, and father of four who was killed by a wrong-way driver. Thomson will serve as legal counsel and as a board member for the organization, whose mission is to support individuals and families facing unexpected tragedy, as well as continue Varvaro’s work of enhancing the quality of youth sports on Staten Island.
“The Staten Island business community sticks together through good times and bad,” says Thomson. “Just throughout my career alone, I’ve seen Staten Island deal with the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and so much more. I’ve seen, time and time again, that Staten Islanders help each other through every crisis. The longer you’re a part of the community, the more you take pride in remaining.”
Current occupation and title: Business and Real Estate Attorney at Thomson Law, PLLC.
Hometown: Westerleigh, Staten Island.
Past occupations and titles: Partner at Scamardella, Gervasi, Thomson & Kasegrande, P.C.
Community involvement: Member of the SIEDC’s Business Council, founding member and past president of the Executive Club of Staten Island, member of the Advisory Boards for St. Peter’s Boys High School and the Carl V. Bini Foundation, member and past board member of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Legal Counsel and board member of the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation, in memory of my brother-in-law Anthony Varvaro.
Some of my life goals include: Building a platform that improves the private practice experience for both attorneys and clients, while also leaving enough time to be present with family and friends. And being involved with groups that truly do make a difference for people who could use a hand to go along with their own best efforts.
The best part of my job: Helping clients design and execute their dreams, while also learning from their steps to help me on my own way.
The most difficult part of my job: The often inevitable twists, turns and emotions of a transaction that can suck a lot of the excitement from the client and the deal team along the way.
My life philosophy: Be honest with yourself and watch the best possible follow.
I am most proud of: My family.
Something that no one knows about me: I did very well on my LSAT, and with that too big in my mind, did awful my first year of law school. Its my constant reminder that you’re only currently as good as the work you put in.
Personal interests and hobbies: Reading, going to a Rangers or Jets game, taking a walk to clear the mind.
I laugh at: Anything possible.
I admire: People who know exactly who they want to be and go for it.
Some important things I would like you to know about me: I know how fortunate I am to be a part of this community. For all the bad rap Staten Islanders can get, wait until one of their own needs support, and watch how quickly many more say yes than no.