John (Jay) R. Gowell is a Partner with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O'Gara LLC and a member of the firm's Corporate & Business, Real Estate & Commercial Lending and Nonprofit Organizations Teams. Attorney Gowell has extensive experience in the areas of corporate law, finance and real estate development in both the private and public sectors, and has represented many private developers, public agencies and corporate clients in development, permitting, construction, leasing and financing transactions and in the purchase and sale of office buildings, shopping centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, marinas and other real estate assets. He is a nationally recognized bond counsel, and is listed in the Bond Buyer "Red Book." He has served as bond counsel, issuer's counsel and underwriter's counsel in a wide range of public bond financing transactions.
Mr. Gowell is a prominent member of the legal community, and has been honored by his peers and judges with the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest rating based on both legal ability and ethics. He also has been a Special Lecturer in business ethics and professional responsibility in the Providence College Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Gowell has experience in mergers and acquisitions and divestitures of companies, as well as shareholder disputes and buy-sell agreements. His comprehensive legal portfolio of work also includes corporate law, commercial lending, distressed debt and loan workouts and receiverships. He has considerable experience in the purchase and sale of companies and in syndications, venture capital transactions and securities matters, and frequently represents companies engaged in various sectors of the marine industry. Mr. Gowell has also served in leadership roles and as legal counsel for many charitable and other not-for-profit organizations.
Mr. Gowell has served as counsel to states and municipalities and their departments and agencies, including Nassau County, New York, the Governor of the State of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Administration, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. In connection with his public sector work, he has provided legal counsel and strategic guidance to high visibility projects such as the lease and revitalization of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the development, ground lease and construction of Providence Place Mall and the site acquisition, financing and construction of a 400-acre office campus for a major national financial services company in Smithfield, RI. As counsel to private developers, Mr. Gowell has worked on many residential, industrial, office and hotel projects, public development and urban redevelopment projects, public—private partnerships (P3) and economic development projects.
Mr. Gowell currently is a member of the Rhode Island Industrial Recreational Building Authority, the Rhode Island Sailing Events Commission, the Board of Trustees of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Brown University Civic Leadership Council. From 2005 to 2012, he chaired the East Greenwich Public Schools Building Committee, which successfully implemented a $52 million, multi-year building improvement program, including construction of a new 108,000-square foot middle school and major improvements to a high school. For 20 years, he served as Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School, including as its President from 2000-2002. From 2003-2009, he chaired the Philharmonic Orchestra’s Building Committee in the successful purchase, financing, redesign and extensive $8 million renovation of a 50,000 square foot building into a nationally-recognized, state-of-the-art community music school.
Attorney Gowell earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. He graduated with a B.A. in History from Trinity College. He is admitted to practice in state courts in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York and the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Mr. Gowell is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers.