Bolstering Tully Rinckey PLLC’s reputation as a leading law firm in the practice of federal employment law, the firm’s Virginia managing partner, Neil A.G. McPhie, has been recognized as a leader in the law in the state with the second highest concentration of federal executive branch employees. Virginia Lawyers Weekly recently named Mr. McPhie, a former chairman of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), to its 2013 class of “Leaders in the Law,” which features attorneys who are “setting the standards for other lawyers in Virginia.”
In 2011, Mr. McPhie joined Tully Rinckey PLLC as its managing partner in Virginia – a state that in fiscal year 2012 had 144,753 non-seasonal, full-time federal executive branch employees, according to an Office of Personnel Management report. At the firm’s Arlington office, he oversees Tully Rinckey PLLC’s MSPB practice – one of the firm’s largest practice areas. Mr. McPhie’s leadership in Virginia enabled the Arlington office to make significant contributions to the firm’s revenues. As a result, Tully Rinckey PLLC for a fifth consecutive year appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies. On this year’s list it ranked 3,535.
“It is always a distinct honor when you have been selected by your peers for an award,” said Mr. McPhie. “It is a humbling experience but I am very grateful to the committee for my selection and to be part of such an outstanding group of people.”
Prior to coming to Tully Rinckey PLLC, Mr. McPhie served as the seventh chairman of the MSPB. President George W. Bush appointed him to the position in April of 2003 for a seven-year term. A year later the Senate confirmed him as the chair of the independent, quasi-judicial agency tasked with upholding the federal merit systems. His top two accomplishments while at the MSPB included eliminating a sizeable backlog of pending cases and drastically reducing processing days by over 60 percent and the creation of a permanent MSPB Mediation Appeals Program. The backlog was slashed from 295 days to less than 100. His accomplishments were so unique that the MSPB received worldwide recognition, particularly in Thailand, Ukraine and Taiwan.
Mr. McPhie served in the Attorney General’s Office of Virginia from 1982-1998. From 1982-1990, he was the Assistant Attorney General and from 1990-1998 he was the Senior Assistant Attorney General. In both of these roles he defended state agencies and officials against employment discrimination claims brought under federal law and wrongful discharge claims brought under state law. Before that, he was a trial and appellate attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
From 1998 until 2002 Mr. McPhie served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Employment Dispute Resolution. In 2002 he was called back to the Attorney General’s Office of Virginia where he served for one year as the Senior Assistant Attorney General before taking the position at MSPB.
Mr. McPhie’s career highlights are numerous but one that clearly shows his leadership skills was when the MSPB was recognized in 2005 and 2007 as one of the five “Best Places to Work” in the federal government for small agencies. He assisted Thailand in creating their own Merit Systems Protection Commission and also consulted with delegations from China, Kosovo, Canada, Spain and the Ukraine. He testified in front of congressional committees often, and he helped Virginia secure a designation by Syracuse University’s Maxwell School as one of the best-managed states in 1999 and 2001.
Mr. McPhie received his juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in 1976. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Howard University in 1973, graduating magna cum laude.