Labor and employment firm Jackson Lewis has elected Vincent Cino as its new chairman, the first employment litigator to lead the White Plains-based firm. Patrick Vaccaro, who has led since 2006, will step down and remain a partner at the 735-attorney firm.

Since 2006, Cino, based in Morristown, N.J., has been Jackson Lewis’ national director of litigation. Cino said he has been supervising litigators and the 6,500 lawsuits, including 415 class actions, the firm is handling. Past firm leaders, including Vaccaro, have been on the labor side, representing management in disputes with unions and in matters before the National Labor Relations Board, Cino said.

Jackson Lewis said the firm has flourished under Vaccaro’s leadership. Since he became managing partner in 2006, Jackson Lewis entered the AmLaw 100 rankings. Last year, it generated $326.5 million in gross revenue, up from $295 million in 2010 and $256 million in 2009. Its office locations have increased to 49 from 21 and attorney headcount has doubled.

The new chairman said that “employment litigation has exploded over the past 10 years.” The firm defends management-side clients in lawsuits by former employees alleging wrongful discharge or discrimination, he said.

Cino said he plans to continue to look for growth options during his four-year term and he anticipates the firm will hire 50 attorneys next year. “We’ve done all this growth since 2006 without any debt all out of operating revenue. So it’s a wonderful accomplishment of Patrick Vaccaro,” he said.

Cino said he wants to place a greater emphasis on alternative fee arrangements, in particular flat fees. “It’s the future of the legal procession,” he said. “It promotes efficiency and client satisfaction.”