Recent legal industry news in the Philadelphia area.
Morgan Lewis hires 10 new consumer finance attorneys
Morgan Lewis & Bockius has added a 10 lawyer consumer financial services litigation and regulation team from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. The team will be distributed across five offices.
Three partners are at the core of this group: Arjun Rao from Los Angeles, Brian Frontino from Miami and Allen Denson, based in Washington D.C.
Morgan Lewis Chair Jami McKeon stated in a press release that the banking industry was at a crossroads. From disrupters and newcomers to increased regulation, litigation and other economic issues. From our perspective of working across sectors and countries, we work with our clients' financial institutions to align themselves with market opportunities which support their operations. We will defend these business decisions if necessary, and we will do so with our new consumer banking group, which is located in the markets where our banking and fintech client operate.
Gordon Cooney, Chair of the Litigation Department, said in a press release that the team would provide 'a national practice and 'boots-on-the ground' across key markets in the consumer financial sector. The new team is a strategic fit that complements the work we do already and adds weight with a diverse portfolio of financial products and consumers.
Newcomers to the firm represent clients facing evolving consumer challenges. These include lawyers who are leading complex banking class actions, or those navigating state and federal regulatory environments.
Recently, law firms were called on to represent financial institutions following the collapses Silicon Valley Bank Signature Bank and First Republic Bank. They also had to deal with increased scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions.
Morgan Lewis, with more than 2,200 attorneys, is Philadelphia's largest law firm. On Monday, the firm marked its first anniversary of opening a Seattle office with 34 lawyers by bringing in two health care attorneys from Bennett Bigelow & Leedom who specialize in regulatory investigations and litigation.
International trade group in D.C. displays blank Rome reels
Blank Rome has added a group of seven lawyers from McDermott Will & Emery's international trade practice to its Washington, D.C., offices.
The team is led by Eric Parnes and Joanne Osendarp, and includes a trade economist advisor, international trade manager, two senior counsels, three associates, and one counsel. Osendarp, who is based in Washington, will co-chair the firm’s international trade team with Anthony Rapa. Rapa also leads the national security group.
Grant Palmer, Blank Rome's Chairman and Managing partner, made a public statement praising the group. He said that they had 'a leading level of experience in dealing with trade remedies, free trade agreements and international trade disputes. He added that the group will complement the firm's work in the area of sanctions and export control.
The group represents government, industry associations and export credit agencies in appeals and trade remedy proceedings. This includes countervailing duties and anti-dumping issues, as well national security reviews and U.S. controls and sanctions on foreign investments. The group also conducts government and internal investigations, and handles False Claims Act lawsuits.
Blank Rome, a Philadelphia-based law firm, now has more than 150 lawyers in Washington. The bulk of this number was added in 2016, when Blank Rome acquired 100 lawyers from Dickstein Shapiro after it dissolved.
Fox Rothschild purchases North Carolina family law firm
Fox Rothschild acquired a North Carolina family law boutique that specializes in family formation and adoption. Dempsey Law Group is comprised of Charlotte-based Kelly Dempsey, and West Palm Beach-based Nicole Skellenger. They help clients create families by assisting with assisted reproductive technologies, domestic adoptions and agency compliance.
Dempsey’s work is featured in the award winning 2013 documentary ‘Stuck’ which follows four children from different countries on their journeys to adoptive families.
Dempsey worked as an attorney for Smith Moore Leatherwood from 2007 to 2011, a North Carolina law firm with 130 lawyers that merged with Fox Rothschild, in 2018. This deal marked Fox Rothschild’s biggest and its entry into the Southeast, connecting its Florida offices to those in the Mid-Atlantic.
Weber Gallagher opens Chicago offices with new hires
Weber Gallagher opened an office in Chicago with Neal Novak of Novak Law and Colleen C. Costello, enhancing the long-standing insurance litigation practice. Novak and Costello will join Weber Gallagher as partners, and spearhead its new Windy City presence. The firm's new Chicago office is its first outside of the Mid-Atlantic. It has 110 lawyers.
Andrew Indeck, Chair of Weber Gallagher's Firm, said that the two professionals bring'significant insurance experience to our bench and a keen understanding for the insurance industry.
Novak and Costello mediate, litigate and manage insurance coverage issues throughout the U.S. This includes disputes involving professional liability, general liability policies, umbrellas and excess general liability policies, commercial property and business interruption, additional expense, commercial auto and trucking, and accident and healthcare policies. They represent U.S.-based carriers, and have litigated and mediated coverage issues and disputes throughout the United States.