Business of Law

Blank Rome announces Dickstein Shapiro acquisition; over 100 remaining lawyers will make the move

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Over 100 lawyers are exiting Dickstein Shapiro and joining Blank Rome, in a move that will more than double the attorney headcount in Blank Rome’s Washington, D.C., office and establish new government contracts and insurance-coverage practice groups.

Described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “essentially” a dissolution of Dickstein Shapiro, the exit by about 103 lawyers is detailed in a Blank Rome news release.

Only a few years ago, Dickstein had some 340 lawyers, but that number had recently dwindled to about 130. Of the 103 lawyers now joining Blank Rome, 90 are in the nation’s capital and 13 practice in New York, the newspaper says. James Kelly, Dickstein Shapiro’s former managing partner, will be chairman of the Washington, D.C. office and “play a key role in the integration of the teams,” according to Blank Rome’s media fact sheet (PDF).

Blank Rome will now have about 200 lawyers in Philadelphia; about 150 in New York; and about 150 in Washington, D.C., where the firm’s existing attorneys will move to Dickstein’s offices. Another 120 attorneys practice in offices in California, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Texas and Shanghai.

“It is amazing to think that just 15 years ago, Blank Rome was primarily a Philadelphia law firm,” said chairman and managing partner Alan Hoffman of Blank Rome in the news release. “In line with our current strategic plan, this is the latest in a robust series of targeted lateral hires, acquisitions, and combinations that our firm has successfully completed in recent years. As Blank Rome celebrates its 70th anniversary, we are excited to help our clients tackle the full range of their most critical legal challenges now and for decades to come.”

Hoffman told Bloomberg BNA that the acquisition of the Dickstein lawyers is “not a merger.” Aside from the Washington, D.C., office, the remnants of the Dickstein firm will be responsible for dealing with its office lease obligations, he said.

The Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.) also has a story.

See also: “Proposed merger between Dickstein and Bryan Cave is reportedly nixed” “9 partners leave Dickstein Shapiro; is there a new potential merger partner?”

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