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Blank Rome to Open Pittsburgh Office
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Blank Rome has announced the opening of its thirteenth office in Pittsburgh.

Summary: Blank Rome will open a Pittsburgh office this week, employing four partners from Duane Morris and a fifth from Reed Smith.

Blank Rome is on track to open a Pittsburgh office, complete with four partners from Duane Morris and a fifth partner from Reed Smith, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. Blank Rome’s Pittsburgh office will open its doors Friday, and the firm plans to establish a full-service law office in the Pittsburgh area.

  
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George M. Medved previously served as the managing partner of Duane Morris’ Pittsburgh office. Kenneth M. Argentieri replaced Medved in June 2013. The additional Duane Morris partners joining the new Blank Rome office are James P. Hollihan, Amy Joseph Coles, and Joseph T. Moran. Jayme L. Butcher joins as a partner from Reed Smith. Each of these attorneys is a commercial litigator, with the exception of Hollihan, who practices employment law.

In November, Ken Meyers and Frank Kaplan joined Blank Rome.

The Pittsburgh office will be the thirteenth for Blank Rome, which has offices as far as Shanghai, China. The firm said Pittsburgh was a natural choice for the newest office, as it will provide the firm with a presence in Western Pennsylvania, which will create a link with its energy practices in both Houston and Philadelphia.

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Blank Rome Chairman and Managing Partner Alan Hoffman said, “We believe in remaining relevant to our clients which means you’ve got to be in places where your clients need you to be in order to service their needs in the best ways possible. When we looked at where our revenue comes from and the clients we service, we thought Pittsburgh was the perfect opportunity.”

Two attorneys were hired at the Los Angeles office in July.

Hoffman added that Michael Krancer, who joined Blank Rome last year, was adamant that “a Pittsburgh office was very important in terms of growing that (practice).” Krancer was previously the Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

For now, the firm is located at 500 Grant Street downtown. Medved said, “It’s a function of opportunity and Blank Rome has, really, a very defined strategy for Pittsburgh. I’ll be honest, (of) a lot of the firms that came to Pittsburgh — some are doing really well in terms of the move here but others came and I’m not sure how strong the strategy was. This firm’s got a plan and we thought we could help them with that plan. That’s how we ended up there. I have friends back at Duane, whom I’ve hired, and they’re great people. But for us, this was the move.”

Rick Antonoff recently joined the New York office.

Eventually, the firm will need between 11,000 and 20,000 square feet of office space. “Space is fairly tight,” Medved commented of the temporary office space at 500 Grant Street.

Hoffman did not comment on how many attorneys the firm would eventually like to employ at the Pittsburgh office. Medved mentioned reaching “critical mass” of up to 30, and Hoffman explained, “We intend the office to be full-service, not just focused on litigation or energy.”

It’s been a productive year for Blank Rome, with the Pittsburgh office being the third office the firm has opened in that time. In November, a Fort Lauderdale branch was opened to expand the firm’s consumer finance practice. A San Francisco office was also opened and expanded in both Los Angeles and New York, adding 21 attorneys from two different firms in February. Much of the firm’s growth has been concentrated in Texas and California for the past few years.

Twice before, Medved has served as a Pittsburgh office managing partner in a Philadelphia firm. Before joining Duane Morris, he managed Pepper Hamilton’s Pittsburgh practice. His own practice focuses on various commercial matters.

Butcher’s practice focuses on arbitration and commercial litigation. Butcher also works some in the oil and gas industry. Butcher chaired the women’s initiative network in Pittsburgh while she was at Reed Smith.

Currently, Duane Morris has ten attorneys in Pittsburgh. Argentieri issued a statement wishing his former partners well, and said that Duane Morris looks forward to a strong 2015 in its new location. He said, “We have three division heads of the trial practice group here in Pittsburgh so we have a lot of leadership for a relatively small office and the Duane Morris Government Strategies group is here. We’re here to stay and looking to grow.”

Photo credit: midtownlunch.com



 

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