Blank Rome LLP > Washington DC, United States > Firm Profile

Blank Rome LLP
1825 EYE STREET NW
WASHINGTON DC 20006
United States

Industry focus > Insurance: advice to policyholders Tier 1

The team at Blank Rome LLP continues to cover high-profile issues, with particular strengths including insurance coverage for sexual abuse liability and sports insurance coverage. It also plays a key role in the firm‘s interdisciplinary Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team. Leading the team are Washington DC-based lawyers Jim Murray, described as ‘probably the very best policyholder lawyer in the world when it comes to trying a case to a jury‘ and John Gibbons, whose experience includes representations and warranties and credit risk insurance. Los Angeles-based Linda Kornfeld, who has most recently acted on Covid-19 business interruption claims also leads the practice. Jared Zola in New York provides ‘high quality, prompt legal advice in very complex matters‘  while in Washington DC John Heintz contributes his considerable experience and Kyle Brinkman as well as Omid Safa are both active young partners. DC-based James Carter was promoted to partner in January 2022, and Seth Lamden joined the Chicago office from Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP in March 2021.

Testimonials

‘Jim Murray and Jared Zola have deep connections within the industry.’

‘Since joining Blank Rome and taking over as chair of the insurance recovery group, Jim Murray – truly one of the top three or four policyholder lawyers in the country – has done a remarkable job of recruiting very experienced, accomplished and well-regarded insurance lawyers from other top firms. They work very well together as a group, leveraging that reservoir of experience and smarts. Credit also for bringing together the very top women lawyers in the country in the coverage space. The firm is also an exceptional value – lean staffing, reasonable rates, careful billing.’

‘Jim Murray — one of the real senior statesmen in the practice area, a Rhodes Scholar who lived up to the promise that suggests and probably the very best policyholder lawyer in the world when it comes to trying a case to a jury (a fairly rare occurrence in the insurance coverage area). Linda Kornfeld, Mary Calkins and Helen Michael are also highly experienced and effective coverage lawyers who have seen it all. Jared Zola is outstanding for a young partner in this field.’

‘Very cohesive team that has worked together for years.’

‘Jared Zola and his team have always delivered high quality, prompt legal advice in very complex matters with a great deal of responsiveness to client needs.’

‘Blank Rome provides exceptional legal advice and counsel. Their attorneys and paralegals are sharp and really understand how to deliver for their clients.’

‘Natasha Romagnoli is simply fantastic! She is incredibly smart and sharp, and navigates well when handling complex legal and insurance matters. Hannah Ahn also provides exemplary service.’

Key clients

WSP Global Inc./ The Louis Berger Group

Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority

Humana Inc.

Accor Management US, Inc.

Wawa

Swinerton Builders

Yelp

Taubman Co. LLC and Taubman Realty Group, LLC

Ameren Corporation

Sargent & Lundy, L.L.C.

Work highlights

  • Representing an NFL professional football team in insurance coverage litigation against FM Insurance Co., pending in the Eastern District of Philadelphia, helping the team recover their COVID-19 losses stemming from their inability to use their stadium for the 2020 football season.
  • Represented the plaintiff class (as co-counsel) in Ignacio Perez v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co.
  • Representing a policyholder in proceedings against insurer Illinois National for refusing to fully fund a settlement with plaintiffs who sued Cushman for fraudulent misrepresentation.

Industry focus > Transport: shipping - finance Tier 1

Ship finance is a core part of Blank Rome LLP‘s US maritime practice. Run from the firm’s Washington DC, New York and Houston offices, the team’s broad maritime client base including shipyards, owners, operators, cargo interests, lenders and investors. Notable expertise includes secured ship financing and vessel leasing transactions, with a particular focus on structuring ship finance deals involving foreign investment in Jones Act trade. The practice also houses specialists in ship financings that are registered under the laws of Liberia and the Marshall Islands, and regularly represents debtors and creditors in maritime restructuring and bankruptcy matters. In recent highlights, the team advised Signature Bank on its advance of a $46m loan to New York Cruise Lines. The firm’s lead ship finance partner, Washington DC-based Anthony Salgado, is a widely respected authority on Jones Act citizenship issues and related laws, as well as their impact on ship financings. Also in DC, associate Natalie Radabaugh, whose career includes working with the US Navy, the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Transportation Security Administration, focuses her practice on maritime transactions and ship finance.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

American Shipping Company

Blackstone Group

Dominion Energy

JMB Shipping

JPMorgan Chase

Lindblad Expeditions

Murray Energy

Philly Shipyard

PNC Equipment Finance

Signature Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised JMB Shipping on the $115m acquisition of 29 vessels from Bouchard Transportation Co.
  • Advised Signature Bank on its advance of a $46m loan to New York Cruise Lines.
  • Advised American Shipping Company on a number of bond issues.

Industry focus > Transport: shipping - litigation and regulation Tier 1

A ‘go-to team in the US for shipping‘, Blank Rome LLP handles the full gamut of shipping disputes, while fielding a maritime emergency response team to respond to pollution-related incidents. The firm also enjoys strong relationships with the shipping industry’s regulatory agencies. Co-chairing the ‘impressive‘ national maritime and international trade practice are William Bennett III, whose track record includes significant maritime casualties; Washington DC-based shipping regulatory specialist Jeanne Grasso; and Houston-based maritime litigator Keith Letourneau. Also integral to the practice are Thomas Belknap Jr, who focuses on cargo damage claims, and shipping contract, salvage and charterparty disputes; Houston-based shipping market expert Michael Bell, John Kimball, Richard Singleton II, Philadelphia-based Jeffrey Moller and Douglas Shoemaker in Houston, who are all widely respected litigators. Other regulatory experts to note are Matthew Thomas  and Jonathan Waldron in DC. Another highly-rated practitioners include Houston-based Jeremy Herschaft, who is ‘always on top of cases‘, and shipping litigator Lauren Wilgus. Zachary Cain in Houston and Noe Hamra are experienced senior associates, while DC’s Dana Merkel is an experienced associate. All attorneys are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

Testimonials

Blank Rome has the go-to team in the US for shipping.

They have critical mass, diversity and they cover every aspect of shipping, from regulatory to claims and litigation (in both wet and dry) – and from different offices they cover the entire country. The setup is simply impressive.

Blank Rome has a great breadth of offering across many key states in the US, providing shipping, commodities, energy and sanctions expertise, which are of great interest to us and our clients.

The team comprises great lawyers, such as the legendary John Kimball and recently elected partner Lauren Wilgus – they deliver impressive work.

William Bennett III and Lauren Wilgus have provided excellent service to our trading clients. They have great procedural and legal expertise, offer incredibly prompt advice, and are extremely pleasant and easy to work with.

Richard Singleton II is a seasoned litigator, who is always able to cut through to the important parts of a dispute and focus on the important issues.

Thomas Belknap Jr is a sharp litigator, and will give you an honest answer from the very beginning.

Jeremy Herschaft works hard and is always on top of cases, providing a standout service for the cases he handles. You feel very safe when he is involved.

Key clients

Cargill Ocean Transport

Carnival Corporation

Chevron

COSCO

Dominion Energy

Gulf Stream Marine

Horizon Lines

Preble-Rish

Total

Atlantic Trading & Marketing

Univar

Work highlights

  • Representing the Alnic, its owner, and vessel manager Stealth Maritime in a case that arose out of a major 2017 collision between a Navy destroyer (the USS John McCain) and the Alnic.
  • Representing a US government contractor in a breach of fuel supply contract dispute with the Government of Haiti.
  • Assisted global cruise ship operator Carnival with navigating immense Covid-19-related regulatory challenges.

Government > Government contracts Tier 2

Blank Rome LLP is well known for its strength in False Claims Act litigation, bid protests, enforcement and compliance matters. Offering clients interdisciplinary solutions, the practice is supported by complementary practices, aiding the team’s strong record in high-profile and high dollar cases. Capable of advising contractors in all industries, the team maintains a focus in the aerospace, maritime, healthcare, IT, and defense sectors. Justin Chiarodo leads the practice and has extensive bid protests experience and is also strong in cost accounting issues and contract disputes. Dominique Casimir is the go-to and a suspension and debarment expert. Also within the team is Scott Arnold, who offers extensive public procurement experience, and trusted counsel for clients. Stephanie Harden and Luke Meier are also recommended. All practitioners mentioned are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Justin Chiarodo

Testimonials

‘They have great experience across of variety of business sectors and government agencies. They are proactive, efficient, knowledgeable and very easy to work with. They communicate well and are creative and thoughtful.’

‘Dominique Casimir is the lead partner and she is exceptional. She is both expert and practical. She listens and is an excellent communicator.’

Key clients

Avantus

J.F. Lehman

Amentum

The Louis Berger Group/WSP USA Inc.

Quest Diagnostics

Oshkosh Defense

Darkblade Systems

Rite Aid

Nuclear Waste Partnership

Chronos Solutions LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Oshkosh Defense as intervenor in a Court of Federal Claims bid protest filed by Workhorse Group, Inc., against the U.S. Postal Service award of a $6 billion contract to Oshkosh Defense for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle fleet.
  • Represented Darkblade Systems Corp., in its sale to Intrepid Solutions and Services LLC.
  • Represented Avantus, in its acquisition of MissionTech Solutions, LLC.

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 3

Industry focus > Energy regulation: oil and gas Tier 4

Blank Rome LLP is best known for its expertise in regulatory compliance, enforcement defense, energy projects and energy trading matters. The group has extensive experience in obtaining regulatory approvals and performing due diligence in complex transactions, including securing FERC and DOE approvals for LNG terminals and other natural gas infrastructure. It is also well-equipped to handle enforcement matters before the CFTC and FTC. Practice head Mark Haskell maintains a strong reputation in the oil and gas regulatory arena. Brett Snyder, George Billinson and Lamiya Rahman are also recommended. All lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Mark Haskell

Key clients

BP Energy / BP America

Exelon Corporation & Annova LNG

Sempra Energy

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

Southwest Gas Corporation

SWN Energy Services Company

Chevron USA

ConocoPhillips

Direct Energy

Business Marketing

Shell Energy North America (US)

ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing Company

Hess Corporation

Cheniere

Vistra Corporation

New Jersey Natural Gas Company

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead coundel to  Exelon Corporation and subsidiary Annova LNG before the DOE and FERC with regard to the proposed Annova LNG export terminal.
  • Represented Hess Corporation, a producer and shipper of natural gas, in a rate case filed by Alliance Pipeline in May 2020 that sought to increase Hess’s rate by more than 50 percent; the case was settled in July 2021.
  • Represented Sabine Pass Liquefaction, one of the largest shippers on the Transco system, in litigation involving Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s historical cash-out imbalance recovery; the amount in controversy was in excess of $60m and a settlement reached in Fall 2021.

Tax > US taxes: contentious Tier 4

The nationwide SALT controversy practice at Blank Rome LLP represents represents both high-net-worth individuals and Fortune 50 companies regarding corporate franchise and income tax, personal income tax, and excise tax. Its clients include major players in the automotive, technology, consumer finance, and industrial manufacturing industries. In New York, practice head Craig Fields, Nicole Johnson, and Mitchell Newmark specialize in SALT controversy and litigation before state high courts, administrative tribunals, and appellate courts. Senior counsel Irwin Slomka is also noted for his expertise in New York tax controversy matters.

Practice head(s):

Craig Fields

Testimonials

‘The Blank Rome team is completely invested in their client’s business. They take the time to totally understand your business, which gives them the background to consistently provide the best service possible.’

‘We work with Nicole Johnson and Craig Fields for state and local tax expertise. Nicole and Craig are superior advocates. They proactively keep us informed of the latest changes in state and local tax and help us conform to the new rules in a tax efficient manner. We know that Nicole and Craig are always looking out for our best interests.’

Key clients

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

H&R Block, Inc.

Caterpillar Incorporated

Work highlights

  • Represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in proceedings that reversed the Virginia Department of Taxation’s denial of refund claims.
  • Represented H&R Block in the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s Complaint in the Chancery Court to attempt to enforce its administrative subpoena seeking large volumes of confidential documents that contained business and trade secrets and filing methodologies the company used for its tax returns in states other than Mississippi.
  • Successfully represented Solar Turbines Inc in refund claims in Louisiana.

Blank Rome is an Am Law 100 firm with 14 offices and more than 600 attorneys and principals who provide comprehensive legal and advocacy services to clients operating in the United States and around the world. Our professionals have built a reputation for their leading knowledge and experience across a spectrum of industries, and are recognized for their commitment to pro bono work in their communities. Since our inception in 1946, Blank Rome’s culture has been dedicated to providing top-level service to all of our clients, and has been rooted in the strength of our diversity and inclusion initiatives. For more information, please visit blankrome.com.

Main areas of practice
Consumer finance: The practice’s business, regulatory and litigation lawyers have experience in regulatory compliance, financial services, commercial litigation, bankruptcy, white-collar criminal defense and government investigations.

Corporate, M&A and securities: The practice represents clients in capital-raising, M&A and corporate transactions including fund formation and management, debt and equity financings, securities offerings, federal/state regulatory compliance, joint ventures and corporate governance strategies.

Cybersecurity and data privacy: The team assists clients in regulatory compliance, preparing for and responding to cyberattacks, audits and meeting data security requirements of business partners.

Energy, environment and mass Torts: The practice offers regulatory, transactional, litigation, real estate, leasing, project finance, federal and state taxation and government/Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relations, intellectual property and strategic public policy services, to clients in businesses including: manufacturing, real estate, commercial development, public and private finance and investment, healthcare, transportation and municipal and county governments and redevelopment authorities. The practice also defends companies and individuals against product liability and mass tort suits, including toxic tort and environmental disputes, aviation disasters, and alleged defects in equipment and vehicles.

Equipment leasing: The practice structures, negotiates and documents complex financing transactions, and represents captive and independent leasing companies, funding sources and the debt and equity sides of leveraged-lease transactions.

Finance, restructuring and bankruptcy: The group represents creditors and debtors in bankruptcy, reorganization and workout matters, including litigation, credit and business transactions and high-profile insolvency cases. The practice also represents senior and subordinate lenders, including mezzanine and second lien lenders, combining commercial finance and lending experience with knowledge of tax, real estate and securities law.

Government contracts: The practice represents contractors in federal, state, and local government contract matters, including bid protests, claims, dispute resolution, audits and investigations, False Claims Act cases, mandatory disclosure issues, suspension and debarment, small business programs, and compliance matters.

Insurance recovery: For policyholders, the firm handles policy audits; risk assessments; disputes; and reimbursements, settlements, or judgments relating to D&O claims; and helps insureds resolve disputes under errors and omissions policies. Its deep-bench trial abilities and novel settlement strategies have led to landmark rulings, new coverage types and industry advances.

Intellectual property and technology: The group covers all aspects of patent, trademark and copyright law. Attorneys have experience in asset management; investigating, procuring, enforcing and maximizing the value of intellectual property rights, including in litigation; licensing; and patent and trademark procurement, licensing, and counseling.

Labor and employment: The group provides advice, counseling, litigation representation and training on matters confronting in-house counsel and management, such as whistleblower claims, trade secrets, wage and hour issues, internal investigations, management training, union relations, and immigration.

Litigation: The practice is experienced in handling civil, criminal and administrative trial and appellate matters in state and federal courts, spanning a range of issues, including class action defense and transactional disputes.

Maritime and international trade: As the largest US maritime practice, the firm provides clients worldwide with response capabilities and experience in regulatory and legislative issues; litigation; arbitration; defense of administrative, civil and criminal enforcement actions; commercial/ transactional matters, including vessel and corporate finance and structuring strategic alliances; and all casualty matters, including collisions, allisions and pollution response.

Matrimonial and family law: The group counsels individuals and couples in legal aspects of marriage, from planning and negotiating pre- and post-nuptial agreements, separation agreements, mediation, divorce and custody arrangements.

Real estate: The group’s deep bench strength can handle all aspects of real estate law, providing practical advice, analyzing risks and developing innovative strategies informed by the team’s broad base of transactional experience.

Tax, benefits and private clients: The practice, combining governmental, financial and legal experience, handles planning for sophisticated transactions and other matters with local, state, federal, and foreign tax implications, and represents clients in all aspects of estate and business planning, estate and trust administration and estate and tax litigation.

White-collar defense and investigations: The group assists companies and individuals facing criminal and regulatory investigations, congressional inquiries, whistleblower accusations, or self-discovered misconduct. It helps clients defend against allegations, while mitigating damage to individual or corporate reputations.

The firm also has industry teams providing targeted representation to clients in various industries.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Business restructuring and bankruptcy Kevin Baum
Business restructuring and bankruptcy Grant Buerstetta
Consumer finance Wayne Streibich
Corporate, M&A and securities Peter Schnur
Corporate, M&A and securities Louis M Rappaport
Energy, environment and mass torts Deborah Greenspan
Energy, environment and mass torts Kevin J Bruno
Financial services Lawrence F Flick II
Government contracts Justin A. Chiarodo
Government contracts David M Nadler
Insurance recovery James R Murray
Intellectual property and technology Dipu A Doshi
Intellectual property and technology David Perry
Intellectual property and technology Lisa Casey Spaniel
Intellectual property and technology Russell Wong
Labor and employment Jason E. Reisman
Labor and employment Brooke T Iley
Litigation department Daniel Rhynhart
Litigation department Greg Bordo
Maritime William R. Bennett III
Maritime Jeanne Grasso
Maritime Keith Letourneau
Matrimonial and family Brett Ward
Matrimonial and family Kristina Royce
Private client and tax Craig Fields
Private client and tax Lawrence S Chane
Private client and tax Cory G Jacobs
Real estate Pelayo Coll
Real estate Samantha Wallack
White-collar defense and investigations Gregory F. Linsin
White-collar defense and investigations Jerry D. Bernstein
Business department Gary Goldenberg
Business department Joseph Gulant
Commercial litigation Jason Snyderman
Commercial litigation Jayme Butcher
Corporate litigation Jon Loeb
Corporate litigation Deborah Skakel
General litigation Leigh Ann Buziak
Corporate litigation Alan Freeman
Corporate litigation Michael Iannucci
Corporate litigation Anthony Mingione
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Mr Scott Arnold  photo Mr Scott Arnold Scott Arnold is a partner in Blank Rome’s government contracts practice. He…
Mr Kyle P Brinkman  photo Mr Kyle P Brinkman Partner. Litigation, Insurance Recovery
Ms Dominique L Casimir  photo Ms Dominique L Casimir Partner. Litigation; Regulatory Compliance; False Claims Act Investigations & Defense; Bid Protests;…
Justin Chiarodo photo Justin ChiarodoJustin is partner and Chair of Blank Rome’s nationally ranked Government Contracts…
Mr Richard Conway  photo Mr Richard Conway Richard Conway is a partner in Blank Rome’s government contracts practice. He…
Mr Jason Eig  photo Mr Jason Eig Jason Eig represents clients in real estate, finance, and general corporate transactional…
Mr Brett M Esber  photo Mr Brett M Esber Senior Counsel. Equipment Leasing, Maritime, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance, International Trade…
Mr Emanuel Faust Jr  photo Mr Emanuel Faust Jr Emanuel Faust has in recent years been involved in a number of…
Mr John Gibbons  photo Mr John Gibbons John Gibbons is a partner in and co-chair of Blank Rome’s policyholder-only…
Ms Jeanne Grasso  photo Ms Jeanne Grasso Jeanne Grasso focuses her practice on maritime, international, and environmental law for…
Mr John Heintz  photo Mr John Heintz John E. Heintz is a partner in Blank Rome’s policyholder-only Insurance Recovery…
Mr Justin Lavella  photo Mr Justin Lavella Justin Lavella is a partner in Blank Rome’s policyholder-only Insurance Recovery practice,…
Mr Kenneth Morrow  photo Mr Kenneth Morrow Kenneth Morrow concentrates his practice on corporate and securities law, with an…
Mr James Murray  photo Mr James Murray Jim Murray leads Blank Rome’s policyholder-only Insurance Recovery practice, formerly the insurance practice…
Mr David Nadler  photo Mr David Nadler Dave Nadler is the co-chair of Blank Rome’s government contracts practice. He…
Anthony Rapa photo Anthony RapaPartner and Team Lead Anthony leads Blank Rome’s National Security team. A…
Mr Omid Safa  photo Mr Omid Safa Omid Safa is a partner at Blank Rome and a rising star…
Mr R Anthony Salgado  photo Mr R Anthony Salgado Partner. Equipment Leasing; International Trade; Maritime; Mergers & Acquisitions; Capital Markets; Corporate…
Mr Jonathan K Waldron  photo Mr Jonathan K Waldron Partner. Maritime, Maritime – Government Relations, Policy & Political Law, Maritime –…
Number of Partners : 319
Number of Other Fee-Earners : 335
Total Staff : 1,054
Managing Partner and CEO : Grant S Palmer
Firmwide Chair : Alan J Hoffman
Other Offices : Cincinnati
Other Offices : Fort Lauderdale
Other Offices : Houston
Other Offices : Los Angeles
Other Offices : Pittsburgh
Other Offices : Princeton
Other Offices : San Francisco
Other Offices : Tampa
Other Offices : Wilmington
Other Offices : Shanghai
Other Offices : Chicago