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

Blank Rome LLP
United States

Industry focus > Insurance: advice to policyholders Tier 1

Blank Rome LLP’s insurance team has extensive experience in speciality insurance areas, including transactional, crime, product contamination, bankruptcy, business conduct liabilities, cybersecurity, and political risk. A particular strength is in sexual abuse liability and, to date, the practice has recovered more than $1bn in insurance proceeds in sex abuse cases. Practice chair James Murray, in Washington DC, and New York-based Jared Zola are currently representing the Archdiocese of New York in an insurance coverage lawsuit against more than 30 of its historical general liability insurers. The Archdiocese is expected to face hundreds of millions of dollars of alleged liabilities. Linda Kornfeld jointly vice chairs the group from Los Angeles along with John Gibbons in Washington DC. Mary Craig Calkins in Los Angeles and Helen Michael in Washington DC joined from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Kyle Brinkman, based in Washington DC, was promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

James Murray; Linda Kornfeld; John Gibbons

Other key lawyers:

Key clients


Diocese of Duluth and New Ulm (Minnesota)

Chiquita Brands International

Cottage Health Systems

Vantage / EDF Trading

Pennsylvania State University

National Strength & Conditioning Association

Boskovich Farms

Expedia Group

North American Automotive Services

Athene USA Corporation

The Rockefeller University

Cushman & Wakefield


Industry focus > Transport: shipping - finance Tier 1

With a core team spread across the Washington DC, New York and Houston offices, Blank Rome LLP has one of the market's go-to teams for complex shipping-sector transactions, including those involving foreign investment and the Jones Act, international restructuring and bankruptcy matters, and Liberia and the Marshall Islands registration and flagging issues. Practice chair Anthony Solgado has over 30 years experience in the industry and stands out for his knowledge of Jones Act citizenship issues and related laws administered by the US Coast Guard and Maritime Administration, as well as those laws' impact on ship financings and transactions. Senior counsel Brett Esber is another key figure for vessel-secured credit facilities, lease financing deals and sale and purchase transactions. Both Solgado and Esber are based in the Washington DC office.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Salgado

Other key lawyers:

Bret Esber

Key clients

American Shipping Company

GulfMark Offshore

Harvey Gulf

J.F. Lehman & Company

JP Morgan Chase

Philly Shipyard

PNC Equipment Finance

Seaspan Corporation

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

Leveraging an 'impressive set up across the country, covering every aspect of shipping regulation and litigation', Blank Rome LLP is considered by some to be 'the go-to team' in the US for shipping and maritime law. The team has a strong presence in two centers for commercial shipping activity and disputes resolution (Houston and New York) and also has an established reputation in the country's major policy center (Washington DC). Contacts in the New York office include practice group co-head William Bennett and the 'legendary' John Kimball, who heads the litigation team in the New York office. Keith LetourneauJeremy Herschaft and practice co-head Michael Bell are key litigators in the firm's Houston office. Recent highlights for the Houston team included representing Valero in federal litigation concerning a collision with a dock and mooring system on the Mississippi River. New York-based Thomas Belknap and counsel Lauren Wilgus are also recommended for commercial litigation in the shipping and maritime space. Jonathan Waldron and Jeanne Grasso in Washington DC lead the team's most complex regulatory work. Grasso is recognized in particular for her expertise in ballast water compliance and management, while Waldron has continued to represent Chevron and the International Marince Contractors Association in negotiations with the US Customs and Border Protection concerning the operation of foreign-flagged vessels in US waters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Bell; Keith Letourneau; William Bennett; Jonathan Waldron

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Herschaft; Douglas Shoemaker; Thomas Belknap; Richard Singleton; Jeanne Grasso; Matthew Thomas; Gregory Linsin


‘Blank Rome has the “go to team” within shipping in the US. They have critical mass, the largest in the US, and they cover every aspect of shipping from regulatory to claims and litigation in both wet and dry and from their different offices they cover the entire country. The setup is simply impressive.’

‘Overall very good support from the team in both NYC and Houston. The team was responsive, knowledgeable and highly supportive throughout an acrimonious and difficult arbitration and litigation process.’

‘Richard Singleton is a seasoned litigator who is always able to cut through to the important parts of a dispute and focus on the important things.’

‘Jeremy Herschaft from the Houston office is working hard and always on top of the cases providing a service next to none on the cases he handles. You feel very “safe” when he is involved.’

‘Bill Bennett is also recommendable and does very impressive work in international trade. ‘

‘Thomas Belknap – incredibly knowledgeable and credible on marine matters. Worked very hard to ensure we, as clients, really understood the merits or otherwise of our position and clearly laid out options and risks associated with those options from day 1. A real gentleman too, despite what the other side threw at us!’

‘Tom Belknap is also a sharp litigator and will give you an honest answer from the very beginning.’

‘Michael Bell – again a very credible and impressive force which was great to have on our side. Very helpful throughout the process.’

‘The team also consists of other great lawyers such as legendary John Kimball and newly elected partner Lauren Wilgus who handled a delicate case for us in 2019 where she managed to get a Danish judgment recognized in the US. This was impressive work.’

Key clients

AET (American Eagle Tankers)

APL (American President Lines)

Carnival Corp/Princess Cruises

Chevron Shipping

China Ocean Shipping Company

Gulf Stream Marine

Mediterranean Shipping Company

Odyssey Marine Exploration

Zodiac Maritime

Government > Government contracts Tier 2

Blank Rome LLP acts for a variety of clients in the defense and aerospace, healthcare, maritime, technology, and professional services sectors, some of whom have found the firm's expertise in government contracting matters to be 'unmatched' in the market. The practice group is jointly chaired by Justin Chiarodo who has expertise in cost-accounting and audits, and senior counsel and practice David Nadler, who has over three decades of government contracting experience and is recommended for internal investigations work. Names to note for high-stakes bid protest litigation include Luke Meier and Dominique Casimir, who recently joined the firm from Arnold & Porter. The team also handles False Claims Act matters and suspension and debarment proceedings. Also recommended are Scott Arnold and Richard Conway, who focuses on qui tam litigation.

Practice head(s):

Justin Chiarodo; David Nadler


‘The knowledge base both Luke Meier and Justin Chiarodo brought with them was world-class. The thing that I think really set them apart aside for their depth of commitment to us was the ability to build the conversation through patience and persistence. Luke was on point for these conversations and his style was a perfect match. That led to trust and respect for him on the past of government counsel and ultimately allowed us to break through a significant impasse and resolve the situation in a mutually beneficial way. They were also extremely responsive to me and terrific and creative thought partners.’

‘Richard Conway has been a trusted advisor for more than a decade. He understands our business and how to optimize all issues to guide them to good outcomes.’

Unmatched expertise in Government Contracting.

‘These guys really felt like an integral part of our team and I could tell they deeply cared about helping us succeed and poured heart, soul, weekend and vacation time into making that happen. I could not be more grateful.’

Key clients

Accenture Federal Services

Baxalta Healthcare Corporation

Cardinal Health



Intel Security

Oshkosh Defense

Quest Diagnostics

The Louis Berger Group

Global Linguist Solutions

ICU Medical

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

Blank Rome LLP's core corporate groups are based in New York and Philadelphia, though the team also has strong on-the-ground presence in Pittsburgh, Washington DC and Los Angeles. True to the wider-firm's sector strengths, the corporate group is especially active in the areas of insurance, government contracting, professional service and maritime and transportation. It is also recognized for its ability to advise on IP-heavy transactions in the areas of fashion and brand management. A key figure in the team is New York-based Peter Schnur, who has extensive experience advising on domestic and cross-border corporate and private equity transactions, as well as on related regulatory issues such as antitrust and securities compliance. Schnur jointly heads the national corporate, M&A, and securities practice alongside Louis Rappaport in Philadelphia, who focuses on M&A for emerging companies and middle-market businesses. Jeffrey Cohen joined the team in New York from Baker McKenzie LLP.

Practice head(s):

Peter Schnur

Other key lawyers:

Louis Rappaport; Jeffrey Cohen; Steven Dubow; Kathleen Cunningham; Linsey Bozzelli; Robert Mittman; Gary Goldenberg


‘This firm is loyal, dedicated, cost effective, efficient, business orientated, creative, and for us always understands and advises on structure and all issues’.

‘They have a strong bench, are collegial and cooperative and extremely responsive’.

Key clients


Arizona Coyotes

Flutter (Paddy Power Betfair)

General Cable


J.F. Lehman & Company

Korn Ferry

Mazars USA


Xcel Brands

Industry focus > Energy regulation: oil and gas

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

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
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
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Scott Arnold  photo Mr Scott Arnold
Mr Kyle P Brinkman  photo Mr Kyle P Brinkman
Ms Dominique L Casimir  photo Ms Dominique L Casimir
Mr Justin Chiarodo  photo Mr Justin Chiarodo
Mr Richard Conway  photo Mr Richard Conway
Mr Jason Eig  photo Mr Jason Eig
Mr Brett M Esber  photo Mr Brett M Esber
Mr Emanuel Faust Jr  photo Mr Emanuel Faust Jr
Mr John Gibbons  photo Mr John Gibbons
Ms Jeanne Grasso  photo Ms Jeanne Grasso
Mr John Heintz  photo Mr John Heintz
Mr Justin Lavella  photo Mr Justin Lavella
Mr Kenneth Morrow  photo Mr Kenneth Morrow
Mr James Murray  photo Mr James Murray
Mr David Nadler  photo Mr David Nadler
Mr Omid Safa  photo Mr Omid Safa
Mr R Anthony Salgado  photo Mr R Anthony Salgado
Mr Jonathan K Waldron  photo Mr Jonathan K Waldron
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