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

Blank Rome LLP
United States

Insurance: advice to policyholders Tier 1

The 'exceptionally thorough' and 'well-functioning team' at Blank Rome LLP 'not only has a clear understanding of the law, but a strategic mindset to navigate complex situations'. The 25-lawyer practice covers sexual abuse liability, representations and warranties insurance, criminal, product contamination, bankruptcy, commercial liability, cybersecurity and political risk claims across Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles and Houston. 'Top-notch' attorneys James MurrayJared Zola and Kyle Brinkman have been advising real estate investment trust Simon Property Group on a $200m claim for damages from Aon over damage caused by the 2010 flooding of the Cumberland River. In Los Angeles, the 'exceptionally talented insurance litigation expertLinda Kornfeld and 'thoughtful' David A. Thomas act for Pennsylvania State University in its insurance recovery motion and bad faith claims in connection with sexual abuse claims against former football coach Jerry Sandusky. Senior dispute resolution partner John Heintz and corporate policyholder specialist Omid Safa are other names to note in Washington DC. Also of note, in 2019 seasoned litigator Natasha Romagnoli joined the firm from McKool Smith.

Transport: shipping - finance Tier 1

Blank Rome LLP acts for lender and borrower clients on a range of ship finance instructions, including secured ship financing transactions, vessel leasing transactions, ship sale and purchase, and maritime restructuring and bankruptcy matters. Brett Esber advised Quark Expeditions on a cross-border project involving the construction and financing of an ice-class polar expedition cruise ship; he also advised American Shipping Company on the construction and financing of two new Jones Act product tankers, which will be chartered to a high-profile vessel operator. Anthony Salgado advised private equity firm JF Lehman & Company on ship loan and Jones Act issues relating to its sale of NRC Group to Hennessy Capital Acquisition. Additionally, Salgado advised Harvey Gulf International Marine on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and related restructuring. Esber and Salgado are based in Washington DC.

Transport: shipping - litigation Tier 1

Blank Rome LLP represents owners, operators, shipyards, charterers, cargo interests, P&I clubs, banks, and funds on a range of complex litigation and maritime arbitration cases; the team regularly handles bankruptcy cases, maritime casualties, collisions, coverage disputes, and criminal cases in the shipping industry. In the Houston office, Michael Bell and Douglas Shoemaker represented OSG Lightering in a contractual-indemnity dispute that emerged after an 80-ton crane toppled at a T&T Marine offshore dock on Pelican Island in Galveston, Texas, killing two. Additionally, Shoemaker, Keith Letourneau and Jeremy Herschaft represented Valero in a claim involving damage caused by a collision with a dock and mooring system on the Mississippi River. In New York, department head John Kimball is representing Odyssey Marine in a dispute with the UK government, through the Department for Transport, in connection with a cargo of silver discovered onboard the SS Mantola, a British ship that sank during World War I. Further, William Bennett and of counsel Lauren Wilgus represented Zodiac Maritime in a cargo loss case. Associate Jay Huffman, Thomas Belknap and Richard Singleton, who represented Monjasa on a marine fuel contamination issues, are also key contacts in New York. Philadelphia-based Jeffrey Moller is also recommended.

Transport: shipping - regulation Tier 1

Blank Rome LLP’s ‘extremely knowledgeable’ team is active across a range of regulatory mandates, with expertise across maritime investigations, ballast water compliance, Jones Act compliance and enforcement, offshore regulatory compliance, trade sanctions and shipping technology. Jeanne Grasso (‘a reservoir of experience and knowledge’) is regularly instructed in ballast water management and compliance matters. Grasso and Jonathan Waldron, who jointly lead the department, successfully represented Chevron and the International Marine Contractors Association in overturning a government proposal that sought to increase the use of Jones Act offshore services vessels to the exclusion of foreign-flagged vessels. Matthew Thomas, who is experienced in trade sanctions matters, advised three leading Japanese shipping lines on key issues relating to the integration of its US shipping assets in a joint venture, Ocean Network Express (ONE). The team also advises a number of P&I clubs on regulatory matters. Other names to note include Gregory Linsin, who is active in environmental criminal litigation involving maritime clients and internal corporate compliance investigations, and associate Kate Belmont, who is based in New York and handles cybersecurity matters. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless indicated otherwise. Sean Pribyl joined Gard AS in 2018.

Government contracts Tier 2

Handling dispute resolution, compliance, enforcement, False Claims Act cases and bid protests, Blank Rome LLP utilizes its ‘deep knowledge and expertise’ when advising clients in the defense, aerospace, healthcare, maritime, technology, and professional services sectors. Scott Arnold represented 360 ITIS in a bid protest before the Government Accountability Office pertaining to a $192m task order by the Department of Homeland Security for the provision of a service desk, IT field operations, cabling, videoconferencing, hardware maintenance, deployment and financial system support services. David Nadler co-chairs the practice with Justin Chiarodo. Richard Conway ‘is tremendous’. Luke Meier joined the DC office in August 2018 from Covington & Burling LLP. Meier assists clients in navigating regulations that apply when doing business with federal government, including investigating and defending allegations of fraud. In July 2019 the team also brought on next generation partner Dominique Casimir, who joined from Arnold & Porter and focuses on government contracts litigation and counseling.

M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 3

Blank Rome LLP 'has depth at partner level and below to cover all specialty legal areas'. The firm's 70-lawyer national M&A team has its core groups in New York and Philadelphia, with additional centers of corporate activity in Pittsburgh, Washington DC and Los Angeles. The practice has particular strengths in the shipping, transportation, logistics and insurance sectors; it also has significant experience in the TMT industry, regularly advises fashion and brand management clients, and has a niche practice advising professional firms on their M&A work. Regular clients include AccuWeather, ExxonMobil, Paddy Power Betfair and Panasonic. Steven Dubow is 'a go-to deal attorney, who has broad experience and an ability to breakdown complex legal issues for non-attorney business people'; and Peter Schnur in New York advised Ryder System, which provides logistics, supply chain and transportation management solutions, on its $120m acquisition of MXD Group. Louis Rappaport chairs the firmwide corporate, M&A and securities team, while Linsey Bozzelli and Kathleen Cunningham in New York are its vice chairs, and Robert Mittman chairs the New York corporate practice. Rappaport has led on several deals for Togetherwork Holdings, which develops group management software and payments solutions, including its acquisition of Gingr, a provider of management software for dog daycare boarding and grooming businesses. Also key to the team are co-business department chair Gary GoldenbergAlan Lieblich and New York-based Brad Shiffman and Michael Mullman. The names listed are based in  Philadelphia except where otherwise stated.

Blank Rome is an Am Law 100 firm with 13 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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.


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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 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 Keith Letourneau
Matrimonial and family Brett Ward
Matrimonial and family Caroline Krauss-Browne
Private client and tax Lawrence S Chane
Private client and tax Cory G Jacobs
Real estate Pelayo Coll
Real estate Samuel M Walker
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 Evan Lechtman
Corporate litigation Anthony Mingione
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Scott Arnold  photo Mr Scott Arnold
Mr Justin Chiarodo  photo Mr Justin Chiarodo
Mr Richard Conway  photo Mr Richard Conway
Mr Jason Eig  photo Mr Jason Eig
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
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