Following an active 2011, 2012 was relatively quiet, particularly with regard to lateral movement between midsized Pennsylvania firms.
However, this past year did see several firms open new offices, many of which were outside the state.
Likewise, a number of out-of-state firms either set up shop in Pennsylvania for the first time or expanded an existing presence.
Unlike in 2011, very few new firms were formed in 2012, but there were several small mergers and acquisitions made throughout the year.
In April, James C. Haggerty, a 30-year veteran of the defense bar and arguably one of the most well-known motor vehicle insurance defense attorneys in the state, became a plaintiffs lawyer, leaving Philadelphia insurance defense firm Swartz Campbell for Philadelphia-based Haggerty Goldberg Schleifer & Kupersmith.
Bucks County solo attorney Terry Goldberg joined Haggerty Goldberg at the same time.
April also saw Robert T. Horst, a founding partner of Blue Bell, Pa.-based insurance law firm Nelson Levine de Luca & Horst, leave the firm to join Bucks County-based Curtin & Heefner. As a result, Nelson Levine changed its name to Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton.
Horst’s departure came just after Stanley Jablonowski joined Nelson Levine’s New York office in March as the firm’s first vice president of business development from Langhorne, Pa.-based insurance and financial company Selling Technologies Inc., of which he was chief executive officer.
Also in April, Thomas More Marrone, the former head of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig’s complex litigation and class action department, left to join the Philadelphia office of Pittsburgh-based Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy.
In May, Pittsburgh-based Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott announced Heidi B. Hamman Shakely as the new chair of its board of directors, replacing Stephen R. Delinsky, who stepped down after 16 years in the position. It marked the first time in Eckert Seamans’ 54-year history that a woman has led the board.
In October, after less than two years as chair of Philadelphia-based Dilworth Paxson’s health care group, partner Katherine M. Keefe left the firm to head up the new business unit of network security and privacy risk insurer Beazley, called BBR Services.
Later that month, Dilworth Paxson hired Karen L. Palestini from Saul Ewing, where she was a partner in the Princeton, N.J., office, to replace Keefe as head of its health care group.
In November, corporate attorney David P. Franklin joined Eckert Seamans as a member from Pittsburgh-based Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, where he was a partner and co-chair of the business/corporate practice.
That same month, environmental lawyer Kermit L. Rader left Lansdale, Pa.-based Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin to join Philadelphia-based Spector Gadon & Rosen as chair of its new energy and environmental practice.
New Firms, New Locations and Mergers
In January, Dinsmore & Shohl, Cincinnati’s largest law firm, opened an office in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne, Pa., with five lawyers from Pittsburgh-based Burns White’s Philadelphia-area and New Jersey offices, including a former practice group head.
Richard A. O’Halloran, a former member in Burns White’s West Conshohocken, Pa., and Princeton offices and chair of its business practices group, joined Dinsmore & Shohl as managing partner of the new office.
Burns White associates Lindsey Hoelzle, Eric Levine, Alyson Ricker and Marshall Schreibstein, all of whom were part of O’Halloran’s group, also made the move.
In April, Charleston, W.Va.-based Jackson Kelly expanded its Western Pennsylvania energy law presence with the addition of Indiana, Pa.-based oil and gas boutique Gormly Gormly & Yuhas.
Also in April, Philadelphia-based Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman brought aboard two-member construction law and litigation firm Byler & Blaker to its Philadelphia office.
In June, Pittsburgh-based Babst Calland opened an Akron, Ohio, office in the hopes of better serving its clients in a natural gas industry that is largely shifting its focus away from Northeastern Pennsylvania and toward Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
The firm moved David E. Northrop, whom it had hired as a shareholder from Columbus, Ohio-based Porter Wright in May, from its Pittsburgh office to the Akron location. It rounded out the new office with former Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs partners Clay K. Keller and Richard J. Lolli.
In July, one of Kentucky’s largest firms, Lexington-based Stoll Keenon Ogden, opened an office in Washington County, Pa., with three of its existing lawyers who focus their practices on real estate due diligence and title examinations for oil and gas — as well as coal — producers.
In August, former Nelson Levine partners William F. Stewart, Cynthia L. Bernstiel and Cathleen Kelly Rebar opened Stewart Bernstiel Rebar, with offices in Blue Bell, Princeton and New York City.
They were joined by former Nelson Levine associates Patrick Duffy and Danielle Sivert, as well as former solo attorney George McClellan, who came aboard to manage the Princeton office.
That same month saw Valley Forge, Pa.-based Chartwell Law Offices open a Fort Myers, Fla., office with the additions of James R. Myers, who had been the managing partner of Swartz Campbell’s Fort Myers office, and Jessica A. Teitelbaum, who was previously an associate in Swartz Campbell’s Fort Myers office.
Myers and Teitelbaum were the only lawyers at Swartz Campbell’s Fort Myers location and the office has since closed.
Soon after, Swartz Campbell responded with a lawsuit against Chartwell alleging the "improper interference with and destruction of" its business interests.
Also in August, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based environmental, energy and land use firm Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox opened a new office in Williamsport, Pa., with an eye toward better serving its North Central Pennsylvania client base.
Although, at least for the time being, there will be no lawyers stationed in the office on a full-time basis. Manko Gold partners Marc E. Gold, Todd D. Kantorczyk, Jonathan E. Rinde, Michael M. Meloy and Michael C. Gross will split their time between Williamsport and Bala Cynwyd.
In November, Nelson Levine opened an office in Greensboro, N.C., with the addition of David L. Brown, who joined as a partner from Greensboro firm Pinto Coates Kyre & Brown, where he had been a partner, and will head up the new office.
Brown brought with him Pinto Coates partners Martha P. Brown, John I. Malone Jr. and Brady A. Yntema, who also joined Nelson Levine as partners.