Blank Rome has picked up the former associate general counsel of chemical company LyondellBasell and created the firm’s first presence in the Lone Star State. Joseph F. Speelman, the former associate general counsel of litigation, security and compliance for Blank Rome client Lyondell, will join the firm May 1 as a partner in the products liability, mass torts and insurance group.

Though the firm isn’t officially opening up shop in Texas, it said Speelman will be based in Houston initially and “Blank Rome will continue to explore a potential presence in this market.”

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