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In the past few days, Blank Rome has seen the departure of two of its public finance partners. Jeremy Spector, the former head of Blank Rome’s public finance group’s tax law and enforcement and compliance practices, has moved to Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo as a member in the firm’s New York office. After more than 20 years at Blank Rome, Jeffrey Blumenfeld left the firm on Friday to serve as chairman of Wolf Block Schorr & Solis-Cohen’s public finance practice. Blank Rome now has six attorneys in its public finance practice, including four partners, according to its Web site. Joan N. Stern is the longtime leader of the group. Carl M. Buchholz, managing partner of Blank Rome, said both Blumenfeld and Spector left the firm for their own reasons. “This area of public finance is an area Blank Rome is committed to,” Buchholz said. He said the firm has a national public finance practice that has been led by Stern for several years. When asked whether Blank Rome would attempt to fill the spots left by Spector and Blumenfeld, Buchholz said it is a practice area the firm is looking to grow in general. For Spector, the opportunity to move back to New York after 16 years at Blank Rome and help build Mintz Levin’s New York public finance practice was something he didn’t want to pass up. His goal, he said, is to help grow the enforcement aspect of the public finance group. He said Mintz Levin has been gaining market share in New York in the practice area. He will work with some of the firm’s clients and will bring some of his own from Blank Rome, Spector said. For Blumenfeld, it was the opportunity to head up a practice group that made him leave Blank Rome after 24 years. “I have an opportunity at Wolf Block which doesn’t exist at Blank Rome, which is to lead a practice group,” he said. Blumenfeld, 52, will also focus on “reinvigorating” Wolf Block’s public finance practice, he said. Blumenfeld is the second longtime partner who has left a Philadelphia firm for leadership opportunities at a rival practice recently. Last month, Suzanne S. Mayes left Saul Ewing after 16 years to co-head the public and project finance practice at Cozen O’Connor. Mayes said at the time that because the public finance group at Saul Ewing was one of the firm’s marquee practices, leadership opportunities were not going to present themselves anytime soon. Kevin B. Scott is the chairman of Fox Rothschild’s public finance group and was recently elected as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers. He said the public finance practice has become increasingly fluid, creating a larger number of lateral moves in the area. “It’s usually pretty quiet,” he said, adding later, “we’ve all found it very interesting.” Some firms are looking to get out of the practice, and others are looking to grow, and that has caused an increase in lateral movement, Scott said. The public finance practice in Philadelphia hasn’t seen any drastic changes, remaining fairly stable, he said. While Buchholz said he couldn’t speak for Blumenfeld, he said the firm views his departure as a “natural evolution of his practice.” Scott said Spector’s switch to Mintz Levin was “a pretty big move.” According to a statement from Mintz Levin, Spector has handled more than 2,500 transactions worth more than $75 billion. He currently serves as the vice-chairman of the American Bar Association’s tax exempt financing committee and recently completed a three-year term on the faculty of the National Association of Bond Lawyers Bond Attorneys’ Workshop. While at Blank Rome, Spector served in the public finance enforcement and compliance practice and represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service in enforcement actions. He counsels issuers, borrowers, bondholders, bond trustees, underwriters and bond counsel on audits involving the IRS. Although Mintz Levin is smaller than Blank Rome, with 395 attorneys compared to Blank Rome’s 480, Mintz Levin has a larger public finance group with 16 attorneys. Both Blumenfeld and Spector said it was difficult to leave Blank Rome after spending so many years at the firm. “This is in no way a poor reflection on Blank Rome,” Spector said. “They have terrific attorneys.” The departure of the two attorneys so close in time was “entirely coincidental,” Spector said.

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