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National labor and employment firm Jackson Lewis has opened an office in Philadelphia with attorneys from Saul Ewing and White & Williams. Rick Grimaldi, formerly counsel with White & Williams, will head up the new office as a partner. He will be joined by former White & Williams colleague and counsel Robert Seiger and Saul Ewing partner Maria Petrillo, who will both join as partners. The new office will represent management in several aspects of workplace law, including litigation, labor relations and preventative practices, immigration, restrictive covenants and wage/hours issues. The office officially opened Wednesday. Grimaldi said Jackson Lewis recognized the value of having a Philadelphia office, and he was put in touch with the firm through a recruiter. Although he wasn’t looking to leave White & Williams, where he had been for three-and-a-half years, the ability to manage the office was a “huge selling point,” he said. “It was such an amazing opportunity to plant the flag for a national firm,” he said. Grimaldi’s practice focuses on labor and employment law, and over the past few years he had been working closely with Seiger, who focuses on immigration work. “Rob and I found there was a great synergy in labor and immigration,” Grimaldi said. After hearing about Jackson Lewis’ immigration practice, Grimaldi said he mentioned that Seiger might be a good fit as well. Petrillo, who joined Jackson Lewis independent of Grimaldi’s negotiations, focuses her practice on labor-relations issues, union-organizing campaigns and collective bargaining. Patrick L. Vaccaro, managing partner of Jackson Lewis, said the firm had been looking to enter the Philadelphia market for some time but never found the right fit. Two different recruiters brought the attorneys from White & Williams and Saul Ewing, Vaccaro said and the firm put them together. Jackson Lewis has always had a “robust” client base in the Philadelphia region, representing clients in the health care and nursing home industries, as well as the retail, food, distribution and trucking industries, he said. Firm Marketing Partner Michael J. Lotito said laterals often come to the firm to expand opportunities with existing clients which they may not have been able to do at a regional or general services firm. “We have never failed to increase significantly the book of business that laterals bring to us,” Vaccaro said. Grimaldi said that while growth of the new office will be dependent on need and revenue, he plans to move quickly in adding attorneys. “I plan to grow this office as rapidly as we possibly can,” he said. “There’s a tremendous need.” Seiger was the head of the immigration group at White & Williams. Firm Chairman George J. Hartnett said the firm wouldn’t immediately name a new chairperson of the group and would look to see if it needed to bring on a new immigration attorney. Hartnett said there are a few other attorneys in the firm who handle some immigration work. Grimaldi said his split from White & Williams couldn’t have been more amicable. He said Hartnett and commercial litigation department leader Guy Cellucci were “extremely gracious.” Hartnett said Grimaldi is a good lawyer and friend who found a good opportunity. This is the seventh new office for Jackson Lewis in the past 12 months. The firm now has 30 offices across the country. Philadelphia has been the landing ground for several large, national boutiques in the past year or so. Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, which has nearly 350 attorneys, opened Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices in January. Atlanta-based labor and employment firm Fisher & Phillips opened a Philadelphia office in March with six attorneys from Saul Ewing. Jackson Lewis was ranked 131st on the AmLaw 200 rankings for 2006 with gross revenue of $178.5 million. While the firm had 367 attorneys, according to the AmLaw 200 list, Jackson Lewis said it now has 418 attorneys nationwide. The firm’s revenue per lawyer in 2006 was $485,000 and its profits per equity partner was $510,000. Prior to joining White & Williams in early 2004, Grimaldi was the senior counsel and director of North American employee/labor relations at Unisys Corp. He also served as chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Seiger had joined White & Williams in October 2005 to start an official immigration practice at the firm. He moved over from Pepper Hamilton.

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