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After the announced breakup of litigation boutique McKissock & Hoffman, some of its main partners were left weighing their options. William J. Mundy, a long-term-care litigator, has opted to join the Philadelphia office of Pittsburgh-based Burns White & Hickton effective Oct. 1. Mundy will take McKissock & Hoffman’s entire long-term-care litigation group, which consists of six attorneys other than Mundy and four support staff. Mundy and his group are keeping with the trend of their fellow partners, almost all of whom joined Philadelphia offices of Pittsburgh firms. Name shareholder Peter J. Hoffman and a substantial group of the firm will be joining Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott in Philadelphia. Shareholders John J. McGrath and Reed K. Haywood will join the Philadelphia office of Pittsburgh-based Dickie McCamey & Chilcote. Name shareholder Bruce McKissock has not yet decided where he will practice after the firm closes its doors at the end of the month. Mundy has been building up his practice in the areas of medical malpractice and nursing-home defense over the past 12 years and will bring an additional litigation component to the 20-year-old corporate firm of Burns White. “The strong presence of this new practice group in our Philadelphia office complements the corporate work we already do in the health care area and will allow us to expand services to our clients,” Plymouth Meeting partner Jeffrey Adler said in a statement. Burns White founding member David B. White said in a statement that long-term-care litigation has been on the rise. He said the addition of Mundy not only enhances the firm’s litigation focus but also adds to its experience in long-term-care mergers and acquisitions and regulatory matters. When it was first reported in The Legal that McKissock & Hoffman was breaking up, Mundy said he received numerous calls, one of which was from Burns White. Prior to the announcement, Mundy had four pending offers that he was weighing, but when Burns White contacted him, it was the best fit, Mundy said. Because of his entrepreneurial nature, Mundy said it was important for him to build upon a firm’s practice and not be subsumed by a larger firm. Burns White handles long-term-care litigation and also works in the mergers and acquisitions side, which offers Mundy an opportunity to offer his clients additional services, he said. Burns White’s focus is mainly in the central and western part of the state, while Mundy’s group focuses on the central and eastern part of the state as well as Delaware and New Jersey. The coverage areas give the two groups an opportunity for expansion as the Burns White firm will now have ties in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia in terms of the long-term-care litigation group. When Mundy began practicing nursing home litigation, he was one of the only ones in the area to focus on the practice, he said. It has since proliferated across much of the country, starting in Florida. A law passed in the Sunshine State nearly 20 years ago made it easier for plaintiffs to recover attorney fees and compensatory damages, he said. There was little in the way of boardable damages, however, because the patient was usually much older, Mundy said. Plaintiffs attorneys got creative, he said, and began advancing theories of corporate greed and abuse that increased the verdict pool. Frank D’Amore of Attorney Career Catalysts said Mundy is a “prolific business-getter” who has developed a niche practice with the long-term-care litigation. Mundy handles a lot of work directly for companies, before cases make it to the insurance carrier level, D’Amore said. That has enabled Mundy to build a significant practice outside of the insurance defense realm, which tends to be somewhat more profitable, he said. Mundy and his group have handled over 600 nursing home and assisted living cases since the time he started focusing on the practice in 1995. D’Amore said the practice area is bound to grow as the baby boomer generation ages. Mundy joined McKissock & Hoffman as an associate in 1989 and became a shareholder in 1996. With his group’s addition, Burns White will now have 81 attorneys in offices in Pittsburgh, Plymouth Meeting and Philadelphia, Pa.; Wheeling, W.Va.; and Princeton, N.J. Mundy will be an equity partner at Burns White, and Maria Granaudo Gesty, Lawrence E. Hambrecht, Kathryn C. Mason, David M. McGeady, John M. Skrocki and Rebecca Walker will join him at the firm. The group will continue to work in offices formerly occupied by McKissock & Hoffman at 1818 Market Street at least through the end of October. Burns said the lease on the firm’s Plymouth Meeting office is set to expire, and the two offices will combine at the end of that lease.

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