Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith has recruited a litigator from a local midsize firm to bulk up its presence in Philadelphia.
Lee Janiczek became the 13th attorney in Lewis Brisbois’ Philadelphia office, joining as a partner in late February, according to the firm’s website. The firm announced his hire Monday.
Janiczek was a name partner at Reilly, Janiczek, McDevitt, Henrich & Cholden, which has since been rechristened Reilly, McDevitt & Henrich.
Janiczek said that after 18 years at his former firm he was seeking “a different kind of platform,” with a broader client base and “a larger national scale.” He said Lewis Brisbois’ Philadelphia office managing partner, John Salvucci, is a longtime friend.
Reilly McDevitt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Janiczek has historically done a lot of asbestos and mass torts work, he said, as well as handling general liability matters. He said many of his clients will be joining him at Lewis Brisbois. Though one major client, he noted, part of his asbestos practice, is not making the transition.
Several other out-of-state firms have been adding to their Philadelphia litigation practices of late.
Late last month, Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney brought on Michael Pullano, who had been a partner at Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, to expand his products liability practice nationally. And Kansas City, Missouri-based Shook, Hardy & Bacon hired complex litigator Tom Sullivan, who handles class actions and mass torts, from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Virtual law firm FisherBroyles also recently added to its Philadelphia presence, hiring employment partner Eric Meyer from Dilworth Paxson.
Janiczek said small and midsize litigation firms will continue to benefit from strong client relationships, but national shops are seeing more opportunity to market their greater geographic reach and ability to represent a client in multiple jurisdictions.
“A lot of bigger firms that historically did not have a presence in Philadelphia have been opening offices here,” he said. Regarding his own firm, he said, “the opportunities, the breadth of the practice nationally and the different client relationships that the firm has nationally, they have a need to have representation here.”
Lewis Brisbois has over 1,200 lawyers in 42 cities, according to the firm. It entered Pennsylvania in 2014.
In a statement, Salvucci said Janiczek’s “experience and reputation will contribute significantly to our current expansion efforts in Philadelphia.”