Partners Jeffrey Robbins and Joseph Lipchitz are bringing their First Amendment and media practice to the Philadelphia-based Am Law 200 firm, as well as clients in health care and higher education. They join from Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, an Am Law 100 firm founded in Boston, where both of them had spent their entire private practice careers.
“We already have some of those capabilities, but these two gentlemen will allow us to build out a fully formed practice in that space,” managing partner Barry Levin said, in reference to the new partners’ media industry focus. “What we try to do in terms of our focus is focus on specific industries … and learn our clients’ businesses based on that foundation.”
Robbins said their media clients include the Boston Herald. Other clients, he said, include a major health care institution, public figures and lawyers. He and Lipchitz said they plan to bring all of their clients with them.
Both are former prosecutors: Robbins was an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and Lipchitz worked as a military prosecutor in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Robbins has also been appointed to deputy chief counsel and chief counsel roles for two congressional investigations.
And Robbins was closely familiar with Saul Ewing—his wife, Joanne Robbins, has been a partner there since 2011, in the real estate practice. He said there was no specific event that motivated his move at this time, but he was intrigued by the “spirit” of the firm, particularly after its merger with Arnstein & Lehr last year.
He also noted that at Saul Ewing, his and Lipchitz’s clients will enjoy rates that are $150 to $200 lower than their former firm.
“In an environment in which legal fees are out of control, you have a firm that is functioning at the highest level of sophistication all over the country, and doing so with a sensitivity to the clients,” Robbins said. “It’s a great opportunity for clients who are concerned about the legal fees arms race, so to speak.”
Levin said the Boston office, which was founded in 2011 when Saul Ewing acquired local boutique Dionne & Gass, is now 16 lawyers. And the firm is working toward making it into a full-service office, he said. That location also brought on an international tax and corporate partner, Steven Eichel, in June.
Also this week, Saul Ewing hired higher education counsel Amy Elizabeth McCall in its Pittsburgh office. McCall was most recently the interim Title IX coordinator at Robert Morris University, and was previously the general counsel for Point Park University. Levin said Saul Ewing got to know McCall when she was associate general counsel at Penn State University. Robbins and Lipchitz have similar experience, he noted.
“Based on the background both Jeff and Joe have in internal investigations and higher ed, it’s a natural fit for us to continue to grow that practice in New England,” Levin said. “We really do have one of the premier higher ed practices in the country.”
In a statement Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Mintz Levin said, “Jeff, during his 36 years at the firm, and Joe, during his 18 years, made significant contributions, for which we are grateful, and we wish them both much success in their new endeavor.”