Blank Rome has continued its hiring spree, adding a three-lawyer group in Washington, D.C., to its energy practice.
Mark Haskell and Brett Snyder have left Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft to join Philadelphia-based Blank Rome as partners, along with George Billinson, who is joining the firm as of counsel. All three will continue to work in Washington.
Haskell said Cadwalader has directed its focus on the financial services sector, so “we decided it would be a better fit for us to look for a firm that had a deep, substantial, long-term commitment to the energy industry.”
He and Snyder added that they were interested in Blank Rome because of its maritime practice and its litigation capabilities in Houston and Oklahoma.
Haskell and Snyder joined Cadwalader just three years ago, coming from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Their work focuses on compliance and enforcement within the energy industry; defense of clients in investigations and market manipulation claims; and regulatory, litigation and transactional advising for energy-related infrastructure projects, including liquefied natural gas exporting and oil and natural gas pipelines.
“The team’s wide experience in the energy industry—spanning regulatory compliance, transactional, litigation, and enforcement matters—provides natural synergies with our Firm’s leading litigation, corporate, environmental, and maritime practices, and presents numerous opportunities to expand our local and national offerings,” James Kelly, co-chair of Blank Rome’s Washington office, said in a statement.
Haskell and Synder said the changing role of the U.S. in the energy industry has made their practice dynamic in recent years. Kevin Bruno, co-chair of Blank Rome’s energy, environment, and mass torts group, noted the same in a statement about the hire.
“For the last several years, the United States has become a major producer and supplier of natural gas and oil, which has drastically changed the dynamics of the energy industry,” Bruno said. “Additionally, there have been various environmental, economic, and political changes that have contributed to this shift, requiring our attorneys to remain abreast of issues facing vertical markets.”
The firm now has 29 lawyers in its energy practice.
Haskell, Snyder and Billinson are the latest in a string of lateral hires Blank Rome kicked off in the new year. In Los Angeles, the 600-lawyer firm acquired a small family law practice, took a corporate partner from midsize firm Carlsmith Ball, and added a transactional partner from DLA Piper. In New York, it also added a corporate partner from Baker McKenzie and a two-partner real estate team from Thompson & Knight.
In an emailed statement, a spokesman for Cadwalader said the firm wishes Haskell, Snyder and Billinson well.