Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Photo: Shutterstock

Two midsize Pennsylvania firms have added to their partnership ranks, bringing on lawyers fresh out of long tenures in state government to counsel clients in highly regulated industries.

Victoria Reider, who had held several roles within the Pennsylvania Department of Banking, has joined Dilworth Paxson as a partner in its Harrisburg and Philadelphia offices. She was most recently the executive deputy secretary and chief operating officer of that department, and previously served as the acting secretary of banking and chief counsel.

Tawny Mummah, Post & Schell.

In Harrisburg, Tawny Mummah has joined Post & Schell as a principal in the firm’s health care practice group, after 20 years in Pennsylvania’s Office of General Counsel. Most recently, she was chief counsel for the state’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Reider’s experience touches on multiple regulated industries. Before joining the Banking Department, she was chief counsel at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. And she once served as general counsel of PHICO Group Inc., an insurance company that is now defunct.

During her time in government, Reider worked opposite Dilworth attorneys on several cases, she said. At Dilworth, she is hoping to help build up the firm’s service offerings related to new financial technology—often referred to as fintech.

“That’s something that’s been a struggle for regulators,” Reider said. “Certainly that was an issue in Pennsylvania.”

Reider said she had considered making a move to another regulatory body in Washington, D.C., as she had contacts all over the country. But she liked the idea of remaining in Pennsylvania—she lives in Carlisle, she said—and long respected Dilworth as a firm.

“Her practice demonstrates Dilworth’s commitment to further developing its robust financial services and banking practice and to supporting new areas of growth in the fintech industry’s rapidly evolving lending, payment and service platforms and technologies,” Dilworth Paxson CEO Ajay Raju said in a statement.

In addition to her most recent role, Post & Schell’s Mummah also served as deputy general counsel from 2012 to 2014. And she was department counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance for nearly a decade, during which time she handled litigation for the state’s Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund and advised the fund regularly.

Initially she plans to handle matters for existing clients of the firm, she said. She worked with Post & Schell during her time with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, she noted.

“I have a specialized drug and alcohol knowledge that can help [health care] providers who are seeking to serve the increasing population of people struggling with drug and alcohol addition,” Mummah said.

Compliance issues are at the forefront for health care providers, she said, and lawyers can be helpful if they are involved in developing policies and procedures “from an earlier stage than investigation and trouble.” Having inside knowledge of how the state government and its regulators operate is valuable in that effort, Mummah said.

“Tawny’s significant experience and understanding of the health care industry in Pennsylvania and nationally will be invaluable to our clients and strengthens one of our core practices,” Post & Schell CEO A. James Johnston said in a statement. “Her perspective on health care facility regulation and litigation is an immediate asset to our provider clients.”

Philadelphia-area legal recruiter Frank D’Amore said law firms hiring out of government agencies are more likely to be immediately successful in their acquisitions if they bring on an experienced professionals with a known name and a strong existing network. It’s common in regulated industries and white-collar defense practices, he noted.

In terms of the government lawyers transitioning into private practice, “People have a greater chance of success if they’re going to firms that have pretty well established practices in the area they’re coming from,” D’Amore said. “If it’s a practice area where that firm has strength, it can be pretty valuable.”