Effective January 1, 2023, Blank Rome announced the elevation of Dana S. Merkel to of counsel in our Maritime and International Trade practice group.
December 5, 2022
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce the elevation of twelve exceptional new partners and four incredible new counsel, effective January 1, 2023.
“We are thrilled to announce our firm’s 2023 elevated class,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “This group’s demonstrated talent, stellar client service, diverse backgrounds, and collaborative leadership and teamwork in their respective practice areas reflects Blank Rome’s commitment to recruiting, supporting, and advancing talented attorneys who will not only help our firm continue to grow and succeed, but also elevate the next successful generation of legal industry professionals.
“We are confident that all 16 members of our 2023 elevated class will continue to demonstrate their exceptional dedication and commitment to serving our clients and communities, and we look forward to celebrating their ongoing contributions and successes.”
ASSOCIATES ELECTED PARTNER
Harrison Brown — Corporate Litigation • Los Angeles
Harrison’s practice encompasses a wide range of complex litigation and class action defense, with an emphasis on fraud, consumer protection, and privacy disputes. His strong business acumen, courtroom skills, and appellate experience make Harrison a trusted advocate for his clients. Harrison is a problem solver who leads clients through legal challenges and tough decisions within the company and in the courtroom.
Shawna J. Henry — Corporate Litigation • Pittsburgh
Shawna represents clients in all aspects of corporate litigation, including those involving business and contract disputes, restrictive covenants, consumer protection statutes, employment matters, and class actions. Shawna’s well-rounded practice spans across the manufacturing, energy, and financial services industries. She has experience handling a wide range of complex disputes in federal and state courts as well as in arbitration. Shawna also maintains a strong pro bono practice, with a focus on civil rights litigation.
Melissa Fundora Murphy — Commercial Litigation • Philadelphia
Melissa counsels and defends clients in high-stakes commercial litigation, mass tort, and product liability cases, with an emphasis on multidistrict litigation and class actions. Melissa focuses her practice on cross-border litigation involving the anti-terrorism act, torture victim protection act, and alien tort statute, as well as consumer fraud class actions and pharmaceutical products liability litigation. Her clients span a broad range of industry sectors, including consumer retail, agriculture, pharmaceutical and life sciences, and telecommunications.
Rachel A. Packer — Corporate, M&A, and Securities • Philadelphia
Rachel is a business attorney concentrating her practice on corporate law matters, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; strategic investments; private capital raises; business formation; corporate governance; and commercial agreements. She represents private equity sponsors and portfolio companies, strategic buyers and investors, businesses, executives, and entrepreneurs in major growth and business lifecycle transactions, as well as day-to-day legal matters. Rachel has deep experience across diverse industries, including food and beverage, manufacturing, consulting services, and software.
Caitlin I. Sanders — Labor & Employment • Los Angeles
Caitlin concentrates her practice on all aspects of employment law, compliance, and litigation, with an emphasis on wage and hour compliance and litigation. She represents public and private employers in state and federal court litigation, in arbitration, and before administrative agencies, and provides strategic advice and defense counsel to human resources professionals and other stakeholders on employee-related issues. Caitlin also provides clients with transactional support and advice on stock and asset purchase agreements.
Peter I. Tsoflias — Corporate, M&A, and Securities • Philadelphia • Washington, D.C.
Pete represents clients in connection with corporate and commercial affairs; major transactions (M&A, divestitures, joint venture formations, and project financings); and the licensing of pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, and medical device products. His clients include healthcare and life science companies, professional athletes, small startups, and larger private equity and venture capital funds. He also advises on state and federal regulatory compliance issues, real estate ventures, and creditor’s rights concerns, as well as Delaware business entity law issues.
Megan R. Wood — Intellectual Property Litigation • Washington, D.C.
Megan is an intellectual property litigator who is dedicated to protecting clients’ novel ideas and innovation. She has successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in federal court and before the USPTO from a case’s inception through jury trial, and on appeal. Her practice focuses on a wide range of technologies, including oil and gas, electronic devices, mechanical products, and chemicals. She also advises clients on IP due diligence in support of corporate mergers and acquisitions.
Huaou Yan — Commercial Litigation • Philadelphia
Huaou is a dedicated litigator with a wide range of experience in high-stakes, complex commercial cases, and white collar criminal defense and investigations. He has notably litigated federal and state elections law cases; shareholder derivative actions; civil and criminal fraud; misappropriation of trade secrets cases; bankruptcy matters; Lanham Act actions; Computer Fraud & Abuse Act cases; constitutional, statutory, and regulatory issues; and various other types of corporate and commercial disputes.
OF COUNSEL ELECTED PARTNER
Samir Ahuja — Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy • New York
Samir concentrates his practice on finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. He represents investment banks, financial institutions, and borrowers in connection with acquisition and general financing transactions, including asset-based lending and secured transactions, syndicated and leveraged finance transactions, FAL facilities, fund financing transactions, debt restructurings, and cross-border transactions.
Ross E. Coe — Real Estate • Washington, D.C.
Ross has extensive experience helping REITs, developers, investors, and business owners maximize their value and mitigate risk in real estate purchase, sale, and leasing transactions involving retail, industrial, office, and multi-family assets. He has counseled clients in various industries, including the representation of retail and healthcare tenants as well as hospitality and franchise owners in their regional and national expansions.
Eugene J. Gibilaro — Tax, Benefits, and Private Client • Tampa
Eugene focuses his practice on multistate tax controversy and transactions, primarily in the areas of state and local income and franchise tax, sales and use tax, and unclaimed property. He defends audits and litigates U.S. state and local tax matters before judicial courts and administrative tribunals around the country.
Lewis W. Schlossberg — Energy, Environment, and Mass Torts • Philadelphia
Lew concentrates his practice in the areas of complex commercial and tort litigation. He represents public and private entities in all phases of civil litigation, from the initial pleadings stage through motions practice, discovery, mediation, trial, and the appellate process. Lew has handled trials involving numerous contract and tort claims, as well as claims for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, abuse of process, wrongful use of civil proceedings, and violations of the U.S. and state constitutions.
ASSOCIATES ELEVATED TO OF COUNSEL
David A. Gilbert — Tax, Benefits, and Private Client • New York • Ft. Lauderdale
David represents domestic and international clients in federal, state, and local tax matters. He also advises clients on limited liability company operating agreements, equity incentive agreements, and similar equity-related documents. His clients include public and private corporations, partnerships, funds, tax-exempt organizations, and individuals. David also has experience advising institutional investors on joint ventures and other investments as well as private equity, hedge fund, and other sponsors on the tax aspects of fund formation.
Dana S. Merkel — Maritime and International Trade • Washington, D.C.
Dana focuses her practice on domestic and international marine transportation and environmental issues for clients worldwide, which include ship owners, operators, and managers; offshore construction companies; shippers and charterers; and terminals. She conducts customized training sessions for clients and assists in creating and implementing effective compliance programs. Dana is also engaged in numerous pro bono initiatives.
James S. Ross — Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy • Philadelphia
James concentrates his practice on commercial finance, focusing on representation of lenders in connection with secured financing transactions. He advises clients through the full lifecycle of transactions, from inception and structuring through business reorganization and financial restructuring. James has broad experience with a range of commercial finance products and represents major commercial banks, commercial finance companies, and other lending entities. He also represents private equity and other private borrowers in a range of financing transactions.
Erica A. Swensson — Matrimonial & Family Law • Los Angeles
Erica has focused her career on helping individuals face their matrimonial matters with dignity. She concentrates her practice on complex matrimonial issues, including pre- and post-nuptial agreements, inter-state jurisdictional disputes, move-away cases, division of intricate financial estates, privacy and protective orders, contentious custody cases, spousal support, and attorneys’ fees. Erica is a sought-after speaker on matrimonial matters and has spoken in programs held by the international and matrimonial sections of the American Bar Association.