Former Lyondell Associate General Counsel Joseph F. Speelman Joins Blank Rome

April 12, 2010

Press Release

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Joseph F. Speelman has joined the Firm as a partner in the products liability, mass torts, insurance group. He brings more than 35 years of litigation experience in the chemical industry, most recently from his position as Associate General Counsel for Litigation, Security and Compliance with LyondellBasell, a Blank Rome client.

“We are very pleased to welcome Joe to Blank Rome,” said Carl M. Buchholz, Managing Partner and CEO. “Joe’s complex litigation experience, global network and high-level in-house counsel perspective will be a great complement to our litigation team and a tremendous asset to Blank Rome.”

Mr. Speelman, one of the nation’s most experienced and successful legal executives, adheres to a litigation philosophy that insists that cases be resolved on the basis of principles, as opposed to economics alone. By following these principles, he has achieved remarkable results, particularly in lead and MTBE litigation. During his 17-year tenure at Lyondell, Mr. Speelman was responsible for litigation, corporate security and compliance, and successfully presided over claims involving antitrust, complex environmental issues, mass tort litigation (including lead paint, asbestos, benzene and MTBE litigation), internal corporate investigations, and complex international claims involving entities owned by foreign sovereigns.

“I've known Joe for more than a decade, and I’m thrilled that he has chosen to join Blank Rome,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Co-Chairman. “He is an internationally-recognized and respected lawyer in his field who could have gone anywhere, and he will fit right in with us. Our culture continues to help attract the highest-caliber lateral partners, and this move is further validation that our platform works and works well."

Initially, Mr. Speelman will be based in Houston, Texas and Blank Rome will continue to explore a potential presence in this market.

Mr. Speelman is a frequent speaker on, and has written numerous articles about, a variety of legal topics, including litigation management, joint defense organization and functioning, mass tort litigation, public nuisance litigation, defense of environmental criminal investigations, and the reduction of litigation costs while improving results.

Mr. Speelman earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Military Appeals, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals – 10th Circuit, the United States District Court (Kansas, Western District of Oklahoma and the Southern District of Texas), the Kansas Supreme Court and all lower courts, and the Texas Supreme court and all lower courts. He is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association, the American Corporate Counsel Association and is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC).