Blank Rome to Combine with Abrams Scott & Bickley, L.L.P., Strengthening its Houston Presence

June 8, 2011

Press Release

Blank Rome LLP and Abrams Scott & Bickley, L.L.P. today announced the firms will combine in a transaction that will further enhance Blank Rome’s Houston presence and greatly expand the depth and scope of services that Abrams Scott & Bickley currently provides to its clients.

The combined firm will add five partners to Blank Rome’s more than 500 attorneys: Barry Abrams, Robert Scott, Susan L. Bickley, Sue D. Rosenthal and Jack W. Higdon. The firm will also benefit from additional professionals with significant litigation experience, particularly in the areas of products liability, commercial, employment, public entity and appellate litigation. The transaction is expected to close on June 30, 2011.

“Establishing a solid presence in the Houston market has been a priority of Blank Rome for some time,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Co-Chairman and Managing Partner, Blank Rome LLP. “Abrams Scott & Bickley reflects many of the core values upon which Blank Rome was founded, including the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to diversity and community and exemplary services to clients. We are thrilled to welcome this respected group of talented lawyers to the Blank Rome team.”

Abrams Scott & Bickley has a significant and established client base of high-profile businesses and individuals, particularly in the energy and public entity fields. Blank Rome’s Chemical and Energy industry teams are well positioned to complement the services offered to existing Abrams Scott & Bickley clients. The addition of a strong Houston presence will also afford Blank Rome additional opportunities to expand the services it provides to its existing clients.

“We are excited to join Blank Rome at a time when the firm is continuing to strategically expand and grow, nationally and internationally,” said Barry Abrams. “Abrams Scott & Bickley has built a client-oriented firm that takes pride in providing its clients with superior personal service, in a diverse, collegial atmosphere. Blank Rome’s geographic reach and the breadth of its practice areas will enable us to better serve our clients by offering a wider scope of services and additional depth, while allowing us to maintain our commitment to community service through pro bono, non-profit and charitable activities.” 

Blank Rome Houston-based Partner Joseph F. Speelman added, “I have worked extensively with the team at Abrams Scott & Bickley during my tenure as Associate General Counsel and Chief of Litigation for LyondellBasell and have experienced their commitment to client service first-hand. Having joined Blank Rome in Houston more than a year ago, I look forward to working with my new colleagues to expand and enhance the services we offer to clients.”

Partner Bios

Barry Abrams has more than 30 years of varied civil trial and appellate experience, with an emphasis on complex investment and business disputes, and civil rights litigation on behalf of local governments and public officials. Mr. Abrams is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates and is the past-Chair of the Liability of Individual Government Officials Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Government Operations & Liability Committee, among others. He also is active in various professional and community organizations, including the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations, in which he is a Sustaining Life Fellow.

Robert Scott has more than 30 years of experience practicing in the area of civil litigation, with an emphasis on toxic tort defense and commercial litigation. He is a Sustaining Life Fellow of both the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists and Defense Research Institute, having chaired the Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee. Mr. Scott is also a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Susan L. Bickley has nearly 30 years of experience practicing in the area of civil litigation, with particular emphasis on complex commercial litigation, employment litigation, professional malpractice defense, and the defense of local governments and public officials. Ms. Bickley is a Sustaining Life Fellow of both the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations, and is an active member of the Texas and Houston Bar Associations, having chaired and/or served on various committees.  Currently, she is a member of the State Bar of Texas Standing Committee on Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, the immediate past-Chair of the Houston Bar Association Communities in Schools Committee, and a member of the Houston Bar Association Gender Fairness Committee, the Defense Research Institute, Blakely Advocacy Institute, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association. 

Sue D. Rosenthal practices in the areas of product liability and toxic tort defense litigation with an emphasis on medical causation issues. Her clients include industry leaders in the chemical manufacturing and distribution business. She is also experienced in handling a variety of commercial litigation matters. Ms. Rosenthal is a member of the American and Houston Bar Associations, the College of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations, the American Inns of Court, the Defense Research Institute and is a former member of the State Bar of Texas Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Jack W. Higdon practices primarily in the area of civil trial and appellate work, with particular emphasis on investment, insurance coverage and business disputes. Mr. Higdon has significant experience with the application of leading-edge technologies in litigation. He also represents local governments and public officials in various litigation matters. He is a member of the American and Houston Bar Associations, the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Young Lawyers Association and the American Inns of Court.

About Abrams Scott & Bickley, L.L.P.
Abrams Scott & Bickley, L.L.P. is a Houston-based law firm well-known in the areas of commercial and securities litigation and arbitration, toxic tort and product liability litigation, employment litigation, government entity and public official litigation, and appellate litigation. The team of experienced trial and appellate lawyers represents clients in a broad range of industries, including energy, chemical, financial services, real estate, construction and manufacturing, among others. The firm also represents various government entities, public officials, law firms, lawyers, and public and private employers in litigation matters. Abrams Scott & Bickley and its lawyers have received recognition for their commitment to diversity and community service through pro bono, non-profit and charitable activities. 

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