Blank Rome wasn’t built in a day
Celebrating 75 years of growth, service, and leadership
In 1946 Blank Rome was formed during a period of great change—the end of World War II and amid a time of religious discrimination. Our founders persevered and stayed focused on their vision of creating a firm where people of diverse religious and racial backgrounds could gather to practice law.
As we enter our next 75 years, we similarly find ourselves in a period of global transformation. But just like our founders, we remain committed to our clients and communities, to discovering opportunity amid change, and to making history—together.
Blank Rome was formed in 1946 by attorneys who, because of their religion, were barred from joining many established law firms. Our founders’ vision for our Firm was of a place where people of diverse backgrounds could gather to practice law.
While the Firm focused closely on corporate, labor, and real estate law, we were thinking about the "whole client." The Firm bulked up with litigators to meet the deluge of disputes related to social legislation, labor laws, banking regulations, and taxes set loose by the Great Depression and WWII.
Edwin Rome served as counsel for Aaron “Treetop” Turner, a pro bono client on Pennsylvania’s Death Row. Mr. Turner was exonerated and freed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The Firm anticipated the spike in corporate public offerings and expanded its securities practice with Daniel McCauley, a former commissioner of the SEC.
Blank, Rome, Klaus & Comisky adopted a formal management structure, appointing Edwin Rome its first Chairman and Marvin Comisky its first Managing Partner.
Blank Rome’s starting salary for attorneys was $6,500.
Hourly rates? No such thing. The Firm charged clients based on the Philadelphia Bar Association’s minimum fee schedule, which set prices for most legal tasks.
The Penn Central Railroad Trustees appointed the Firm as special counsel to its reorganization, permanently establishing the stature and reputation of Blank Rome as a significant national firm.
Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley added specialists in asbestos litigation, municipal finance, healthcare, and environmental law.
Before most “big law” firms, the Firm expanded its white collar practice and added a matrimonial practice.
Merged with Wexler Weisman Forman & Shapiro in 1984, significantly expanding the Firm’s bankruptcy practice.
David Girard-diCarlo was elected Managing Partner.
Developed capabilities to meet anticipated demand from the aviation and maritime industries and opened additional offices in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Jack Bershad was elected Chairman and Marvin Comisky became Chairman Emeritus.
Combined with Wigman, Cohen, Leitner & Myers, enhancing the Firm’s foothold in Washington, D.C.
From new offices at One Logan Square, the Firm began its strategic expansion beyond Philadelphia.
A transformative merger with Tenzer Greenblatt gave the Firm the strategic presence it needed in New York and brought in corporate, M&A, real estate, and matrimonial capabilities.
Added an office in Cincinnati, focusing on litigation, appeals, and alternative dispute resolution.
Fred Blume served as Co-Chair of the Firm from 2000 to 2002 and Managing Partner from 2003 to 2006.
Nathaniel R. Jones, former judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and former general counsel to the NAACP, joined the Firm, later becoming the first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
Enhanced the Firm’s pro bono program with the addition of Kathy Ochroch as the Firm’s first Director of Pro Bono Services and required each lawyer to devote 25 hours to pro bono service on an annual basis.
Combined with Dyer Ellis & Joseph, adding intellectual property and maritime leaders and capabilities in Washington, D.C.. Established Blank Rome Government Relations LLC in Washington, D.C
As the Firm grew, our efforts to work collaboratively and in teams to better serve our clients’ needs was formalized with the formation of a practice group structure.
After serving as special assistant to the President and executive secretary at the White House Office of Homeland Security, Carl Buchholz rejoined the Firm and was named Executive Partner. In 2006 he was named Managing Partner of the Firm, succeeding Fred Blume.
Combined with Shack Siegel Katz & Flaherty in New York.
Combined with Healy & Baillie, expanding the Firm’s international Maritime and Commercial practices.
Opened Hong Kong office in October 2006.
Alan Hoffman and T. Michael Dyer elected Co-Chairs of the Firm.
The Firm hosted its first Women’s Forum Retreat and Diversity Retreat, bringing together attorneys from across the Firm.
Responding to the needs of West Coast clients, Blank Rome opened its Los Angeles office.
In 2003 Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley LLP streamlined its name to Blank Rome LLP.
Opened Houston office and combined with Houston-based Abrams Scott & Bickley LLP.
Opened Shanghai office to address client needs with business operations around the world, particularly China-based clients with growing consumer and industrial enthusiasm for foreign products and technology.
Started Trial Academy program to provide attorneys with an opportunity to gain trial experience and develop critical trial advocacy skills through a mix of courses, on-their-feet practice, and coaching.
Alan Hoffman elected Managing Partner and Chair.
Added attorneys from Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler Law Firm in Washington, D.C.
Added the energy and maritime capabilities of Bell Ryniker & Letourneau in Houston.
Expanded Los Angeles office and opened San Francisco office with additions from Finestone & Richter and Margolis & Tisman LLP. Opened Fort Lauderdale office.
Instituted mandatory pro bono service, requiring a minimum of 25 hours a year in September 2014.
Alan Hoffman re-elected Managing Partner and Chair.
Combined with Wong, Cabello, Lutsch, Rutherford & Brucculeri in Houston, an IP boutique law firm with Fortune 100 clients. Opened Pittsburgh office with five lawyers.
Held the first annual Energy Industry Update during which counsel from the energy industry, industry experts, legislative advisers, and Blank Rome energy attorneys discussed critical issues and matters affecting the energy industry.
Welcomed more than 100 lawyers from Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, D.C., and New York, adding Government Contracts and Insurance Recovery practices and also enhancing its real estate finance, corporate, M&A, and private equity capabilities. Expanded national Matrimonial and Family Law group to Los Angeles with the addition of lawyers from Phillips Lerner.
Expanded Insurance Recovery team on the West Coast with additions from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.
Moved New York offices from The Chrysler Building to 1271 Avenue of the Americas.
Opened Chicago office.
Grant Palmer named Managing Partner & CEO, Alan Hoffman was re-elected as Chair.
Continued expansion in key markets and practices. Welcomed 14 laterals—both in person and virtually!
In response to COVID-19, the Firm assembled a cross-practice group of attorneys to support client needs.
Colleagues from all offices seamlessly move to working from home as a result of the global pandemic.
Hosted the Women’s Leadership Summit in a virtual format for the first time.
The Firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee launched “Open Conversations,” a discussion series focused on racial equality topics and issues.
Hosted the Annual Emerging Litigation and Employment Law Issues for In-House Counsel, now in its 16th year, in a virtual format with attendees from across the United States.
Joined the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance and created Pro Bono Working Groups to address the impact of racism on society.