Honors and Awards

Blank Rome’s Shawn Wright and Kate Belmont Named "2015 Trailblazers" by The National Law Journal

Blank Rome LLP Partner Shawn Wright, who serves as vice-chair of the Firm’s white collar defense and investigations group, and Associate Kate Belmont were named “2015 Trailblazers” by The National Law Journal in the categories of “White Collar Crime” and “Cybersecurity & Data Privacy,” respectively.

Each industry category is comprised of the top 50 legal professionals who have made significant strides and achieved success in their fields. To read the full listings of The National Law Journal’s 2015 Trailblazers, please click here.

From The National Law Journal:

Shawn M. Wright, White Collar Crime Trailblazer

PIONEER SPIRIT: Early in her career, Shawn M. Wright was fortunate to work alongside leading White Collar Defense lawyers who focused their practices on White Collar defense work, specifically, FCPA and accounting and corporate fraud. She was quickly drawn to these areas of concentration and continues to love her practice, as it provides her with the opportunity to apply her problem solving abilities to the benefits of her clients. Ms. Wright is viewed as a trusted legal advisor to corporations, boards of directors, and corporate executives. She helps clients defend and manage risk across several regulatory and legal areas, such as white collar criminal matters and litigation; international anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), International Traffic In Arms (ITAR) and the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets and Control (OFAC); and defending high profile clients against charges involving violations of corporate and accounting fraud, securities, healthcare and procurement fraud, public corruption, and other matters involving criminal exposure.

TRAILS BLAZED: While Ms. Wright has experienced many accomplishments throughout her career, she attributes her success to her ability to successfully walk her clients through the investigation process and position them to minimize risks and prevent detrimental impact.

FUTURE EXPLORATIONS: Ms. Wright sees the nature of her practice expanding in the future, as corporations and individuals recognize the need to be more proactive in designing and implementing effective compliance programs, and conducting thorough risk assessments to prevent investigations and potential prosecutions.

Kate B. Belmont, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer

PIONEER SPIRIT: Kate Belmont focuses on maritime litigation and cybersecurity issues. “It is a new and developing area on the cutting edge.”

TRAILS BLAZED: The maritime industry straddles the globe and touches many areas.  “What’s special about the maritime industry is what they are responsible for protecting. In addition to data privacy and personally identifiable information, they protect cargo, the environment, human life and national security.” Cyberattacks and data breaches can affect oil rigs, e-navigation on vessels and port operations. “The industry absolutely must focus on cybersecurity.” Since the maritime industry has trailed many other industries on cyber issues, Belmont spends a great deal of time advising and educating clients on cybersecurity issues and best practices. “Over the past two years, I’ve been advising clients on the threats of cyberattacks in the maritime industry and how best to protect their systems, as well as how to respond if they have been breached.” The maritime industry also does not have cybersecurity regulations. “This time last year, cybersecurity issues in the maritime industry were not widely discussed. But that has changed. There has been tremendous movement in the past year.” In fact, the first-ever congressional hearing to examine cybersecurity at our nation’s ports took place in October.

FUTURE EXPLORATIONS: The maritime industry is responding to concerns about cybersecurity, as are governments and international bodies. The Coast Guard has launched a cybersecurity initiative and the International Maritime Organization will likely develop cybersecurity guidelines as well. “The maritime industry is responding, but it is only a matter of time until there is a front-page breach.”