Blank Rome Adds Prominent Insurance Recovery Team in Washington, D.C.
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to welcome three new attorneys and a paralegal to the Firm’s Insurance Recovery group in the Washington, D.C., office: Partner Robert P. Jacobs, Of Counsel Linda A. Powell, Associate Allison Zamani (based in San Francisco), and Paralegal Lakisha Foster. The prominent team joins from Perkins Coie LLP where Rob served as firmwide chair of the Insurance Recovery practice. They add to Blank Rome’s leading national policyholder practice, which has more than doubled since Blank Rome welcomed more than 100 attorneys from Dickstein Shapiro LLP’s New York and Washington, D.C., offices in 2016.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rob, Linda, Allison, and Lakisha to our Firm,” said Grant S. Palmer, Managing Partner and CEO. “Their significant policyholder coverage capabilities and experience will strongly complement our nationally recognized Insurance Recovery group, which has enjoyed another banner year by earning numerous professional awards and providing critical thought leadership through events and speaking engagements, media commentary, and legal publications. Our clients will continue to greatly benefit from our Firm’s increased insurance recovery capabilities, notably at a time where market changes and demands during the COVID-19 pandemic require enhanced services offerings.”
“Rob, Linda, Allison, and Lakisha are a terrific addition to our growing Insurance Recovery group,” added James R. Murray, Partner and Chair of the Insurance Recovery practice group. “We have known this team through both their stellar reputation and our first-hand experience, as many of us have worked together in the past, which creates instant camaraderie that is integral to our strategic growth. We are also grateful to bring on such a highly skilled team during this critical time to help support clients who are facing momentous challenges. Our Insurance Recovery group is extremely busy with COVID-related matters, as well as traditional policyholder work in multiple areas, including the financial institutions, cyber, entertainment, corporate deal reps and warranties, natural disaster, and sex abuse areas, and our newest colleagues will help us continue to serve clients at the highest level. Rob also has deep experience handling Bermuda and London arbitrations, and will bolster our existing strengths in that important area of law.”
The new team has significant experience representing policyholders in a wide array of insurance coverage disputes arising from such things as product liabilities, asbestos and other toxic tort claims, first-party property loss, business interruption, advertising liability, professional liability, kidnap and ransom losses, and various directors and officers-related liabilities. Collectively, the group has extensive experience assisting policyholders in enforcing their rights to coverage under most commercial insurance products, including Comprehensive General Liability (“CGL”) policies, London Market umbrella and excess policies, “Bermuda Form” excess liability policies, cyber loss and liability policies, directors and officers (“D&O”) liability policies, errors and omissions (“E&O”)/professional liability policies, multimedia policies, fidelity policies, and other specialized coverages.
“Blank Rome has emerged as having one of the premier insurance recovery practices in the country,” said Jacobs. “The group includes attorneys who I have known for decades, many of whom I’ve worked with at prior firms, such as John Heintz, Helen Michael, Linda Kornfeld, Mary Craig Calkins, and Jim Carter, among others. This team has been at the forefront of shaping pro-policyholder law throughout the country and we are excited to be a part of those efforts. Additionally, I have been dedicated to building diverse teams throughout my career, and it is clear that Blank Rome has also made diversity and inclusion a top priority. I look forward to continuing these efforts at the Firm.”
Since the combination with Dickstein Shapiro four years ago, Blank Rome has added six partners (Mary Craig Calkins, Lisa M. Campisi, Linda Kornfeld, Helen K. Michael, Natasha Romagnoli, and David A. Thomas) as well as talented associates and of counsel to its Insurance Recovery group—including several prominent teams of attorneys. In total, the group is now comprised of 36 attorneys, 53 percent of whom are women.
“When I joined Blank Rome nearly three years ago, one of the first things that stood out to me was the Firm’s devotion to strategic lateral integration, and I know this team will share in that experience,” said Linda D. Kornfeld, Partner and Vice Chair of the Firm’s Insurance Recovery practice group. “The growth of our group represents the next generation of attorneys who will continue to help shape and influence insurance law and we could not be more excited about what that means for the protection of our clients’ assets. Blank Rome has also had a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion and women’s leadership efforts and it is remarkable to see how our team has expanded and thrived as a result.”
Rob joins Blank Rome after most recently acting as firmwide chair of Perkins Coie’s Insurance Recovery practice. During his successful career, Rob has earned a reputation as a leader with respect to navigating “Bermuda Form” arbitrations. Additionally, Rob counsels clients through all phases of litigation from pre-complaint investigation and counseling to trial, as well as alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as domestic and international arbitrations and mediations. While Rob has extensive experience advising clients in the life sciences and chemical industries, as of late he also has been advising clients on insurance issues arising from emerging technologies, particularly blockchain technology, crypto-currencies, and cannabis. Rob earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.S., with highest honors, from the University of Florida.
Linda has focused her practice on insurance litigation and counseling on behalf of policyholders for more than 20 years. She has represented policyholders in domestic and international arbitrations, including London arbitrations of “Bermuda Form” coverage disputes, as well as in coverage disputes in various state and federal courts. Prior to joining private practice, Linda worked as a prosecutor in Florida and Maryland where she handled criminal cases that led to numerous jury trials. She earned her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and her B.A. from the University of South Florida.
Allison focuses on insurance recovery litigation on behalf of the policyholder, with additional experience in class action defense and employment litigation. She advises clients on potential for coverage under multiple coverage types, including E&O, D&O, CGL, first-party property, and “Bermuda Form.” She earned her J.D. from UC Hastings, College of the Law, her Masters in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and her B.A. from Boston University.