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Blank Rome Continues Ongoing Lateral Expansion with the Addition of Energy Group in Washington, D.C.

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Partners Mark R. Haskell and Brett A. Snyder and Of Counsel George D. Billinson have joined the Firm’s Energy group in the Washington, D.C., office. Together, they bring exceptional experience advising clients on a wide breadth of energy industry-related matters involving regulation, compliance, enforcement, transactions, and litigation. Mark, Brett, and George join the Firm from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

“We are thrilled that this highly experienced group has joined our Firm,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “We are committed to strategically expanding a number of our practices and offices in 2019 to continue to meet the needs of our clients. We are off to a strong start in this regard, and Mark, Brett, and George further bolster our nationally recognized Energy group in our Washington, D.C., office.”

“We are excited to welcome Mark, Brett, and George to the Firm,” added James D. Kelly, Co-Chair of Blank Rome’s Washington, D.C., office. “Along with my co-chair Shawn M. Wright, we are committed to growing our D.C. office in strategic ways, including through the addition of high-level talent in 2019 and beyond. The team’s wide experience in the energy industry—spanning regulatory compliance, transactional, litigation, and enforcement matters—provides natural synergies with our Firm’s leading litigationcorporate, environmental, and maritime practices, and presents numerous opportunities to expand our local and national offerings.”

The group collectively focuses on three areas of practice. They provide counsel on compliance and enforcement issues facing the energy industry, including the electric industry, and defend clients involved in investigations and market manipulation claims before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). They also serve as regulatory, litigation, and transactional advisers on energy-related infrastructure projects, including liquified natural gas (“LNG”) export projects and oil and natural gas liquid pipelines, and have counseled the Cameron LNG, Exelon/Annova, Port Arthur LNG, and Energía Costa Azul projects. This work extends to securing authorizations and licenses from the Department of Energy (“DOE”) and FERC, and negotiating commercial agreements, on behalf of large energy companies. And lastly, they handle significant regulatory litigation matters through representation of shippers on natural gas and oil pipelines in rate and tariff disputes before FERC, federal court of appeals, and state venues.

“For the last several years, the United States has become a major producer and supplier of natural gas and oil, which has drastically changed the dynamics of the energy industry,” said Kevin J. Bruno, Co-Chair of Blank Rome’s Energy, Environment, and Mass Torts group. “Additionally, there have been various environmental, economic, and political changes that have contributed to this shift, requiring our attorneys to remain abreast of issues facing vertical markets. With this new group, we’re able to provide regulatory, litigation, and transaction counsel at the highest level.”

“Our decision to join Blank Rome was based upon the number of complementary practices that strengthen the service offerings that we currently provide to our clients, notably a deep bench in environmental compliance and litigation,” said Mark. “Additionally, the Firm has a strong presence in Texas and proven experience in Oklahoma, which will be important if civil litigation becomes necessary to resolve disputes.”

Brett continued, “Another area of synergy is Blank Rome’s Maritime practice. Many of the projects we work on involve the exports of LNG, natural gas liquids, and other commodities by ship, all of which touch on maritime law. Previously, our work stopped at the pier, but now we will be able to offer our clients service from a wellhead through to the shipping contract.”

Mark is ranked top tier in Chambers USA and Chambers Global in the area of Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation). He earned his B.A. from the University of Maine and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is currently admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia as well as before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits and the United States Supreme Court. Brett is also recognized in Chambers USA in the area of Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation) and received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is admitted to practice in several jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia and Maryland, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits, and before the United States Supreme Court. George received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law and his B.A. from Boston University. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Maryland as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Since January 1, Blank Rome has welcomed a number of lateral partners across its U.S. offices, enhancing the Firm’s services and capabilities throughout its various practices.