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Blank Rome: Not Built in a Day

Lloyd's List

Blank Rome claims to be the largest provider of maritime legal services in the US. And that is by design, with the specialism put together systematically over the last two decades, three partners have revealed in an interview. 

Even so, it remains a very different animal to the big names based in London, for whom there are no longer any real equivalents on the other side of the Atlantic. 

This isn't a 'shipping law firm' as the sense of Watson Farley & Williams, HFW, Stephenson Harwood or Norton Rose Fulbright. Indeed, shipping is only a small part of the mix, with only 30 of its 680 attorneys spread across 15 offices devoted to maritime. 

Nor is it the 21st century incarnation of a storied Victorian predecessor, with Blank Rome founded as recently as 1946.

It is also linked with substantial Washington lobbying capability and boasts of an ability to get the law changed in ways that favour clients. 

Jeanne Grasso from Washington, Keith Letourneau from Houston, and Thomas Belknap from New York together spoke to Lloyd's List by Zoom last week. 

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"Blank Rome: Not Built in a Day," by David Osler was published in Lloyd's List on December 6, 2023.