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Blank Rome Welcomes Shonette Gaston as Chief Operating Officer

Shonette Gaston

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Shonette Gaston has joined the firm as its Chief Operating Officer. With more than 25 years of senior-leadership experience overseeing business functions and operations at top law firms, Shonette provides governance and strategic guidance to firm leaders, attorneys, and professional administrative staff. She will be based in the firm’s New York office.

“We are so excited to welcome Shonette to the firm as our new COO and have the opportunity to work closely with her as a key member of our leadership team,” said Grant S. Palmer, Managing Partner and CEO. “As we celebrate Blank Rome’s 75th anniversary and move into a new era, we were looking for a forward-thinking leader to help us continue to implement our strategic plan and build upon our ongoing growth and success. Shonette’s proven leadership in client relations, diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition and retention, legal project management, and other critical business functions is in direct alignment with our goals for supporting our clients, colleagues, and communities. And equally important, Shonette is a perfect fit when it comes to our special culture that we value so deeply at Blank Rome, and we are all looking forward to welcoming her to the team.”

At Blank Rome, Shonette will oversee the daily administrative functions of all the firm’s offices and departments, including finance, human resources, talent and diversity, information services and technology, innovation, marketing and business development, operations, and practice management, as well as serve as a key strategic partner with the firm’s Executive Committee and Partner Board.

“Early on in my discussions with Grant and others, it was clear to me that Blank Rome is a wonderful firm on many levels,” said Shonette. “The firm’s leadership, growth, and strategic vision over the past several years have been very impressive, and its commitment to delivering exceptional and innovative service to its clients by drawing upon its unique culture of collaboration truly sets it apart. Even during a pandemic and challenging times, I was extremely impressed by the deep sense of teamwork, support, focus, and enthusiasm that I experienced from the firm’s attorneys and professionals, and I’m eager to begin working with my talented colleagues to build upon this momentum.”

Prior to joining Blank Rome, Shonette served as the COO of Robins Kaplan LLP. She previously worked at Covington & Burling LLP where she served as its Managing Director of Administration, U.S. Offices & Dubai, United Arab Emirates; McDermott Will & Emery LLP, serving as its Director, Controversies Business Unit & Washington Area Operations; and O'Melveny & Myers LLP, in the role of Director of Practice Group Management.

Shonette is a member of the Legal Industry Editorial Board, Law360; the Legal Executive Institute Practice Innovations Advisory Board, Thomson Reuters; and the Chief Operating Officer Boardroom, LawVision. She attended Northwestern University's Kellogg Executive Education Program, received her MBA and undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland Global Campus, and studied business data analytics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.