Chief Litigation Counsel for Sunoco, Inc. Rejoins Blank Rome as Partner
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Sophia Lee has joined the Firm as a Partner in the Energy, Environment, and Mass Torts practice group. Ms. Lee will be based in the Firm’s Philadelphia office, where, earlier in her career, she served as an associate.
“We’ve watched Sophia’s career take off since she got her start with us, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her back,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Chairman and Managing Partner. “Not only is she well-versed in a range of commercial, toxic tort, and environmental litigation matters, but she also possesses the leadership and managerial skills our clients value when they seek counsel on large-scale litigation matters.”
Prior to rejoining Blank Rome, Ms. Lee was chief litigation counsel for Sunoco, Inc., where she directed litigation strategy for a vast national portfolio of commercial, environmental, insurance, personal injury, products liability, and toxic tort matters. This included managing government investigations and inquiries, coordinating with internal and external stakeholders, supervising legal teams that included outside counsel, and developing litigation and information management policies and best practices. For toxic tort matters, specifically, Ms. Lee managed a national docket of over 500 cases, including asbestos, benzene, silica, and NORM.
“Companies these days are vulnerable to persistent, far-reaching toxic tort and environmental legal challenges that require an attorney to understand each independent issue while factoring in the big picture as well,” said Margaret Anne Hill, Chair of the Energy, Environment, and Mass Torts practice group. “Having directed litigation strategy for a large energy company, Sophia’s practice pairs an insider’s experience with a nuanced comprehension of a variety of toxic tort and environmental legal matters—both of which will be invaluable to our clients.”
Ms. Lee is the latest in a series of high-profile additions to Blank Rome in May, with the Honorable Spencer Abraham, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and former U.S. Senator from Michigan, and Joseph P. McMonigle, former Vice-Chairman of the International Energy Agency and former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Energy, joining Blank Rome Government Relations LLC as principals in the Washington, D.C., office. As highly regarded advisers in the energy sector and in Washington, the duo strengthens the Firm’s energy, government relations, and policy and political law practices.
“I am thrilled to be rejoining Blank Rome,” said Ms. Lee. “The Firm has attracted so much talent similarly interested and experienced in the energy sector. From Mike Krancer to Fred Lowther to Secretary Abraham and Joe McMonigle, and so many others, the group has a great synergy and I look forward to joining this team and taking my practice to the next level. Not to mention, the Firm is a stalwart in the Philadelphia community I’m so fond of, and I’m excited to become a part of that legacy.”
Beyond her legal practice, Ms. Lee is an active member of the Philadelphia business community. She is the cabinet diversity chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association and an executive committee member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania. Since 2010, she has been a board member of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, where she served as co-president from 2013 to 2015. She is also an executive committee member of the Temple Law Alumni Association, and board chair of the Asian Arts Initiative, among others. Ms. Lee is a frequent lecturer on litigation management and diversity and inclusion efforts. In recent years, she has held an adjunct professorship at Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, affiliated with the Fox School of Business.
Ms. Lee received her J.D. and her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University School of Law and her B.A. from Cornell University. She is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including Diverse Attorney of the Year from The Legal Intelligencer, the Corporate Counsel Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal, and the Diversity Leadership Award from the Temple Law Alumni Association.