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The Top Lateral Hires of 2015

Lateral movement in 2015 showed there is strength in numbers, whether it be a group departure to another law firm, the formation of an entirely new firm or the combined effect a number of lateral defections has in causing the collapse of a firm.

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Each year, The Legal's staff combs through our archives, seeks guidance from trusted sources and debates internally the most significant lateral moves of the year. Those named to this list either had a significant impact on their departing firms, were a big coup for their new employers, created a lot of buzz in the community when they made a move or all of the above.

The lawyers below often had strong books of business, practiced in influential areas, helped craft business of law strategies, added a new practice to their new firms or signaled a shift in strategy within an industry.

Blank Rome Opens in Pittsburgh

In January 2015, Blank Rome entered the Pittsburgh market with five partners from two different law firms.

George Medved, who led Duane Morris' Pittsburgh office until 2013, was hired as the managing partner of Blank Rome's new office. He was joined by former Duane Morris partners Amy J. Coles, James P. Hollihan and Joseph T. Moran and former Reed Smith partner Jayme Butcher.

Blank Rome was one of the last large Philadelphia-based law firms to open in Pittsburgh, but has successfully grown in the year it has been there. The firm said its energy practice was a driver behind the office opening, but the Pittsburgh location also includes construction, real estate, commercial litigation and corporate capabilities. The Pittsburgh team is set to move into new space later this year and currently has nine attorneys. The team's departure from Duane Morris left that firm with less than 10 lawyers practicing full-time in its Pittsburgh office.

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“The Top Lateral Hires of 2015,” by Gina Passarella was published in The Legal Intelligencer on March 22, 2016.