Few midsized Pennsylvania firms made big moves in '12

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Following an active 2011, 2012 was relatively quiet, particularly with regard to lateral movement between midsized Pennsylvania firms.

However, this past year did see several firms open new offices, many of which were outside the state.

Likewise, a number of out-of-state firms either set up shop in Pennsylvania for the first time or expanded an existing presence.

Unlike in 2011, very few new firms were formed in 2012, but there were several small mergers and acquisitions made throughout the year. Moves affecting Western Pennsylvania firms:

In May, Pittsburgh-based Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott announced Heidi B. Hamman Shakely as the new chairwoman of its board of directors, replacing Stephen R. Delinsky, who stepped down after 16 years in the position. It marked the first time in Eckert Seamans' 54-year history that a woman has led the board.

In November, corporate attorney David P. Franklin joined Eckert Seamans as a member from Pittsburgh-based Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, where he was a partner and co-chair of the business/corporate practice.

In January, Dinsmore & Shohl, Cincinnati's largest law firm, opened an office in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne with five lawyers from Pittsburgh-based Burns White's Philadelphia-area and New Jersey offices, including a former practice group head. Richard A. O'Halloran, a former member in Burns White's West Conshohocken, Pa., and Princeton offices and chair of its business practices group, joined Dinsmore & Shohl as managing partner of the new office. Burns White associates Lindsey Hoelzle, Eric Levine, Alyson Ricker and Marshall Schreibstein, all of whom were part of O'Halloran's group, also made the move.

In April, Charleston, W.Va.-based Jackson Kelly expanded its Western Pennsylvania energy law presence with the addition of Indiana, Pa.-based oil and gas boutique Gormly Gormly & Yuhas.

In June, Pittsburgh-based Babst Calland opened an Akron, Ohio, office in the hopes of better serving its clients in a natural gas industry that is largely shifting its focus away from Northeastern Pennsylvania and toward Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The firm moved David E. Northrop, whom it had hired as a shareholder from Columbus, Ohio-based Porter Wright in May, from its Pittsburgh office to the Akron location. It rounded out the new office with former Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs partners Clay K. Keller and Richard J. Lolli.

In July, one of Kentucky's largest firms, Lexington-based Stoll Keenon Ogden, opened an office in Washington County with three of its existing lawyers who focus their practices on real estate due diligence and title examinations for oil and gas -- as well as coal -- producers.

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Zack Needles: zneedles@alm.com or 215-557-2493. To read more articles like this, visit www.thelegalintelligencer.com.


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