Pittsburgh-based Eckert Seamans expands presence along East Coast

With Nine-Lawyer Products Team

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Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has grabbed nine lawyers from New York-based insurance defense firm McGivney & Kluger.

The expansion not only adds attorneys across Eckert Seamans' Boston and White Plains, N.Y., locations, but it also gives the firm a new office in Newark, N.J. Eckert Seamans is based in Pittsburgh.

Attorneys David Katzenstein, Kevin E. Young, Craig Waksler, Jennifer Whelan, Nathaniel J. Dudley and Michelle Grady joined Eckert Seamans as members. Stephanie Batchelder, Brad W. Graham and Kerry L. Seagle joined as associates. Mr. Katzenstein will be the sole attorney in Newark. The rest of the group is based in Boston, except for Ms. Grady, who is in White Plains.

The new team focuses on products liability and mass tort matters. It's a practice area Eckert Seamans said it has seen grow over the past several decades, creating exposure for the firm's industrial and manufacturing clients. The attorneys joining the group focus their mass torts and products liability practice across a spectrum of cases, including asbestos, environmental and pharmaceutical matters.

Harold Balk, director of business development at Eckert Seamans, said products liability and mass torts is one of the staples the firm was built on. He said the firm was looking to complement the existing practice, which is spread across all of its offices, with additional talent.

Along with bulking up the products liability and mass torts practice, the new team fills a need for the firm to open in New Jersey and helps expand Eckert Seamans' presence in New Jersey and New York, Mr. Balk said.

Eckert Seamans has nearly 350 attorneys across nine offices. McGivney & Kluger has around 70 lawyers across 12 offices, including an eight-attorney outpost in Philadelphia. Mr. Katzenstein said his decision to leave his old firm was in no way a reflection on the firm, but rather a reflection of the opportunity available at Eckert Seamans. McGivney & Kluger managing partner Charles McGivney could not be reached for comment.

This Eckert Seamans' deal is similar to one announced in May 2012, when partner Mark Reardon and a team of eight other attorneys took their products liability practice to Eckert Seamans' Wilmington, Del., office from Elzufon Austin Reardon Tarlov & Mondell.

Mr. Katzenstein, who will lead the Newark office, said his hope is to grow that office; Eckert Seamans had already hired another attorney to work with him in Newark, and Mr. Balk said the plan is to grow the Newark location.

legalnews

Gina Passarella: gpassarella@alm.com, 215-557-2494. To read more articles like this, visit www.thelegalintelligencer.com.


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