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09/20/06

Nation's largest maritime law practice firm created


The creation of the US's largest maritime law practice firm by the merge of operations between New York - based Healy & Baillie LLP and Philadelphia's Blank Rome has grabbed the attention of the legal fraternity across the country. The merger is likely to benefit Blank Rome in a big way as it allows the firm to venture into the Asian legal market. Blank Rome, a law firm with 500 attorneys, will have access to resources of Healy & Baillie, which is the only U.S.-based maritime law firm in Hong Kong with a local license to practice Hong Kong law. The merged firm, renamed Blank Rome, will have a workforce of 40 attorneys focusing on maritime and general international commercial law.

Nation's Largest Maritime Law Practice Firm Created


As part of the merger process, attorneys of Healy & Baillie lawyers in New York and Connecticut will join Blank Rome's office in New York. The firm has a combined strength of 23 lawyers based in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Hong Kong. The firm's maritime practice includes maritime casualties, marine insurance, pollution, carriage of goods under bills of lading, charter party disputes and arbitration, ship financing, and maritime personal injury and wrongful death, while Blank Rome's maritime group has worked primarily in legislation and regulation. According to the website of Blank Rome, the merger follows Blank Rome's recently announced strategic alliance with Brussels-based public affairs and public relations agency Interel.

Women lawyers continue to struggle against male counterparts; survey
As women attorneys struggle and strive for recognition in law firms, there exists a wide gap between the pay packages of females and male attorneys, states a survey conducted by Allegheny County Bar Association. The survey, which included responses from 1250 bar members, highlights the fact that issues of lack of pay and respect continued in law firms continue to make it difficult for females to reach higher ranks in the firms. In terms of pay scales, a greater percentage of males were found in all income categories of $150,000 and above, and women were far more likely to earn less than $100,000. Moreover, one in five male attorneys made at least $250,000 last year, while only one in 20 women made the same.

The most striking observation of the survey was that females are twice as likely to be dissatisfied as are men with salary decisions and promotion policies. The obvious reason could be the difference between practices for men and women. Female attorneys often choose family law, a relatively low-paying specialty as compared to male attorneys who practice business/corporate law, which is considerably more lucrative.

Legal experts have expressed their dismay over the findings of the survey. The results have prompted the Bar Association to form a gender equality task force to analyze pay and other disparities and to recommend corrective steps.

Healy & Baillie, L.L.P.

    


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