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Founding Partner of Boutique Litigation Firm Leaves to Float New Law Firm

William J. Ricci, a founding partner of boutique law firm Lavin O'Neil Ricci Cedrone & Disipio, is leaving the law firm with six other lawyers to form a new firm, the ABA Journal reported. Ricci, who had been with Lavin O'Neil for almost 30 years, is teaming up with John E. Tyrell to float the law firm of Ricci Tyrell Johnson & Grey. The new firm will start operating from March 31.

Ricci was part of the original group of lawyers who floated Lavin in 1985. Lavin's managing partner, Basil DiSipio, who has known Ricci from law school, wished him well. Both Ricci and DiSipio graduated from Temple University's Beasley School of Law, in 1978. The Philadelphia Business Journal reported that Ricci expressed a great deal of respect for his longtime friends and colleagues at Lavine and the parting was amicable. After Ricci's departure, Lavin will have 57 lawyers working in the firm.

Lavin O'Neil has maintained itself steadily over the years and even during recession it did not engage in layoffs or similar cost reduction tactics. Lavin focuses its business not only on defense litigation, but also on representing self-insured businesses in a wide range of industries in liability matters. While the firm will be losing four partners, it has already promoted four lawyers to partner. Lavin has offices in Philadelphia, Mt. Laurel, N.J., New York City and Rochester, N.Y.

Hollstein Keating is an insurance casualty defense firm that is slated to cease operations within March. The new law firm, Ricci Tyrell will initially operate out of Hollstein Keating's offices and then shift to new offices by June. Tyrell would be the managing partner of the new firm and he is joining with 11 lawyers. Tyrell is a friend of Ricci's partner Francis Grey, from their law school days.

Tyrell told the media, "Fran, Bill and I have known each other for years and it's sort of a mutual admiration society … We have similar clients and practices so it makes sense." He said the new firm will focus on representing self-insured businesses and insurance carriers in liability matters. Tyrell also specializes in event liability and represents stadium and arena operators in liability. At the same time Ricci focuses on liability defense work on behalf of manufacturers of offroad construction equipment and forklifts.

Ricci Tyrell is expected to have offices in New York and Marlton, N.J., as well as in Philadelphia.

Lavin, Cedrone, Graver, Boyd & DiSipio


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