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Law firm Blank Rome hires seven-lawyer international trade team from rival

  • May 5, 2023

(Reuters) – U.S. law firm Blank Rome said Monday that it snagged a seven-lawyer team specializing in international trade from McDermott Will & Emery in Washington, D.C.

The team is led by partners Joanne Osendarp, who will help lead Blank Rome’s international trade group, and Eric Parnes. The group also includes senior counsel Alan Kashdan and Lynn Kamarck along with three other attorneys and two non-lawyer professionals who work on trade issues, the firm said.

Parnes said the arrival of the group was an opportunity to combine Blank Rome’s existing experience in economic sanctions and export control work with the new team’s focus on handling trade disputes and negotiations.

“The idea of a move was never a serious consideration without the team,” Parnes said.

The group counsels governments, industry associations and corporations on trade remedies, free trade agreements and international trade disputes, Blank Rome said. Osendarp and Parnes have both represented the Canadian government in cases before the U.S. Court of International Trade, according to court records.

Philadelphia-founded Blank Rome said the new arrivals would deepen the firm’s expertise in international trade and expand its offerings in Washington.

The hires also highlight increased activity in international trade and national security practices, which saw a spike in demand last year as many corporate clients sought to wind down their activities in Russia following the Ukraine invasion.

Parnes said the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Biden administration has also taken “aggressive stances” in interpreting trade laws relating to issues like anti-dumping.

Osendarp and Parnes have worked together since 2011, first at law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed and at McDermott Will & Emery since 2020.

A spokesperson for McDermott thanked the team for their service to the firm and noted that McDermott is continuing to serve clients “across all dimensions

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