January 6, 2003

Dyer Ellis & Joseph merges with Blank Rome
Effective January 1, 2003, Philadelphia-based Blank Rome LLP, a law firm with more than 400 attorneys, combined with Washington, D.C.-based Dyer Ellis & Joseph P.C.

Dyer Ellis' 42 attorneys serve clients in a variety of business sectors, including marine transportation, defense, energy, financial services, health care, manufacturing and information technology.

Dyer Ellis began in the mid 1980s as a six-lawyer firm focused on transactional, legislative and regulatory matters affecting the marine transportation and shipbuilding industries. The firm has grown to 42 lawyers; expanded its areas of expertise to include legislative affairs, regulatory and commercial litigation, government contracts, securities, environmental law and white-collar defense; and substantially broadened its client base into other industries.

"We are delighted to combine with a firm having the depth of experience and exceptional national reputation of Blank Rome," said Dyer Ellis founding partner Thomas M. (Mike) Dyer. "This action is a natural progression in our evolution as we have expanded our practice areas and increasingly competed nationally and internationally with larger firms. In addition to enhancing the depth of resources available in substantial projects, being part of Blank Rome will enable us to provide our existing clients with additional expertise in such important areas as bankruptcy, real estate, labor and patent, and other intellectual property law. "

"We are especially pleased with the cultural fit we've found in Blank Rome," said Dyer Ellis COO Patrick Cavanaugh. "At Dyer Ellis we are committed to our strong culture of client service and we could not have found a partner which shares this commitment more strongly than Blank Rome. We are excited about the opportunities this combination will afford the clients and attorneys of Dyer Ellis and the newly combined firm as a whole. We are well positioned for success and poised for greatness."

As a result of the combination, Blank Rome's Washington office will be comprised of approximately 70 attorneys, many of whom have substantial federal legislative and regulatory experience.

"As part of our strategic growth initiative, we are pleased to announce the addition of a firm with the strong presence and reputation which Dyer Ellis enjoys both nationally and internationally," said Blank Rome chairman David F. Girard-diCarlo. "Our combination with Dyer Ellis not only will enhance the delivery of services to our collective clients, but provides a base for growth and expansion into new practice areas as well. As I spend more time in Washington, I look forward to working with the outstanding professionals at Dyer Ellis, and we welcome them to the Blank Rome family."

"This is a well conceived combination for both firms," stated Blank Rome managing partner and CEO Fred Blume. "The combined force of Dyer Ellis' legislative and government relations practice with our own will enable us to fortify our Washington relationships. This partnership will also mark the creation of a marine transportation practice for Blank Rome; further development of the firm's energy and defense industry practices; and significant expansion of our corporate defense, white collar, environmental, regulatory, litigation, international trade, corporate and government contracts capabilities."

Blank Rome LLP has 400 attorneys who practice in the areas of business and corporate, financial services, government relations, health care, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation and dispute resolution, public finance, real estate, family and matrimonial, and tax and fiduciary. The firm's offices are located in Pennsylvania; New York; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Florida. .

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