Blank Rome Adds Leading White Collar Team, Continuing Nationwide Expansion

Blank Rome welcomed four new attorneys to the firm’s white collar defense and investigations group:

  • Bradley “Brad” Henry, a partner in New York, who will also serve as vice-chair of Blank Rome’s White Collar Defense and Investigations group
  • Kathleen H. Shannon, a partner in Washington, D.C.,
  • Jason F. Emert, of counsel in Washington, D.C.
  • Ekinsu Çebi Elkei, a foreign associate in Washington, D.C. (not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia; admitted to practice in Istanbul only)

This team advises domestic and international clients on criminal defense and government investigations, internal investigations and compliance matters. They joined Blank Rome from Akerman.

The group’s arrival continues the strategic expansion of Blank Rome’s white collar defense and investigations group. In January, five white collar attorneys from litigation boutique Spears & Imes joined Blank Rome in New York, including partners David Spears, Linda Imes and Chris Dysard. In November 2023, Barrett R. Howell joined the white collar defense and investigations group as a partner in the firm’s recently opened Dallas office.

“We are excited to welcome this powerhouse team of Brad, Kathleen, Jason and Ekinsu to the firm and our nationally recognized litigation practice,” Grant S. Palmer, chair and managing partner at Blank Rome, said. “As prosecutors continue to focus on financial and corporate crimes in the United States and internationally, the growth of our white collar team will be an asset for our clients facing enforcement actions and managing investigations at home and abroad.”

Henry, Shannon, Emert and Elkei represent corporate and individual clients in the United States, Türkiye, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Ukraine in complex civil and criminal matters. They focus on white collar defense litigation, government investigations and enforcement actions, international disputes and arbitration, internal investigations and advising clients on compliance programs, voluntary disclosures and remediation. Clients from the United States and around the globe turn to Henry, Shannon, Emert and Elkei for counsel addressing financial crimes, U.S. economic and trade sanctions and export controls, bank secrecy and anti-money laundering regulations, crypto-currency fraud, anti-bribery and anti-corruption matters and criminal trials. They also represent foreign clients in the United States for issues arising under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The team represents clients in the automotive, aviation, construction, consumer products, defense, financial services, healthcare, logistics, maritime and pharmaceutical industries, to name a few.

“We are thrilled to have Brad, Kathleen, Jason, and Ekinsu join our firm and bring their knowledge, cross-border experience, and trial skills to our robust and growing white collar practice,” Jerry D. Bernstein, co-chair of BlankRome’s white collar defense and investigations group, said. “In 2024, we expect to see aggressive enforcement actions from U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the Justice Department, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Treasury Department, as well as an increase in the international scope and breath of enforcement actions. Our expanded team is well-positioned to help clients facing scrutiny by government enforcement and regulatory agencies.”

The new Blank Rome group also devotes a significant portion of their practice to investor-state and international commercial arbitration. They have arbitrated matters before the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, part of the World Bank Group.

“Kathleen and I are very happy to rejoin our former colleagues, including Craig Weiner and Massimo D’Angelo, who joined Blank Rome last year as part of a team of nine attorneys. The group has been very complimentary of the firm’s highly regarded capabilities and collaborative culture,” Henry said. “We are also energized by the synergies between our work and that of Blank Rome’s practices and industry teams, including its maritime and international trade groups. We look forward to serving our clients from Blank Rome’s platform.”

“It was clear to us that Blank Rome is invested in strategically building and strengthening its white collar practice to meet the needs of clients, which aligns with our goals,” Shannon said. “This, combined with the opportunity to join the firm’s deep bench, including our former colleagues and recent additions, make it an exciting time to join the firm.”

Henry has tried more than 30 federal criminal jury trials across the United States. He has represented clients in commercial and financial disputes including cross-jurisdictional litigation, multi-party actions, appellate proceedings and follow-on actions arising from regulatory investigations.

In addition to handling matters in courts and before enforcement agencies, Shannon also represents clients in congressional and executive-branch investigations and inquiries and advises individuals and organizations on registration and reporting obligations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) and related statutes. Prior to returning to private practice, Shannon served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and served as a senior advisor and counsel in the Executive Office of the President, where she focused on legal compliance, internal controls and investigations.

Henry serves as co-chair of the Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Experts Subcommittee of the International Bar Association. Brad earned his J.D. from the Florida Coastal School of Law, and his B.S. from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Henry earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and her B.A. from the University of Virginia. Emert earned his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law, his M.B.A. from the University of Louisiana Lafayette, and his B.S. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Elkei holds an LL.M. degree in International Business and Economic Law from Georgetown University Law Center and an LL.B. degree (J.D. equivalent) from Istanbul University Faculty of Law.

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