Blank Rome Partners, Including Son of Firm Founder, Join Fox
Fox Rothschild has hired two longtime partners from Blank Rome who were conflicted out of their former firm after it acquired more than 100 partners and new practices from Dickstein Shapiro earlier this year.
Ian Comisky is leaving the firm his father, the late Marvin Comisky, founded. Both Ian Comisky and Matthew D. Lee will join Fox Rothschild’s white-collar compliance and defense and tax controversy practices. Comisky, whose practice includes advising companies on international anti-money-laundering laws, will also head Fox Rothschild’s international compliance team.
Comisky, former co-chair of the white-collar group at Blank Rome, has more than 35 years of experience in civil and criminal tax litigation, white-collar criminal defense and corporate and commercial litigation. Lee is a former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney who concentrates his practice on white-collar criminal defense, federal tax controversies, financial institution regulatory compliance and complex civil litigation.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ian and Matt to the practice as their work representing both corporations and individuals in criminal investigations, tax and anti-money laundering compliance matters will be a true asset to our clients,” said Charles De Monaco, co-chair of Fox Rothschild’s white-collar compliance and defense practice, in a statement.
Blank Rome said in its own statement that the firm’s recent acquisition of more than 100 Dickstein Shapiro lawyers presented challenges for Comisky and Lee’s practices.
“We wish Ian Comisky and Matt Lee all the best in their new roles,” Blank Rome chairman Alan Hoffman said in the statement. “In February of this year, Blank Rome welcomed over 100 attorneys from Dickstein Shapiro. With this transaction, our firm established new practice groups, including insurance coverage, and expanded our white-collar defense and investigations group.
“The focus of our insurance coverage group unfortunately presented challenges to certain aspects of Ian’s and Matt’s practices. Ian, Matt, and I discussed the issues at length and together determined that this was the option that made the most sense for everyone. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Ian and Matt, both professionally and personally, and wish them continued success.”
Fox Rothschild chairman Abraham C. Reich said he, Comisky and Lee all have the highest regard for Blank Rome.
“They are indebted to Blank Rome for the many years of support they received in building their practices,” Reich said of Comisky and Lee. “Regrettably, the Dickstein acquisition made it difficult for them to continue at the firm and we are the fortunate beneficiaries of that market-driven force.”
Reich said he has known the Comisky family for years given he and Marvin Comisky were both chancellors of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Reich said Fox Rothschild had been looking to grow the white-collar team anyway, and when Comisky and Lee approached the firm, it made perfect sense. Reich said they have a high-end, specialty practice in the area of tax controversy and white-collar defense that supports the firm’s existing practice.
Comisky represents corporations and individuals in tax controversy work, including IRS administrative and grand jury investigations; corporate compliance matters relating to the Bank Secrecy Act and USA Patriot Act; issues involving Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act for financial institutions; commercial litigation focusing on directors’ and officers’ defense, accounting and legal malpractice cases; and corporate internal investigations for financial institutions and other entities.
Lee represents companies and individuals in federal grand jury investigations and criminal prosecutions in a variety of areas, including tax, money laundering, health care, securities, public corruption, FCPA and fraud offenses. He also represents taxpayers in all stages of proceedings before the IRS and in litigation in the U.S. Tax Court and other federal courts.