PHILADELPHIA, Spring/Summer 2022—Duane Morris LLP has been recognized by The Legal Intelligencer across four categories of the publication’s 2022 Professional Excellence Awards. Each year, The Legal Intelligencer's Professional Excellence Awards honor Pennsylvania law firms and lawyers who have made a significant, positive impact on the legal profession.
Duane Morris’ honors include:
- Lifetime Achievement Award – partner Rudolph J. Di Massa, Jr.
- Power Player – partner Robert L. Byer
- Lawyers on the Fast Track – partner Lynne E. Evans and associate Leen Al-Alami
- Law Firm of the Year – Duane Morris LLP
Lifetime Achievement Award – Rudolph J. Di Massa Jr.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes attorneys who have “left an imprint on the legal history of the state during their career.” With experience spanning across four decades, Di Massa has made a significant mark on the legal landscape in Pennsylvania, with a legacy that continues through his law practice, leadership and civic engagement. He joined Duane Morris as a first-year associate in 1981 and from 2001-2018 served as chair of the firm’s Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring Practice Group. In 2017, Di Massa was bestowed the honor of knighthood by the Republic of Italy during a ceremony at the Italian Consulate in Philadelphia for his representation of Italian pensioners seeking to recover investments in Argentina after the country’s 2001 massive debt default. After more than 10 years of litigation, in 2016, the group settled with Argentina resulting in payments by the nation totaling about 210 percent of face value. Di Massa has a long history of pro bono and volunteer service with many organizations in the Philadelphia area, including the Support Center for Child Advocates, Military Assistance Project, St. Thomas More Society and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He also served as chairman of Duane Morris’ United Way Campaign Committee, raising funds for the organization’s Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey chapter.
Power Player – Robert L. Byer
The Power Player Award recognizes attorneys who have “through their advocacy, made a significant impact in 2021 on public policy, legislation or jurisprudence in Pennsylvania.” Byer, who received The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, was recognized for his work as chief counsel to the 2021 Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission. The commission had the responsibility under the Pennsylvania Constitution for redistricting the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate based upon the 2020 census. The commission’s final redistricting plan, adopted in February 2022, has been lauded as a significant improvement over the previous redistricting for its responsiveness to dramatic population shifts in Pennsylvania and fairness in reducing partisan bias while improving compliance with all constitutional metrics. The plan also created new minority opportunity and influence districts. In March 2022, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the commission’s final plan by a vote of 7-0, one of only two times that the court has approved a legislative redistricting plan without dissent and the only time it has done so by a per curiam order without the need for an opinion.
Lawyers on the Fast Track – Lynne E. Evans and Leen Al-Alami
The Lawyers on the Fast Track Awards celebrate “the next generation of legal leaders.”
Evans was elected to the firm partnership in 2021. She is a trial lawyer and counselor with significant experience representing financial institutions, corporate and government entities and individual clients in matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States. In addition to her busy law practice, she chairs the firm’s Philadelphia office Inclusion Committee, serves on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Philadelphia office Recruitment and Retention Committee, and serves as a team lead for the firm’s FinTech Industry Group. Evans is also deeply committed to formal and informal mentoring of junior attorneys on professional development goals and opportunities, matter management and client development strategies.
Al-Alami advises private equity and corporate clients in a variety of transactions, both domestic and cross-border, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, as well as in general corporate governance matters. Beyond her corporate legal work, Al-Alami has represented clients, pro bono, in the area of prisoners’ rights and as a child advocate with the Support Center for Child Advocates in custody, abuse and neglect cases. Within Duane Morris, and as a diverse, immigrant attorney, Al-Alami has formally and informally mentored other women and diverse associates as they navigate common workplace challenges and life milestones, such as parental leave. She is a programming co-chair of the Philadelphia chapter of Duane Morris’ Women’s Impact Network for Success (WINS) as well as an active member of the firm’s Recruitment and Retention Committee.
Law Firm of the Year
UPDATE: At its awards ceremony on June 29, 2022, the Legal Intelligencer announced Duane Morris as the winner of its Law Firm of the Year Award. The firm was selected from a field of three for its excellent breadth of work during 2021. With wins in the Lifetime, Power Players and Fast Track categories this year, Duane Morris was also recognized for its work expanding diversity at the firm, its use of innovative ESG webinars, and other accomplishments.
About Duane Morris
Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s multifaceted legal and business challenges through the collegial and collaborative culture of its more than 800 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally. The firm represents a broad array of clients, spanning all major practices and industries. Duane Morris has been recognized by BTI Consulting as both a client service leader and a highly recommended law firm.