Anamika Roy//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer//May 20, 2018
//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
//May 20, 2018
Baltimore trial attorney Robert K. Jenner, who led the mass tort practice at Janet, Jenner & Suggs LLC, has opened his own boutique law firm that focuses on individuals hurt by defective prescription drugs and medical devices.
Jenner, in practice for more than 30 years, opened the Jenner Law Firm in Baltimore earlier this month. Asked why he decided to start his own shop, Jenner said, “it was time.”
“I wanted to implement a vision that was solely my own and I thought the best way to do that was to put together a core team that could really focus on client needs, client expectations and make sure we’re giving our clients and referring counsel the best possible legal experience they could get,” he said.
Jenner brought over five people from his mass torts team at his previous firm, including lawyer Kathleen Kerner
Jenner’s office is a short drive down Reisterstown Road from his old firm, which has changed its name to Janet, Janet & Suggs LLC. His old co-workers remain “friends and colleagues,” he said, and the two firms will do businesses together and refer clients to one another.
Janet, Janet & Suggs, which has offices across the country, will continue to have a mass torts practice as well as a medical malpractice, serious personal injury and environmental practices.
Howard A. Janet, the firm’s managing principal, said the split was amicable.
“Rob did an excellent job of running our mass torts department for many years,” Janet said. “We had an excellent working relationship, but we both felt that it was time for a change.”
Jenner was at his previous firm for 17 years and, earlier in his career, had his own firm in Montgomery County, Freeman & Jenner.
“It’s one thing to have partners helping you out, it’s a different thing to start a practice on your own,” he said of his new office.
Chief among his challenges is differentiating himself and his practice to clients.
“As a drug and device lawyer, the competition for clients is always intense and I have to make sure that I continue my name not as part of my former firm but on my own,” he said.
Jenner also brought several pending cases over to his new firm, including the multidistrict litigation involving the Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Hip Implant, where Jenner is liaison counsel, and a case involving 1,400 plaintiffs who received the Essure permanent contraceptive device. He is also working on “several other cases” as either lead or liaison counsel at his new firm.
For now, Jenner is dealing with the usual adjustments that go with opening a new firm, such as getting the phone to work and figuring out administrative and IT issues.
“Much of it is new to me… but we’re finding our groove with great optimism,” Jenner said.l