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Pittsburgh, Pa. – January 31, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network -…

Pittsburgh, Pa. – January 31, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Pepper Hamilton LLP announced that Victor M. DiBattista, who focuses his practice on banking and financial services matters and spent more than 15 years in-house at PNC Bank, has joined the firm as of counsel in Pittsburgh.

“Vic’s experience working with financial services organizations as in-house counsel will be of tremendous value to clients,” said Richard I. Thomas, the partner in charge of Pepper’s Pittsburgh office. “He understands the business from the inside out and is steeped in the workings of the capital markets and the banking, insurance and investment management industries. We are delighted to welcome him to Pepper.”

Mr. DiBattista counsels corporations, banks, investment advisers, broker-dealers, mortgage banking firms, insurance firms and other financial institutions on joint ventures, acquisitions, marketing arrangements, regulatory compliance, operating procedures, and other legal and regulatory matters.

Mr. DiBattista joins Pepper from Burns, White & Hickton in Pittsburgh, where he had directed the firm’s banking and finance group since 2002.

Before entering private practice, Mr. DiBattista was chief regional counsel of PNC Bank, where he had primary legal responsibility over the bank’s capital markets, derivatives, brokerage and insurance functions and was responsible for all legal and regulatory issues related to corporate structure, governance and operations; development of new products and services; governmental affairs and legislative oversight; and acquisitions, joint ventures and other marketing arrangements.

Mr. DiBattista also served as senior vice president and director of alternative investments for PNC Advisors, the investment advisory division of PNC Bank. There, he led the development and implementation of hedge funds and other alternative investment products and strategies, and equity derivatives and options strategies.

Mr. DiBattista is active in various state and national banking and securities trade associations, and the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American bar associations.

Mr. DiBattista is a graduate of Wittenberg University (B.A. 1977) and Duquesne University School of Law (J.D. 1980). He is a licensed securities professional (Series 7 and 66) and a member of the Pennsylvania bar.

Pepper’s Financial Services Practice Group provides a broad range of services to financial institutions of all sizes, including commercial banks, federal and state thrifts, investment firms, insurance companies and other institutional lenders. The firm also represents hedge funds, mutual funds, municipalities, public authorities, finance companies and mortgage banking companies. Lawyers in the group assist clients with financings (on both the lender and borrower side), corporate transactions (such as bank mergers and the issuance of securities), commercial and consumer financial services, regulatory and compliance matters involving the SEC and the bank regulatory agencies, structured finance and asset securitization, and distressed situations.

Pepper’s Pittsburgh office, with 40 lawyers, offers clients the resources of a large, multi-office firm with a regional, national and international practice. In addition to financial services, lawyers in the office focus on corporate and securities law, intellectual property and patent matters, labor and employment law, commercial litigation, municipal and project finance, real estate, tax, sports and environmental law. The office, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, opened in 1995.

Pepper Hamilton LLP (www.pepperlaw.com) is a multi-practice law firm with 400 lawyers in six states and the District of Columbia. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.

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