Pepper Hamilton LLP is a U.S. based law firm with 13 offices and around 500 attorneys. The firm is ranked among the 100 largest firms by revenue in the United States. The firm’s largest practices include defense of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in product liability litigation and related matters, corporate transactions and commercial litigation. The firm was founded in 1890 in Philadelphia by George Wharton Pepper, who joined the practice of Bayard Henry. Pepper emerged as a leading lawyer in Philadelphia and the nation, and was prominent in Republican politics. In 1954, the Pepper firm and another Philadelphia law firm — Evans, Bayard & Frick — merged as Pepper, Bodine, Frick, Scheetz & Hamilton creating a 35-lawyer entity. Shortly after the merger of the Pepper and Evans firms, George Wharton Pepper retired from practice because of failing health. In 1955, he was succeeded as chairman of the firm by John D.M. Hamilton, who was chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1940. In 1960, another merger brought in the firm of Moffett, Frye & Leopold. The firm grew significantly in the 1980s, 1990s and in recent years. In 2007, the partnership elected Nina M. Gussack as chairwoman of Pepper’s Executive Committee, the first woman to be elected to that position. Pepper partner A. Michael Pratt became the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 81st Chancellor in 2008. He is the third African-American to serve in that office since the Association’s founding in 1802. In 2004–2005, Pepper was hit with lawsuits first in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and then the District Court in Delaware. The first lawsuit alleged that "Pepper Hamiltons simultaneous representation of SFC and its affiliates, as well as its insurer, Royal Indemnity, and the Gagne family members as investors, created a situation in which the law firm had 'unavoidable and inevitable divided loyalties.'" Thus the complaint alleged that Pepper "foreseeably contributed to the financial demise of SFC" and caused "hundreds of millions of dollars of harm."