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United States > Industry focus > Healthcare: service providers > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare: service providers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a huge team and a long history in this sector, providing ‘deep knowledge regarding healthcare’ and an ‘excellent and responsive service’. It is widely recognized for its unrivalled record in healthcare service provider transactions and investments by private equity sponsors, and its extensive regulatory expertise. One client says it is ‘by far the best firm I’ve ever worked with in healthcare’. Transactions and government investigations are key drivers of the practice. Clients include Ascension Health, Baptist Health, Fresenius Medical Care, Tenet Healthcare and Universal Health Services. New York-based David Ivill is ‘both knowledgeable and resourceful’ and a ‘true professional’. Charles Buck and Christopher Jedrey in Boston are also singled out by clients. Also in Boston is Stephen Bernstein, who heads the health industry advisory practice; he is noted for his expertise in health IT and data privacy. Chicago-based Bernadette Broccolo is a leader in regulation and high-end tax issues, while John Callahan is recommended for healthcare transactions, including private equity investments, as is Ira Coleman in Miami. In 2015, Callahan advised Equity Group Investments (EGI) on its acquisition, along with Ventas, of the healthcare operations of Ardent Health Services. The $475m investment is the first by EGI in the health services sector. In addition, the firm advised Universal Health Services on its acquisition of UK-based Cygnet Health Care. Kerrin Slattery, Gary Davis and Eric Gordon are other key names in the team.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. is closely associated with the healthcare sector and ‘is one of the top, if not the top firm in healthcare law’, according to one client. Clients can ‘rely on the firm’s opinions and analysis of legal issues in the ever-changing field of healthcare law’. Washington DC lawyers Carrie Valiant, Jason Christ and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) specialist Patricia Wagner are singled out for ‘their knowledge, creativity and thorough analysis of complex legal issues’. Douglas Hastings is a standout figure and is noted for his antitrust expertise. Pharmacy law and privacy are also areas of strength, according to clients. David Matyas is another key name.

Foley & Lardner LLP is routinely engaged in top-level transactional and investigation work in the healthcare industry. The response times, ‘knowledge of the medical field’ and overall service are ‘excellent’, according to clients, and it is ‘preeminent’ in ‘sophisticated issues involving Medicare payment, fraud and abuse, other federal compliance issues, and interstate activity involving licensing and certification’. The firm operates across the healthcare space, with notable strength in personalized medicine and health information technology. Its main client base is hospitals and health systems, with a greater weighting towards the for-profit segment. Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, Care 1st Health Plan, Partners HealthCare System and Mayo Clinic are among its impressive list of clients. The firm advised Louisiana Children’s Medical Center on its assumption of the business and operations of the West Jefferson Medical Center. Lawrence Vernaglia is highly acclaimed by clients for responding swiftly and managing teams effectively. Gary Koch ‘understands the medical field’ and Donald Romano is noted for fraud and abuse matters. Michael Blau is also recommended.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has an outstanding record in regulatory work, backed by a sizeable presence in Washington DC. It has an elevated status in the industry and is the ‘long-term healthcare firm for many of the Fortune 100 companies’. The firm is also noted for its close ties to the American Hospital Association. Clients highlight its standing in regulatory issues and litigation, hospital reimbursement and fraud and abuse. The team is ‘very responsive’, ‘knows the field and the agencies’, ‘is strong and deep’, and ‘worth the money’, according to clients. Washington DC’s Cliff Stromberg and Jeffrey Schneider are noted for transactions, Jonathan Diesenhaus is recommended for fraud and abuse cases, and Robert Leibenluft is outstanding for antitrust. Sheree Kanner is also recommended.

King & Spalding LLP has a truly national practice, with strong teams stationed in Georgia, Texas, Washington DC and California. The firm is widely acclaimed for government reimbursement, Medicare and Medicaid matters. It is also frequently engaged in major litigation and government investigations. Hospitals are a notable source of work for the practice, as are other healthcare providers such as hospices and home health services. The firm recently represented Community Health Systems in a Medicare reimbursement case. A team including Stephen Goff and Marcia Augsburger joined the firm from DLA Piper LLP (US) to launch a new Sacramento office. Jon Harris and James Boswell head the practice from Atlanta. Houston’s Gary Eiland is recommended for reimbursement issues.

Ropes & Gray LLP is immersed in the healthcare sector and provides ‘absolutely outstanding legal services’. It is frequently highlighted for its representation of private equity houses in their investments and interests in the healthcare space. It recently expanded its team with the hires of San Francisco counsel Ira Parghi from Northwell Health, and data privacy and security expert Heather Sussman from McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Boston. Transactional and regulatory expert Michael Lampert is ‘highly intelligent’, has ‘superb interpersonal skills’, ‘tremendous attention to detail’, and is an ‘incredibly effective negotiator’. New York fraud and abuse specialist Stephen Warnke is frequently identified as a leading practitioner, as are Deborah Gersh, who advised Madison Dearborn Partners on its $1.4bn acquisition of a majority interest in Walgreens Infusion Services; Thomas Bulleit, John Chesley, Timothy McCrystal, Nancy Forbes and Deborah Gardner.

DLA Piper LLP (US) has a diverse healthcare practice that delivers a ‘high level of service’ and is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’. The firm handles a high volume of healthcare transactions, driven by both strategic players and private equity houses. In addition, the firm has a well-developed healthcare regulatory and compliance practice. Clients include West Penn Allegheny Health System, MEDNAX and Adeptus Health. Led by New York’s Tom Califano, the team also advised Sears Methodist Retirement System on its Chapter 11 filing in bankruptcy court. Miami’s Joshua Kaye and Adam Rogers have outstanding reputations, as does Frank Sheeder in Dallas and Austin-based Karen Nelson. Stephen Goff and Marcia Augsburger recently joined King & Spalding LLP’s new Sacramento office.

Dentons expanded its practice further in 2015 with the hire of a team in San Francisco that includes Daniel Higgins, giving the firm greater resources, contacts and traction on the West Coast. Higgins is known for healthcare transactions, including private equity investments. In another significant move in 2015, healthcare bankruptcy and restructuring specialist Sam Maizel joined the Los Angeles office. The firm has a client base that includes hospitals, hospital companies, major health systems, and lenders to healthcare providers and health plans. HCA Holdings is a key client, as are Community Health Systems and Universal Health Systems. The firm serves as outside transactional, fraud and abuse, Medicare/Medicaid regulatory and compliance counsel for all University of California campuses, hospitals and faculty practice plans. Chicago’s Kathryn Ashton and New York-based Charles Luband head the practice.

Jones Day’s geographic coverage, immersion in the healthcare industry and outstanding record in transactions makes it a true leader in this sector. The firm advised Cleveland Clinic Foundation on a deal that led to it taking full ownership of Akron General Health System. In addition, it represented Dignity Health in the formation of a partnership with Tenet Healthcare to acquire and operate Carondelet Health Network. It also advised ProMedica on its agreement with the University of Toledo and its College of Medicine and Life Sciences to develop a premier academic medical center. Other clients include Cardinal Health, Inova Health System, Centura Health, Adventist Health and Indiana University Health. The firm is also noted for its record in fraud and abuse matters and False Claims Act (FCA) cases. James Dutro and Stephen Sozio head the practice.

Latham & Watkins LLP is best known for transactions, although it also has deep regulatory and litigation expertise and has broad capabilities in reimbursement, fraud and abuse, and government investigations. It has a prestigious reputation among hospitals and hospital systems, including both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. HCA and Tenet Healthcare are key clients. In 2015, the firm represented Tenet in several litigation matters, including an FCA case and a class action. The firm has particular strength in California, but this is complemented by genuine strength in other key centers, such as Washington DC, Boston and Houston. San Diego’s Katherine Lauer is noted for California matters, and Los Angeles lawyer Daniel Settelmayer and Washington DC-based Daniel Meron have excellent reputations.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has shown genuine commitment to the healthcare industry over many years, expertly representing healthcare providers and health insurers in this space. Through its headquarters in Los Angeles and its offices in Orange County, Palo Alto, Sacramento and San Francisco, it is widely acknowledged as one of the main players in the pivotal Californian healthcare market. It is also active outside California and bolsters its national practice and reputation through its offices in Albany, New York and Washington DC. As evidence of this reputation, the firm frequently advises the American Hospital Association and state hospital associations across the country. It also advises blue-chip healthcare corporates such as Aetna and Cigna, and it recently advised faith-based nonprofit Ascension Health in developing a new model for managing advocacy across multiple states. William Bernstein heads the practice, while Daniel Higgins moved to Dentons.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.’s well-established practice is principally located in Boston and Washington DC. The firm is best known for transactions, and regulatory and enforcement matters, including fraud and abuse and FCA cases. It represents some of the biggest names in the industry, such as CVS Health, which it provided healthcare regulatory advice to on its $12.7bn acquisition of Omnicare. It also advised Circle Health on its affiliation with Tufts Medical Centre system. Steve Weiner is ‘highly expert’ and ‘a pleasure to work with’. Karen Lovitch heads the team.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP handles big-ticket transactions and notable regulatory and litigation mandates. It has a huge presence in Texas, but represents healthcare providers nationwide, and recently advised the University of Arizona Health Network on its $1bn merger with Banner Health. Austin-based senior litigator Yvonne Puig is ‘excellent’, delivers ‘practical advice’ and has ‘poise under pressure’. Austin-based Jerry Bell, Dallas’ Lisa Genecov, and James Wiehl in St Louis are recommended for transactions. Washington DC’s Rick Robinson is noted for government investigations and white-collar criminal cases. The New York presence has grown through a sequence of lateral hires, including Robin Adelstein, former North American general counsel of Sandoz.

Reed Smith LLP is recommended for healthcare matters across the board, from ‘healthcare regulatory issues and HIPAA compliance to significant healthcare and governmental litigation’. It provides an ‘excellent service, including deep knowledge and expertise regarding the healthcare industry’ and also ‘practical advice, valued counsel and timely and proactive assistance’. The team continues to represent clients in range of FCA cases as well as sizeable transactions, and advised Abington Health on its merger with Thomas Jefferson University, and Kindred Healthcare on its $1.8bn merger with Gentiva Healthcare. The firm is especially well known for work relating to post-acute care and long-term care. Washington DC’s Carol Loepere and Scot Hasselman, and Philadelphia-based Karl Thallner are highly regarded.

Arent Fox LLP is noted for its experience in relation to senior living and long-term care, and also dialysis. The firm’s Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York and San Francisco offices are all active in the healthcare space. Clients include Citrus Valley Health Partners, Eisenhower Medical Center, Fresenius Medical Care North America and Sunrise Senior Living. A new client in 2014 was MedEquities, which the firm recently advised on its $145m acquisition of ten healthcare facilities in Texas. Adventist Health is another new client. Los Angeles partner Lowell Brown heads the department, which includes Michael Blass and Connie Raffa in New York, and a further 11 partners.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has breadth across the country, with notable strength in healthcare M&A and regulatory issues. The ‘seasoned attorneys’ ensure that the ‘level of service is excellent’ and that the ‘advice is very good and always on target’. Much of the headline work is led from Dallas, Austin, Albany and Washington DC, but the teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Tallahassee and Miami are also integral. The firm represented Gentiva Health Services in its $1.8bn merger with Kindred Healthcare. Michael Malone is ‘responsive, thorough and accurate’. Joseph Coniglio, Francis Serbaroli, Nancy Taylor and Michael Cherniga are also recommended.

Healthcare boutique Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PCowns the California regulatory scene’ thanks in part to the presence of eminent partners Patric Hooper and Robert Lundy. While the firm is principally recognized for its in status California, it is now establishing itself in Washington DC too, with federal prosecutor Precious Gittens joining the firm’s office there in 2015. The firm has ‘breadth and depth’ in managed care, transactions and insurance, and ‘does a very good job’. In 2015, the firm represented out-of-network California Ambulatory Surgery Centers in settling a class action against UnitedHealthcare Services and OptumInsight.

McGuireWoods LLP has deep experience in regulatory issues and transactions, with significant revenue derived from private equity investments in the healthcare sector. Investigations and litigation, including antitrust and whistleblower cases, are also growing parts of the practice. The firm represents a variety of hospitals and health systems, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis and nephrology chains, and private equity and other healthcare investors. It recently advised Lenoir Memorial Hospital, one of the few remaining independent hospitals in North Carolina, on its potential sale. Much of the healthcare workload is handled out of Chicago, with Charlotte, Richmond, Washington DC and Dallas also playing a key role. Scott Becker is a big name, particularly in relation to ambulatory surgery and private equity. Jim Riley is recognized for dialysis-related work, and Amber Walsh is an expert in healthcare private equity, ambulatory surgery and dialysis matters.

Nixon Peabody LLP’s healthcare practice is closely aligned with its well-known life sciences group, and is ‘exceptional’, ‘very well rounded’, ‘timely’ and ‘responsive’. It is commended for transactional, regulatory and litigation services and has a notable presence in Chicago, Boston, Albany and on the West Coast. It is widely acclaimed for its work relating to the for-profit sector, private equity and medical centers. Clients highlight its expertise in tax exemption reinstatement, CMS, HIPAA and privacy issues and commend its ‘tremendous strength in depth’ and ‘good value for money’. Alexian Brothers Health System, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, Exeter Hospital, Harbor Medical Associates and Heywood Hospital are among its clients. Michele Masucci ‘has a wealth of experience’, a ‘broad range of knowledge’ and is recommended for private equity transactions. Lynn Gordon is ‘well-grounded in the industry’ and demonstrates ‘remarkable expertise both in structuring deals and in working through difficult regulatory matters’. Valerie Montague delivers ‘high-quality legal guidance on a range of healthcare regulatory issues’ and ‘provides practical advice concerning HIPAA and related health information privacy questions’. Thomas Fahey, Jill Gordon and Peter Millock are also highly regarded.

Ober Kaler is best known for fraud and abuse defense and regulatory work. It is ‘outstanding’, provides ‘great knowledge and value’, and has a ‘reputation for being the go-to firm on federal regulatory issues’. Among its top lawyers is Sanford Teplitzky, who is ‘the best in the country’, ‘impeccable’, the ‘father of fraud and abuse’, and a ‘real lawyer’s lawyer’. The firm represents many of the largest for-profit and not-for-profit hospital systems in the US, and also represents a number of nursing home chains and other ancillary service providers. It serves as the independent monitor, appointed by the Office of Inspector General, to ensure DaVita’s compliance with its corporate integrity agreement. Other key partners include Julie Kass, Catherine Martin, Craig Holden and Howard Sollins.

Proskauer Rose LLP represents a variety of healthcare operators, hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory providers, digital health companies and investors. Its expertise ranges from regulatory, litigation and fraud and abuse matters to M&A. Data privacy is another notable strength. The team is largely located in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC and Los Angeles. Clients include Ascension Health, Celgene, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Healthcare Services Group, and Rockford Health System. It represented Rockford Health System in its $1bn merger with Mercy Health System and advised Celgene on its $7.2bn acquisition of Receptos. Richard Zall and Monte Dube are recommended. Since publication, David Manko has joined from Rivkin Radler.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has a nationally renowned practice and an impressive record in healthcare reform initiatives, working with a range of major hospital systems. It is an ‘industry leader’ in healthcare transactions and demonstrates ‘expertise in creating, crafting and completing deals with well thought out structures that are designed to last’. On top of that, it is ‘very responsive, timely and knowledgeable’. The firm recently advised Heritage Development Organization in forming a multibillion-dollar joint venture with Trinity Health. It also represented Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center in a joint venture with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and ProHealth/Optum to construct and operate a $240m proton beam therapy center in New York. Eric Klein leads the team; he ‘has the skills necessary to get the deal done’ and ‘is one of the best M&A lawyers in industry’.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is very well known for its healthcare and life sciences regulatory expertise, which plays into a strong service provider practice that is particularly noted for FDA and FCA matters. Allison Shuren and Kirk Ogrosky are recommended for government investigations and litigation, with Alan Reider noted for compliance and fraud and abuse defense, and Paul Rudolf for Medicare reimbursement cases.

Duane Morris LLP is ‘outstanding’, its ‘alacrity is refreshing’ and the ‘client services are impeccable’, according to sources. The Chicago office has a particularly solid reputation. The firm recently advised the Chicago Bears in connection with its HIPAA privacy and security compliance program. The ‘tremendous advocates’ include Kirk Domescik in Atlanta, who is ‘practical and smart’, and Nicholas Lynn, who is ‘extremely intelligent, yet down to earth and personable’ and has ‘a vast range of knowledge with regulatory agencies’. Another name to note is Neville Bilimoria, as he is ‘very knowledgeable about HIPAA and privacy’ and his ‘customer service is outstanding’. Lynn and Bilimoria are based in Chicago.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has a tremendous white-collar criminal practice, which is well positioned for fraud and abuse cases in the healthcare sector. The team is ‘responsive, nice to work with and knowledgeable’. The firm advised Adventist Health System (AHS) on gaining FTC approval for a joint operating company transaction involving the Chicago assets of AHS and Ascension Health. New York’s Joseph Willey is ‘extremely responsive’ and his knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid law is ‘unsurpassed’. Chicago’s Louis Glaser is ‘creative’, ‘an able advocate’ and ‘does not often get bogged down in minutia’.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s practice revolves mainly around hospitals, hospices and nursing homes, and it has a solid record in fraud and abuse and government investigations. Private equity investment in the sector is also a growth area. The firm represented IPC Healthcare in a major federal and multi-state investigation. Howard Young (‘proactive’, ‘resourceful’ and ‘informed’), Scott Memmott and Kathleen McDermott are highly regarded. Andrew Ruskin is a ‘spectacular’ and ‘tremendously knowledgeable’ Medicare regulatory lawyer.

Rivkin Radler is ‘particularly effective in the New York metropolitan area’. It is focused on physicians and physician groups, with a practice centered around transactions, fraud and abuse, and criminal defense. The firm advised Allied Physicians Group in connection with the acquisition of 11 medical practices over a 12-month period. Since publication, David Manko has moved to Proskauer Rose LLP.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP has a sizeable practice operating largely out of its Houston, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC offices. The ‘service is fantastic’ thanks to ‘strong industry knowledge’ and a ‘great team of lawyers’. Clients recognize the firm’s ‘concerted effort to grow and diversify its healthcare practice’ with ‘very reputable attorneys that have a variety of expertise in various aspects of healthcare law’. The firm represented a nursing home portfolio in connection with the refinance of a $62m mortgage term loan. Chicago’s Joan Casciari is an ‘excellent healthcare employment attorney’ and Houston’s Jesse Coleman is a ‘rising star in healthcare litigation’. Clients include Brookdale Senior Living, Houston Metro Urology, Kindred Healthcare and NorthShore University HealthSystem.

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