Firms make major additions, changes to bolster health presence

A number of prominent firms made recent additions to bolster health care ranks, providing more expertise relating to issues impacting entities from hospital systems to medical device companies.

Akin Gump

The Washington D.C. firm representing clients in the United States and overseas on commercial, environmental, regulatory, real estate, health care, and communications added former Wisconsin governor and HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson as an Adjunct Senior Advisor. Thompson was previously a partner at Akin Gump from 2005 to 2012. Thompson will work in an advisory capacity, providing advice to clients on a range of policy and business issues. As HHS Secretary, Thompson helped with the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003.


The firm has added associate Abby Bonjean to its Health Care practice in its Chicago location. Bonjean spent the last six years as an investigator with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), investigating large breaches, evaluating organizations’ responses to breach incidents and negotiating settlements – including a $5.5 million enforcement settlement, the largest such settlement to date. At Polsinelli, Bonjean will use her experience to help health care organizations implement measures to avoid data privacy breaches and manage other HIPAA compliance issues.

Verrill Dana

The Boston location added James Roosevelt Jr. as a member of the firm’s Health Care group. Roosevelt is one of the longest serving health care executives in Massachusetts, joining Verrill Dana after more than 10 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tufts Health Plan. Roosevelt brings experience from both the provider and payer perspectives, having chaired the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans and America’s Health Insurance Plans, and served on the board of the American Hospital Association. He is also a past president of the American Health Lawyers Association.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon

The firm announced that Partners Alicia Donahue and Jon Strongman will lead Shook’s national pharmaceutical and medical device practice. The group will advise clients on navigating complex science- and health-based litigation, as well as the operational, technological and regulatory challenges of today’s business environment. Donahue, based in San Francisco, will take over as practice chair. Strongman, who will serve as the group’s vice-chair, is based in Kansas City and has worked with the drug and device industry for the entirety of his career.

Arnall Golden Gregory

The Atlanta and Washington D.C. based Arnall added a number of partners to its practice. Lanchi N. Bombalier focuses her practice on providing regulatory counsel for a variety of clients in the healthcare industry, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health and hospice agencies, rehabilitation therapy providers, substance abuse treatment centers, and other ancillary service providers. Jessica T. Grozine focuses her practice on federal and state healthcare regulatory matters, representing nursing homes, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and other healthcare providers on issues relating to operations, compliance, certificate of need, and a variety of healthcare transactions. W. Jerad Rissler counsels and represents healthcare clients in a broad range of healthcare and business disputes, with a particular focus on issues involving government payments, defense of professional liability claims, and regulatory compliance.


Health lawyers taking on new responsibilities for 2017

A new year means new law firm partners, and the announcements have been rolling in. Hogan Lovells, Hooper Lundy & Bookman (HLB), Adams and Reese, and Jones Day have all expanded their health practices through recent hiring and promotion.

New hire. Adams and Reese welcomed Jennifer Rowlett, an experienced health care liability litigator, to its Nashville office. After obtaining her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law, Rowlett began practicing civil litigation at a Nashville firm and then worked as a staff counsel for a Fortune 500 company.

New partners. Jones Day announced 47 new partnerships for 2017 at offices across the world. This includes Claire Castles of the Los Angeles office, who is experienced in advising on compliance, regulatory issues, and government proceedings in the health sphere. Her practice areas range from reimbursement to privacy issues, as well as government investigations.

One of HLB’s new partners is Eric Chan, a Los Angeles-based litigator focused on representing providers in complex litigation and arbitration. His B.S. in Cybernetics supports his area of emphasis in health information technology (HIT), including electronic health records (EHRs) and meaningful use. Another promotion came for new transactional partner Sandi Krul, also of the Los Angeles office. Krul advises providers and suppliers on a wide variety of business transactions and is experienced in negotiating and drafting contracts to best protect her client’s interests.

HLB’s San Francisco office also boasts three new promotions. Katrina Pagonis, a former health law professor and now partner, navigates clients through regulatory compliance matters with an emphasis on health care reform and the health insurance marketplaces. Pagonis practices alongside two newly promoted senior counsels. Benjamin Durie serves as general corporate representation for health entities, facilitating transactions and ensuring compliance with federal regulations. Ruby Wood serves health institutions with her expertise in handling medical staff matters, privacy issues, and related litigation.

Hogan Lovells promoted many new partners, including Christopher Schott of the Washington, D.C. office. Schott advises pharmaceutical manufacturers on a variety of areas, including price reporting and compliance requirements, business models, public policy proposals and comments, and transactions.