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Patton Boggs’ Loss Akin Gump’s Gain, Healthcare Lobbying Team Changes Firm
As happens usually in the wake of big law firm mergers, small and big components of the original Patton Boggs law firm are changing allegiance where their objectives and existence are not in line with the new Squire Patton Boggs LLP LLP scheduled to start operating from June 1. On May 29, Akin Gump announced on their website of a "significant expansion" of their health care policy team, but the National Law Journal in their story "Patton Boggs to Lose Health Care Group to Akin" covered the real backdrop of the story.
Akin Gump claimed that the move "cements firm's position as one of Washington's premier players in health care law and policy."
Patton Boggs' merger happened at a time when Akin Gump is in the process of affiliating with Lu Zawistowich, who is launching Cap View Associates LLC, a new health policy consultancy that will provide policy analysis, research, and strategic advice to stakeholders in the health care industry. The acquisition of the health care team from Patton Boggs right at this moment was fully in line with Akin Gump's business strategy.
In fact, Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith admitted, "This is a game-changer for our clients and our firm ... For decades, Akin Gump has been synonymous with a first-class public policy practice, and our health care regulatory, policy and transactional work is equally well respected. The addition of this team bridges these two market-leading practices and expands the breadth and depth of services we are able to offer our clients..."
However, as the NLJ reported, Ed Newberry, the managing partner of Patton Boggs expressed a lack of surprise and said, "We are aware of all planned lateral moves and these were anticipated and were factored into our financial models."
On its website, Akin Gump announced John F. Jonas, who has almost four decades' experience in both private and public sector health care policy matters, leads the group, and that several other partners and attorneys are joining the law firm with Jonas.
Other stalwarts in health care law joining Akin Gump from Patton Boggs include partners Martha M. Kendrick, Anurag Varma and Karen Smith Thiel. The group also includes senior policy advisor M. Todd Tuten and Richard L. Thompson, who was the senior vice president for policy and government affairs for over three decades at the Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company. Thompson and Tuten will be joining as senior counsel. All members of the incoming team will join the public law and policy practice of the law firm in Washington D.C.
Not without significance, Akin Gump said on its website "It is also expected that other individuals will join the team in the weeks ahead."
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