At a time when healthcare is on everyone’s mind, the Chicago firm makes some choice hires.
Barely a ten-minute drive from the Capitol Building, where earlier this week Congress agreed to allocate $180 billion of healthcare funding to fight the coronavirus, Winston & Strawn welcomed three experienced healthcare partners into its D.C. office.
Reed Stephens arrived from McDermott Will & Emery, where he headed the firm’s market-leading healthcare advisory department; he was joined in the move by Amandeep Sidhu. Meanwhile, Winston Kirton joined from Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was both in-house counsel and business advisor on global manufacturing and supply chains. No doubt his expertise in these latter areas will come in handy at this coronavirus-ridden time; the team will be kept very busy, even if working from home.
According to litigator Sidhu, who is well-versed in government investigations, healthcare providers are having to adapt to ever-changing telemedicine regulations: “We’re very specifically helping those clients navigate the very fast moving regulatory and statutory changes going into effect to fast-track their provision of care to folks around the United States.”
Stephens, an alumnus of the Civil Fraud Section of the Department of Justice (DoJ), is experienced in compliance and risk management involving healthcare fraud and abuse. Like Sidhu, he is an old hand at investigations; he also has experience in public policy and M&A.
These hires are clearly part of a strategy for Winston & Strawn: also this week, the firm hired class action defense expert Dan Blouin, an experienced defender of healthcare companies, from Seyfarth Shaw, where he had spent 29 years. The US healthcare sector is worth $2.8 trillion, and healthcare litigation is an increasingly prominent part of the disputes landscape, particularly as technological developments and structural shifts reshape the sector. A sizeable chunk of the litigation is administrative: in 2018 and 2019, enforcement actions against drug and device companies resulted in settlement payments of around $1 billion. Disputes involving opioids, data breaches and False Claims Act (FCA) claims have only become prominent, and all industry players are involved in bringing or defending against lawsuits. No doubt Winston & Strawn’s rapidly expanding team of healthcare experts will have its work cut out for it in the coming years.