Akin Gump Again Among Am Law’s “A-List” Of Top Law Firms; Firm Expands Health Care Policy Team, Announces Expansions Of Telecommunications, Policy Practices

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 12:06

Akin Gump is pleased to announce it has again been named to The American Lawyer’s A-List, the publication’s annual ranking of the country’s 20 leading law firms. This is the second time in three years that the firm has been named to this prestigious list.

The A-List was created in 2003 to assess the overall quality of the nation’s largest and most prominent firms by evaluating a number of factors: financial performance, attorney diversity, pro bono work and associate satisfaction.

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A top-tier team of health care policy attorneys and advisors is joining Akin Gump, complementing the firm’s market-leading health care regulatory group and adding significant depth to one of the country’s preeminent public law and policy practices. The addition will make the health law and policy practice one of the very largest in the nation.

The group is led by John F. Jonas, a veteran in the health care policy space with nearly four decades’ experience in both the public and private sectors. Joining him at Akin Gump are partners Martha M. Kendrick, Karen Smith Thiel and Anurag Varma and senior policy advisor M. Todd Tuten. Richard L. Thompson, former senior vice president for policy and government affairs at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company with over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, will join as senior counsel. All individuals are joining Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice in Washington, DC. It is expected that other individuals will join the team in the weeks ahead.

Akin Gump will also affiliate with Lu Zawistowich, a nationally known professional in Medicaid and Medicare policy who is launching CapView Associates, LLC, a new health policy consultancy. CapView will provide policy analysis, research and strategic advice to health care stakeholders on payment models, delivery system reform and coverage issues in Medicare, Medicaid and the health care exchanges.

Together, they constitute a comprehensive health care policy and consulting team that advises clients in all aspects of federal, state and local health care law and policy, including matters before Congress, federal agencies and federal and state investigations. The group’s work encompasses legislative and regulatory advocacy regarding matters such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA compliance and matters relating to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, along with Medicare and Medicaid coverage and reimbursement matters, Food and Drug Administration regulation and enforcement, matters before the House Energy & Commerce Committee and consulting on financial analytics for health care clients.

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Akin Gump today announced that Jennifer L. Richter has joined the firm as a partner in its communications and information technology practice in Washington, DC.  Following on the arrivals last year of partner Douglas Brandon and senior counsel Gregory Guice and the arrival earlier this month of senior policy advisor Michael Drobac, Ms. Richter represents a substantial addition to Akin Gump’s telecommunications team.

The firm also announced that Benjamin Bartlett has joined the firm as an associate in its communications and information technology practice and that aviation professional Gregory S. Walden and policy specialist Melanie Goggins have joined its public law and policy practice. Mr. Walden will be senior counsel in the group.

Ms. Richter has represented technology and communications companies and investors in such companies for more than two decades, including serving as vice president and general counsel of a wireless company she helped to form, which was sold to Sprint Corporation in 1999. She handles commercial transactions as well as regulatory, policy, bankruptcy and general corporate matters, often appearing on behalf of clients before the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, the National Telecommunications and Information Agency and the Rural Utilities Service.

Issues on which Ms. Richter advises include wireless transactions and wireless policy; regulatory and compliance matters; in-flight broadband; tower transactions; Universal Service Fund issues, including significant work with service providers and schools that participate in the E-rate program; connected health care issues; educational technology and digital education issues; work on the nationwide First Responder Network (FirstNet); unmanned aerial systems/vehicles (also known as drones); broadcast incentive auctions; device and technology licensing; ISP regulatory compliance and diligence; and negotiation of a wide range of agreements that are needed by technology and communications companies and their investors.