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Husch Blackwell expands Madison health care team

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//January 29, 2020//

Husch Blackwell expands Madison health care team

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//January 29, 2020//

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Curt Chase
Curt Chase

Husch Blackwell has more than doubled its Wisconsin health care team, adding 12 attorneys and a paralegal to its Madison office in the first weeks of 2020. The new hires are the local result of the firm’s national strategy to expand its health-care practice.

The new partners Tom Shorter, Jed Roher and John Anderson, formerly of Godfrey & Kahn, will lead a team that includes Tom O’Day, Peggy Barlett, Kelsey Anderson, Bill Foley and Matthew Ludden, also former Godfrey & Kahn attorneys. They have experience with mergers, acquisitions, affiliation models, labor and employment law, educational institutions and business cooperatives.

Meg Pekarske and Bryan Nowicki, formerly of Reinhart, also joined the Madison office as partners. They’ll lead a team that includes the former Reinhart attorneys Andrew Brenton and Erin Burns. They’ve represented hospices in various matters around the country, including regulatory compliance, the development of palliative-care programs, inpatient-unit structures, government investigations, enforcement actions and contracting matters.

The Wisconsin Law Journal talked to Curt Chase, partner and leader of Husch Blackwell’s team for health care, life sciences and the education industry, about the reasons for the expansion and his long-range plans.

Wisconsin Law Journal: How did you connect with your new attorneys?

Curt Chase: I’ve known Tom Shorter, who was the chair of the health care group at Godfrey & Kahn, for four or five years. We would see each other at national conferences and keep up with the latest trends and where the industry was headed. Tom knows the Madison market well, and he had introduced me to Meg Pekarske, who was at Reinhart.

Through various conversations with them individually, we started talking about whether our platform at Husch Blackwell might be a good fit for them. They both individually had very strong health-care practices. Our team has a very national scope in its health-care practice, and we thought they’d be great additions and also give us a tremendous amount of bench strength and added expertise in certain areas of health care. We started having some conversations, and one thing led to another, and next thing you know, they’re part of our team.

WLJ: What were the main reasons for expanding the Madison practice?

Chase: It wasn’t specific to Madison as much as it was two phases: It was a Wisconsin strategy and a national strategy. It just so happened that Meg and Tom work in Madison. Their practices are very well known in Wisconsin and the surrounding states. We felt like it would open up opportunities on a national level using our platform.

WLJ: How are their clients benefiting from connecting to Husch Blackwell’s national platform?

Chase: The new hires put our group at about 165 professionals on our health-care, life-sciences and education team. With that comes with a lot of niche expertise. The attorneys in Madison who just joined us will be able to draw upon that platform of very in-depth expertise to help serve their clients in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.

From our perspective, those groups also bring some of that niche expertise and experience that we hope to draw upon to serve the clients that we have as well. We look at it as a mutually beneficial combination for our clients.

WLJ: What’s ahead for your health-care team?

Chase: The marketplace in health care is changing rapidly, particularly around technology. We believe to serve our clients well, we have to continue to grow and have that depth of expertise. We’re beyond excited about the energy that Tom, Meg and their team are bringing. We’re really excited about the opportunities for serving our clients and growing our practices both in Wisconsin and nationally.


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