Buchanan adds corporate health care duo
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Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has added depth to its health care practice in Philadelphia nearly four months after the co-chairman of the firm's group departed for Stevens & Lee.
John Washlick, the former co-head of Cozen O'Connor's health care practice, joined Buchanan last Monday, while Mitts Milavec co-founder and name partner Stanley J. Milavec Jr. will move to Buchanan on July 2.
Despite Mr. Milavec's departure, his former 10-lawyer firm will continue operating.
Both Mr. Washlick and Mr. Milavec are leaving litigation-focused practice groups; both attorneys represent hospitals and large physician groups in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate governance and compliance matters.
Mr. Milavec's firm, started in 2005, has grown into what he described as a "potent" litigation boutique that can and will continue to grow. But he said he needed the tax, ERISA, labor and employment, antitrust and securities capabilities to back his practice up and Mitts Milavec's strategic vision didn't have the capital or resources to grow in that direction.
He emphasized that he and co-founder Maurice Mitts would remain friends.
Meanwhile, Cozen O'Connor's health care practice was focused mainly on litigation, with Mr. Washlick serving as the only corporate and regulatory attorney in the group. For all of its efforts -- and Mr. Washlick had nothing bad to say about the firm he was at for 10 years -- Cozen O'Connor was unable to grow the corporate side of that group.
Mr. Washlick and Mr. Milavec each had ties to Buchanan.
Mr. Washlick had known Tom Tammany, former co-chair of Buchanan's health law practice, for years and the two had always tried to recruit one another to their respective firms. Mr. Tammany, however, left in March to join Stevens & Lee.
"It's kind of ironic that I'm here now and he's gone," Mr. Washlick said.
Mr. Milavec's hire will be a bit of a homecoming. He had worked at Buchanan as an associate in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He also used the firm as an outside counsel while he served as general counsel at Shadyside Hospital and West Penn Allegheny Health System.
Prior to that, he was associate counsel at Albert Einstein Healthcare Network. He also founded two health care businesses.
Aside from having firsthand knowledge of the firm, Mr. Milavec said he was excited to rejoin Buchanan as it has strong connections with health systems across the state.
"There was an opportunity for me to have the bigger platform I need and have the backup I need," he said.
Mr. Milavec's practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions work, asset and stock deals and financing for hospital systems and large physician groups. Mr. Washlick's practice has focused on commercial transactions for large physician groups or hospitals in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, governance and compliance issues. He has a strong emphasis on the tax component of those deals.
A hot area on the corporate side of health care is joint ventures, Mr. Washlick said. Hospitals and physicians are looking to find ways to partner, though those marriages aren't always easy, he said. Along with a rise in joint ventures, Mr. Washlick said he is also seeing an increase in entrepreneurial health care startups. These businesses are run by business people and not physicians, and the owners often have goals of going public and an exit strategy in place from the start, he said.
Both attorneys are joining Buchanan as shareholders.
First Published June 25, 2012 11:26 pm