Ropes & Gray Cited as “Firm of the Year” for Health Law (including Life Sciences), Private Equity, Securities Litigation, White Collar Crime

Practices: Health Care, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Corporate & Securities Litigation, Government Enforcement / White Collar Crime, Securities & Futures Enforcement

Law360, the influential online resource for legal news and analysis, has selected Ropes & Gray as one of the top five law firms in the country in 2011 for four areas:

  • health law (including life sciences)
  • private equity
  • securities litigation
  • white collar crime (government enforcement)

For more than four decades, Ropes & Gray’s health care practice has represented clients in virtually every sector of the health care industry. For example, Ropes & Gray attorneys recently advised West Penn Allegheny Health System, a multi-hospital not-for-profit system headquartered in Pittsburgh, on its affiliation agreement with Highmark Inc., the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. This combination of a major insurer and an independent hospital system in an effort to unite health care delivery and financing is viewed throughout the industry as a “game changer” of precedent-setting significance. Attorneys from Ropes & Gray’s health care practice have also been deeply involved on behalf of clients in the development, passage and implementation of federal health care reform legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or “PPACA”), a development which will have the most profound impact on the industry in a generation.

Ropes & Gray’s life sciences practice is uniquely positioned to advise clients — from venture-backed start-ups to the world’s leading biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. In November 2011, Ropes & Gray represented Arrowhead Research Corporation, a publicly traded California-based nano-medicine company, in its acquisition of RNA therapeutics assets from Roche, to create one of the most extensive RNAi therapeutics companies in the world. In February 2011, Ropes & Gray advised Genzyme in its acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis for $20.1 billion in cash plus contingent value rights. This deal represents the largest pharmaceutical M&A transaction in the United States since Merck’s $49.6 billion merger with Schering-Plough in 2009.

The firm’s private equity practice has advised its global clients on over 65 transactions completed in 2011 worth a total of more than $26 billion. In 2011, Ropes & Gray attorneys advised clients on some of the most significant private equity buyouts of the year, including The Blackstone Group’s acquisition of Emdeon Inc., Bain Capital’s acquisition of Skylark Co., and TPG Capital’s acquisition of Saxo Bank A/S.

Ropes & Gray’s securities litigation practice was recognized as one of the “Firms of the Year” for securities litigation by Law360 in 2010. This year lawyers from this group continued to represent clients in related and new litigation in the wake of their landmark victory in Jones v. Harris Associates where the U.S. Supreme Court set the standard for determining “excessive fee” claims against mutual fund advisers under the Investment Company Act of 1940. We secured the first-ever non-prosecution agreement with the SEC following a self-report by client Carter’s, Inc. and litigated five cases involving transactions in excess of a billion dollars. We also prevailed in two widely followed Section 11 cases. In Hutchinson v. Deutsche Bank Securities, et al., the Second Circuit clarified important issues concerning the materiality standard applicable to Securities Act of 1933 claims. And in Yu v. State Street Corp., the Southern District of New York dismissed the case based on the novel holding that “loss causation” could not be established under the ’33 Act for open-end mutual fund shares.

The firm’s government enforcement practice has handled some of the most complicated white collar matters facing its clients. In a “bet-the company” case going to trial in January 2012, Ropes & Gray is lead counsel for Stryker Biotech LLC in relation to a criminal indictment charging Biotech and four former employees with wire fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, and felony off-label promotion of its orthopedic product OP-1. Ropes & Gray was also part of the defense team that won an acquittal for former GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) associate general counsel Lauren Stevens in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in May 2011. Ms. Stevens had been charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to a federal agency in connection with an FDA inquiry into GSK’s marketing of the drug Wellbutrin. The case was closely watched by in-house attorneys in many industries and it is expected that the ruling may have an impact on decisions about whether to prosecute individuals in similar cases in the future.

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