Years at Firm: 4
What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott?
Definitely our people. I love the depth and breadth of expertise among my colleagues. We have highly experienced lawyers in just about every health care niche you can think of and this allows us to take on client work with confidence. On top of that, we have lawyers who are gifted strategists who can take a holistic and critical look at an issue from a broad perspective. I am constantly learning from my colleagues.
What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
Our clients have the potential to transform health care delivery and improve quality of care. We see forces aligning such as changes in payment models to reward value rather than volume and the integration of advanced technology in health care settings to support health care diagnosis and decision making that could actually result in improved health outcomes for many people. Sometimes it seems like all you hear is a lot of hype and speculation – but we get to see through our interactions with clients that some things are really changing.
The flip side is that biggest challenge to this innovation is regulatory compliance that has not kept pace with the changes in health care. There is a real struggle for resources in health care and setting up systems to minimize regulatory risk can consume resources in a way that can be perceived as stifling to innovation or disproportionate to the benefit.
What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk?
I love getting a project that requires hunkering down and understanding a complex set of facts or concepts and then translating that understanding so that it can be understood by others. This can occur in different contexts, such as drafting health care technology contracts or conducting and documenting regulatory analyses. I also like working directly with clients to help them understand available options when trying to reach a goal. Whether it is conducting diligence on a potential investment or acquisition to assess regulatory risk or assisting an organization preparing to undertake a new project or technology, the real pleasure of this job is in helping the client come to the best decision with the facts and laws at hand.
What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
My proudest moment was successfully helping a pro bono client convince a health care technology vendor to grant a concession in a contract that the client was terminating. The monetary value of the concession was not very significant to the vendor, but it made a huge difference in the client’s small budget.
When working on a client matter, what does your ideal team look like?
The ideal composition of a team changes depending upon the nature of the work. Sometimes, a project needs several attorneys to work through a hefty set of diligence documents while other times, a project needs only a pair of specialists in different areas to talk through a client question. Regardless of the composition of a team, the ability for members to communicate freely among themselves and to be consistently communicative with the client can make any team an ideal team to me.