Pepper Hamilton is poised to welcome five health care lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright, bulking up its year-old Los Angeles office.

Partner Mark Kadzielski, who leads the health law practice for Norton Rose in L.A., will join Pepper Hamilton on July 1, said Gary Apfel, partner in charge of Pepper Hamilton's L.A. office. Four other health care lawyers from Norton Rose were due to start at Pepper Hamilton's L.A. office this week. Tambry Bradford joins Pepper Hamilton as special counsel, and Dayna Nicholson, Kristina Ayers and Jee-Young Kim come on board as associates. Norton Rose has no other health care lawyers in L.A., according to its website.

Kadzielski will lead the health care practice firmwide for Pepper Hamilton. With his team on board, the firm will finally extend its health care practice to the West Coast, Apfel noted.

"We have one of the premier health care practices, but it has been mostly East Coast oriented," Apfel said. "We are delighted to have West Coast coverage with someone of Mark's stature."

Apfel and Kadzielski have known each other for some 15 years, having worked together at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld shortly after Apfel opened up that firm's Los Angeles office. They are reuniting at another fledging L.A. outpost — Apfel left the crumbling Dewey & LeBoeuf in spring 2012 to plant a flag for Pepper Hamilton in the city.

Kadzielski's team is the first group Pepper Hamilton has picked up in the Los Angeles lateral marketplace, Apfel said. The firm had been holding out for someone like Kadzielski, whose practice throws off work that may entice litigators and corporate lawyers to join the firm, he noted. And Apfel is hopeful that Kadzielski's arrival will more generally raise Pepper Hamilton's profile in Southern California.

"That's part of the reason that we were selective," Apfel said. "We wanted to bring on a group that would do that for us."

Kadzielski represents hospitals, medical staffs, managed care enterprises and health care providers in government regulatory investigations, contracting issues, credentialing, peer review, licensing, Joint Commission accreditation and Medicare certification, among other matters. Kadzielski and others on his team declined to comment.

Apfel said he expects Kadzielski and his team to bring clients to Pepper Hamilton. Norton Rose declined to comment on the group's departure.