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Powell Goldstein’s already-dwindling D.C. office has lost a chunk of its health care practice to Ropes & Gray. Ex-Powell partners Larry Gage (formerly head of Powell’s national health care practice), Nathan Brown, Barbara Eyman, and Charles Luband are joining Ropes & Gray’s health care group today. Gage will be a partner; the other three will become counsel. William Knowlton, a former chairman of Ropes & Gray’s health care practice and now a member of the firm’s central policy committee, helped to bring over the group. “To add their practice and their expertise is a very nice strategic move for us,” he says. It’s not so nice for Powell, however. The firm’s D.C. office lost its 33-lawyer international trade group to Sidley Austin in 2002. In last year’s LT 150, Powell reported a more than 21 percent drop in its Washington head count — down from 80 lawyers in 2006 to 63 in 2007. In March, six other health care partners and one senior associate left Powell’s Atlanta office for McKenna Long & Aldridge. The four D.C. lawyers largely represent hospitals and focus to a lesser extent on Medicare and Medicaid matters. There are a number of large academic medical centers and public health centers among their clients, says Knowlton. Despite the departures, Powell’s chairman, James McAlpin Jr., says the firm is committed to “aggressively” expanding the health care practice in the coming months.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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