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Ronald H. Levine, a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, stepped down as chief of the criminal division to join Post & Schell as a partner in its health law practice group. Levine will help bolster the firm’s national health law practice and also head up the firm’s white-collar defense practice group, said Post & Schell Chairman Brian Peters, who also chairs the health law practice group. “As a service to our corporate clients nationally, we have wanted to add to our 19-person health law department someone with outstanding white-collar criminal expertise,” Peters said. “As the former chief of the criminal division, he brings a wealth of trial experience, judgment and insight that is purely invaluable to our clients. … It is a win for our clients, for Ron and for us.” Peters actively courted the man he thought would be a perfect match with his firm — Levine. When they sat down several months ago, Levine said he was not looking to leave the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, but the offer that Peters made was too good to pass up. “[Peters] offered to me what looked like a very interesting and entrepreneurial situation, trying to integrate into their health law practice, serving institutional health care providers and developing a white-collar practice,” Levine said. Adding a white-collar presence to the firm’s ranks was not a quick process, Peters said. Post & Schell looked for the right person for the job for more than a year before landing Levine. Levine’s background, Peters said, will get the firm’s white-collar practice up and running, and will be a clean fit with the firm’s plan to build sophisticated, niche practice areas regionally as well as nationally. “We are building piece by piece,” Peters said. “We are only looking for excellence, so we are willing to be patient.” Levine, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1985, climbed up the ladder to chief of public corruption and labor in 1990, then chief of government/health care fraud in 1994 before being named chief of the criminal division in 1998. A 1981 Harvard Law School graduate, he started his career clerking for U.S. District Judge Norma Shapiro. After the clerkship, he joined Philadelphia firm Conrad Kerr Bloom Hitchner & O’Brien in 1982 before moving to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1985. Since last fall, Levine has worked under the direction of U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan. “We are very disappointed to lose Ron,” Meehan said. “He has been a fabulous asset to this office and to me personally.” Levine’s move, Meehan said, came somewhat as a surprise. “There are those who will spend a period of time here, and then look to go into a private firm,” Meehan said. “But someone who is here for 17 years and then goes to a private firm might be somewhat out of the ordinary.” Levine emphasized that he had no plans to leave his job until Peters contacted him. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is a great place to work, and I very much respect the work and the people in the office,” Levine said. “But after 17 years there, and four as criminal chief, I felt that I wanted to be challenged in a different way and see things from another angle.” Levine also said he felt prepared to deal with the challenges of making the move from the public to the private sector. “It is certainly a different kind of job. It requires looking at things from a different perspective,” Levine said. “After being a supervisor in the office for 12 years, I think I have that perspective and will be able to transfer it pretty readily.” He said that he expects the broad scope of law he worked in at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to benefit Post & Schell clients. “I think I can offer one-stop shopping, including fraud abuse and white-collar defense, which supplements the services that Post & Schell already offers,” he said. An associate will also begin work in Post & Schell’s health law group, expanding the practice to 21 attorneys. Meehan has named Tim Rice, who had previously been a team leader in the public corruption section, to take over the criminal division. Hiring Levine continues Peters’ strategic plan laid out when he became firm chairman in 2000. At the time, Peters said that the firm was looking to expand practices through lateral hires and mergers. The health law practice seems to be following that plan, with the hiring of Edward Shay in early 2001.

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