Pepper Hamilton

Two lawyers who left Pepper Hamilton for Hogan Lovells in 2016 have now returned to the firm, joining a health sciences department that looks very different than it did when they left.

Rachael Bushey is now life sciences chair and vice chair of Pepper Hamilton’s health sciences department. Jennifer Porter has also rejoined as a partner in that department, focusing on life sciences and mergers and acquisitions. Bushey and Porter left Pepper Hamilton for Hogan Lovells as part of a larger group just over a year-and-a-half ago.

But much has changed since then. The firm reorganized what had been its health effects litigation practice, creating a health sciences department that connects multiple practice areas, including litigation and transactional work.

“Pepper has taken a really unique, collaborative approach to serving clients in the industry,” Bushey said, adding that other firms are more siloed by comparison. She said she has separate clients from the partners she moved with last year, so she will not continue to work with them, but wishes them well.

This marks Bushey’s second return to Pepper Hamilton. She joined the firm as an associate in 2005, and worked there for five years, before going in-house at West Pharmaceutical Services, which is based in Exton. She returned to Pepper Hamilton in 2014 as a partner.

As life sciences chair, she will also be on the health sciences steering committee, said health sciences department chair Nina Gussack.

“We are in a growth mode … in the health sciences space,” Gussack said. “We’re looking to make sure the life science clients, and all of our clients, are feeling an organic approach to meeting their needs.”

Since creating the health sciences department, Pepper Hamilton has made several partner hires with life sciences and commercial practices. Earlier this fall, Deborah Spranger, who had been a leader in Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s business and finance and life sciences practices, joined Pepper Hamilton’s health sciences department. And in September, Lisa Kabnick and Kathryn Pourmand Nordick rejoined Pepper Hamilton, both coming from Reed Smith, adding to the firm’s commercial department and financial services capabilities.

Gussack said the firm will continue to seek lateral hires in health sciences and transactional practices.

Also this year, the firm saw health sciences partner Mark Kadzielski leave for Baker & Hostetler, among other departures. The firm saw a decrease in gross revenue in 2016, which firm leadership attributed in part to a slowdown in health care-related work.

Gussack said litigation has been more active in the health sciences department in 2017 than it was at the end of 2016.

In a statement, Virginia Gibson, office managing partner of Hogan Lovell’s Philadelphia office, said, “We understand Pepper offered a new leadership position; we wish Rachel and Jen well in this new endeavor.”