Law firms on both sides of the Atlantic hired new life sciences partners last week.

⇒ Dechert recruited Hogan Lovells partner Robert Darwin as a member of its corporate and life sciences team in London on 10 September.

At Dechert, he will work as a private equity and M&A partner, where he will focus on advising global life sciences and healthcare corporations and investors.

Darwin worked at various firms in London including Withers, Faegre & Benson, and Slaughter and May before joining Hogan Lovells as of counsel in 2012. He became a partner in 2015.

While at Hogan Lovells he advised scientific instrument maker Judges Scientific in various life sciences acquisitions and cell product company PeproTech in European corporate matters.

“I wanted to join an elite global law firm that understands the complexities of the clients and transactions going on in the life sciences industry,” Darwin told PLN. “When you compared my ‘shopping list’ against a list of firms with offices in London, it was a very short list, and Dechert was prime among them.”

“Robert is a dynamic lawyer whose entrepreneurial spirit will ensure he will fit in superbly with our global corporate team,” said Mark Thierfelder, chair of Dechert’s corporate practice. “His expansive private equity, M&A and life sciences experience strengthens our growing global platform, directly benefiting our clients in the UK and around the world.”

⇒ McDermott Will & Emery hired James Cannatti, former senior counsellor for Health Information Technology at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on 10 September.

After more than 10 years at the HHS’ Office of Inspector General (OIG), Cannatti will now be a Washington, DC-based partner at McDermott and a member of its health and life sciences team.

He represented the OIG on the Federal Health IT Coordinating Council, testified before Congress, and offered guidance related to the federal anti-kickback statute. His experience also includes assisting physicians and hospitals as they assess healthcare business transactions.

In private practice he will focus on digital health and IT policy issues, including cybersecurity, electronic health records and value-based care, as well as fraud and abuse cases.

Stephen Bernstein, international head of McDermott’s health industry advisory group, said “we are thrilled to welcome James to the firm.”

“James’ experience with OIG strategy and policy for health IT oversight, along with his broad understanding of today’s pertinent digital health and fraud and abuse issues, will be a tremendous asset for our clients,” he added.

Cannatti told PLN that he is “looking forward to helping our life sciences clients navigate the complex health IT-related fraud and abuse issues that they may encounter,” as well as “working with the top-tier health team to continue helping clients achieve their business goals.”

⇒ Litigator Natalie Mantell moved from US law firm Gibbons to McCarter & English on 10 September.

As a member of the firm’s product liability practice in Newark, New Jersey, Mantell will focus on the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Her practice centres around multi-district litigation, and individual products liability actions involving medical specialties and products, including dermatology, psychiatry and sports medicine.

As well as working at Gibbons, Mantell also served as president of the New Jersey Defence Association, where she is now chair of the board.

She was a member of the successful litigation team in the precedential In Re Accutane case, where the New Jersey Supreme Court held that Daubert factors (which set high standards for the use of expert evidence in products liability cases) should be adopted statewide.

McCarter’s “outstanding products liability service, its strength in many practice areas, and offices from Boston to DC, made it very attractive,” Mantell told PLN. “I look forward to drawing on my appellate and products liability experience in high-profile matters to benefit our clients.”

“World-class lawyers like Natalie are precisely the kind of lawyer we are seeking to help build our future,” said Michael Kelly, chairman of McCarter. “Whether it’s pharmaceuticals or medical devices, talc cases or chemicals or power tools, she will fit right in, to the benefit of the firm and, more importantly, our clients.”

⇒ Former K&L Gates partner Michael Levinson has joined Berger Singerman as head of its Miami business finance and tax team.

Before working at K&L for over two years, he held the position of counsel at Hogan Lovells, working on joint ventures, M&A deals, third-party reimbursement, false claims and corporate governance cases in the healthcare sector.

Levinson is a former healthcare executive and a licensed physician, and has served a range of clients including healthcare providers, health systems, investment funds, and clinical laboratories.

“Michael is an extremely talented, creative and resourceful attorney, who has counselled some of the top executives and thought leaders,” said Paul Singerman, co-chair of Berger Singerman.

This makes him “a perfect fit to lead the growth of Berger Singerman’s healthcare practice,” he added.

“Berger Singerman is a progressive, client-centric firm with an incredible pool of legal talent,” Levinson said. “It’s a great fit and I am looking forward to being part of the team.”