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Merger conflicts propel Thompson & Knight healthcare team to Bracewell

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  • Thompson & Knight officially merged with Miami-based Holland & Knight on Sunday
  • Practice leader Wilson Jones said client conflicts were "just too much to overcome"

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(Reuters) - Thompson & Knight's newly-consummated merger with Holland & Knight has prompted a team of seven attorneys to find a new home at Houston-based Bracewell, including the chair of Thompson & Knight's healthcare practice group, Wilson Jones.

Jones and his team represent healthcare providers, which sometimes opt to sue the health insurers that make up part of Holland & Knight's clientele, Jones said.

The client conflicts were "just too much to overcome," said Jones, who will chair Bracewell's healthcare regulatory and litigation practice. "We had to leave to stay with our clients."

Jones' clients have included medical device manufacturer LivaNova PLC, representing one of its units in paying $1.87 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors in Georgia in exchange for patient referrals for its epilepsy treatment.

Thompson & Knight formally merged with Miami-based Holland & Knight on Sunday, with the combined 1,600-lawyer firm bearing only Holland & Knight's name. Thompson & Knight had seen a string of high-profile departures since the merger's announcement in April.

"Thompson & Knight will benefit from having the larger footprint and the larger platform, and we wish them the best," Jones said.

Joining Jones in the move to Bracewell in Dallas are partners Patrick Bredehoft and Andrew Cookingham; counsel Susan Murphy and Kim McCrea; associates Brett Rector and Anna Wortham; and a paralegal. Bracewell managing partner Gregory Bopp called them a "preeminent group in the healthcare space."

"We were just so blown away by the enthusiasm they showed for us and our healthcare group," Jones said. "They have a great vision for healthcare. They want to prioritize the practice. The enthusiasm that Greg Bopp showed for us bled down through the ranks, in my opinion."

Read More:

Holland & Knight flexes Texas muscles after Thompson & Knight deal

LivaNova settles medical device kickback case for $1.9 million

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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