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Covid Test Maker Quidel Hires Former Gibson Dunn Partner Hodges

Dec. 17, 2020, 9:49 PM

Quidel Corp. has hired Michelle Hodges, a former partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, to be general counsel as the company benefits from payments for its coronavirus antigen tests.

The San Diego-based medical diagnostics company recruited Hodges this month after she spent more than 24 years at Gibson Dunn, according to her LinkedIn profile and a biography page on Quidel’s website.

Hodges didn’t respond to a request for comment about her new role. An auto-response message from her Gibson Dunn email said she retired from the law firm Nov. 30. A Quidel spokesman also didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Hodges made partner at Gibson Dunn in 2005 and worked out of the law firm’s office in Irvine, Calif. She specialized in advising public and private companies on corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and securities law.

The Food and Drug Administration earlier this year granted an emergency use authorization for antigen tests made by Quidel to help detect Covid-19. The National Institutes of Health tapped Quidel and six other companies to collectively receive nearly $249 million to make rapid-response tests.

Quidel’s rapid antigen tests have been used in places including in nursing homes and by college football conferences. But successful coronavirus vaccines threaten to gut the market for Covid-19 tests, Bloomberg News has reported.

At Quidel, Hodges joins several former Gibson Dunn lawyers, including the company’s most recent general counsel Robert Bujarski, a former corporate transactions associate at the firm. Bujarski has worked at Quidel since 2005.

Quidel disclosed in a Sept. 11 securities filing the promotion of Bujarski to chief operating officer from his previous positions as general counsel and senior vice president of North America commercial operations.

Bujarski’s new role was effective Sept. 14. He didn’t respond to a request for comment about his elevation to COO at Quidel.

The promotion saw Bujarski’s base salary increase from nearly $400,000 to $515,000. He currently owns more than $2.8 million in Quidel stock, per Bloomberg data.

The company disclosed in its 2019 proxy statement that Bujarski received nearly $1.4 million in total compensation last year.

Other Gibson Dunn alums at Quidel include former associate Phillip Askim, who has spent over a decade at the company, where he is now an associate general counsel.

In recent years, Gibson Dunn has advised Quidel on its 2017 acquisition of two business lines from Alere Inc. as part of the latter’s sale to Abbott Laboratories Inc.

Snell & Wilmer also handles corporate matters for Quidel, which has turned to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton for trademark work.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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