Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: Cigna’s $54B Express Scripts Bid Faces Long Review

March 9, 2018, 12:37 PM

• Cigna Corp.’s $54 billion bid for pharmaceutical benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co. yesterday faces a drawn-out merger review as the Trump administration’s antitrust enforcers weigh the competitive effects of a wave of consolidation sweeping the health-care industry. ( Bloomberg ) Healthcare mega mergers are putting drugmakers in a bind, because suddenly the companies paying for medicines have a lot more negotiating power. ( Bloomberg Businessweek ) Law firms Wachtell and Paul Weiss are advising Cigna, while Skadden and Holland & Knight are advising Express Scripts, according to a press release. ( Business Wire )

• Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery may have found a way to boost its bottom line: attorneys from the global law firm DLA Piper. Mike Poulos, co-managing partner of the Americas at DLA Piper and a top litigator in Chicago, are said to be joining McDermott along with six other litigation partners in Chicago and New York. ( BLB )

• A job at Akin Gump with a salary of almost half a million dollars didn’t stop Jeffrey Wertkin from wearing a wig to carry out a criminal scheme that his defense attorney said was like a scene out of a “B grade action movie.” ( Bloomberg )

• Law firms looking at artificial intelligence and other technology solutions can expect to make a big investment in the humans to implement it. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Toys “R” Us Inc. is said to be preparing to liquidate its bankrupt U.S. operations after so far failing to find a buyer or reach a debt restructuring deal with lenders. ( Bloomberg )

• Lawyers for Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors are said to plan to ask the National Labor Relations Board as early as today to reconsider a recent decision on joint employer liability. ( Bloomberg Law ) And a Washington appeals court wants to hear from the company at the center of the closely watched debate over the issue, Browning-Ferris Industries. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Martin Shkreli’s lawyer made a last-minute pitch to the judge who’s due to sentence the pharma bro today. ( Bloomberg )

Legal Market

• Wynn Resorts Ltd. agreed to pay $2.4 billion to settle a lawsuit with Universal Entertainment Corp. over the forced redemption of the Japanese pachinko-machine maker’s 20 percent stake in the casino operator six years ago. The settlement is the latest dramatic turn since Steve Wynn resigned last month amid a sexual harassment scandal at the casino empire he founded. ( Bloomberg )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Chicago-based giant Baker McKenzie said it is opening a new L.A. office and has added five Hogan Lovells partners in California. Equity partners Robin Samuel and Barry Thompson and litigation partner Joe Ward will become founding partners of the new L.A. office. Equity partner Mark Goodman and commericial litigation partner Ethan Miller will work from its San Francisco/Palo Alto office, the firm said. ( Baker McKenzie )

• Prominent energy law firm Hunton & Williams hopes its recent merger with Andrews Kurth Kenyon will give it a leg up to expand its practice in energy-rich Texas. Also, Sidley Austin grabbed Heather Palmer, an energy-focused attorney, from Bracewell. ( Bloomberg Environment )

• The Senate labor committee yesterday again postponed a vote Trump’s third nominee for the National Labor Relations Board, Morgan Lewis partner John Ring. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Trump plans to nominate Schmitz & Socarras law partner and former government attorney Dennis Dean Kirk to lead the panel responsible for handling federal workers’ appeals of personnel actions. ( Bloomberg Law )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

•Littler Mendelson said it added Charles Wilson as a shareholder in Houston. Wilson previously served as vice chair and office managing partner for Cozen O’Connor in Houston, and a member that firm’s labor and employment department. ( Littler )

•BakerHostetler said healthcare lawyer Gary Wadman will become its new office managing partner in Columbus, Ohio, effective Jan. 1, 2019, taking over from Ron Linville, who has had the role since 2013.( Bakerlaw )

Legal Actions

• FedEx Corp. must defend against a senior manager’s claims of sex discrimination, but not her retaliation charge, a federal district court ruled, in a somewhat atypical finding. ( Bloomberg Law )

• German software giant SAP SE said a Baker McKenzie internal probe revealed that it paid 128.6 million rand ($11 million) to companies linked to a prominent South African family accused of widespread corruption. ( Bloomberg )

• The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists’ health plan will be able to recover some attorneys’ fees from a family who challenged its denial to cover a teenager’s residential mental health treatment. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Honeywell International Inc. convinced a federal appeals court to undo an order forcing the company to continue providing health benefits for about 50 retirees at a Michigan plant. ( Bloomberg Law )

Regulators and Enforcement

• About 200,000 worksites may have failed to comply with a new federal rule requiring employers to electronically file their annual injury and illness log summaries. ( Bloomberg Environment ).

• The NLRB has shifted the standard for deciding if employee handbook rules are lawful. ( Bloomberg Law )

• The Labor Department restored web links to guidance for how investigators determine whether workers are employees or independent contractors. website. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Lawmakers have agreed to spend billions fighting the opioid epidemic this year, but where those funds will go exactly remains unclear. ( Bloomberg Law )

The Trump Administration

• Trump’s tweets may be official statements, but blocking some followers of his Twitter account is strictly personal, government lawyers argued. ( Bloomberg )

• The U.S. Forest Service chief’s resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations is prompting senators to suggest the executive branch and Congress may need to delve more deeply into personal histories of candidates for top positions. ( Bloomberg Environment )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• A Pennsylvania federal judge signed off on a request by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. to get a Pennysylvania city’s opioid lawsuit against the company moved from county to federal court. ( Bloomberg Law )


• The Securities and Exchange Commission said Express Scripts Holding Co.'s proxy materials must include a proposal by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on increasing disclosures of the firm’s efforts to mitigate cyber risks. ( Bloomberg )

• YouTube isn’t responsible for a drop in ad revenue to owners of the wildly popular “Zombie Go Boom” channel, a federal judge ruled. ( Bloomberg )

• The long-awaited roadmap for Eastman Kodak Co.’s digital token is finally here, and it’s a little confusing. ( Bloomberg )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor/Casey Sullivan.

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