June 16, 2009

Chicago-based law firm Much Shelist announced the addition of three health care attorneys to its Business & Finance practice group. From the Chicago office of Reed Smith, Abraham J. Stern and Frances D. Meehan joined the firm as Special Counsel. Kevin J. Ryan joined Much Shelist as a Principal from the Chicago office of Epstein, Becker & Green.

Stern, Meehan and Ryan bring to Much Shelist significant experience working with hospitals, nursing homes, surgery centers, physicians, physicians' groups and other health care providers. In addition, the new attorneys offer deep knowledge in areas that span the health care field, including public health, managed care, Medicare and Medicaid, and licensing laws and agreements.

"We are delighted that these high-caliber attorneys have chosen Much Shelist as their new home," said Mitchell S. Roth, a member of the firm's Management Committee and co-chair of its Lateral Task Force. "They have shown a clear preference for our business model, including the firm's approach to client service, our culture and our commitment to independence. In addition, they bring knowledge and experience in a growing area of law that shows no signs of a slowdown."

Kevin Ryan concentrates his practice on transactional and regulatory issues facing the health care industry, with a focus on mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, maintenance of tax-exempt status, and day-to-day operational issues. His clients include hospitals, nursing homes, surgery centers and physician groups, as well as other provider organizations and businesses. Ryan's 29-year career includes a number of years working in administration at a 700-bed community hospital, and as general counsel for a national preferred provider organization. He has also been at the forefront of attorneys advising clients with respect to the globalization of the U.S. health care industry. Ryan holds a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame.

"I like the fact that Much Shelist is an independent firm focused on the middle market. That business model allows me to continue providing my clients with the high level of service they have come to expect, at a fair and reasonable price," said Ryan. "My clients also have a wide variety of legal needs—including real estate matters, corporate transactions, and wealth transfer and tax issues—that will be very well-served at Much Shelist. In addition, I embrace the firm's approach to client-focused service and its emphasis on providing well-rounded business counsel to clients."

With more than 30 years of experience, Abe Stern spent the majority of his career with Sachnoff & Weaver, a midsize Chicago firm that merged in 2007 with Reed Smith. He remained at Reed Smith until making the move to Much Shelist. Stern advises clients on legal and business matters in a broad range of commercial and regulatory areas, with an emphasis on health care issues, including long-term care and senior housing. His clients include physicians, assisted-living facilities, home health care providers, hospices and long-term care facilities, as well as entrepreneurs, wholesalers, retailers, commercial lenders, developers, hotels, manufacturers, distributors and clearing firms. Stern holds a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and an LL.M in taxation from New York University School of Law.

Fran Meehan also practiced at Sachnoff & Weaver and Reed Smith, before joining Much Shelist. Earlier in her career, she served as Chief Counsel for the Illinois Department of Public Health. Meehan focuses her practice on legal and regulatory issues affecting nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, supportive-living facilities, hospices, home health agencies and other providers. She has represented more than 100 nursing facilities in licensing, certification, operational and patient care matters. She also has extensive experience in administrative hearings before the Illinois Department of Public Health, the United States Department of Health & Human Services, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the City of Chicago. Meehan holds a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University.

"Much Shelist offers a high degree of stability and continuity—for our clients and our attorneys—that is increasingly difficult to find in law firms," said Roth. "As a result, more and more attorneys are finding our approach to be an attractive alternative, especially as their clients seek to control legal costs."