Executive Message

More than 2,000 years ago the Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote that “change is the only constant in life.” At no time was that more true than 2016, when seismic geopolitical events, disruptive technologies and increased competition helped shape the global economy and our profession.
As a firm, our challenge is to respond and adapt to today’s environment in order to address the complex issues facing our clients, and to deliver tangible results for their businesses. Throughout our 2016 Annual Report you will find examples of how the more than 1,400 people who call Drinker Biddle home are embracing change and advancing the goals of our clients.
We have remained focused on implementing the objectives of our Strategic Plan by continuing to recruit top talent, institute professional development programs at all levels, develop cross-practice industry groups and improve our financial performance. These initiatives, among many others, support our mission to be innovative, strategic advisors to our clients.
We have never been a firm to open an office simply for growth’s sake; rather we focus on strategic opportunities. The opening of a new office in Dallas affirmed our commitment to be where our clients’ business needs take them. We were thrilled to welcome a group of lawyers with significant experience in Texas, and in the practices and industries we serve nationally, who also share our values as colleagues.
In the end, change may alter what we do and how we do it, but not our culture and commitment to excellence. We believe professional satisfaction is found in the success of a common enterprise, shared with clients, friends and colleagues who are committed to similar beliefs and goals.
We are proud of our recent achievements and the trust placed in us by our valued clients and friends. It means a great deal to have you as part of our growing community.

Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan sets out our vision for the direction of our firm in the coming years, while addressing the needs of our clients, and the challenges and opportunities confronting our profession. Throughout this report you will find tangible examples of what we have achieved in pursuit of our strategic objectives since releasing the plan in 2015.
Our Strategic Plan established six key objectives that guide our firm:
Expand Our Geographic Reach and the Depth of Our Core Practices
Differentiate by Industry
Pioneer New Service Offerings and Enhance Service Delivery
Rigorously Recruit, Train and Evaluate Talent
Improve Operational and Financial Performance
Conduct Ourselves as One Firm in All We Do

New Texas OfficE

We continued our commitment to be where our clients’ business needs take them by opening an office in Texas with the arrival of 23 lawyers in Dallas. Our new lawyers joined us from Sedgwick LLP’s Dallas office and are nationally renowned for their business litigation, products liability and class action capabilities in industry sectors such as automotive, insurance, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and health care.
Our firm now has 12 offices located throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, California and Texas, as well as an office in London.

Firm Highlights

2016 was a record-breaking year for our firm on many fronts, including with respect to our financial performance. From the lawyers and staff who joined our firm, to internal training and development programs, to new matters handled, here is a glimpse of 2016 by the numbers.
225/$20 Billion
Deals closed and aggregate value since 2014
3,700+
New litigation matters
10,000+
New products liability matters
2,900+
New IP matters
1,750+
New client engagements
1,000,000+
Billable hours
9
Newly promoted partners
5
Newly promoted counsel
13
New lateral partners and counsel
51
New associates welcomed
69/13
Lawyers/practices ranked in Chambers USA
77
New staff colleagues
800+
Training Classes Conducted

Our Results

Excellence in everything we do is a cornerstone of our commitment to clients. Whether a transformational acquisition, a “bet-the-company" litigation or a regulatory hurdle, we pride ourselves on achieving successful outcomes. These are just a few examples of the most significant and innovative results across our services in 2016.

Cutting-Edge Transactions at the Intersection of Insurance and Healthcare

An OVG International/Normandy Real Estate partners joint venture and Normandy Real Estate Partners were involved in transactions for the 52-acre, 700,000-square-foot Unilever corporate headquarters properties along the Hudson River in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Our Real Estate Group represented Normandy in the acquisition and leaseback to Unilever of half of the headquarters property, while positioning the deal to allow for future development by our client. In the second set of transactions, Drinker represented the OVG/Normandy joint venture in connection with the purchase and leaseback of the other half of the Unilever headquarters properties, with a separate transaction assigning the purchase contract simultaneously with the closing to a third party institutional investor.

The OVG/Normandy matters were two complex transactions negotiated separately with different third parties that closed simultaneously for a total of approximately $220 million. Under one of the development agreements negotiated by our lawyers, OVG/Normandy will undertake approximately $115 million in expansions and renovations to the Unilever headquarters, making the facility larger and among the “greenest” and “smartest” commercial properties in the United States.

Cutting-Edge Transactions at the Intersection of Insurance and Healthcare

An OVG International/Normandy Real Estate partners joint venture and Normandy Real Estate Partners were involved in transactions for the 52 acre and 700,000 square foot Unilever corporate headquarters properties along the Hudson River in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Our Real Estate Group represented Normandy in the acquisition and leaseback to Unilever of half of the headquarters property, while positioning the deal to allow for future development by our client. In the second set of transactions, Drinker represented the OVG/Normandy joint venture in connection with the purchase and leaseback of the other half of the Unilever headquarters properties, with a separate transaction assigning the purchase contract simultaneously with the closing to a third party institutional investor.

The OVG/Normandy matters were two complex transactions negotiated separately with different third parties that closed simultaneously for a total of approximately $220 million. Under one of the development agreements negotiated by our lawyers, OVG/Normandy will undertake approximately $115 million in expansions and renovations to the Unilever headquarters, making the facility larger and among the “greenest” and “smartest” commercial properties in the United States.

Cutting-Edge Transactions at the Intersection of Insurance and Healthcare

An OVG International/Normandy Real Estate partners joint venture and Normandy Real Estate Partners were involved in transactions for the 52 acre and 700,000 square foot Unilever corporate headquarters properties along the Hudson River in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Our Real Estate Group represented Normandy in the acquisition and leaseback to Unilever of half of the headquarters property, while positioning the deal to allow for future development by our client. In the second set of transactions, Drinker represented the OVG/Normandy joint venture in connection with the purchase and leaseback of the other half of the Unilever headquarters properties, with a separate transaction assigning the purchase contract simultaneously with the closing to a third party institutional investor.

The OVG/Normandy matters were two complex transactions negotiated separately with different third parties that closed simultaneously for a total of approximately $220 million. Under one of the development agreements negotiated by our lawyers, OVG/Normandy will undertake approximately $115 million in expansions and renovations to the Unilever headquarters, making the facility larger and among the “greenest” and “smartest” commercial properties in the United States.

An OVG International/Normandy Real Estate partners joint venture and Normandy Real Estate Partners were involved in transactions for the 52 acre and 700,000 square foot Unilever corporate headquarters properties along the Hudson River in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Our Real Estate Group represented Normandy in the acquisition and leaseback to Unilever of half of the headquarters property, while positioning the deal to allow for future development by our client. In the second set of transactions, Drinker represented the OVG/Normandy joint venture in connection with the purchase and leaseback of the other half of the Unilever headquarters properties, with a separate transaction assigning the purchase contract simultaneously with the closing to a third party institutional investor.

The OVG/Normandy matters were two complex transactions negotiated separately with different third parties that closed simultaneously for a total of approximately $220 million. Under one of the development agreements negotiated by our lawyers, OVG/Normandy will undertake approximately $115 million in expansions and renovations to the Unilever headquarters, making the facility larger and among the “greenest” and “smartest” commercial properties in the United States.

In a groundbreaking litigation against Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the Corporate Restructuring Group successfully represented a group of hedge funds arising from Caesars’ attempts to avoid payment on billions of dollars of corporate debt.

In the midst of briefing an appeal of one of the issues in the case, Caesars agreed to a settlement that provided our clients with a recovery that is 72 percentage points higher than Caesars' initial offer, along with the payment in full of all attorney’s fees and costs incurred by our clients in litigation.

At the heart of these cases were claims developed by Drinker Biddle based on the Trust Indenture Act, a Depression-era statute intended to protect minority bondholders.

Over a two-year period, our lawyers handled litigation actions in multiple jurisdictions including a suit in the Southern District of New York and a multibillion-dollar bankruptcy filed in the Northern District of Illinois (one of the largest on record).

Enstar Group Limited, a public Bermuda insurance group with operations worldwide, turned to our Corporate Group for a broad array of complex insurance merger and acquisition deals in 2016.

Two transactions stood out, including a $1.1 billion collateralized reinsurance transaction in which a Bermuda Enstar subsidiary reinsured from an Allianz subsidiary in Germany 50 percent of certain workers' compensation, construction defect, and asbestos, pollution and toxic tort business (originally held by Allianz’ U.S. subsidiary, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company).

In the second transaction, we advised Enstar in connection with a $919 million collateralized reinsurance transaction. In this transaction, a Bermuda subsidiary of Enstar assumed from a Bermuda subsidiary of QBE Insurance Group Limited, an Australian public company, certain workers’ compensation, construction defect and general liability business originally held by various QBE subsidiaries in the U.S.

Both of these complex, cross-border deals required highly skilled work and coordination among many lawyers in our offices in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago.

Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Johns Hopkins Medicine, sold a minority stake in Hopkins Health Advantage, its Medicare Advantage health insurer subsidiary, to six of the largest and most prominent health systems in Maryland. Our Corporate and Health Care groups represented John Hopkins HealthCare LLC in this transformative transaction, which signals the new emphasis health care systems are placing on taking insurance risk, and how insurance ventures can be used to further not only commercial insurance interests, but also strategic alignment interests as well.

The
transaction involved an intricate deal structure starting with the creation of a new insurance holding company, to which Johns Hopkins contributed Hopkins Health Advantage, and culminated in the sale of a minority stake in the holding company to the six regional health systems.  The transaction also involved negotiating new provider agreements with each health system. This challenging transaction presented a host of highly complex business, corporate and regulatory issues at the intersection of insurance and healthcare.

The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Iowa ruled in favor of our client Aegon/Transamerica in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) case. The court ruled that a plaintiff and putative class of similarly situated general agents are not entitled to benefits under the AEGON Companies/Transamerica Pension Plan.

The case was originally filed in California but our lawyers succeeded in having the case transferred to Iowa, based on the plan’s forum selection clause.  On cross motions for judgment, the federal court ruled that the putative class was not entitled to benefits and that the claim was also time-barred.

This win follows a landmark ruling in the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Smith v. Aegon Cos. Pension Plan, which held that a forum selection clause in an ERISA plan is valid and enforceable.  The U.S. Secretary of Labor filed an amicus brief in the case and argued that plan forum selection clauses are contrary to ERISA. In December 2015, U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. advised the U.S. Supreme Court not to review the case.

A team of customs lawyers from our Government and Regulatory Affairs Group secured a victory for our client Auburn Manufacturing, when the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) imposed anti-dumping duties of more than 160 percent to offset the damage from Chinese imports.

The DOC handed down an affirmative preliminary anti-dumping determination, which found that Chinese exporters were selling competing goods in the United States at less than fair value. The anti-dumping duties were retroactively dated going back to early June to offset the surge in those imports. Additionally, the DOC imposed countervailing duties to offset unfair subsidies provided by the Chinese government, which ranged from approximately 4 percent to 104 percent, depending on the Chinese exporter.

The DOC will make its final anti-dumping and countervailing duty determinations in January 2017, followed by the ITC’s final injury determination in February 2017.

Thomas Jefferson University is driving a transformation of health care through combinations that give greater reach to Jefferson’s model of delivering more value to patients.

Our team of health care lawyers represented Jefferson on all aspects of its combination with Aria Health, including negotiation of the definitive agreements, due diligence, corporate and regulatory requirements, and clearance from the Federal Trade Commission.

Jefferson’s combination with Aria Health created the largest health system in the five-county region in southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, and in its acquisition of a controlling interest in Rothman Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital in Bensalem, PA.

On the heels of Jefferson’s merger with Abington Health in 2015, the addition of Aria expands access to some of the nation’s finest clinicians, scientists, academicians and health care professionals in an urban and suburban region that includes Philadelphia and Trenton, N.J. This combined organization – Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health – brings together 5,000 physicians and practitioners, 5,770 nurses, 23,000 employees, and 2,217 inpatient beds.

Our Health Care Group is also lead counsel on pending affiliations with Kennedy Health System and Philadelphia University.

In 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the most comprehensive overhaul of money market fund regulation ever undertaken by the agency, all of which had become effective by November 2016.

While many mutual fund groups suffered substantial losses or liquidated in the wake of new money market fund regulations, the Northern Funds Complex retained and gained assets. The Investment Management group assisted Northern Trust Investments, investment adviser to the Northern Funds Complex, on strategic discussions and in restructuring the fund line up to comply with the new rules. Northern Funds was in the top ten of all money market funds, as measured by assets, after the changes were complete.

Our work for Northern Funds included: filing registration statements and supplements with the SEC in 2016 to substantially revise disclosure about the funds and to convert their shareholder bases to comply with the rule; liquidating money market funds and several share classes that were expected to lose substantial assets as a result of shareholders migrating to other money market funds in the complex; advising the two fund boards on policies and procedures for imposing liquidation fees and redemption gates on the funds, and developing compliance policies and procedures related to the reforms; reorganizing the funds’ retail fund shareholders to only include natural persons; and advising on fee reductions and related documentation.

Following a five week trial, a federal jury acquitted our client Brett C. Lillemoe on 16 counts brought against him by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, while finding him guilty on six counts. The jury acquitted Mr. Lillemoe on 14 counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.

The indictment alleged that Mr. Lillemoe and the other defendants had engaged in a scheme to defraud two U.S. financial institutions, Deutsche Bank in New York City and CoBank in Denver, in connection with a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan guarantee program called the GSM-102 Program, in which the USDA guaranteed 98 percent of the principal value of loans made from U.S. financial institutions to certain foreign banks. Our Litigation Group represented Mr. Lillemoe.

In total, the jury rejected 54 of the 62 counts brought against the defendants.

Transformed Health System in Southeast Pennsylvania Through Multiple Transactions

Thomas Jefferson University, a longtime firm client based in Philadelphia, is transforming health care delivery and value through a number of combinations that have expanded Jefferson’s delivery model to patients.
In 2016, our experienced team of health care lawyers represented Jefferson in its combination with Aria Health and its acquisition of a controlling interest in Rothman Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital (ROSH). Our team led all aspects of both transactions, including negotiation of the definitive agreements, due diligence, corporate and regulatory requirements, and clearance from the Federal Trade Commission.
Jefferson’s combination with Aria Health created the largest health system in the five-county region of southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, while the acquisition of ROSH marks Jefferson’s ninth hospital in the region, and its first specialty hospital. The combined organization — Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health — brings together 5,000 physicians and practitioners, 5,770 nurses, 23,000 employees, and 2,217 inpatient beds.
Our health care lawyers are also representing Jefferson in connection with several pending transactions, including the addition to Jefferson Health of  Kennedy Health System, a three-hospital, southern New Jersey-based health system. Additionally, we are representing Jefferson in its combination with Philadelphia University, which will create a comprehensive university that delivers high-impact education and value for students in health, science, architecture, design, fashion, business, and engineering.

Recovered Billions for Creditors in Groundbreaking Litigation against Caesars

The Corporate Restructuring Group successfully represented a group of hedge funds in a groundbreaking litigation against Caesars Entertainment Corporation arising from Caesars’ attempts to avoid payment on billions of dollars of corporate debt.
Over a two-year period, our lawyers handled litigation actions in multiple jurisdictions including a suit in the Southern District of New York and a multibillion-dollar bankruptcy filed in the Northern District of Illinois (one of the largest on record).
At the heart of these cases were arguments developed by Drinker Biddle based on the Trust Indenture Act, a Depression-era statute intended to protect minority bondholders.
In the midst of briefing an appeal of one of the issues in the case, Caesars agreed to a settlement that provided our clients with a recovery that is 72 percentage points higher than Caesars' initial offer, along with the payment in full of all attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by our clients in litigation.

Led Joint Ventures to Create One of the Greenest Commercial Properties in the U.S.

In 2016, Normandy Real Estate Partners and an OVG Real Estate/Normandy Real Estate Partners joint venture were involved in two separate property transactions relating to the 52-acre, 700,000-square-foot Unilever corporate headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
In the first set of transactions, our Real Estate Group represented Normandy in the acquisition and leaseback to Unilever of the R&D portion of the headquarters property. This transaction also included establishing a condominium regime for the property and the sale of one of the condominium units (under long-term leaseback to Unilever) to an institutional investor, while positioning the balance of the property (under short-term leaseback to Unilever) for future development.
In the second set of transactions, we represented the OVG/Normandy joint venture in connection with the purchase and leaseback of the other Unilever headquarters property, with a separate transaction assigning the purchase contract simultaneously with the closing to a third-party institutional investor. The OVG/Normandy transaction also involved the negotiation of a development agreement under which OVG/Normandy is undertaking a major renovation and expansion of the Unilever headquarters property, which is anticipated to make the facility among the greenest and smartest commercial properties in the United States.

Coordinated Complex, Cross-Border Deals for Global Insurance Group

Enstar Group Limited, a public Bermuda insurance group with global operations, turned to our Corporate Group to lead it through a broad array of complex insurance merger and acquisition deals in 2016.
Two transactions stood out, the first of which was a $1.1 billion collateralized reinsurance transaction in which a Bermuda Enstar subsidiary reinsured 50 percent of certain workers' compensation, construction defect, and asbestos, pollution and toxic tort business from an Allianz subsidiary in Germany (originally held by Allianz’ U.S. subsidiary, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company).
In the second transaction, we advised Enstar in connection with a $919 million collateralized reinsurance transaction. In this transaction, a Bermuda subsidiary of Enstar assumed from a Bermuda subsidiary of QBE Insurance Group Limited, an Australian public company, certain workers’ compensation, construction defect and general liability business originally held by various QBE subsidiaries in the U.S.
Both of these complex, cross-border deals required highly skilled work and coordination among many lawyers in our Philadelphia, New York and Chicago offices.

Cutting-Edge Transactions at the Intersection of Insurance and Health Care

In 2016, Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Johns Hopkins Medicine, sold a minority stake in Hopkins Health Advantage, its Medicare Advantage health insurer subsidiary, to six of the largest and most prominent health systems in Maryland. Our Corporate and Health Care groups represented John Hopkins HealthCare LLC in this transformative transaction, which signals the new emphasis health care systems are placing on taking insurance risk, and how insurance ventures can be used to further not only commercial insurance interests, but also strategic alignment interests as well.
The transaction involved an intricate deal structure starting with the creation of a new insurance holding company, to which Johns Hopkins contributed Hopkins Health Advantage, and culminated in the sale of a minority stake in the holding company to the six regional health systems. The transaction also required the negotiation of new provider agreements with each health system. This challenging transaction presented a host of highly complex business, corporate and regulatory issues, which our team successfully navigated at the intersection of insurance and health care.

Obtained Unanimous International Trade Decision to Impose Tariffs on Chinese Specialty Fabric

With the future of its business at stake in a tug of war on fabric pricing, Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. turned to the Customs and Trade practitioners in our Government and Regulatory Affairs Group for help. Our lawyers successfully persuaded the International Trade Commission (ITC) to vote unanimously in Auburn’s favor, resulting in five years of significant duties on Chinese importers and opening up substantial new business opportunities for Auburn.
U.S. imports of silica fabric from China had been decimating Auburn’s business in all of its market segments. We filed an anti-dumping and countervailing duties petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and ITC in January 2016, alleging that imports of Chinese silica fabric were materially injuring the U.S. fabric industry.
The DOC handed down an affirmative preliminary anti-dumping determination in August 2016, which found that Chinese exporters were selling competing goods in the U.S. at less than fair value. The anti-dumping duties imposed by the DOC were retroactively applied back to early June in order to offset the surge in those imports. Additionally, the DOC imposed countervailing duties to offset unfair subsidies provided by the Chinese government. The total combined anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the DOC ranged from approximately 200 percent to 300 percent, depending on the Chinese company.
As a result of the final ITC ruling, the DOC’s duties will remain in effect for at least five years. Since the imposition of the duties, Auburn’s business has begun to recover, allowing Auburn to rehire U.S. workers. This victory is a powerful remedy for other U.S. producers that are being adversely impacted by foreign imports.

Navigated Fund Complex Through Comprehensive Overhaul of Money Market Fund Regulations

In 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the most comprehensive overhaul of money market fund regulation ever undertaken by the agency — all of which had become effective by November 2016.
While many mutual fund groups suffered substantial losses or were liquidated in the wake of new money market fund regulations, the Northern Funds Complex retained and gained assets. Our Investment Management Group assisted Northern Trust Investments, investment adviser to the Northern Funds Complex, on strategic discussions and in restructuring the fund lineup to comply with the new rules. Northern Funds was in the top 10 of all money market funds, as measured by assets, after the changes were complete.
Our work for Northern Funds included: filing registration statements and supplements with the SEC in 2016 to substantially revise disclosure about the funds and to convert their shareholder bases to comply with the rule; liquidating money market funds and several share classes that were expected to lose substantial assets as a result of shareholders migrating to other money market funds in the complex; advising the two fund boards on policies and procedures for imposing liquidation fees and redemption gates on the funds and developing compliance policies and procedures related to the reforms; reorganizing the funds’ retail fund shareholders to only include natural persons; and advising on fee reductions and related documentation.

Protected Business From Threat of Unfair Employee Raiding by Competitors

Under the threat of unfair employee raiding practices by multiple competitors, Freedom Mortgage Corporation turned to our Labor and Employment Group for help. We successfully obtained injunctions to stop these actions and continue to pursue claims against the competitors on our client’s behalf.
In one federal court case in New Jersey against Freedom Mortgage’s competitor AnnieMac Home Mortgage and 22 former Freedom Mortgage employees, we obtained injunctions prohibiting AnnieMac and the former Freedom Mortgage employees from calling on or doing business with any of Freedom Mortgage’s more than 2,000 wholesale mortgage division customers (mortgage brokers, banks and other financial institutions). The injunction also bars these parties from using or disclosing Freedom Mortgage confidential information. The injunction resulted in AnnieMac terminating the employment of almost all former Freedom Mortgage employees and electing to exit the wholesale mortgage market almost completely. We are now pursuing a sizable damages claim in that case.
In a second case, which is currently ongoing in New York state court, we obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of Freedom Mortgage against its direct competitor Intercontinental Capital Group (ICG) and two former Freedom Mortgage employees. The preliminary injunction prohibits certain solicitation of our client’s employees by the former Freedom Mortgage employees.

Obtained Dismissal for Client Accused of Health Care Fraud

Near the end of a six-week trial, the United States Department of Justice dismissed with prejudice all seven felony counts against our client Maribel Tinimbang, the owner of a physical therapy company that provided services to three separate home health care providers.
Originally touted by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch as a significant part of “the largest criminal health care fraud takedown” in the Department’s history, the indictment alleged that Ms. Tinimbang and her co-defendants orchestrated a massive $45 million fraud against Medicare through false claims, among other charges.
At trial, however, our lawyers successfully excluded key pieces of the government’s evidence before ultimately discovering that government lawyers had violated the criminal discovery rules. While the judge considered our lawyers’ requests for sanctions, the government agreed to dismiss all felony counts (including charges that were to be the subject of a second trial) against Ms. Tinimbang. In exchange, Ms. Tinimbang pleaded guilty to a single, unrelated misdemeanor charge, and received a sentence of 12 months’ probation and no fine. According to the Chicago Tribune, “the case fizzled in stunning fashion.”

Secured Summary Judgment in One of the Most Prominent Mass Tort Cases in U.S.

In one of the largest mass torts in the country, members of the Products Liability Group secured a significant victory on federal preemption in a California court.
Plaintiffs from five different states alleged that the label for a prescription medicine failed to properly warn about the risk of gynecomastia and should have instructed physicians to monitor blood prolactin levels. Plaintiffs asserted that the defendants knew of a "statistically significant association" between elevated prolactin and gynecomastia based on a data analysis that was generated for a journal article, but did not provide the analysis to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and omitted it from the published article.
In granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on all claims, the court held that the defendants satisfied their burden to demonstrate that they could not have implemented a label change without first obtaining approval from the FDA, and that the FDA would not have approved the plaintiffs' proposed label change based on the evidence.
The court concluded under the standards articulated by the Supreme Court that there was clear evidence that the FDA did not believe the warnings proposed by plaintiffs were appropriate, even though the particular data analysis had not been provided to the FDA. The court also found that the FDA's denial of a Citizens Petition requesting similar label changes, filed with the FDA by a plaintiff law firm, demonstrated clear evidence of the FDA's position.
The judge ruled in favor of our clients on the grounds that the plaintiffs' state law tort claims were preempted as a matter of federal law. The closely watched result has the potential to impact several thousand cases.

Led Defense in Closely Watched Hospital Antitrust Case

The proposed merger of Advocate Health Care Network, the largest health system in Illinois, with NorthShore University HealthSystem was one of the most closely watched combinations in the health care provider community since its announcement in 2014. The merger, which ultimately was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after an extensive investigation, would have created the largest integrated health system in the state of Illinois and the 11th largest nonprofit system in the country.
Our Health Care Competition Team represented Advocate throughout the investigation of the merger and subsequent litigation. After the FTC filed suit to block the merger, our team successfully defended Advocate in an eight-day preliminary injunction hearing in the spring of 2016 that culminated in U.S. District Judge Jorge L. Alonso’s finding “that plaintiffs have not met their burden of showing that there is a likelihood that they will succeed on the merits of their antitrust claims.” A federal appeals court, however, returned the case to the trial court for further findings and proceedings. Ultimately, on remand, the trial court ruled that the FTC had met its burden for a preliminary injunction pending the outcome of an FTC administrative hearing. At that point, having invested more than two-and-a-half years in the fight, Advocate and NorthShore terminated their affiliation agreement.
Advocate’s case challenged FTC orthodoxy in a number of areas of great importance to the industry, including the geographic parameters of health care markets, and the nature of merger-related efficiencies in an era of population health and provider risk-taking. The work of our defense team is expected to resound in future hospital merger cases.

Supported Beverage Manufacturer Expansion Into Higher-Margin Products

A longstanding client of the firm, Cott Corporation, is an NYSE- and TSX-listed beverage company incorporated in Canada and headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Since 2014, our team has represented Cott in M&A transactions valued at more than $1.6 billion, equity capital markets transactions valued at $300 million and related debt financing and integration matters. Over those years, we have also handled labor, contract and other disputes for Cott in various states and advised the company on branding and marketing.
In recent years, Cott has sought to diversify its historic private label carbonated soft drink business into higher-margin products including water, coffee, tea and filtration services. Cott turned to our Corporate, Litigation, Labor and Employment, and Intellectual Property groups to support its expansion efforts.
During 2016, we represented Cott in several acquisitions, financing matters and in a number of litigation matters. Our transactional work included the $355 million acquisition of S&D Coffee, a leader in custom coffee roasting and blending of iced tea for the U.S. foodservice industry, and the $45 million acquisition of Aquaterra, Canada's oldest and largest direct-to-consumer home and office water delivery business. We also advised Cott on the amendment and restatement of its $500 million global revolving credit facility. Our team was involved in the financing aspects of Cott’s €470 million acquisition of Eden Springs in Europe and managed a $150 million equity capital markets offering. When Cott faced contract disputes and labor matters, our Litigation and Labor and Employment groups assisted.
Cott also looks to Drinker Biddle to handle matters across several other practice groups, including benefits, environmental, customs and trade, and real estate.

Defended Financial Firm in FINRA Arbitrations and Litigation

Wells Fargo Advisors is a premier financial services firm that administers $1.5 trillion in client assets. It serves investors nationwide by providing advisory services, asset management, brokerage services, estate planning strategies, retirement planning, portfolio analysis and monitoring, and other financial services through more than 15,000 financial advisors.
Throughout 2016, our team of financial services litigation attorneys successfully represented Wells Fargo Advisors in numerous multimillion-dollar arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and in litigations before federal and state courts.
We defended Wells Fargo Advisors against claims of sales practice violations and claims by former employees of wrongful termination, defamation and/or discrimination. The team also prosecuted claims for the return of millions of dollars in loans made to employees secured by promissory notes and represented Wells Fargo in responding to regulatory agencies’ and self-regulatory organizations’ subpoenas and inquiries.

Continued Success in Inter Partes Review Proceedings Before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board

Inter Partes review (IPR) has become one of the hottest and most closely watched areas of patent law since its introduction. In September of 2012, the America Invents Act introduced Inter Partes Review as an alternative way for a party to efficiently challenge the validity of an issued patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Our Intellectual Property Group is a leader in this important area of patent law, having obtained favorable results for clients in virtually all of the IPR cases we have handled.
As an example, in 2016, we successfully defended the patent rights of our client Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., in connection with an IPR petition filed by a competitor that challenged one of its key patents for a laser dicing process.  We filed a response to the petition in October 2016 and, in parallel, filed four new continuation patent applications under the Track One expedited examination program, based on a pending continuation application relating to the challenged patent.
In December 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied the competitor’s petition, preserving the validity of all 55 challenged claims of Hamamatsu’s patent.  The four continuation applications we had filed were issued as patents around that same time, yielding four new patents in this key area of technology and strengthening the patent that our client’s competitor had originally challenged.
We have also used IPR petitions to challenge patents asserted against our clients.  In 2016 we filed 14 petitions on behalf of Samsung Electronics, challenging the validity of five patents asserted against our client in litigation in Texas.  Trial on those petitions against three of the five patents has already been granted based upon our showing of a reasonable likelihood of success in challenging the patents.

Redesigned Investment and Business Practices to Comply with the New Fiduciary Rule

In April 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor issued industry-changing regulations defining who is considered a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The new Fiduciary Rule, which contains an extraordinarily broad definition of a fiduciary coupled with new conditions in the associated prohibited transaction exemptions, will re-write the business practices for most financial service companies, particularly broker-dealers and insurance companies, if or when the rules become applicable.
Our ERISA Financial Services Team has been one of the go-to teams in the country when it comes to ERISA and has been working to help clients comply with the new requirements. While our team represented numerous banks, investment advisors, investment managers, broker-dealers, insurance companies, 401(k) record keepers, and other financial services companies, our work for national broker-dealer Edward Jones is notable. Edward Jones has approximately 14,000 advisors throughout the country — each of whom would be required to comply with the regulations.
Our ERISA Financial Services attorneys worked with Edward Jones’ lawyers and executives to redesign many of the company’s investment and business practices to comply with the new Fiduciary Rule. Throughout the year, our team addressed issues for Edward Jones related to various aspects of the investment company, securities regulation, ERISA and insurance laws, and the development or modification of their product and service offerings.

Representing Engineering Firm in Highly Publicized Flint Water Litigation

In a series of highly publicized class action and individual cases filed over the past year in Michigan arising from alleged lead poisoning due to consumption of water from the Flint River, Leo A. Daly Company and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) turned to our experienced trial lawyers to defend them.
The water tragedy in Flint, Mich., has been the subject of extensive media coverage, both locally and nationally. The plaintiffs and media have suggested that LAN – an independent and highly regarded engineering firm – was somehow responsible for the quality of the water from the Flint River, which allegedly leached lead into the homes of residents. This is simply not the case since its design and engineering work was primarily limited to repairing the existing water treatment plant. Our lawyers have vigorously defended LAN and have been instrumental in providing detailed information to counteract the often inaccurate or incomplete reporting.
While still early in the litigation, to date, our trial lawyers have been named as lead counsel for all defendants in cases pending in Michigan state court, and have successfully secured dismissals of three of the class action cases against LAN, which were pending in the United States District Court – Eastern District of Michigan. Our team has also filed several more motions to dismiss in that court, as well as in state court, which remain pending at this time.
As would be expected in complex litigation such as this, our lawyers have not only been litigating at the trial court level but also in the Sixth Circuit. They have also recently filed a Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court over conflicts in various circuits interpreting the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.

Class Actions Team Continues to Aggressively Defend TCPA Lawsuits

Our Class Actions Team defends leading companies in class action litigation in federal and state courts across the country.  The team is comprised of litigators throughout our offices and has an outstanding record of success in obtaining dismissals, defeating class certification motions and, where appropriate, negotiating favorable individual and class-wide settlements.
In the past year, the surge in class action litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has continued. We are the go-to firm for aggressive representation of companies in these important, high-stakes matters.  In the past two years, our Class Actions Team has represented clients in more than 100 TCPA matters with great success. In many instances, we have obtained dismissal of the claims with prejudice with no payment to the plaintiffs/claimants.  We have prevailed on the merits, tendered cases for indemnification, negotiated favorable individual and class settlements (with non-monetary solutions where appropriate) and have aggressively pushed back on manufactured lawsuits.
In one such example, our team, through persistent and diligent fact investigation, demonstrated that the claims were manufactured. After our motion to compel arbitration was granted, we turned the tables and filed a motion for sanctions against the plaintiff’s attorney on behalf of our client. We obtained a favorable order that serves to remind plaintiffs’ attorneys of their obligation to conduct reasonable, pre-suit investigations and to dismiss claims that are found to be frivolous.
Our team’s experience and success in the defense of these actions is unparalleled. In addition, through a close collaboration with our regulatory lawyers, we advise clients on TCPA compliance, which is critically important given the evolving regulatory landscape and the present litigation climate.

Secured Jury Verdict Voiding Fraudulent Life Insurance Policies

In a case involving fraudulently-procured life insurance policies, a team of Philadelphia-based insurance litigators secured a jury verdict on behalf of our life insurer client in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The case arose following the disappearance of the insured in the Turks & Caicos Islands in June 2015. After a body purporting to be the insured’s was found in TCI’s Chalk Sound, the company commenced a fraud investigation and later filed a declaratory judgment action. The life insurance company claimed that the insured materially misrepresented his extensive medical history. The life insurance company also sought judicial declarations with respect the cause and manner of the insured’s death.
After a one-week trial, the jury reached a verdict in less than two hours, finding that the policies were procured through fraud and thus void ab initio.  Shortly thereafter, the claimants dismissed their counterclaims for bad faith and punitive damages, which had been bifurcated from the jury’s consideration of fraud in the application.

Raised Awareness for Valve Disease among Congressional Policymakers

The District Policy Group, working in collaboration with the Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance), successfully advocated for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to designate February 22 as National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day. Working with the Alliance, federal policymakers, and other stakeholders for close to one year, the District Policy Group developed and implemented the strategy for the Alliance to secure this annual observance, during American Heart Month, as a unique opportunity to talk about heart valve disease and promote proper diagnosis and treatment. National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is centered on four key messages: listen to your body, know your risk factors, get your heart checked regularly, and spread the word and raise awareness.
The District Policy Group assisted the Alliance in a comprehensive approach that included collecting more than 20 national provider and patient advocacy organization endorsements for the HHS designation; ensuring introduction of a U.S. House Congressional Resolution, Congressional Record Statements, and floor speeches; and coordinating a Capitol Hill briefing event that featured the director of an NIH Institute and president of a national specialty society. These combined efforts helped generate significant press coverage and brought organizations, advocates, and individuals together in what will now be an annual opportunity to provide potentially life-saving information to millions of patients who may have heart valve disease.
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Additional Results
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.
  • A dump of other wins in bullet point form like last year. I want people to have to click to see these so they should not be prominently featured. Perhaps, a tab that says additional results.

Our Recognitions

Our firm, our lawyers and our professionals were recognized for excellence in many ways in 2016. We are honored by the numerous accolades from our peers, leading organizations and industry associations. The following are some recent honors in recognition of our work:
  • One of a select group of 25 law firms named to BTI Consulting Group’s list of Most Recommended Law Firms for at least four years in a row.
  • Chambers and Partners, a client and peer reference-driven guide to the world’s top lawyers, recognized 13 practice groups as leaders in their fields in the USA.
  • The Intellectual Property Group was once again ranked in the World Trademark Review 1000 for 2016. The Washington, D.C. and Chicago practices were also individually rated.
  • Named insurance “Law Firm of the Year” for the second consecutive year by international industry-leading publication Reactions. The firm was also named the #1 insurance law firm in five of the six categories in the Reactions Legal Survey 2016, namely Litigation, Regulatory, M&A, ILS and Insolvency.
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and in more than 35 practice areas.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, the firm was named a top Illinois law firm for LGBTQ inclusiveness and equality, based on the results of the Equality Illinois 2016 Law Firm Survey.
  • For the third consecutive year, the New York office was named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in New York City by Crain's New York Business.
  • The Consortia Management team received the “Model Partner” award from Rx-360, an international pharmaceutical consortium focused on supply chain security.
  • The AmLaw Annual Mid-Level Associate survey ranked the firm 26th in overall job satisfaction, and third in both Philadelphia and Chicago, among Am Law 200 firms.
  • More than 69 lawyers were recognized by Chambers USA, a client and peer reference-driven guide to the nation’s top lawyers.
  • The Litigation Counsel of America named Lynne Anderson a Senior Fellow, a status awarded to those who have shown advanced commitment to the organization.
  • Ken Murphy received the prestigious J. Austin Norris Award at the Annual Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia Scholarship Gala.
  • Sandy Grannum received the NOAH-NY Distinguished Service Award for her part in the growth and development of NOAH-NY, which is a nonprofit organization that provides underserved communities in Haiti with free medical care.
  • Jesse Witten received the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) Special Recognition Award at NCAI’s 2016 Annual Leadership Awards ceremony.
  • Jennifer Dean, Mercedes Meyer, Mike Remington, John Smith and Bob Stoll were recognized in the fourth edition of “IP Stars” from Managing Intellectual Property.
  • Fred Reish was named to ThinkAdvisor’s “The New Influencers: The 2016 IA 25” list.
  • Cheryl Orr was recognized by the Daily Journal in its “Top Women Lawyers” list and its list of California’s “Top Labor and Employment Lawyers.”
  • Darren Cahr and Jennifer Dean received a special mention in the World Trademark Review 1000 for 2016.
  • Ted Becker was named Outstanding Board of Governors Member at the 39th Annual Conference of the ESOP Association.
  • Bonnie Barsamian was nominated by then-President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
  • Meredith Slawe and Molly Flynn were selected by The Legal Intelligencer as two of the 2016 “Lawyers on the Fast Track.”
  • Daniel Collins was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in the country.
  • Paul Saint-Antoine and Chanda Miller were presented with the Education Law Center Pro Bono Award for their dedication of countless pro bono hours to help clients facing illegal barriers to education.
  • Heather Abrigo was appointed as the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries General Conferences Chair for 2017 and 2018.
  • Wilson Brown, Kate Deal, Seamus Duffy, Mike McTigue, Mike Miller and Ken Murphy were recognized by Benchmark Litigation as “Local Litigation Stars” in Pennsylvania.
  • Tom Campion, John Ridley, Susan Sharko and Rob Vinci were recognized by Benchmark Litigation as “Local Litigation Stars” in New Jersey.
  • Mike Zogby was named a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation.
  • Meredith Slawe and Beth Diffley were featured in The Legal Intelligencer’s 2016 “Top Women in Law” supplement.
  • Ilisa Halpern Paul was named one of The Hill’s “Top Lobbyists” of 2016.
  • Ryan Fife was recognized as a “Rising Star” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Pro Bono

Public interest work has always been central to our firm’s identity. We encourage our lawyers to dedicate themselves and their considerable talents to causes that matter to them, and to those who would otherwise be voiceless. We are proud of the passion and focus they demonstrate when undertaking this commendable work, some recent examples of which follow.
350
Active pro bono matters
22,425
Total pro bono hours
393
Professionals working on pro bono matters

Pro Bono Cases

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Resentencing for Juvenile Offender Who Spent 32 Years in Prison

Two Drinker Biddle associates won a significant ruling on behalf of a Pennsylvania prisoner who, in 1985, at just 15 years old, was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree homicide. The prisoner had joined his older brother and a 14-year-old friend in a burglary of what they believed was an empty house in West Philadelphia. When the older brother went upstairs, he found himself face-to-face with the occupant, an 82-year-old woman. He shoved her and went back downstairs, never mentioning the run-in to the others. The woman had a fatal heart attack caused by the stress of the incident. Subsequently, at the age of 15 and having just completed the eighth grade, our client was tried as an adult for second-degree homicide and sentenced to life without parole.

Working with the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, our associates advocated for a speedy resentencing. They connected with the client’s family and friends and composed a substantial and detailed reentry plan for him. Our client has now received a new sentence of 30 years to life in prison, making him eligible for parole. The resentencing followed a pair of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, one ruling that automatic life-without-parole sentences are unconstitutional for juveniles, and the other requiring states including Pennsylvania to apply that retroactively.

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Superior Court Win for New Jersey Litigators in Historic Preservation Matter

On January 9, 2017, the Superior Court of New Jersey dismissed a suit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national advocacy group promoting nontheism, challenging Morris County’s award of preservation grants to a dozen historic churches in the county.

The challenged grants, which were limited in scope to external work on structures already qualified for inclusion on the National and/or State Registers of Historic Places, spanned a number of years and totaled several million dollars. Drinker Biddle was asked to represent the churches, and agreed to undertake the engagement pro bono.

The Somerset County Superior Court Chancery Division found the freeholders weren't promoting religion by providing grants to churches through the Historic Preservation Trust Fund, as the grants advanced a public purpose and the terms under which they were awarded to churches and secular buildings was neutral and didn't favor or endorse religious institutions.

The decision is significant for its implications for historic preservation efforts and for its articulation of a strong, modern, neutralist interpretation of the church-state provisions of the New Jersey State Constitution.

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Federal Lawsuit Against Philadelphia School District on Behalf of Families Who Speak Languages Other Than English

Drinker Biddle attorneys, along with the Public Interest Law Center and the Education Law Center, filed suit against the School District of Philadelphia. According to the class action complaint, at least 26,000 students in the district come from families who speak languages other than English. A significant percentage of these families include children with disabilities who are entitled to individualized education programs. Yet the parents are unable to assist with the development of such programs because the district refuses to translate essential planning documents. This hinders parents’ ability to participate in meetings and make informed decisions regarding educational placements and services. It also violates federal and state law.

In December 2016, our lawyers prevailed in preventing dismissal of the class action against the Philadelphia School District, the action is now moving forward.

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Blackhorse v. Pro Football

In July 2015, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of five Native American individuals in the case of Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc., a landmark case filed by the firm in 2006 on behalf of five Native Americans seeking to cancel trademark registrations of the “Washington Redskins” because the use of the term “redskins” disparages Native Americans. Just as the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found in June 2014, a federal court found that the term “redskin” disparages Native Americans and, as a result, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should never have registered the team’s trademarks. The court also rejected the team’s argument that cancellation of its trademark registrations would violate the First Amendment.

The case is stayed pending the Supreme Court ruling in Commissioner v. Tam. We filed an amicus brief on behalf of Blackhorse et al. in the Supreme Court asking the Court to sustain our position, which is shared by the Commissioner of Trademarks.

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Pro Bono Clinic With CDEL and ACC

Drinker Biddle and the Association of Corporate Counsel Chicago (ACC) sponsored a half-day pro bono clinic administered through the Center for Disability and Elder Law’s Senior Center Initiative at the firm’s Chicago office. After receiving training, Drinker Biddle lawyers and 31 ACC members from 22 different companies travelled to the 18th District Police Headquarters in Old Town. They assisted more than 30 seniors with the preparation of Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Property, and Living Will documents to help them avoid potential abuse and financial exploitation as well as prepare for possible guardianship proceedings should they later become incapacitated.

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Outstanding Result for Pro Bono Client in Constructive Dismissal Case

A team of lawyers from our Washington, D.C. office achieved a very favorable outcome in the pro bono representation of a limited means client who had been employed by a federal agency. While employed there, he suffered sexual harassment perpetrated by the director of the department, whom he had also considered a mentor. Our client filed a complaint, which was poorly self-investigated and came to nothing. He was subsequently moved to an inferior and unfulfilling position in a different department and quit his job shortly thereafter.

We took on the case and filed a sexual harassment claim including constructive discharge in the D.C. District Court. Constructive discharge is a difficult claim to prove, as it means establishing that instead of firing the employee, the employer wrongfully made working conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person would be forced to resign. Added to that, there is very limited case law relating to same-sex sexual harassment cases.

Our team was able to use the services of the firm’s e-discovery subsidiary, Tritura LLC, to conduct extensive discovery, including hundreds of thousands of emails, which turned up significant circumstantial evidence to support our client’s case. There were also discovery battles to be fought over both fact and expert witnesses.

Our team conducted 10 depositions in nine days last September, often working through the night to prepare, but it was the deposition of the in-house lawyer who had conducted the federal agency’s investigation of our claims that proved to be particularly decisive. Discovery had identified numerous incriminating emails that demonstrated how one-sided and self-serving her investigation had been and, while being deposed, she admitted the investigation had been badly done and turned out to be a compelling plaintiff’s witness.

At the pre-trial conference, the judge requested the two sides undergo a mediation session, which was agreed to. At that session, our client received a full apology from the agency for the poor investigation of his claims and his subsequent treatment. He was offered a financial settlement and invited to return to work at his former office — where his harasser was no longer employed — in an elevated role.

Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee focuses its efforts on fostering  mutual professional and personal respect; creating an environment in which individual contributions are valued; ensuring that biases based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other category do not exist; and supporting diverse attorneys so that they excel
and receive recognition in the legal community. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is directly engaged in our firm’s efforts to attract the best and brightest legal talent from all backgrounds and to develop, retain and advance the careers of our  diverse lawyers.

Our New Chairs

In the fall of 2016, Philadelphia counsel Maria Lewis was named Chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, while Albany partner Rachel Ryan was appointed Vice Chair. Maria and Rachel are spearheading the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, which includes objectives for recruiting, retention, assignment management and overall lawyer development.

Industry and Community Involvement

We sponsor, organize and participate in a variety of major events addressing issues important to women and diverse communities, both in the legal profession and in the wider business communities that we serve. Examples include:

Women’s Leadership Committee

Our Women’s Leadership Committee helps ensure that the firm attracts, retains and develops great women lawyers and leaders. The committee recognizes and supports women lawyers’ practice-building contributions, meaningful participation in firm leadership and influence in our communities.
In the past year, the committee was active in a number of areas and programs to advance career development of women at the firm, including, but not limited to:
  • Creating more conversation among partners and associates to bridge the perceived gap between the two and create lasting mentorship relationships;
  • Hosting various events at our offices, including bi-monthly lunches for open discussion and a series of networking and business development workshops; and
  • Sponsoring events that showcase our women lawyers and firm.
The WLC’s mission is threefold:
To hire, keep and promote excellent women lawyers
To facilitate business development and marketing opportunities for women
To advise and collaborate on issues and policies of concern to women attorneys at Drinker Biddle

WLC Stats

Community

Each of our offices nurtures its own tradition of civic-minded community involvement in a variety of ways. Below are just a few examples of how we gave back in 2016.
Working in the Schools (WITS) is a local nonprofit organization that promotes literacy among Chicago’s youth by pairing up Chicago Public School students with individual volunteers from the Chicago business community to create partnerships for various mentoring and literacy programs. WITS brings students to the firm’s Chicago office after the students’ school day, around 3:00 p.m., to sit with a mentor who reads with the student and assists them with their homework. The mentors work in pairs, so volunteers meet with the student for one hour every other week.  The WITS Program gives students the tools needed to excel in academics through programs that foster strong mentor relationships with adult role models.
For the 2016-2017 school year, the Chicago office has 16 fifth and sixth grade students with 32 full-time mentors and four substitute mentors who are on standby to assist when needed.
The Florham Park office softball team participated in the Battle of the Barristers tournament on July 13, 2016.  The day-long event is the largest fundraiser for the Newark Day Center, which sends Essex County youngsters to day and sleep-away camps in rural parts of New Jersey and New York each summer through the Greater Newark Fresh Air Fund. Lawyers from eight firms in Bergen, Morris and Essex counties traded the boardroom for the baseball diamond, and dress shoes for cleats, as they competed in the 30th annual tournament.
The Los Angeles office raises money and participates in Race for the Rescues, an organization that believes that by uniting animal lovers and animal welfare organizations it can make our world a kinder place. The money raised by the fun walk/run is used to help save the lives of once-forgotten dogs, cats and horses and to help them become cherished family members. The organization also provides important community programs, such as veterinary care for the pets of low-income families, free spay and neuter clinics, and a shelter intervention program.
The New York office participated in the 2016 Dear Santa Project, which is spearheaded by the NYC Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators. Each participating law firm received “Letters to Santa” from students who attend Public School 131 in Brooklyn, which is designated as a Title I school because a large percentage of its students are from low-income families. Everyone in the New York office participated by either providing a monetary donation or presents in response to the letters provided by the students. In 2016 the New York office gave gifts to 24 students in one kindergarten class.
The Philadelphia office works with City Year, an education-focused, nonprofit organization that brings together young AmeriCorps volunteers, ages 18-24, who commit to one year of full-time service at a selected school in a high-poverty community. Corps members provide individual support to students who need extra care and attention, focusing on attendance, behavior and academic performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring and after school programs. In doing so, City Year members have helped more than 1.3 million students reach their full potential and graduate high school in communities across America.
Drinker Biddle’s sponsorship of City Year Greater Philadelphia began in 2004. Our support has helped nearly 100 Corps members provide more than 100,000 hours of direct service to Philadelphia students in need. Many of our lawyers and staff also volunteer their time in support of annual City Year events, such as City Year Days of Service, Holiday Drives for School Supplies and more.
The Princeton office participated in the U.S. Marines’ annual Toys for Tots drive during the 2016 holiday season. All of the lawyers and staff bought and donated at least one unwrapped toy to collect a total of around 100. The toys included dolls, games, robots and stuffed animals. The Marines collected the toys in mid-December and distributed them to less fortunate children in the Trenton area. The Princeton office participates annually in Toys for Tots and considers it a highlight of the season.
The San Francisco office participated in the annual Grocery Bag Giveaway supporting Glide Memorial Church, an inclusive community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. Sixteen volunteers met at the office at 6:30 a.m. and proceeded to the Tenderloin neighborhood of the city to receive volunteer assignments. The team served coffee and breakfast to San Francisco’s less fortunate from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. This was the office’s ninth year supporting Glide’s Grocery Bag Giveaway, which is always a rewarding day of giving back to the community.
The Washington, D.C. office volunteered with Martha’s Table, which works to support stronger children, stronger families and stronger communities by increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food and family supports. Our volunteers helped staff Martha’s Market at the Right Bright Center, handing out fresh produce, pasta, eggs, cereal and tomato sauce to D.C. residents, assisting them with their bags, and cleaning up at the end of the market.
The Wilmington office contributes to the Delaware Combined Campaign for Justice, which raises money for Delaware Community Legal Aid, the Delaware Volunteer Legal Services and the Legal Services Corporation of Delaware. These important organizations help ensure that people in need receive critical legal assistance.
Philadelphia Reads is an education-focused, nonprofit initiative that recruits reading tutors to provide one-on-one attention to public school children who may need to “catch up and get ahead” on reading skills. The program’s goal is to ensure that all children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. The Philadelphia Reads program was established in 1997 by the Mayor’s Office to help those kids who were not provided a fair start in life due to poverty and struggling school districts. The “Power Partners” program matches corporations, law firms and other organizations with children from public school classrooms for weekly reading sessions.
The Dallas office is a sponsor of Dickinson Place, a retirement home that provides safe and affordable housing and programming to senior citizens in need, while enhancing their social, physical and spiritual well-being. Dickinson Place depends on charitable support from the community to operate. Our attorneys and staff individually sponsored residents by filling their holiday wish lists, and the firm made a monetary donation.
Law2Life is an ongoing Legal Enrichment Program developed and implemented by the Florham Park office in cooperation with Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey. Now in its fourth year, the program is designed to inspire students by introducing them to the legal profession and other careers in business and government.
Every other week during the school year, the faculty (Drinker Biddle attorneys and guest clients from the public and private sectors) deliver a diverse curriculum on the practice of law and its intersection with business. Students receive a comprehensive overview of trial advocacy and are asked to test their trial skills, first in front of their peers, and later before a sitting judge. Students also have the opportunity to meet lawyers and other business professionals to learn about their work, career paths and the real-life legal issues they encounter.

Alumni

We have an active alumni community, which includes more than 2,300 alumni throughout the world. Our alumni are thought leaders, industry experts, advisors, mentors, advocates, business executives, elected and appointed officials, and trusted professionals.
We count among our alumni:
125+
General Counsels
430+
CEOs,
Vice Presidents and Executive Officers
100
professionals serving in academia
150+
alumni in government service

ALUMNI communications

Last year we developed and delivered more than 100
alumni-focused communications, including more than a dozen in-house job
opportunities, 59 CLE programs and four quarterly newsletters. These
communications spotlight the achievements, professional journeys and recent
milestones of our alumni, which we hope will foster a deeper and ongoing
connection among our alumni network.
We hosted two successful regional alumni reunions, with 148 attendees in Philadelphia and 106 in Chicago, along with numerous other events to bring alumni together.
Launched a new, easier to access website with resources created specifically for the alumni community.