Kenneth M. Vorrasi

About

Kenneth M. Vorrasi represents clients in complex litigation in federal and state court, government investigations and before federal antitrust agencies to obtain clearance of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. He is co-chair of the Antitrust Team.

Ken dedicates his practice to antitrust and complex commercial litigation. His antitrust practice focuses on private litigation, class actions, and merger and conduct investigations brought by the DOJ, FTC, and state enforcement authorities.

Ken litigates merger cases brought by the FTC and DOJ to enjoin transactions. Most recently, Ken helped lead a trial team on behalf of Advocate Health Care in the FTC's attempt to block the largest-ever Chicago-area hospital merger (FTC v. Advocate Health Care Network et al. (N.D. Ill.), a case that Law360 named one of the “The Biggest Competition Cases of 2016.”

He also counsels clients on a broad range of antitrust issues including competitor collaborations and joint ventures, information exchanges and pre-closing conduct, HSR compliance, and pricing and distribution strategies.

Ken advises clients in a variety of industries, including health care, pharmaceutical, and technology. In health care, for example, Ken regularly works with hospitals and health systems to obtain antitrust clearance of strategic transactions and has shepherded clients through their responses to “second request” investigations and civil investigative demands before the FTC and DOJ.

Experience

M&A and Strategic Transactions

Ken advises hospitals, health care systems, physicians’ groups, and other health care entities in securing antitrust approval for their strategic transactions.

  • Antitrust counsel to Advocate Health Care including in its proposed merger with Aurora Health Care, which created the 10th largest not-for-profit, integrated health care system in the U.S. Also advised Advocate in its proposed merger with NorthShore University HealthSystem in an extended FTC investigation and litigation that terminated in 2017.
  • Guided Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health through multiple strategic transactions, including mergers with Abington Health, Aria Health, Kennedy Health, and Rothman Specialty Hospital, and obtained FTC and state clearance without extended inquiries. Also represented Jefferson in connection with the university’s combination with Philadelphia University, uniting their graduate medical education and postsecondary educational institutions.
  • Represented Meridian Health System before the FTC in its merger with Hackensack University Health Network to form Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH). Recently represented HMH in securing FTC clearance of its strategic affiliation with JFK Health, making Hackensack Meridian one of the New Jersey’s largest integrated health care networks.
  • Successfully convinced the FTC to drop a non-public investigation of a leading physician clinic’s acquisition of an in-market hospital from a multi-state health system. The investigation focused on whether the two entities were actual or potential competitors in an outpatient surgery market.
  • Represented both Orlando Health, one of the largest health systems in Orlando, FL, and Lakeland Regional Health System, the largest system in Lakeland, FL, in an FTC review of their merger affiliation in which Lakeland integrated into the Orlando Health system.

Litigation

Ken also litigates disputes for health care clients in actions brought by antitrust regulators and competitors alleging anticompetitive behavior such as monopolization, exclusive dealing, and price fixing.

  • Led a team—on behalf of Advocate Health Care, one of the largest health system in Illinois—that was responsible for securing a denial of an FTC request for a preliminary injunction in FTC v. Advocate Health Care, et al., one of the largest, and most closely watched antitrust merger challenges in recent years. While ultimately the companies terminated their affiliation agreement after nearly three years of litigation, the case challenged FTC orthodoxy in a number of areas of great importance to the industry, including the geographic parameters of health care markets in urban centers, and the nature of merger-related efficiencies in an era of population health and provider risk taking.
  • Defending a Montana-based hospital system, Bozeman Deaconess Health, in two separate lawsuits brought by physicians alleging that the system had wrongfully prevented the physicians from practicing at the hospital in violation of antitrust laws and other state causes of action.
  • Represented Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC), one of the largest health systems in West Virginia, in a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation and subsequent litigation regarding an alleged agreement between CAMC and another health system to allocate marketing territories. CAMC agreed to settle the matter without any admission of liability, with it establishing an antitrust compliance program. United States v. Charleston Area Medical Center (D.W.V.). 
  • Defending St. Peter’s Hospital, the only acute care, community hospital in Helena, Montana, in an ongoing antitrust litigation filed by a group of radiologists concerning hospital privileges for non-employed physicians.  We secured dismissal of the case, represented St. Peter’s on appeal to the Montana Supreme Court, and are representing the hospital following remand.

Alongside his antitrust health care practice, Ken also advises clients in antitrust and complex litigation and FTC and DOJ investigations in an array of industries facing antitrust and commercial scrutiny. His experience includes:

  • Represented Physician Dialysis of America (PDA), a Florida-based healthcare provider, and its capital partner, GMF Capital, before the FTC in their acquisition of seven dialysis facilities located in New Jersey and Texas from DaVita Inc. We assisted PDA and GMF in getting approval from the FTC to purchase the seven divested centers from DaVita, which enabled it to close its merger with Renal Ventures. As a result of this transaction, PDA doubled in size and now has fifteen locations across eight states.
  • Defended an information technology company in courts in Virginia and California in a case brought by a former reseller of its technology products asserting antitrust, contract, and tort claims. Obtained dismissal of the majority of the plaintiff’s claims on the pleadings, and through an aggressive law and motion and discovery plan, recently secured summary judgment on all remaining claims.
  • Defended two of the 21 hospital co-defendants in a class action price-fixing litigation challenging the use of “most favored nation” clauses by Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield in its hospital contracts. We successfully secured dismissal of the proposed class’s action with prejudice. City of Pontiac v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan et al. (E.D. Mich.).
  • Represented a global manufacturer of dental products in connection with federal and state antitrust investigations and litigation about alleged price fixing among dental distributors concerning discounting practices.
  • Successfully represented two separate clients in settling FTC false advertising investigations concerning their marketing practices. One was on behalf of a U.S. hat manufacturer, The Bollman Hat Company, about its use of U.S. origin and “Made in the USA” claims in their advertising. The second was on behalf of a baby products manufacturer, Moonlight Slumber, about its use of “organic” and “natural” health-related advertising claims in the promotion of its products. Both FTC investigations were resolved through negotiated FTC consent decrees. 

Recognitions

“40 & Under Hot List,” Benchmark Litigation (2017, 2018)
“Top 40 Under 40,” Trending 40 (2016)
“30 Under 30,” Legal Bisnow (2008)

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

Ken has been named as one of D.C.'s "Top 40 Lawyers Under 40." 

Recipients of this recognition "have distinguished themselves in their firms and companies with exceptional performance and potential."

Trending 40

Ken has been listed on Benchmark Litigation's "40 & Under Hot List" for 2017, 2018.

The list honors "the most promising emerging talent" who are 40 years or younger.

Benchmark Litigation

Credentials

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Education

  • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2004, cum laude, Journal of Legislation – Executive Articles Editor
  • Cornell University, B.S., 2001

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia

Organizations

  • American Bar Association, Antitrust and Litigation Sections
  • ABA Antitrust Section, Vice Chair, Global Private Litigation Committee
  • American Hospital Lawyers Association