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7 February 20234 minute read

DLA Piper welcomes former US Senator Richard Burr to its Regulatory and Government Affairs practice group

DLA Piper is pleased to announce former US Senator Richard Burr has joined the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs practice group as a Principal Policy Advisor and Chair of the Health Policy Strategic Consulting Practice to provide policy advice, strategic consulting, and a wide range of related services to life sciences and healthcare clients navigating a rapidly changing policy landscape and significant regulatory and political uncertainty.

After nearly three decades in federal service as a US congressman and senator, Senator Burr is widely known as one of the foremost government authorities in healthcare and life sciences policy. Since his election to Congress in 1994 and through his tenure as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senator Burr has led many of the most transformative government initiatives in the healthcare and life sciences fields. Senator Burr’s legislative accomplishments include the 1997 FDA Modernization Act, the Pandemic All Hazards Preparedness Act, which created the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and was critical in the rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccine, the PREVENT Pandemics Act, and the creation of ARPA-H, which established the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health (ARPA-H) within the National Institutes of Health.  For decades, Senator Burr has helped shape nearly every medical agency, instrumentality and operation of the US Federal Government.

A team of policy advisors will join Senator Burr in his move to DLA Piper and supplement the firm’s deep bench of legal, policy, economic, medical, and technological attorneys and advisors in the healthcare and life sciences field. Together, this team of industry-leading professionals will provide a variety of services including multi-disciplinary strategic planning, business consulting, and congressional and federal agency consulting, as well as deep-dive examinations of client businesses to identify legislative or regulatory opportunities and/or vulnerabilities.

The advisors currently joining Senator Burr in his move include Margaret Martin, the Committee’s former Senior Advisor of Health Policy, and Michael Sorensen, the Senator’s former Director of Operations.

Senator Burr’s arrival continues the growth of DLA Piper’s market-leading group. In the last 24 months, DLA Piper has also added former US Representative Jim Greenwood, chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Policy Practice; former Pfizer chief regulatory counsel Geoff Levitt, co-chair of the firm’s FDA Regulatory Group; former senior advisor to the Commissioner to the FDA Sharon Mayl, partner in the FDA Regulatory Group; economist Kirsten Axelsen, the firm’s senior policy advisor on health policy, and more than twenty other healthcare and life sciences attorneys and advisors.

“We are excited to join DLA Piper and help clients navigate the funding, regulation, policy and political landscape of the healthcare system, from drug development to patient care, with unparalleled insight and strategic advice at a time of regulatory and political uncertainty,” said Senator Burr. “In addition to the draw of DLA Piper’s strong platform, its expansive global footprint is one of the reasons we chose the firm. Life sciences is global by every nature, and this allows us to build a roadmap to advise clients no matter where they’re doing business.”

“The addition of Senator Burr is yet another way the firm is further distinguishing and refining its service offerings and capabilities in the life sciences and healthcare sectors with the aim of keeping our clients advised of what’s around the corner,” said Frank Ryan, DLA Piper’s Americas chair, global co-chair and global co-CEO. “Senator Burr and his team will offer strategic advice based on institutional knowledge, political intelligence, and a nuanced understanding of marketplace conditions in a complex global economy.”

“We are proud to welcome Senator Burr to the firm and know his insight on the life cycle of policy, strategy and execution will prove invaluable to our clients in both opportunity and risk,” said Edward “Smitty” Smith, US chair of the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs practice.

In addition to his vast experience in healthcare and life sciences, Senator Burr also served as Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and as a prominent member of the Senate Finance Committee. The Senator and his team will supplement DLA Piper’s extensive existing capabilities to counsel clients and provide advocacy across a wide range of policy areas including energy, national security and defense, technology, financial services, tax policy, and education.