When Patrick C. Devine, Jr. envisioned life after his undergraduate career at Hampden-Sydney College, a monotonous 9-to-5 job wasn’t in the cards. With a hunger for education, Devine presented himself with two options: pursue a Ph.D. in history or earn a law degree. A few years later, Devine would graduate with a Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond Law School and an LL.M. with a concentration in taxation from the College of William & Mary School of Law, as well as receive a slew of awards and recognitions from some of the most prestigious legal counsels in the nation. The attorney now works full-time in the Health Care sector of Williams Mullen in Norfolk and has maintained his spot on The Best Lawyers of America list since 2001.
As a health care attorney, Devine works to resolve several business and regulatory issues within the health care industry. He focuses often on certificate of need work, medical staff and regulatory board work, shareholder agreements and buyouts, managed care, employment agreements and false claim acts. According to Devine, he performs the same transactional work lawyers perform in any other industry; his work just so happens to be for people with stethoscopes.
Devine’s legal profession began in Norfolk in 1982, a triumph the prominent attorney attributes to luck and proper association. His father, Patrick C. Devine, Sr., was one of the area’s most respected urologists and had an astoundingly large professional network Devine used to leverage his career. The combination of drive, intelligence and his father’s stellar reputation ultimately helped Devine land his first legal position with former powerhouse attorneys Alan Hofheimer and Robert Nusbaum in their downtown Norfolk firm.
A few months later, Devine was presented with the opportunity to challenge himself and his limited legal experience by assisting his father and his well-respected colleague, Claude Smith, with starting the first Health Maintenance Organization in this area. To do so, the team organized the local physician community, which in 1982 consisted of nearly 350 physicians and half a dozen hospitals, and partnered with 13 of the area’s largest businesses. They then began selling stock to doctors and establishing their network.
“HMOs were cutting edge back then, and I got to be in the middle of it,” explains Devine. “Within three years of setting ours up, there were six in Hampton Roads.”
The risk Devine took in helping his father establish the area’s first and state’s second HMO reaped considerable professional benefits. “I got introduced, as a result of [the HMO project], to some of the major medical, dental and pharmaceutical trade associations in Richmond and ended up doing much of their lobbying work in Richmond for a few years,” recalls Devine.
The skills and knowledge Devine acquired from both the HMO and lobbying experiences bolstered his career as an attorney. Just six years after joining Hofheimer Nusbaum, Devine was promoted to partner, and in 2004, the firm merged with Williams Mullen where Devine still holds his position as partner today.
“I can’t tell you how much fun it has been to practice law with these guys and ladies at both Williams Mullen and Hofheimer Nusbaum,” says Devine. “They’re all professional, good humored, bright and hardworking [people who] care an awful lot about getting excellent outcomes for our clients.”
Devine notes that several changes in the health care industry have affected the way health care is delivered, paid for and structured. He mentions changes to Obamacare, the tinkering of reimbursement models and the heavy debate over the modification of certificate of need laws as a few examples. Devine explains that the body of law surrounding the “fraud and abuse” and overpayment recovery areas is changing, in most instances to facilitate the recovery of significant sums from providers by state and governmental payors.
Knowing how to navigate the ever-changing realm of law and steadfastly working to maintain proper care within the local community are what assert Devine as a top lawyer in health care. In addition to receiving the highest ranking as an AV attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and his recent induction as a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation, Devine is an active member in the Coastal Virginia community. He served as the past director for both the Child Abuse Center of Hampton Roads and the Virginia Museum for Contemporary Art, and currently serves on the council of several medical boards.