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W&L Law Student Wins Richmond Bar Business Law Writing Award

Ashley Waterbury, a third-year law student at Washington and Lee University, took first place in the 2015 Richmond Bar Association Business Law Section writing competition.

Waterbury won for her article exploring new profit sharing partnerships between hospitals and insurance companies designed to lower costs and improve health care. Waterbury argued that when such ventures are created, the lawyers involved should be mindful of potential conflicts of interest.

“Traditionally, hospitals seek to provide as much care as possible because they are paid by procedure,” said Waterbury. “Insurance companies on the other hand, want to limit the amount of procedures done and the costs of those procedures to keep premiums low. In order to ensure these joint ventures are successful, lawyers should create governance structures that mitigate conflicts of interest between the insurance companies and hospitals.”

One such solution, Waterbury wrote, is to include board members who are unaffiliated with the hospital or insurer involved in the joint venture.

Waterbury won a cash award for her practice note. She will also be recognized at the City of Richmond Bar Association’s Business Law Section annual dinner this May.

Waterbury, from McLean, Virginia, served as a student attorney in the Tax Clinic and as the executive editor of the Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment. She will be working as an associate with Wharton, Aldhizer & Weaver in Harrisonburg after law school.