United States > Antitrust > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
US antitrust attorneys remained extraordinarily busy throughout 2015 and during the first half of 2016. The DOJ’s Antitrust Division and the FTC’s Bureau of Competition are currently the most aggressive they have ever been, according to many lawyers. The general perception is that investigations are taking longer than they used to, and cartel investigations on a global scale have become more widespread, with a strong focus on financial services and autoparts and a growing number of cases related to electronic components and generic drugs. In addition to the DOJ and the FTC, agencies in other jurisdictions (including a number of Asian countries such as Japan and Korea) have started pursuing more and more cases. A fairly recent trend in the US is the agencies’ stronger focus on the prosecution of individuals, which was underlined by the so-called ‘Yates Memo’, an announcement made by the US deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, that in order to be granted cooperation credit, companies had to identify all individuals involved in a given misconduct. Against the backdrop of the increasingly tense atmosphere in the market, there is a growing demand among corporate clients for compliance-related advice.
Government agencies have taken a particularly tough approach towards announced mergers, with the result that more matters end up in court. This development makes the M&A market considerably less predictable, even though overall 2015 was the biggest year so far, with a breath-taking total of $3.8 trillion spent on mergers and acquisitions. The high-profile merger between Kraft and Heinz is an example of a successful deal, while the proposed $3.5bn merger between foodservice distributors Sysco and US Foods had to be called off due to regulator concerns, and later in 2015, Electrolux saw its planned acquisition of General Electric fall through after the DOJ filed a lawsuit to block the deal.
A number of concurrent trends meant 2015 was also an extraordinarily active year in antitrust litigation. The fact that the agencies are increasingly contesting M&A deals has led to a sharp rise in merger clearance disputes and a number of pending challenges. Cartel investigations, which lead to significant follow-on civil cases, continued to feature, with financial services and pharmaceuticals two particularly hot areas due to the heavy regulatory burdens they face. The internationalization of antitrust litigation is another recurring trend, and the largest-ever cartel investigation, affecting mostly Asian manufacturers of autoparts, was a major source of work for a substantial number of firms.
Index of tables
- Scott Hammond - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Kathryn Hellings - Hogan Lovells US LLP
- Niall Lynch - Latham & Watkins LLP
Thomas Mueller -
- James Mutchnik - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- Gary Spratling - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
John Terzaken -
Allen & Overy LLP
Douglas Tween -
- Phillip Warren - Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP is ‘one of the best antitrust firms in the US’ and ‘a leader in cartel representation’. The practice includes 30 partners nationwide involved in cartel investigations and follow-on litigation, and currently has an emphasis on the automotive, manufacturing, hi-tech, telecoms and financial sectors. Fielding two former heads of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Deborah Garza and Thomas Barnett, the group ‘understands the DOJ’s enforcement approach, using that knowledge to formulate the strongest possible defense for clients’. The group recently successfully represented a manufacturer of submarine power cables. The practice also includes the former head of the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco office, Phillip Warren, who is ‘able to think both strategically and practically’. Eric Holder rejoined the firm after serving as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States for six years. Bruce Baird and Michael Fanelli are recommended. All attorneys work in Washington DC except Warren, who is based in San Francisco.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is ‘simply excellent’ in cartel-related matters. It has an incredible track record in cartel investigations, which is built upon the decades of experience of former DOJ prosecutors Scott Hammond and Gary Spratling and a deep bench of specialists spread across offices in New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas. In 2015, the firm obtained immunity for clients in more than 25 investigations conducted by the DOJ and foreign competition authorities. UBS is a case in point: the law firm reached a settlement of overlapping regulatory and criminal investigations against the client in the US and abroad involving alleged manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmark rates, a supposed collusion in the foreign exchange markets, and allegations of misconduct in the trading of precious metals. The firm also represented clients in the automobile parts industry and producers of polyurethane foam. Trey Nicoud, Joel Sanders and Rachel Brass in San Francisco, and David Debold in Washington DC, were the lead partners in some of these matters. The Washington DC-based Hammond, who is highly regarded, co-heads the antitrust and competition practice with Daniel Swanson in Los Angeles, Peter Sullivan in New York, and Dallas-based Sean Royall.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has an ‘outstanding antitrust practice’, with a team of six partners representing a diverse client base in cartel investigations by regulators in the US, Europe and Asia. In a recent highlight, the firm acted as global counsel to several financial institutions, including HSBC, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, regarding foreign exchange trading, LIBOR and other benchmark rates. Mark Leddy was one of the lead partners in a number of matters; together with the recommended Jeremy Calsyn, he represented freight forwarder “K” Line in the global investigation into the car shipping industry. The firm was also involved in investigations regarding the e-books and refrigeration compressor industries. Other key clients include Bosch and Valeo. Elaine Ewing was promoted to partner, while the New York-based Michael Lazerwitz retired from the partnership and became a senior counsel. Brian Byrne, Leah Brannon and Mark Nelson are also noted. All attorneys are in Washington DC except where noted otherwise.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s team handles a large number of high-profile cartel investigations in the US and Europe, and is often successful in convincing the authorities not to press charges against its clients. In a recent highlight, the DOJ dropped an investigation against a major autoparts manufacturer. The team also has experience of investigations within industries such as advertising, capacitors, power cables, precious metals and consumer products. Michael Egge in Washington DC and Niall Lynch, Belinda Lee and Daniel Wall acted as lead partners in these matters. One of the firm’s great assets is its global reach: the US antitrust team, which comprises 25 partners and counsel, works closely with colleagues in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Egge chairs the global practice alongside Al Pfeiffer and Christopher Yates. Jason Cruise in Washington DC was promoted to partner, while Marguerite Sullivan began a two-year tenure in the firm’s Brussels office. All attorneys are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.
White & Case LLP’s antitrust department has been extremely busy in cartel-related work, an area where it enjoys a very good reputation. ‘It is difficult to receive better service’ said one client; the lawyers have ‘extensive trial experience, don’t let balls drop and communicate extremely well’. Following a seven-year, multi-jurisdictional grand jury investigation into the firm’s client, Nexans, a manufacturer of copper and optical fiber cable products, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division finally admitted defeat. Another key client is Toshiba, which the firm represented in multiple cases related to cathode ray tubes (CRT) and lithium-ion batteries. The department, which is headed by Mark Gidley, also acted for clients in investigations into the autoparts, capacitors, chemical and hi-tech industries. Martin Toto in New York has ‘an excellent feel for arguments that will work before a jury’, and Christopher Curran’s ‘cross-examinations are brilliant’.
The antitrust practice at WilmerHale has ‘a strong position in the market, especially with regard to cartel investigations into the autoparts industry’. The US team frequently cooperates with the firm’s offices in Europe and China, and was recently involved in a number of high-profile investigations into the forex market, the drywall industry, the ocean shipping sector, and capacitors manufacturing. The firm also represented Chesapeake Energy with regard to alleged price-fixing and bid-rigging. Thomas Mueller, who heads the practice along with Boston-based senior counsel Michelle Miller, is considered a ‘really good antitrust lawyer’. Litigator Molly Boast in New York and Heather Tewksbury in Palo Alto are also highly regarded. Perry Lange, who often represents clients at the intersection of IP and antitrust law, was promoted to partner.
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP has been involved in a large number of cartel investigations conducted by the DOJ and the European Commission. The matters include investigations into autoparts, CRTs, maritime shipping, optical disk drives, chemicals, cell phones and airline cargo. Antitrust and white-collar criminal defense specialist James W Cooper recently acted for Japanese multinational corporation Minebea in an investigation by the DOJ into alleged price-fixing in the sale of ball bearings. After being represented by the firm before the DOJ, electrical equipment manufacturer Fujikura instructed litigator James L Cooper to represent it in class actions brought by end payors, automobile dealers and public entities. The practice is headed by Jonathan Gleklen. Michael B Bernstein was promoted to partner. The attorneys mentioned are all based in Washington DC.
Baker Botts L.L.P. represents high-profile clients in some of the country’s most important cartel investigations. The 32-strong team was boosted by the return of Stephen Weissman, who rejoined the firm in November 2015 following a tenure as deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. The group recently handled matters related to investigations into the autoparts industry, the forex market and the pharmaceuticals sector, representing before the DOJ as well as international antitrust agencies. In a recent price-fixing matter, practice co-head John Taladay successfully represented Philips and PLDS in all aspects of a DOJ investigation. Other notable clients include Dresser-Rand and Caterpillar. Joseph Ostoyich co-chairs the firm’s litigation department. All attorneys are based in Washington DC.
Fielding a team of 35 attorneys across its Washington DC, New York and San Francisco offices, Hogan Lovells US LLP continues to be involved in many multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations. Recently the firm has been kept busy with matters related to autoparts, car shipping, pharmaceuticals, and LIBOR. The firm counts Air Canada and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries among its active key clients. Antitrust practice head Janet McDavid, former assistant chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division Kathryn Hellings, and San Francisco-based Megan Dixon are the key partners. Rachel Brandenburger works as a senior adviser in New York. The practice recently lost two partners: Corey Roush moved to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, while litigator Steven Edwards joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. All attorneys are based in Washington DC except where stated otherwise.
Jones Day is a leading player in cartel investigations, with strong teams in Chicago and Cleveland and additional offices on the east and west coasts. The practice group, which is headed by David Wales, continues to be involved in high-profile cartel investigations into autoparts, financial institutions and electrolytic capacitors. Recently, Michael Knight and William O’Reilly represented a client in an investigation by the FTC into alleged anti-competitive practices regarding a branded drug. In another highlight, the firm defended Pioneer in a case relating to a DOJ investigation into the optical disk drives industry. Other notable key clients include Deutsche Bank and autoparts supplier Yazaki Corporation. Eric Enson in Los Angeles and John Majoras have ‘a lot of experience in the field’. Phillip Proger is also recommended. Attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
Mayer Brown’s strong antitrust practice is active in investigations into LIBOR as well as the autoparts and capacitors industries. The group, which is spread across the firm’s offices in Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, also defends a variety of clients in cartel-related litigation. The department was boosted by the return of ‘fabulous lawyer’ Mark Ryan, who rejoined the firm’s Washington DC office as global chair of the antitrust and competition practice, following a tenure as director of litigation at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. William Stallings also joined the team after holding several key positions in the Antitrust Division. In a recent highlight, Chicago-based Andrew Marovitz and Thomas Panoff acted as co-counsel to steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal. Other key clients include Nestlé, Cargill and HSBC. Britt Miller in Chicago, Robert Bloch and Adam Hudes are noted. All lawyers work in Washington DC except where stated otherwise.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP fields a team of 15 antitrust partners split between the east and west coasts. Michael Tubach in San Francisco and Richard Parker in Washington DC are the department’s key cartel lawyers. The firm successfully represented LEONI in the criminal investigation and civil class actions related to wire harnesses. In another matter, the team acted for Espar in a criminal investigation and related class action in connection with parking features in commercial vehicles. Trial lawyer Katrina Robson in Washington DC was promoted to partner.
Sidley Austin LLP’s 45-strong antitrust team has a good spread of attorneys across the US, with specialists in Washington DC, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The team handles criminal cartel cases in a wide range of areas, including autoparts, CRTs, LCD panels, and LIBOR/TIBOR. The firm acted as counsel to Citigroup in the appeal of what was perhaps the largest antitrust settlement in US history, in the ‘Payment Card Interchange Fee’ case. Peter Huston joined the firm’s San Francisco office in early 2015 after serving as assistant chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. William Blumenthal, Marie Fiala, Joel Mitnick and John Treece are the key partners. Active clients include BorgWarner, Dow and Macmillan.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is involved in a large number of high-profile cartel matters, particularly in relation to the autoparts industry. Other highlights relate to manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and life sciences. The firm represents JPMorgan Chase in numerous ongoing matters; for example, it is representing the bank before the European Commission in connection with inquiries into the credit default swaps business. Steven Sunshine in Washington DC serves as the head of the firm’s global antitrust and competition group. Shepard Goldfein and Paul Eckles are key partners in New York. Counsel Heidi Goldstein moved in-house.
Allen & Overy LLP handles some of the country’s most high-profile cartel cases, which include investigations before the DOJ, the FTC and international agencies, as well as related litigation. The ‘very active’ head of the firm’s US cartel defense practice, John Terzaken, represented clients in investigations relating to precious metals, food processing and autoparts. As a former director of criminal enforcement at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Terzaken enjoys an excellent reputation. David Esseks in New York is another name to note.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP represents a large number of high-profile clients across many industries, both in contentious matters and in investigations before the US and European regulators. In a recent highlight, the firm acted for Dexia and Assured Guaranty in an ongoing industry-wide investigation by the DOJ related to bid-rigging in the guaranteed investment contracts industry. ‘Talented’ antitrust practice chair Charles Rule is recommended, as is Jonathan Kanter; both are based in Washington DC.
Cooperating closely with its international network of antitrust attorneys, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s US antitrust group receives a steady flow of work on high-profile domestic and multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations. The practice, which is headed by Paul Yde, is involved in matters related to LIBOR, the global forex market and credit default swaps. Bruce McCulloch represented Vita Group in a DOJ price-fixing investigation into the polyurethane foam industry. The firm also acted for autoparts manufacturer Continental. Other key clients include Intel, Novartis and the London Stock Exchange. Tom Ensign appears regularly before the DOJ and the FTC.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP defends clients in major government-initiated and private antitrust cases, handling the full spectrum of antitrust-related claims, including price-fixing, cartel and monopolization allegations. The firm recently represented autoparts manufacturer Tenneco in a joint investigation by the DOJ and the European Commission, with the result that the DOJ granted the client conditional leniency. Other highlights include matters related to the DOJ’s and European Commission’s ocean shipping investigations. Chicago-based James Mutchnik is the key antitrust partner in the firm.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s antitrust and competition practice contains six former FTC and DOJ attorneys, and was recently boosted by the addition of 30 lawyers from the now defunct Bingham McCutchen. The group has its largest offices in Washington DC and San Francisco, with additional lawyers in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Silicon Valley. Recent highlights include representing Morgan Stanley in connection with an alleged manipulation of ISDAFIX, the primary benchmark for the interest rate swap market. Clayton Everett Jr was involved in various matters related to investigations into the autoparts industry. Steven Reed in Philadelphia co-heads the global practice with Darren Tucker. Frank Hinman in San Francisco and Scott Stempel and Leiv Blad are noted. All attorneys are based in Washington DC except where stated otherwise.
Morrison & Foerster LLP focuses on IP-related antitrust matters. It is particularly well known for its expertise in the hi-tech and media industries, but the client base is broader than that and includes companies in the healthcare and autoparts sectors. The group was also involved in price-fixing matters related to the drywall, semiconductors and freight forwarding industries. The practice was bolstered by the arrival of trial lawyer David Cross from Crowell & Moring LLP. Stephen Smith is the co-chair of the global antitrust group. Roxann Henry is recommended, and another name to note is Jeff Jaeckel. Stephen Freccero left the firm to work as a judge at Marin County Superior Court. All attorneys are based in Washington DC except where otherwise stated.
Shearman & Sterling LLP is experienced in US and EU antitrust law, handling cartel investigations, conspiracy and monopolization cases, matters related to predatory pricing, as well as bundling and tying cases. The firm is known for its representation of several financial institutions in global LIBOR and TIBOR related investigations. Beau Buffier and the key litigators Adam Hakki and Richard Schwed lead the practice, which recently acted for Japanese autoparts manufacturer JTEKT in follow-on class actions. Other key clients include United Airlines and Credit Suisse. Lawyers are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
With offices on the east and west coasts, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has made a name for itself defending companies and executives in major DOJ investigations into the autoparts industry. While the firm remains very active in this particular sector, it has also been involved in investigations into the building materials and financial services industries. The firm recently put an emphasis on corporate compliance programs, with Donald Klawiter in Washington DC presenting the risks of cartel conduct to Japanese executives and legal departments. Previously working at Paul Hastings LLP, Michael Cohen joined the San Francisco office. Gary Halling heads the department.
Winston & Strawn LLP primarily handles high-profile antitrust litigation, and continues to represent clients in cases related to CRTs, optical disk drives and lithium-ion batteries, to name just a few areas. The practice was also involved in investigations into the autoparts industry before the DOJ. Jeffrey Kessler is an ‘extremely talented litigator’. Robert Pringle in San Francisco, Chicago-based James Herbison, and Eva Cole are also noted. Early in 2016, Robert Ruyak left the firm to launch boutique firm Ruyak Cherian LLP. All attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.
DLA Piper LLP (US) invested considerably in its cartel practice last year, hiring the recommended Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey, who joined the firm’s San Francisco office following her departure from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Linda Smith in Los Angeles, previously at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, is another addition. The firm’s boosted antitrust practice was involved in DOJ investigations related to various industries, including autoparts and pharmaceuticals. Litigators David Bamberger and Lesli Esposito co-head the US antitrust and trade regulation group.
Handling all aspects of antitrust, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP gets ‘excellent marks’ in cartel work. The group gives ‘sensible advice and the individuals are very familiar with the enforcement agencies’. The firm was involved in criminal investigations into the capacitors and autoparts industry. Elizabeth Prewitt, a former investigator in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, ‘fights all the way for her clients’. New York-based Ethan Litwin, who is also admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales, is ‘well respected by the agencies’. Since publication,
In November 2015, Linklaters LLP boosted its antitrust practice by hiring the ‘highly experienced’ Douglas Tween, formerly of Baker McKenzie LLP, who provides ‘excellent strategic advice’. Tween has particular expertise in antitrust and cartels, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities, tax, fraud and money laundering matters. The firm handles criminal investigations into the financial services, freight forwarding, air cargo and capacitors industries. Tween now co-heads the US competition and antitrust department with Thomas McGrath in New York and Jeffrey Schmidt in Washington DC.
Set up in its current form in 2014, Miller & Chevalier Chartered’s compact antitrust group represents companies and executives in numerous cartel-related investigations by the DOJ and FTC. The team, which is headed by Kirby Behre in Washington DC, was involved in matters related to power cables, autoparts and ocean shipping. The firm recently acted for UTi Worldwide and UTi Brazil in the freight forwarding investigation, one of the DOJ’s largest global cartel investigations to date.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s attorneys are recommended for being ‘responsive and practical’. The firm was recently involved in antitrust litigation as well as in investigations by the DOJ into the resistors and autoparts industries. Roxane Polidora and Michael Sibarium in Washington DC are recommended. Casey Low joined the firm from Bracewell LLP. All attorneys are based in San Francisco except where otherwise noted.
The level of service in Vinson & Elkins LLP’s antitrust group is rated as ‘excellent’, with ‘very short response times’. The firm represented Southwest Airlines in sprawling federal and state government investigations and litigation with regard to allegations that major airlines have conspired to restrict capacity in order to maintain higher prices. Craig Seebald is recommended and co-heads the department out of Houston alongside James Reeder.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s cartel team is headed by Steven Reiss and Adam Hemlock. While the firm is predominantly known for its high-profile work in merger clearance and litigation, recent work includes a number of representations before the DOJ and international agencies. Acting for Bridgestone Corporation in a criminal investigation into the sale of anti-vibration rubber components for automobiles is a case in point.
Williams & Connolly LLP ‘attracts great associates, so the partners are able to put together strong antitrust teams’. The focus is typically on high-profile lawsuits, but the department also represents clients before the DOJ, most recently in investigations related to alleged manipulation of LIBOR and the autoparts industry. The firm also served as co-counsel to Google in connection with the FTC’s investigation into allegations that the client unfairly billed consumers for unauthorized purchases by children using mobile apps. David Zinn heads the practice with John Schmidtlein.
Civil litigation/class actions
Index of tables
Civil litigation/class actions
- Baker Botts L.L.P.
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
- Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
- Dechert LLP
- Hogan Lovells US LLP
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
- Sidley Austin LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Susman Godfrey LLP
- White & Case LLP
Kevin Arquit -
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
- David Boies - Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
George Cary -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Eric Cramer -
Berger & Montague, P.C.
Vincent Esades -
Heins Mills & Olson, PLC
- Deborah Garza - Covington & Burling LLP
Michael Hausfeld -
- William Isaacson - Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Jonathan Jacobson -
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Megan Jones -
- Robert Kaplan - Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
Richard Koffman -
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
- John Majoras - Jones Day
H Laddie Montague -
Berger & Montague, P.C.
- James Mutchnik - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Richard Parker -
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Brian Ratner -
- Charles Rule - Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Hollis Salzman -
Robins Kaplan LLP
- Daniel Swanson - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Daniel Wall - Latham & Watkins LLP
- Margaret Zwisler - Latham & Watkins LLP
- Kevin Arquit -
More than half of Berger & Montague, P.C.’s 60 lawyers sit in its antitrust department, making it one of only a few plaintiff firms able to handle a high volume of complex, high-profile cases. David Sorensen handles an impressive number of ‘pay-for-delay’ disputes in the pharmaceutical sector and, in one of many standout matters, is co-lead counsel to a class of direct purchasers in a challenge against Cephalon alleging that it entered into an agreement with generic competitors to delay competition for its Provigil drug. Merrill Davidoff, who heads the practice with the highly regarded H Laddie Montague, is active in financial services litigation; he was recently appointed interim co-lead counsel in a class action brought by traders of platinum- and palladium-based derivative contracts and securities against a number of banks and The London Platinum and Palladium Fixing Company. Eric Cramer is another key figure in the practice. January 2016 saw the Philadelphia-based firm open its second office with the recruitment in Minneapolis of Michelle Drake.
Antitrust forms a core part of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP’s highly regarded litigation practice. The team, headed by chairman David Boies, a ‘doyen of the plaintiff bar’, is deeply experienced in defending and prosecuting class actions and private litigation and is also regularly sought out to defend contested mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Recent clients include American Express, Delta Air Lines and, on the plaintiff side, a number of student athletes challenging the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s rules on remuneration. William Isaacson, Donald Flexner, Richard Feinstein, a former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, and James Denvir are additional key contacts.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP impresses with its breadth of expertise, as demonstrated by its recent caseload, which includes successfully defending, on appeal, Keurig Green Mountain in blocking a motion for preliminary injunction brought against the coffeemaker by competitors as part of a complex set of antitrust claims, and successfully winning the dismissal of price-fixing class actions brought against Japanese maritime transportation company “K” Line. Other notable clients include Goldman Sachs, Sanofi and Sabre Holdings. The bulk of the practice is in Washington DC, where George Cary, Mark Nelson, Leah Brannon and Brian Byrne are key contacts. Names to note in the New York office include Mark Leddy, Carmine Boccuzzi and Lev Dassin.
Covington & Burling LLP combines ‘strong industry knowledge’ with ‘fast response times’ to provide a ‘high level of service’. The team’s comprehensive antitrust capabilities extend to acting in high-profile trials, with Robert Wick successfully defending on appeal Samsung Electronics’ notable victory against Motorola in the latter’s cartel price-fixing allegations against a group of LCD display manufacturers. On the class action side, Derek Ludwin is representing the San Francisco 49ers in a suit brought against the NFL team by its ticketholders alleging anti-competitive ticket distribution arrangements, while a cross-office team, which includes Emily Johnson Henn in Silicon Valley, is acting for Walt Disney and others in defending a putative class action filed by animation studio employees alleging unlawful agreements not to cold-call each other’s employees. Key contact and practice co-chair Deborah Garza also featured in this matter. All individuals named are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP added to its solid record in appellate work in 2015. Highlights included California-based Daniel Swanson successfully defending, for Time Warner, in the California Court of Appeal, the dismissal of a putative class action by Southern California pay television subscribers over the cost of subsidizing new television rights agreements, and Texas-based Robert Walters successfully dismissing, on behalf of Estee Lauder, an appeal to have a refusal to deal case reinstated. UBS, Aetna and BNSF Railway are also clients. The sizeable team is spread across numerous offices and includes Peter Sullivan in New York, international antitrust expert Gary Spratling in San Francisco, and Dallas-based Sean Royall, who jointly heads the practice with Swanson and Sullivan.
Plaintiff firm Hausfeld stands out for its ‘ability to provide worldwide solutions’, leveraging its network of offices across the US and in Europe. The Washington DC office houses the majority of its 16 US partners and it is from here that the firm leads many of its high-profile cases. Michael Hausfeld, a ‘mastermind of strategy’, serves as co-lead counsel in an alleged LIBOR manipulation suit, while Brian Ratner, who is ‘proactive and knowledgeable’, is representing - alongside lawyers from the London office - a number of businesses, including Inditex Group and Hertz Europe, in proceedings against MasterCard Europe relating to unlawful interchange fees imposed by the credit card company. In San Francisco, Megan Jones has ‘superior knowledge in the area of eDiscovery’. Scott Martin, who ‘can swing the litigation sword against the best of law firms’, joined in July 2015 to open the New York office.
From its single office in Minneapolis, Heins Mills & Olson, PLC represents a broad range of plaintiffs, individuals and businesses in high-profile class actions. The highly regarded Renae Steiner played a key role in obtaining a precedential $40m settlement from Electronic Arts in O’Bannon v NCAA where a class of existing and former student athletes successfully challenged NCAA rules that prevent them from sharing in revenue generated by the use of their names and likeness. In another prominent matter, David Woodward, acting for a class of Philadelphia cable subscribers, obtained final approval of a settlement, valued at $50m, in a television market monopoly case, ending 11 years of litigation. Woodward and Steiner have also recently handled, for end-payors, a number of pay-for-delay cases in the pharmaceutical industry. Vincent Esades’ team also includes Jessica Servais and Dylan McFarland.
Owing to its global network of highly regarded antitrust lawyers, Jones Day is frequently retained on complex cross-border matters, including when David Wales defended Deutsche Bank in a putative class action, following European Commission investigations, claiming that the bank and other defendants conspired to limited access to credit default swap (CDS) pricing information. Experienced litigator John Majoras was particularly active in merger clearance litigation, and one highlight was successfully defeating the FTC’s challenge to STERIS Corporation’s proposed $1.9bn acquisition of Synergy Health. Other clients include Adobe Systems and Premier Health Partners. Wales, who heads the practice globally, and Majoras are based in Washington DC; other key contacts include Thomas Demitrack in Cleveland, Paula Render in Chicago, Jeffrey LeVee in Los Angeles and David Kiernan in San Francisco.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s client base, which includes the Chicago Cubs, Bain Capital and EVA Air, reflects its breadth of expertise. Esteemed litigator James Mutchnik, based in Washington DC, was particularly active in 2015, and highlights included defending Health Care Services Corporation against allegations of suppressing competition for outpatient surgical services brought by a private clinic, and defending, as part of a cross-office team, Hitachi and Hitachi Display Products in multiple class actions alleging price-fixing of cathode ray tubes. In Chicago - another key office for antitrust work within the firm’s wide network - David Zott and Daniel Laytin are representing the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in a series of putative class actions challenging, under antitrust laws, the structure of the association’s health insurance provision. Jay Lefkowitz in New York and Karen Walker in Washington DC together handled a number of pharmaceutical-related cases.
The ‘highly recommended’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP handles business-to-business antitrust disputes, follow-on litigation defense, contentious merger clearance issues and frequently represents clients in large multidistrict litigation (MDL). A team of lawyers from the firm’s Washington DC office, led by highly regarded litigator Margaret Zwisler, successfully argued that The London Metal Exchange was immune from prosecution in relation to claims that it had conspired with a number of banks to restrict supply and inflate the price of physical aluminum. In San Francisco, Daniel Wall, Sadik Huseny and Tim O’Mara defended Live Nation Entertainment in a number of claims brought by StubHub under the Sherman Act and California state law alleging that the firm’s client and NBA team Golden State Warriors were contractually precluding consumers from reselling tickets on StubHub. Oracle Corporation, Cox Communications and Toshiba are other recent clients. The practice, which fields around 140 lawyers worldwide, saw Washington DC-based Jason Cruise make partner and Lawrence Buterman arrive from the DOJ’s Antitrust Division in New York. Since publication, Michael Lacovara has joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.
Baker Botts L.L.P. is ‘top-notch in terms of overall responsiveness, client service and budget discipline’. The return of Stephen Weissman, who served as deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, has ‘considerably strengthened the practice’. The greater part of the group resides in Washington DC, including the ‘highly valuable’ James Kress, John Taladay and Erik Koons, who is praised for his ‘creative approach and excellent substantive knowledge’. Joseph Ostoyich, Thomas Dillickrath, William Henry and William Lavery successfully dismissed, on behalf of Olin Corporation, a direct purchaser class action alleging that the manufacturer had entered into a market allocation agreement in violation of the Sherman Act. Other clients include Philips, Halliburton and the newly won Harold Levinson Associates.
Antitrust is one of the main pillars at specialist plaintiff litigation firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. The size of the team, which is mainly spread across the New York and Washington DC offices, allows it to investigate and file unique cases exposing competition violations, including price-fixing conspiracies, monopolization schemes and market allocation agreements not detected by regulators. It has been involved in numerous landmark disputes, including Re Urethane Antitrust Litigation and In Re Publication Paper Antitrust Litigation. Practice co-chairs Richard Koffman and Kit Pierson, and senior lawyers Douglas Richards and Daniel Small, are the key contacts.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP ‘combines a quick and thorough grasp of clients’ issues with the ability to communicate simply, clearly and completely’. The team is particularly active in financial services litigation and American Express is a key client in this regard. Evan Chesler, Peter Barbur and Kevin Orsini advised the credit card company in a number of disputes, including its appeal of a district court judgment in a case brought by the DOJ and 17 state attorneys general alleging that the merchant acceptance rules imposed by American Express violated the Sherman Act. The pharmaceutical sector is another regular source of work, and Chesler, Rowan Wilson* and David Marriott represented Mylan in its long-running set of lawsuits alleging pay-for-delay agreements with Cephalon relating to the Provigil drug. Qualcomm and Thai Airways are also recent clients. All the lawyers named above are based in the firm’s New York office. *Since publication, Rowan Wilson has been confirmed as an Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.
Dechert LLP has a prominent standing in contentious merger matters. In a recent example, Paul Denis, deputy chair of the firm’s global litigation practice, and Mike Cowie led advice to General Electric in contesting the DOJ’s challenge to its proposed $3.3bn sale of GE Appliances to Sweden’s Electrolux; the transaction was ultimately aborted. On the class actions side, Philadelphia-based Christine Levin successfully obtained, for key client R.W. Sauder, the dismissal of a motion to certify a class by a putative class of indirect purchasers alleging that producers of eggs and egg products conspired to reduce supply. Other clients include American Airlines and Dow. Paul Friedman, who like Denis and Cowie is located in Washington DC, and New York-based Michael Weiner are also recommended. Steven Bizar, an experienced antitrust and trade regulation litigator, joined from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in February 2016.
Hogan Lovells US LLP is active across all areas of antitrust law and leverages its global network in handling high-profile cross-jurisdictional disputes. The team includes San Francisco-based Megan Dixon, a former prosecutor in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, whose sector expertise spans healthcare and hi-tech among others; former DOJ assistant attorney general for antitrust Sanford Litvack, who is based in New York; and Benjamin Holt, in Washington DC, who is regularly retained in complex class action matters. Recent highlights include representing Daimler Trucks North America in two putative class actions alleging a conspiracy between all the major manufacturers of heavy duty trucks, and acting for Credit Suisse in an MDL relating to allegations of collusion in the CDS exchange markets. Robert Robertson played a key role in both of those matters and comes highly recommended.
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP acts for a broad range of plaintiffs in antitrust class actions. The firm has been active in reverse payment cases, a recent highlight being Brendan Glackin and Eric Fastiff representing California consumers and third-party payors in a class action filed against a number of major pharmaceutical companies and generic prescription drug manufacturers alleging a conspiracy to restrain competition in the sale of antibiotic drug Ciprofloxacin. Outside of class action work, the pair, who are both based in San Francisco, advised Charles Schwab in individual lawsuits filed against a number of major banks alleging manipulation of the LIBOR. Key contacts in New York include Daniel Seltz, David Rudolph and David Stellings.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s comprehensive antitrust expertise is illustrated by its recent work for Bumble Bee Foods, which includes Washington DC lawyers Richard Parker, Courtney Dyer and Ted Hassi advising on its $1.5bn acquisition by Thai Union Frozen Products, handling civil litigation relating to a grand jury subpoena and defending over 100 class actions alleging collusion. Another key name in Washington DC is co-head of the antitrust practice group Ian Simmons. The practice’s international work is particularly noteworthy, and highlights included the Washington DC and London offices representing Asiana Airlines in one of the first-ever collective antitrust class actions filed in the UK. Samsung and Marriott International are other recent clients. In addition to its sizeable Washington DC group, the team also includes Andrew Frackman in New York, Kenneth O’Rourke in Los Angeles and Michael Tubach in San Francisco.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has seen its fair share of cases in sectors that have been active on the antitrust litigation front. In financial services, firm chairman Brad Karp and Andrew Finch led advice to Deutsche Bank in the international investigations and follow-on class actions relating to the bank’s role in the LIBOR manipulation scandal. In pharmaceuticals, Joseph Simons and Aidan Synnott are representing Pfizer in the settlement of a class action alleging monopolistic practices concerning its anti-seizure drug Neurontin. In sports, Simons and Daniel Toal are defending Major League Baseball (MLB) in allegations, brought by a class of purchasers of television packages, that MLB is violating Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act by conspiring to prohibit teams from broadcasting their individual games nationwide. Kenneth Gallo and Jacqueline Rubin are other names to note. Beth Wilkinson left in January 2016 to found a boutique trial firm.
Sidley Austin LLP’s strong Chicago practice, which has recently handled cases in sectors such as telecoms, financial services and pharmaceuticals, is complemented by a network of antitrust specialists across the country, including in Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles. In the recent work for AstraZeneca, a cross-office team including joint leader of the global antitrust department John Treece, David Giardina, Courtney Hoffmann and Alycia Degen obtained a major appellate victory for the pharmaceutical company in a complex case spanning antitrust and IP issues relating to the heartburn drug Prilosec. Other clients include SSAB, Microsoft and St. Luke’s Health System. Former assistant chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division Peter Huston joined in San Francisco.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s 16-partner practice, in addition to its prominence in merger control work, has been involved in several of the key ongoing antitrust civil litigation cases. Thomas Rice and Paul Gluckow have been defending JPMorgan Chase against a litany of LIBOR-related claims, including, recently, allegations of manipulation of yen LIBOR and Swiss franc LIBOR. Practice co-heads Kevin Arquit and Matthew Reilly are representing StubHub in its challenge to an alleged anti-competitive agreement between Ticketmaster and the Golden State Warriors relating to the resale of tickets to the team’s games. Recent clients on the class action side include Priceline.com and Deutsche Bank. Head of the firm’s Asia litigation practice James Kreissman is a key West Coast contact.
The sizeable team at plaintiff-focused litigation firm Susman Godfrey LLP is spread across its New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Texas offices. Its lawyers are involved in several high-profile antitrust lawsuits spanning, among other areas, financial services, particularly in relation to the LIBOR scandal; manufacturing, where the firm is on the steering committee for a nationwide class action brought against the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries; and entertainment, where it recently served as co-lead counsel to a class of 800,000 Comcast cable subscribers. Key contacts include James Southwick in Houston, Marc Seltzer in Los Angeles, Arun Subramanian in New York and Barry Barnett in Dallas.
White & Case LLP has ‘extensive trial experience’ and is noted for its string of major litigation successes against plaintiffs and US competition authorities. A recent such highlight was defending Toshiba against price-fixing claims brought by Motorola relating to the purchase of LCD panels; Christopher Curran (‘able to impartially assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case as a jury would see them’) and Martin Toto (‘capable of making an experienced opposing expert look ridiculous in cross-examination’) were part of a cross-office team that obtained the dismissal of all of Motorola’s claims following a Supreme Court decision to deny Motorola’s request for certiorari. The practice, headed by Mark Gidley, features prominently in pharmaceutical antitrust disputes and recent clients include Warner Chilcott, Novartis and Pfizer.
WilmerHale supplements a highly regarded cartel defense practice - where Heather Tewksbury and the ‘very analytical and strategic’ Steven Cherry are key contacts - with strong expertise in antitrust litigation. On the class action side, Mark Ford is representing Cephalon in a series of cases brought by the FTC as well as putative classes of direct and indirect purchasers of Provigil alleging that Cephalon was blocking generic competitors of its branded sleep disorder drug. In private antitrust litigation, Leon Greenfield and Christopher Casamassima are defending Regal Entertainment Group against claims brought by Starlight Cinemas that Regal coerced film distributors into excluding certain films from Starlight theaters. Michelle Miller, an IP expert, and Thomas Mueller jointly head the practice. Antitrust and IP litigator Timothy Syrett was made partner.
Zelle LLP is singled out for its ‘unusually diversified client base’, which ranges from multinationals to consumers, and ‘has an excellent antitrust practice, particularly on the plaintiff side’. The ‘dynamic group of litigators’ in the firm’s San Francisco office are involved in some of the most high-profile cases, including the automotive parts litigation, where the team serves on an end-payor plaintiff leadership committee that is assisting co-lead counsel in the class action that followed from the DOJ’s cartel investigation into the industry. Additional class action highlights span airline travel, packaged seafood, and debit and credit cards. Christopher Micheletti, Michael Christian, Craig Corbitt and Judith Zahid, who is ‘able to bring people together on both sides of a case to get things done’, are names to note.
Antitrust class actions form the bedrock of the practice at Philadelphia-based firm Fine Kaplan & Black. The group acts for plaintiffs and to a lesser extent for defendants. Names to note include Roberta Liebenberg and Donald Perelman, who together served as trial counsel for the plaintiff class in Re Urethane Antitrust Litigation, and Jeffrey Istvan.
Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP’s traditional strength lies in representing plaintiffs in class actions, but the firm is also active in private litigation. Highlights in 2015 included achieving class certification and denying a petition to review the certification in Re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, entering into two settlements on behalf of direct purchasers in Re Ductile Iron Pipe Fittings Direct Purchase Antitrust Litigation, and filing a large number of cases for purchasers of packaged seafood, including Affiliated Foods and Giant Eagle. Robert Kaplan, Gregory Arenson, recommended for his ability to handle complex economic issues that arise in antitrust litigation, and Frederic Fox are the names to note; all are located in New York.
The lawyers at Labaton Sucharow LLP are ‘extremely diligent and effective litigators that always have the best interest of the client in mind’. The very broad client base includes a variety of funds, insurers, municipalities, small and large businesses and individual consumers. Praised for its ‘strong investigatory skills’, the firm is proactive in developing cases, as evidenced by the fact it was first to file in a nationwide class action against major platinum and palladium dealers alleging a price-fixing conspiracy in these commodity markets; practice chairs Gregory Asciolla and Jay Himes served as co-lead counsel on that matter. In another first, Asciolla and Michael Stocker initiated a class action against a number of prominent financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, alleging a conspiracy to manipulate auctions for US treasury securities.
Mayer Brown is noted for its ‘excellent value for money’ as well as for the ‘knowledge and understanding’ of its lawyers. A cross-office team of New York and Paris attorneys, including Richard Steuer, is representing Société Générale in the civil litigation that followed the LIBOR manipulation scandal, which involved several international banks. In Washington DC, Carmine Zarlenga and Adam Hudes are leading advice to Nestlé USA in a sizeable MDL consisting of over 90 federal lawsuits alleging that the multinational food company conspired with Mars, Hershey and Cadbury to fix the price of chocolate products sold in the US. Chicago-based Britt Miller, who is ‘very efficient and has excellent client interaction skills’, and Palo Alto-based Edward Johnson, who recently acted for Google, are additional key contacts.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s team ‘approaches business and legal issues thoughtfully and with appropriate consideration of the client’s business interests’, and under the stewardship of Steven Reed has successfully integrated the major intake of antitrust lawyers from Bingham McCutchen. Donn Pickett and Brian Rocca were new additions to the San Francisco office. Pickett represented Intel in a California class action that challenges its sales and marketing practices for microprocessors, and Rocca represented Google in the successful dismissal of a putative class action alleging anti-competitive agreements between Google and Android device makers. Thane Scott in Boston is a pharmaceutical sector specialist, while the addition of Jon Roellke in Washington DC adds to the firm’s already impressive financial services litigation expertise.
The lawyers at Morrison & Foerster LLP ‘do an outstanding job at gaining knowledge of their clients’ industries and of the specifics of their businesses’. Leveraging the firm’s Japanese network, new hire David Cross in Washington DC is representing Sumitomo Electric Industries and certain of its subsidiaries in the defense of price-fixing class actions brought by direct and indirect purchasers of autoparts, specifically wire harnesses. The practice, headed by global antitrust co-chair Stephen Smith, has a broad client base that includes Continental Building Products, Amadeus IT Group (hi-tech is particular sector strength) and JPMorgan Chase. Stephen Freccero and Paul Friedman in San Francisco, and Sean Gates and Michael Miller, located in Los Angeles and New York respectively, are other names to note.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s practice focuses solely on litigation, where it acts for both plaintiffs and defendants. On the plaintiff side, Daniel Brockett was appointed lead counsel to a class of plaintiffs alleging that a dozen of the world’s largest banks conspired to fix the CDS market, while Stephen Neuwirth obtained, on behalf of a class of direct purchasers, over $400m in settlements in the Re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation. On the defense side, Steig Olson secured the dismissal of all claims against Gilead Sciences in a suit brought by a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer alleging a conspiracy between Gilead and specialty pharmacies that distribute the drug Letairis. The team is mostly split between the New York and Los Angeles offices.
Robins Kaplan LLP stands out for the fact that it prosecutes as well as defends antitrust class actions. ‘Only a handful of firms have a similar platform, capacity, resources, reputation and expertise on the plaintiff side’, as demonstrated by its recent caseload. This includes serving as co-lead counsel in the air cargo shipping services litigation, where the practice is representing businesses that purchased air freight services, and acting as court-appointed co-lead counsel to the proposed class of end payors of purchased or leased new vehicles in the autoparts class action, an unprecedented MDL encompassing 32 separate actions against over 100 defendants. Hollis Salzman, a ‘leader of the New York State plaintiff bar’, is leading on both matters. On the defense side, Minneapolis-based Stephen Safranski and New York-based Kellie Lerner are advising Graco and Graco Minnesota in allegations that the manufacturer violated federal and state antitrust laws through its acquisitions of certain rivals and by conspiring with distributors of foam equipment.
Shearman & Sterling LLP provides ‘a high level of service’ across a broad range of industries, but it is particularly strong in financial services related cases, where it leverages the firm’s contacts in the area. Adam Hakki and Richard Schwed (‘quick on his feet, a commanding presence’) are defending Bank of America in the ISDAFIX class action, which alleges that 15 financial institutions (including Nomura Securities International, which the firm is also representing in this case) conspired to fix the benchmark for interest rate derivative transactions. James Tallon is another name to note in the team and he recently advised Barclays Bank and Barclays Bank Delaware on an appeal, filed by plaintiffs, against the settlement reached between retailers and credit and debit card issuers regarding the interchange fees and merchant discount antitrust litigation. Heather Lamberg Kafele is a key contact in Washington DC.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s industry expertise in civil litigation ranges from life sciences, where clients include Allergan and Medicis Pharmaceutical, to financial services, where JPMorgan Chase is a key client; a recent highlight was defending the bank in CDS class action suit. Other clients include Vitol Services and China Minmetals. Washington DC-based Steven Sunshine is global practice head, while in New York, Clifford Aronson is North American group head. Karen Hoffman Lent and Paul Eckles are additional key contacts in New York.
Representing defendants as well as corporate plaintiffs, Winston & Strawn LLP is singled out for its diverse client base. Jeffrey Kessler, David Greenspan and David Feher, all based in New York, are representing a group of college football and basketball athletes in a landmark antitrust suit challenging the limits placed under NCAA rules on remuneration of athletes on athletic scholarships. On the defense side, Robert Sperling, who splits his time between Chicago and New York, and Elizabeth Papez, who splits her time between Washington DC and New York, acted for Goldman Sachs in the CDS antitrust litigation encompassing several putative nationwide class actions alleging a conspiracy between global financial institutions to manipulate the CDS market and block new entrants. Verizon Wireless and TreeHouse Foods are also clients.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP continues to handle high-profile financial services litigation. Practice head and managing partner of the Washington DC office Charles Rule has been representing RBS (CDS litigation) and Dexia (municipal derivatives litigation). Also in Washington DC, Peter Moll and Brian Wallach are defending Anheuser-Busch against allegations by California convenience store owners that the multinational violated state unfair competition laws by providing covert price discounting to selected retailers in the form of coupons provided on a discriminatory basis. Nestlé USA and Morgan Stanley are recent class action clients.
The 40-strong antitrust group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP works closely with the firm’s highly regarded M&A practice to advise on high-profile mergers, and is also active in complex competition disputes spanning civil litigation and criminal investigations. Global practice chair Christopher Hockett, who is located in Menlo Park, was involved in several significant price-fixing cases, including the successful dismissal of a class action against client T-Mobile USA alleging that four wireless carriers and the industry trade association fixed per-use text messaging rates. Financial services is a sector strength and recent clients include RBS, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Arthur Burke and Jon Leibowitz are key contacts in New York and Washington DC respectively.
Recent highlights for McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s practice, now led by Raymond Jacobsen in Washington DC, include acting as lead defense counsel for Steel Dynamics in putative nationwide class actions alleging that steel makers comprising 85% of the US market conspired to restrict the supply and fix the prices of all steel products, and defending American Gypsum in class actions filed by direct and indirect purchasers alleging price-fixing by drywall manufacturers. Healthcare is a particular sector strength and Silver Cross Hospital and Rochester Regional Health Systems are recent clients. Joel Chefitz, David Marx and Stephen Wu, all Chicago based, are recommended.
At Paul Hastings LLP, ‘matters are handled strategically and effectively with the understanding that the lawyers know how to try cases and will do so if needed’. Following a successful trial defense of Dow, as co-lead counsel, in an MDL alleging price-fixing between polyether urethane producers, Jeremy Evans is now handling the appeal. On the merger clearance side, Holly House secured court approval for the settlement of a class action arising from the DOJ’s challenge to the Twin America merger. Korean Airlines and eBay are also clients. Former practice chair Michael Cohen left for Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, while IP and antitrust expert Blair Jacobs joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP. The team is mostly split across the San Francisco and Washington DC offices.
Ropes & Gray LLP differentiates itself by its ability to handle both defendant and plaintiff work and acts for companies such as Google, Cablevision and Polar Air Cargo. The firm’s broad-ranging expertise in class actions complements its antitrust practice, as demonstrated by the fact that the team, which is led by Washington DC-based Mark Popofsky, is involved in high-profile cases such as Re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, where Popofsky and Boston-based Jane Willis are defending Hitachi-LG Data Services. Healthcare is a real sector strength and a cross-office team of Washington DC and San Francisco lawyers represented Questcor Pharmaceuticals (now part of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals) in a challenge brought by Retrophin to Questcor’s acquisition of the rights to Novartis’ Synacthen drug. Jerome Katz is a key contact in New York.
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s work for key client Samsung Electronics reflects the antitrust practice’s breadth of expertise. Matters handled for the client recently include cartel investigations, price-fixing class actions and - highlighting a key strength of the practice - the defense of an antitrust and IP cross-over action alleging an illegal group licensing boycott in the smartphone market. MasterCard and Expert Network Consultants are also clients. The department is spread across the firm’s California and Washington DC offices and key contacts include group head Gary Halling, the ‘professional, honest, approachable and highly regarded’ Michael Scarborough, and James McGinnis. The addition of former Paul Hastings LLP practice chair Michael Cohen in San Francisco has further enhanced the team’s healthcare sector and merger clearance capabilities.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s lawyers are noted for their broad-ranging antitrust expertise, which spans merger matters, criminal investigations and all types of litigation. Financial services is a real sector strength, as demonstrated by the fact that a cross-office team of New York and Washington DC attorneys led by David Braff, Amanda Flug Davidoff, practice co-head Yvonne Quinn and Penny Shane is representing multiple banks, including Barclays and Goldman Sachs, in the many class actions filed against primary dealers in the US treasuries market alleging a conspiracy to manipulate prices. In Los Angeles, Robert Sacks is defending BP in an MDL alleging that several oil companies participated in a conspiracy to manipulate the price of Brent crude oil and Brent crude oil futures by providing fixed pricing information to a publisher of benchmark price assessments.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is praised for its ‘excellent expertise in complex antitrust matters’. The practice is very active in the media industry; New York-based Eric Hochstadt and Steven Reiss represented a group of local television stations as plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging violations of the Sherman Act relating to the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers’ licensing practices for access to its repertory of musical performances. On the defense side, Washington DC-based Carrie Mahan Anderson (who was also part of the team advising the local television stations) successfully obtained the dismissal, on behalf of all defendants, including client Michael Foods, of an indirect purchaser class action in the Re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation. UnitedHealthCare, CBS and Hilton Worldwide are also clients.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is noted for its technology sector expertise and is regularly retained on antitrust disputes, often novel and complex, with an IP component. Recent cases include Re Online DVD Rental Antitrust Litigation, where it successfully defended Netflix in claims brought by a class of subscribers alleging that the company conspired with Walmart to corner the online DVD rental and sales market. Highly regarded litigator Jonathan Jacobson, who is located in New York, is the key contact.
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s recent victories include successfully obtaining, in district court, the rejection of a motion to compel the deposition of the CEO of client HarperCollins as part of litigation alleging that five publishers and Apple conspired to raise the price of e-books, and affirming on appeal the settlement of the credit/debit card tying cases for defendant client Visa. The diverse client base also includes General Electric and NBA team Golden State Warriors. Daniel Asimow, Scott Lent and James W Cooper are key contacts in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC respectively.
Baker & Hostetler LLP’s antitrust practice is noted for its strong East Coast and Midwest coverage. The Washington DC office was particularly active of late, and highlights included representing Caterpillar in private litigation brought by a would-be importer of Chinese-made construction equipment alleging a conspiracy to block the importer from obtaining online distribution; Gregory Commins led. In Philadelphia, Carl Hittinger continues to defend the Deseret News Publishing Company in a case involving the alleged creation of a monopoly in the Salt Lake City newspaper market. The ‘very strong group of attorneys that has a long history of working together’ also includes Lee Simowitz, Robert Brookhiser, who is lauded for his ‘considerable expertise’, and national practice head and ‘strong attorney’ Robert Abrams.
Crowell & Moring LLP’s team includes experienced trial lawyer John Gibson in Orange County, Los Angeles-based Jason Murray, whose industry expertise spans healthcare, retail, technology and telecoms, and Kent Gardiner, who resides in Washington DC and regularly handles class actions as well as cross-over IP/antitrust cases. Beatrice Nguyen and Daniel Sasse are representing Hewlett-Packard as plaintiff in claims alleging that manufacturers of optical disk drives entered into a longstanding price-fixing conspiracy. The firm’s strong West Coast presence gives it a prominent standing in the healthcare and technology sectors. General Motors and Yamaha Corporation of America are also clients.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s Washington DC team was particularly active in 2015, notably in litigation following on from cartel investigations. As an example, practice head Paul Yde led the defense of United Airlines in more than 100 civil complaints brought nationwide following a DOJ investigation into potential airline price and capacity collusion among domestic carriers. The group acts for numerous international clients, such as Beijing Matsushita Color (Re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litigation) and Hachette Book Group. Bruce McCulloch is an additional key contact. Since publication, Michael Lacovara has joined Latham & Watkins LLP.
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s traditional strengths are in energy, healthcare, technology, entertainment (particularly disputes involving movie distribution) and transport, with clients including the likes of Phillips 66, Shell, Baylor Health Care System, and ABX Logistics. Anne Rodgers, who is based in Houston alongside practice head Layne Kruse and Darryl Anderson, was particularly active, and recent highlights for her include handling the appeal, for client American Alloy Steel, of a jury trial verdict that found that steel service centers and mills participated in a group boycott to shut down a competing steel service center. In Washington DC, Neely Agin made partner, while in New York, the group added Robin Adelstein, a life sciences expert who joined from an in-house position at Novartis.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s team is spread across the firm’s offices in California, New York, Washington DC and, in a recent development, Texas. Its clients include major US corporates, such as Home Depot and Clearwater Paper Corporation, as well as a significant number of Japanese businesses, including Mikuni Corporation. In San Francisco, Thomas Loran continues to defend Safeway in a series of cases brought by independent fuel retailers alleging that the supermarket chain was violating California’s Unfair Practices Act by engaging in grocery-based fuel promotions. The practice, headed by San Francisco-based Roxane Polidora, includes David Keyko in New York and Christine Scheuneman in Los Angeles.
Debra Dermody, practice head at Reed Smith LLP, was particularly active in 2015, and highlights included representing SKF in three putative class actions alleging price-fixing brought against manufacturers of bearings and other autoparts. Daniel Booker, who like Dermody is based in Pittsburgh, is another key contact, and he has recently acted for clients such as health insurer Highmark and US Steel. The group’s industry expertise spans healthcare, manufacturing, consumer goods and insurance, among other areas.
At Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston-based James Reeder and Washington DC-based Alden Atkins were involved in several high-profile disputes including a range antitrust claims. Atkins is defending Southwest Airlines in numerous civil lawsuits filed following government investigations into an alleged conspiracy by major airlines to restrict capacity in order to maintain higher ticket prices. Reeder, who jointly heads the practice with Craig Seebald, is acting for HeartBrand Beef in private litigation brought by a competitor seeking to invalidate a contract for the purchase of Akaushi cattle and alleging that the beef supplier had attempted to monopolize this specific cattle market. Hitachi and Huntsman International are also clients.
Washington DC-based litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP has acted as defense counsel in several of the recent headline antitrust-related class actions, including Animation Workers Antitrust Litigation, Edwards v National Milk Producers Federation, et al (a consumer class action alleging that the nation’s leading dairy cooperatives conspired to suppress output and increase prices for milk produced by dairy farmers) and Marshall, et al v ESPN, Inc., et al. Another key client is Google, and practice co-head John Schmidtlein is representing the tech giant in a lawsuit brought by a putative nationwide class of individual purchasers of Android devices; the case alleges that Google violated federal and California antitrust statutes by entering into contracts with certain phone and tablet manufacturers in which the manufacturer agreed to make Google the default, but not exclusive, search provider on devices in exchange for the right to preinstall certain Google applications on those devices. Jonathan Pitt, who jointly heads the practice with Schmidtlein, is another key contact.
Index of tables
Clifford Aronson -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
- Thomas Barnett - Covington & Burling LLP
George Cary -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Susan Creighton -
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
- Paul Denis - Dechert LLP
- Deborah Garza - Covington & Burling LLP
- Ilene Gotts - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Ronan Harty -
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Mark Leddy -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Janet McDavid - Hogan Lovells US LLP
Mark Nelson -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Steven Newborn - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Matthew Reilly -
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Steven Sunshine -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
- Paul Yde - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Clifford Aronson -
The six partners and 40 associates in Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s antitrust team handle the full range of cross-border merger clearance matters in cooperation with the firm’s European and global competition practice. The firm has advised on significant domestic and global transactions of late, including assisting Google secure global antitrust clearance as part of its sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group. In another highlight, Mark Leddy and Leah Brannon acted as counsel to Coca-Cola in its acquisition of an equity stake in Monster Beverage Corporation. The firm was also involved in ‘a real game changer for M&A’, as described by The Telegraph, representing GlaxoSmithKline in securing global antitrust clearance for its multibillion-dollar three-part transaction with Novartis. Mark Nelson, Brian Byrne and the former deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, George Cary, are the key partners. Jeremy Calsyn is also noted. Michael Lazerwitz in New York retired as partner and became senior counsel in early 2015. All attorneys are based in Washington DC except where noted otherwise.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s antitrust and competition group works closely with the M&A department, representing clients in a variety of industries in US and cross-border transactions. Recently, the group advised Citigroup on the sale of its OneMain business to Springleaf Holdings in an all-cash transaction. In another highlight, the firm provided merger clearance advice to global media and technology company Comcast in connection with its acquisition of start-up firm FreeWheel Media, headquartered in Silicon Valley. Michael Sohn (‘highly regarded’) and Arthur Burke advised software solutions provider Blackbaud on its approximately $160m acquisition of MicroEdge. Healthcare services provider Symbion sought out the firm to assist with its $792m purchase by Surgery Partners. Stephen Pepper went to Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Litigator Ronan Harty heads the department.
Dechert LLP’s US antitrust practice, which operates across 13 offices, continues to be active on large and complex deals, among them 15 transactions worth more than $1bn. ‘Very good lawyer’ Paul Denis took the lead in securing FTC clearance for the $9.4bn merger of Albertsons and Safeway. In another highlight, James Fishkin was part of the team advising Dollar Tree on its $8.5bn acquisition of Family Dollar, two of the largest discount merchandise store chains in the US. The group also represented Fibertech in its sale to Lightower, which turned two leading independent providers of fiber optic cables in the Northeast into a Northeast and Mid-Atlantic powerhouse. Philadelphia-based George Gordon and Michael Weiner in New York head the department. Craig Falls was promoted to partner, and trial lawyer Steven Bizar joined the firm’s Philadelphia office after leaving Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Since publication,
With a ‘high level of industry knowledge’, Jones Day provides ‘very practical guidance’ in the area of merger clearance. In the past year, the team was involved in more than 150 complex cross-border transactions, including acting as antitrust counsel to appliance manufacturer Electrolux in its ultimately unsuccessful attempt to purchase the appliances business of General Electric for $3.3bn; the DOJ filed a lawsuit to block the acquisition in a rare example of a litigated merger case. David Wales, the firm’s global leader of antitrust and competition law, assisted Procter & Gamble with the merger of its 43 hair care and cosmetics brands with beauty products manufacturer Coty. Another highlight saw the firm represent DirecTV Group in the antitrust aspects of its approved acquisition by AT&T. The firm added Newell Rubbermaid and Carlyle Group to its client roster. Peter Love is recommended for his ‘great enthusiasm’; Craig Waldman is ‘incredibly smart and pragmatic’; and of counsel Phillip Proger is an ‘excellent attorney’. Joe Sims has retired.
From its offices in New York, Washington DC and Palo Alto, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP handles merger clearance matters as part of large, complex transactions. Its client roster includes LafargeHolcim, Lorillard and JPMorgan Chase. Recently, the firm assisted Office Depot with its proposed sale to Staples, against which the FTC filed a complaint seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to challenge the merger; this action is currently being contested by Staples and Office Depot. In another highlight, Kevin Arquit, Washington DC-based Matthew Reilly and Sara Razi acted for Dutch retailer Ahold in connection with its announced merger of equals with Delhaize Group, a transaction that is expected to be completed by mid-2016. Peter Thomas in Washington DC and Peter Guryan represented NXP Semiconductors in a merger with Freescale Semiconductor. Arquit and Reilly head the department, which recently lost Joseph Tringali to retirement. Except where otherwise noted, all attorneys are based in New York.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is a ‘very good antitrust firm’, according to sources. The department, headed by New York-based Clifford Aronson and Washington DC-based Steven Sunshine, handles some of the most high-profile merger cases, most typically for clients in the technology, energy, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and life sciences industries. Specialty healthcare company Endo International sought out the team to assist with the $1.6bn sale of American Medical Systems’ men’s health business to Boston Scientific. Other clients in this sector include Hospira, Valeant and Becton Dickinson. The group also represented consumer finance company Springleaf Holdings in its acquisition of OneMain Financial. Aronson is recommended.
The Washington DC-based practice at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP fields 40 antitrust partners and represents clients in a considerable number of complex and high-profile merger-related matters. The list of clients includes AT&T, BP and Cisco. Another prominent client is General Electric, which the firm advised on its $13.6bn acquisition of Alstom, the planned but unsuccessful $3.3bn sale of its appliances business to Electrolux, and the $20bn-$25bn sale of real estate assets worldwide to acquirers such as Wells Fargo and Blackstone. Recently promoted partner Michael B Bernstein acted for Boston Scientific in its $1.6bn acquisition of American Medical Systems’ urology portfolio from Endo. Jonathan Gleklen heads the firm’s antitrust and competition department. Peter Levitas and Richard Rosen are also noted.
The level of service at New York firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is ‘fantastic’, according to clients. The antitrust group handles contentious work and cartel-related matters but is mostly known for its involvement in merger clearance cases. Practice head Christine Varney, a former US assistant attorney general for antitrust and a former commissioner of the FTC, ‘gives clear, concise answers’. Active clients include Delhaize Group, Unilever and British American Tobacco. In a particularly complex and challenging matter, the group acted for Mylan in antitrust issues regarding its $5.6bn acquisition of Abbott Laboratories’ non-US developed markets specialty and branded generics business. The firm also assisted Anheuser-Busch InBev with antitrust issues regarding its $107.7bn acquisition of SABMiller. Julie North is now focusing on antitrust regulatory clearance after spending many years as a litigation partner.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s antitrust team includes many attorneys with experience working at the US government enforcement agencies, affording it additional insight in representations before the FTC, DOJ and state attorneys general. It is also well versed in many foreign jurisdictions. The group handles a large number of transactions each year, most notably for companies in the healthcare, energy and hi-tech sectors. In the FTC’s fiscal year ending in September 2015, the firm filed more than 200 Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) notifications. As an example, it represented Charter Communications in its proposed $55bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable. In another highlight, the team provided regulatory guidance to Danaher in its acquisition of water filtration systems producer Pall Corporation. Chicago-based James Mutchnik is the firm’s key antitrust partner. Mark Kovner and Ian Conner in Washington DC are noted.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s team, which in the US includes 25 partners and counsel, has had an active and successful year in the merger control arena. It often works closely with its colleagues in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and earns praise for being ‘very responsive to clients’ needs’ and doing ‘an excellent job’. By way of example, the team advised Allergan on its $73bn sale to Actavis, one of the largest global M&A deals of 2015, which created one of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Amanda Reeves in Washington DC and Joshua Holian acted for online travel booking firm Orbitz Worldwide in its $1.6bn sale to Expedia. Michael Egge in Washington DC is ‘incredibly knowledgeable and practical’, and Hanno Kaiser is considered a ‘brilliant attorney’. Jason Cruise in Washington DC was promoted to partner, while Marguerite Sullivan began a two-year tenure in the firm’s Brussels office. Al Pfeiffer and Christopher Yates serve as the department’s global chairs. All attorneys are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.
Sidley Austin LLP is ‘among the very best firms when it comes to representing clients trying to get deals cleared by the DOJ and the FTC’, according to sources. Forty-five partners are spread across offices in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Palo Alto. The firm acted for AT&T in the antitrust aspects of its $48.5bn acquisition of DirecTV, creating the largest pay-TV provider in the US. The group also handled all regulatory clearances for Cobra Electronics in connection with its acquisition by Monomoy Capital Partners II. Former FTC general counsel William Blumenthal has ‘all the institutional knowledge to deal with the agencies’ and ‘avoids expensive dead ends’. Blumenthal co-heads the practice with San Francisco-based Marie Fiala, Joel Mitnick in New York and John Treece in Chicago. ‘Smart and practical’ Ken Glazer is also recommended. Karen Kazmerzak, a former FTC attorney, was promoted to partner. All attorneys are based in Washington DC except where stated otherwise.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP shows ‘commercial understanding’ and brings ‘real strength of experience in US merger requirements’. Operating out of offices in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, the team handles matters in all areas of antitrust. In the merger clearance arena, Steven Holley represented Kraft in its merger agreement with Heinz, a transaction worth $55bn. He also acted for Alcatel-Lucent in its acquisition by Nokia. Yvonne Quinn assisted Bright House Networks in its pending three-way merger agreement with Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable in order to create an $80bn cable company.
M&A powerhouse Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz fields an antitrust team of five partners and several other attorneys, and is experienced representing clients before the DOJ, the FTC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, state attorneys general and foreign antitrust enforcement authorities. The New York-based firm’s client base is diverse but there is a tendency towards financial institutions, energy, media, hi-tech and telecoms. Joseph Larson represented Expedia in its acquisition of Orbitz Worldwide, while David Schwartz acted for Pfizer in connection with its planned $190bn combination with Allergan, which if successful will be the second-largest M&A deal on record. Ilene Gotts handled work for Visa, Mallinckrodt and Charter Communications, and was also involved in National Geographic Society’s sale of its media business to a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox. Damian Didden and Nelson Fitts are also noted.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has an ‘excellent team’ that includes several attorneys who used to work for government antitrust agencies. It advises many clients in the electronics, healthcare and life sciences sectors. Practice head Steven Newborn, a former director of litigation at the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, has a ‘very good reputation’ in the field and is ‘easy to follow’; he recently represented medical device company Biomet in the antitrust review of its divestiture to rival Zimmer Holdings, a transaction worth $13.4bn. Also involved in the matter was the recommended Steven Bernstein, a former assistant director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. The group advised Actavis on its purchase of Allergan and continues to represent the new company in various deals. Jeffrey Perry and Ann Malester are also noted. All mentioned attorneys are based in Washington DC.
Baker Botts L.L.P. handles a steady flow of merger clearance work, often as part of cross-border transactions. Oilfield services company Halliburton retained the firm to assist with antitrust issues surrounding its $34.6bn acquisition of Baker Hughes, with Sean Boland, Paul Cuomo and Thomas Fina taking the lead. Another client is Israel Chemicals, which owns the exclusive mineral rights for the Dead Sea. Stephen Weissman, a former deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, rejoined the firm, and now co-chairs the US antitrust practice with John Taladay. The lawyers mentioned are all based in Washington DC.
Complex merger review makes up a significant part of Covington & Burling LLP’s antitrust practice. The firm handles work for a range of clients, but it has special expertise in relation to life sciences, technology, and privacy and data security. Recently, the group secured an important victory for Expedia in its $1.6bn acquisition of Orbitz, with Thomas Barnett and Anne Lee acting as lead partners. Highly regarded Deborah Garza represented Steel Partners Holdings in the sale of Arlon to Rogers Corporation, obtaining HSR clearance without a second request. Other key clients include Facebook and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s antitrust group is known for its ‘pragmatic approach and good understanding of the regulatory environment’. Headed by the recommended Paul Yde, it has seen an upsurge in deals triggering scrutiny by the DOJ, the FTC, state attorneys general and foreign regulators. Yde and counsel Mary Lehner advised global drinks can maker Rexam on the merger control aspects of its $6.35bn takeover by US competitor Ball Corporation. Intel is another major client. Tom Ensign is also noted.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s ‘top-notch’ team is especially known for its ‘insightful merger clearance advice’. Recent work includes acting as counsel to Interline Brands, a portfolio company of Goldman Sachs and P2 Capital Partners, in its takeover by Home Depot. Media General and New Mountain Capital are two other key clients. ‘Well-respected’ global antitrust chair Bernard Nigro ‘provides specific, practical advice’; other key partners include Richard Park and New York-based Nathaniel Asker.
Hogan Lovells US LLP’s team has ‘deep experience in navigating the regulatory environment’. Practice head Janet McDavid and Logan Breed represented SABMiller in its agreed $120bn takeover by AB InBev, which, if successful, will be the fourth-largest M&A transaction in corporate history. In another highlight, McDavid, Joseph Krauss and New York-based senior adviser Rachel Brandenburger assisted rail transport company Alstom with US, EU and global antitrust issues related to the sale of its power businesses to General Electric. Its clients also include IBM and British American Tobacco. All attorneys are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.
With a sizeable group in Chicago and additional strength in Washington DC and Houston, McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a substantial US antitrust team, with a focus on merger clearance. The firm stands out as one of the premier healthcare firms in the US, representing a large number of hospitals and biotech and pharmaceutical companies. The group successfully acted for Impax Laboratories in connection with its acquisition of Tower Holding, including several operating subsidiaries. Antitrust all-rounder Michelle Lowery, who divides her time between Chicago and Los Angeles, was promoted to partner. Raymond Jacobsen Jr heads the antitrust and competition department, and Jon Dubrow is noted.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s ‘fantastic’ team fields ‘good people with a broad range of deal experience’, such as Willard Tom, a former FTC general counsel. The group has a presence in Washington DC, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and California and is still in an expansion phase following the arrival, in late 2014, of almost 30 attorneys from the defunct Bingham McCutchen, which also brought a large number of new clients, such as Sumitomo Rubber Industries. New York-based Harry Robins, who heads the practice, represented eBay in the sale of its e-commerce business to Permira and Sterling Partners. Scott Stempel and Leiv Blad are the other key partners in the department. Frank Hinman left the firm in early 2016.
Clients are ‘happy with the antitrust services provided’ at Shearman & Sterling LLP. Department head Beau Buffier and Washington DC-based Heather Kafele successfully represented online real estate company Zillow Group before the FTC in relation to its $3.5bn acquisition of competitor Trulia. Jessica Delbaum is recommended for her ‘flexibility and depth of knowledge’. Albemarle and Sun Pharmaceuticals are other notable clients. All named lawyers are based in New York unless noted otherwise.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is ‘doing a great job’ in merger clearance, according to sources. The team has extensive government experience: Susan Creighton is a former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, while Mark Rosman served as a trial lawyer at the DOJ. The firm has obtained favorable agency reviews of proposed mergers for many high-profile clients, for example Coca-Cola and Google.
The bulk of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s antitrust team is based in Washington DC, with additional attorneys working in the firm’s New York office. The group handles high-profile merger clearance matters for an illustrious client base, which includes Microsoft, Eli Lilly and Getty Images. Practice head Charles Rule and Andrew Forman advised Salix Pharmaceuticals on its $15.8bn sale to Valeant. Jonathan Kanter is another key partner.
Cooley LLP’s 22-strong antitrust group is recommended for being ‘extremely pragmatic and responsive’. With offices in Washington DC and California, the firm handles merger clearance mainly for clients in the automotive, hi-tech and life sciences industries. Jacqueline Grise acted for NetScout Systems, a provider of network performance management products, in its $2.6bn acquisition of the communications business of Danaher. Practice head Howard Morse, Francis Fryscak in Palo Alto and Marc Schildkraut are recommended.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s antitrust team advises a range of clients in a range of industries on the antitrust issues pertaining to transactions, with a focus on the healthcare sector. Representing pharmaceuticals developer Lannett in its acquisition of Kremers Urban Pharmaceutical is a case in point. The firm continues to work for Amazon and Toyota. Gary Kubek and Daniel Abuhoff head the antitrust team.
A beacon in cartel investigations, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP also represents companies under merger review, with a considerable number of clients seeking out the firm specifically for its expertise in this area. The group, which has a presence in Washington DC, Texas and California, represents companies in the hi-tech, energy, healthcare and telecoms sectors. Recently, it assisted AT&T secure clearance for its acquisition of DirecTV. Antitrust co-chair Sean Royall in Dallas and Adam Di Vincenzo in Washington DC are noted.
Linklaters LLP’s ‘top-notch’ competition and antitrust practice has strong expertise in cross-border mergers. A major client is Novartis, which the firm advised on the antitrust aspects of several high-profile transactions, including Thomas McGrath assisting with the sale of its flu vaccines business to CSL. Jeffrey Schmidt in Washington DC ‘puts complex issues into simple language’, and counsel Antonia Sherman is hailed as a ‘Hart-Scott-Rodino guru’. The firm’s cartel expertise was boosted with the arrival of Douglas Tween, formerly of Baker McKenzie LLP.
Morrison & Foerster LLP obtains merger clearance for a considerable number of clients, particularly those operating in the life sciences, financial services and hi-tech industries. Jonathan Gowdy advised Pinnacle Entertainment on the antitrust aspects of Gaming Leisure Properties’ proposed acquisition of its real estate assets for $4.75bn. The list of key clients also includes Fujifilm and Deere & Company. Head of department Stephen Smith is ‘always available to provide quick advice’.
With 16 partners in Washington DC, New York and Boston, Ropes & Gray LLP’s antitrust group obtains merger clearance for clients in various industries, with a focus on health services, pharmaceuticals and the chemical industry. As an example, the firm advised Synageva BioPharma in its sale to Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Counsel Deidre Johnson in Boston serves as the head of the firm’s premerger notification practice. Jonathan Klarfeld and Michael McFalls are two other key partners.
Known primarily for its involvement in high-profile cartel investigations, WilmerHale also frequently handles merger clearance issues. Dual qualified in the US and Germany, Hartmut Schneider is ‘responsive and extremely knowledgeable’. He represented Springer Science+Business Media in obtaining global merger clearance in connection with the creation of a joint venture with most of the science and education division of Holtzbrinck Publishing. Molly Boast and Leon Greenfield are also noted.
Baker McKenzie LLP fields a team of ‘highly responsive’ antitrust lawyers. Lee Van Voorhis, head of the North America antitrust and competition group, has ‘excellent technical knowledge’. He successfully defended Phoebe Putney Health System and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in a lawsuit brought by the FTC challenging a proposed combination with Palmyra Park Hospital. Darrell Prescott in New York has ‘excellent analytical skills’.
Bracewell LLP’s antitrust group has a strong focus on merger clearance, although it also handles contentious matters. Department head Daniel Hemli in New York recently represented Duke Energy, the largest US electric power holding company, in the sale of its non-regulated Midwest commercial generation business to Dynegy. Casey Low joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.