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United States > Antitrust > Cartel > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Cartel
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

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, Ethan Litwin has joined Dechert LLP.

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 LLPattracts 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.

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Legal Developments worldwide

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