United States > Antitrust > Civil litigation/class actions > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
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. Since publication, Matthew Reilly has joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
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 head Kevin Arquit is 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. Since publication, Matthew Reilly has moved to Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
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.