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Joshua H. Soven

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Work Department

Antitrust and Competition


Joshua H. Soven is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.


Mr. Soven's practice focuses on government antitrust investigations, antitrust litigation, and counseling on competition issues.  He represents clients before the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, and in the federal courts. 

Since joining Gibson Dunn in 2012, Mr. Soven has obtained timely approval of complex, strategic transactions for a range of prominent companies, including AECOM, Francisco Partners, Hewlett-Packard, LinkedIn, Marriott, Matson, Norbord, Southern Power, St. Jude Medical, and Tenet Healthcare.  He recently represented LinkedIn in its $26 billion sale to Microsoft and St. Jude Medical in its $25 billion sale to Abbott Laboratories.  Mr. Soven is presently defending BNSF in a multibillion-dollar antitrust class action.

Mr. Soven is ranked as a leading antitrust lawyer by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The International Who's Who of Competition Lawyers, and Best Lawyers.  The 2016 edition of Chambers USA describes Mr. Soven as a "fantastic" antitrust lawyer who "brings deep prior experience in senior positions at both the FTC and DOJ to his highly regarded antitrust practice. . . Sources praise his creative and strategic solutions and comment that he understands the nuances of antitrust doctrine."  In 2015, the National Law Journal recognized Mr. Soven as an antitrust "Trailblazer" for excellence in antitrust merger clearance. 

Mr. Soven has served in high-level positions at both U.S. antitrust agencies.  He was Chief of the Litigation I Section of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.  In this role, he directed all of the Antitrust Division's investigations and litigation challenges in the health insurance, consumer products, packaging, beer, and dairy sectors, including the successful litigation challenge in United States v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (E.D. Mich. 2010).  He also handled the investigation of and negotiation of divestiture agreements for the following transactions: International Paper/Temple-Inland; Graphic Packaging/Altivity Packaging; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana/New West Health Services; UnitedHealth Group/Sierra Health Services; InBev/Anheuser-Busch; and Grupo Bimbo/Sara Lee.  In addition, Mr. Soven served as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division's Networks and Technology Enforcement Section where he led investigations in the software, electronic payment system and financial services sectors, including the Antitrust Division's successful litigation challenge to the First Data/Concord merger, United States v. First Data (D.D.C. 2003).

From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Soven was an Attorney Advisor to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, where he advised the Chairman on antitrust investigations in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, hospitals, media, oil and gas, and semiconductors. 

Mr. Soven has extensive experience handling matters involving antitrust reviews in multiple jurisdictions, and years of experience working with competition officials throughout the world.  While at the Federal Trade Commission, Mr. Soven regularly represented the United States at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Competition Network.  He has lectured on antitrust issues in China and Europe. 

Mr. Soven is an editor of the ABA's Antitrust Magazine and a former editor of the ABA's Antitrust Law Journal.  He has spoken at dozens of conferences on antitrust enforcement issues and served as a lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he co-taught a course on strategy and competition policy in the health care sector. 

Mr. Soven clerked for Judge Robert G. Doumar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Representative Transactions

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise in the sale of its information technology services business to Computer Sciences Corporation.
  • LinkedIn in its $26 billion sale to Microsoft.
  • St. Jude Medical in its $25 billion sale to Abbott Laboratories.
  • Marriott in its $13 billion acquisition of Starwood.
  • Southern Power in its $2 billion joint venture with Kinder Morgan.
  • Southern Power in its $8 billion acquisition of AGL Resources.
  • Norbord in its $650 million acquisition of Ainsworth.  Obtained unconditional clearance following a Justice Department Second Request investigation.
  • AECOM in its $6 billion acquisition of URS.
  • Tenet Healthcare in its $2 billion acquisition of United Surgical Partners International.
  • Tenet Healthcare in its acquisition of Emanuel Medical Center.  Obtained unconditional clearance following an FTC Second Request investigation.
  • Ameristar in its $2.8 billion sale to Pinnacle Entertainment.
  • Hewlett-Packard in its sale of mobile device patents to Qualcomm.
  • A large industrial company in its $1.7 billion acquisition of a competitor in the paper-based consumer products sector.  Obtained unconditional clearance following a Justice Department Second Request investigation.
  • Recordati in its acquisition of rare-disease products from Lundbeck.
  • Retalix in its $650 million sale to NCR.

Representative Litigation

  • Representing BNSF Railway in In re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation (D.D.C.).
  • Representing UBS in In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.).

Government Service

  • Chief, Litigation I Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice (2007–2012)
  • Attorney Advisor to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras (2004–2007)
  • Trial Attorney, Networks and Technology Enforcement Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice (1998–2004)
  • Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia (2000)


District of Columbia Bar


University of Virginia - 1991 - Juris Doctor; University of Pennsylvania - 1988 - Bachelor of Arts

United States: Antitrust

Civil litigation/class actions

Within: Next generation lawyers

Joshua Soven - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

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Merger control

Within: Merger control

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s sizable US and international footprint makes it well positioned to handle the full spectrum of antitrust issues associated with domestic and cross-border transactions. In 2016, Joshua Lipton and Joshua Soven were part of a cross-border team assisting Marriott with obtaining global antitrust clearance of its $13.8bn merger with Starwood. In another matter, Soven and others are acting as global antitrust counsel to St Jude Medical in its $25bn merger with Abbott Laboratories. Eric Stock joined the New York office, having served as chief of the Antitrust Bureau at the New York State Attorney General’s office. Scott Hammond, Dallas- and Washington DC-based Sean Royall, New York’s Peter Sullivan and Los Angeles’s Daniel Swanson co-chair the practice. Counsel Andrew Cline specializes in HSR filings. Cynthia Richman is a rising talent. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in Washington DC. Since publication, Joel Sanders has retired.

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