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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘exceptionally good advocates’ include David Gelfand, who rejoined the firm from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2016, where he played a key role in numerous merger challenges, including acting as the lead litigator in Halliburton/Baker Hughes. Also highly regarded are George Cary and Elaine Ewing, who acted as global antitrust counsel to Dow Chemical in its $130bn merger of equals with DuPont. Mark Nelson assisted Italmobiliare with the merger control aspects of the $4.1bn sale of its Italcementi business to HeidelbergCement. Ewing, Kenneth Reinker and Daniel Culley recently made partner. Leah Brannon, Mark Leddy, Brian Byrne and Jeremy Calsyn are also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

In addition to representing merging entities, Dechert LLP acts for third parties in reviews of, and litigation arising from, high-profile, high-dollar, industry-transforming transactions. Paul Friedman and Michael Weiner, who are based in Washington DC and New York respectively, are acting as lead trial counsel to Monsanto and its Precision Planting equipment business in defending against a DOJ lawsuit seeking to challenge Deere & Co’s proposed $190m acquisition of the latter. In another highlight, Washington DC’s Paul Denis and others acted for GE in the DOJ’s challenge of the proposed $3.3bn sale of GE Appliances to AB Electrolux. American Airlines, Ritchie Brothers, CVS Health and Albertsons are among other clients. Weiner and George Gordon (Philadelphia) jointly lead the team, which also includes recently promoted partner Craig Falls (Washington DC). Ethan Litwin joined in New York from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, Steven Bizar joined in Philadelphia from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, and counsel Gregory Luib joined in Washington DC from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Carolyn Hazard departed for Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Clients praise Jones Day, which ‘does not look at merger control in a vacuum, nor is it detached from the broader M&A transaction’. A cross-border team advised Newell Rubbermaid on antitrust issues connected with its $16bn acquisition of Jarden Corporation. The firm also acted as global antitrust coordinating counsel to Procter & Gamble in the $11.4bn sale of 43 beauty brands to Coty Inc. Merger challenges are another strong suit; the firm’s work included defending Aetna’s proposed $37bn acquisition of Humana. Kathryn Fenton, Peter Love and Ryan Thomas are among several names to note, as are recently promoted partners Erin Shencopp in Chicago and Michael Gleason. Kenneth Field is a rising talent. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise. Since publication, former global antitrust head David Wales has left the firm.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s experience working with antitrust agencies worldwide, and its complement of wider cross-practice and cross-network resources, were brought to bear in various multibillion-dollar transactions in 2016. Its highlights included assisting SanDisk with obtaining clearances across multiple jurisdictions in connection with its $19bn acquisition by Western Digital; Washington DC-based global antitrust practice head Steven Sunshine led on the competition aspects of this transaction. In addition, Sunshine and Matthew Hendrickson led a cross-border team which acted as global antitrust counsel to Nokia in its $17.6bn acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. The firm also has a first-rate reputation in merger reviews and litigation. Clifford Aronson, who heads the antitrust practice in North America, is experienced in acting for clients from a wide range of industries, such as healthcare, technology and retail, among others. Kenneth Schwartz, Maria Raptis and Karen Hoffman Lent are other key figures in the group. Named attorneys are based in New York except where otherwise indicated.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has ‘an exceptionally strong team in the US’, which is ‘extremely well informed and connected’. Steven Newborn, Steven Bernstein and Brianne Kucerik are ‘particularly good’, according to sources. Recent hire Kevin Arquit, who co-heads the global antitrust practice along with Newborn, joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. New York-based Arquit has previous experience as the former general counsel at the FTC and director of its Bureau of Competition. Other members of the team have also previously served as senior FTC lawyers, including Bernstein, Newborn and Ann Malester. Jeffrey Perry led the FTC’s Merger IV Division. Recent highlights included assisting Allergan with the US and cross-border antitrust aspects of the $39bn sale of its global generic pharmaceuticals business to Teva. In another matter, Malester and Jeff White successfully assisted AbbVie with obtaining FTC clearance (without a second request being issued) for its $5.8bn acquisition of Stemcentrix. Michael Naughton joined as counsel in New York from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Arnold & Porter, resulting from the recent merger of Arnold & Porter LLP and Kaye Scholer LLP, is a go-to for complex heavily scrutinized mergers. Jonathan Gleklen, Barbara Wootton and Peter Levitas are acting as lead antitrust counsel to Monsanto in its $66bn takeover by Bayer. In another matter, Richard Rosen is leading the firm’s advice to AT&T on the client’s proposed $85.4bn acquisition of Time Warner. Anthem, GE and Bloomberg are other notable clients. Claudia Higgins, who has vast experience in merger enforcement from her time at the FTC, is a name to note, as are Michael B. Bernstein and Wilson Mudge. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s group, which is led by Christine Varney, manages challenging merger clearances for a client roster including names such as Alere, Dreamworks and Mylan. Varney and Peter Barbur are advising TimeWarner on the antitrust aspects of its $108.7m merger with AT&T. Complementing the team’s expertise in providing strategic advice as well as assisting with obtaining regulatory approvals for mergers, it also excels in government-initiated investigations and litigation. In addition to advising Anheuser-Busch InBev on US antitrust issues associated with its $123bn acquisition of SABMiller (and the $12bn divestiture of SABMiller’s US and global Miller-branded businesses to Molson Coors), Yonatan Even also defended the client against a related consumer antitrust suit.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP handles investigations of multibillion-dollar transactions before the DOJ, FTC and state attorneys general, and also foreign antitrust authorities. In 2016, Ronan Harty, Jon Leibowitz and Washington DC’s Jesse Solomon advised Syngenta on ChemChina’s proposed $43bn acquisition of the company, having previously defended the client against a takeover by Monsanto. Joel Cohen and Michael Sohn acted for Uber Technologies in the antitrust aspects of Uber China’s $35bn sale to Didi Chuxing. In another matter, Arthur Burke and Neal Potischman are acting for Ingram Micro in its $6bn acquisition by Tianjin Tianhai. Howard Shelanski rejoined the firm in Washington DC from the White House Office of Management and Budget. Named attorneys are based in New York except where indicated otherwise.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s team was significantly bolstered by the hire of Matthew Reilly from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Reilly combines substantial private practice experience with skills learned during a tenure as head of the FTC’s Merger IV division, where he led on merger investigations and litigation across a broad cross-section of industries. The firm features prominently in some of the largest and most complex transactions, with a particular strength in those involving regulated sectors. In 2016, Mark Kovner and Ian Conner had key roles in Teva Pharmaceuticals’ $40bn acquisition of Allergan’s generics business; according to the FTC, this matter involved the largest pharmaceutical divestiture consent in US history. The team handled other mandates for Micro Focus International, Danaher Corporation and Delta Airlines. Marin Boney as well as New York-based Ian John and Katherine Rocco are other notable individuals. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘excellent in every respect’ for merger control work, with its team consistently securing multi-jurisdictional clearances in high-end deals. Michael Egge, who ‘knows what he is talking about’, is working with Amanda Reeves and key hire Farrell Malone (who joined Egge and Reeves in the Washington DC office in 2016 from Arnold & Porter LLP) to assist Agrium Inc with obtaining global regulatory clearance of its $36bn merger with Potash Corporation. In another headline mandate, Egge and the San Francisco-based Daniel Wall and Joshua Holian worked with the Brussels office to obtain clearances in multiple jurisdictions of Avago Technologies’ $37bn acquisition of Broadcom, representing the largest-ever deal in the semiconductor industry. Reeves and San Francisco’s Christopher Yates are global co-chairs of the firm’s antitrust practice. In 2016, counsel Peter Todaro joined in Washington DC from King & Spalding LLP, while partner Michael Lacovara joined in New York from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

In addition to handling its own standalone work, Sidley Austin LLP’s US team is able to leverage its wider international network in complex cross-border transactions. Washington DC-based William Blumenthal is global co-chair of the antitrust practice, along with Joel Mitnick in New York, Marie Fiala in San Francisco and Chicago-based John Treece. In 2016, Blumenthal assisted Keurig Green Mountain with obtaining antitrust clearances for its $13.9bn takeover by JAB. In another highlight, Karen Kazmerzak and Ken Glazer (both Washington DC) worked in a cross-office team that obtained clearances across multiple jurisdictions (with limited remedies) for Recall Holdings in connection with its $2.6bn sale to Iron Mountain. Senior counsel Marc Raven practices in Chicago.

In 2016, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted for Tyco International in the antitrust aspects of its $36bn merger with Johnson Controls, which included obtaining multiple cross-border clearances and handling a review before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); Peter Thomas led on the CFIUS side of the matter. Another highlight involved representing Office Depot in an FTC lawsuit aiming to block the client’s proposed $6.3bn acquisition by Staples. Sara Razi, Andrew Lacy and New York-based Peter Guryan are recommended practitioners, as is rising talent Abram Ellis. Thomas now heads the antitrust practice following the departures of former group leaders Kevin Arquit and Matthew Reilly, who joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP respectively. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Steven Holley, Daryl Libow and Yvonne Quinn jointly head the firm’s antitrust team, which handles every stage of the merger process for clients from a multitude of sectors. Holley is assisting Bayer with the merger clearance aspects of its $66bn acquisition of Monsanto. In another matter, recently promoted partner Joseph Matelis, based in New York, acted as antitrust counsel to Columbia Pipeline Group in its $13bn acquisition by TransCanada. Los Angeles-based Adam Paris is experienced in handling DOJ and FTC merger investigations. Holley and Quinn are based in New York, while Libow is based in Washington DC.

Merger control is a major area of strength at New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where the antitrust team covers filings, second request investigations and merger-related litigation. In a recent highlight, Ilene Gotts advised Danone on the antitrust aspects of its $10bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods. In a separate matter, Gotts represented Faiveley Transport and its subsidiary Faiveley Transport North America in a civil antitrust lawsuit brought by the DOJ challenging the client’s proposed $1.8bn acquisition by Wabtec. Other key partners are Damian Didden (who has previous experience as as a trial attorney at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division), Nelson Fitts and Joseph Larson. Of counsel David Schwartz acts for companies from sectors such as retail, paper and petroleum, among others.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s highly regarded team, which is led by Stephen Weissman and John Taladay, also includes Sean Boland, who ‘knows how to orchestrate a persuasive presentation to the agencies’ and Paul Cuomo. Also recommended is Joseph Ostoyich, who has ‘excellent recall, in-depth knowledge and exceptionally good judgment’. Recent highlights included advising Boehringer Ingelheim on the antitrust aspects of a complex $12.6bn asset swap transaction with Sanofi, and assisting Liberty Media with obtaining multi-jurisdictional clearances for its $8bn acquisition of Formula One from a consortium of sellers led by CVC. Michael Perry joined the firm in 2016, having previously served as counsel to the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. Stuart Plunkett joined in San Francisco from Morrison & Foerster LLP. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Covington & Burling LLP handles merger control work for clients from a wide variety of industries, particularly in the life sciences arena. James Dean recently worked with members of the Brussels office to handle a series of Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) reportable transactions for AstraZeneca. In another highlight, Deborah Garza and San Francisco-based Phillip Warren handled the antitrust aspects of ArcLight Energy Partners Fund VI’s acquisition of Gulf Oil from Cumberland Farms. Thomas Barnett acts for clients such as Disney, Expedia and Eli Lilly. James O’Connell, James Dean and John Graubert are also recommended. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s team, under the leadership of Paul Yde, is ‘thorough, reliable and pragmatic’. The ‘insightful and responsiveTom Ensign and Bruce McCulloch are particularly highly regarded. A notable feature of the group is its combined government and private practice experience; recently promoted partner Mary Lehner, of counsel Terry Calvani and senior associates Jan Rybnicek and Justin Stewart-Teitelbaum all held senior roles at the FTC. Recent highlights include Yde and Lehner leading on the global merger control aspects of Rexam’s $7.2bn by Ball Corporation. In another matter, Richard Snyder and counsel Robert Schlossberg were part of a cross-border team which assisted Anheuser-Busch InBev with obtaining multi-jurisdictional clearances of its $108bn acquisition of SABMiller. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provides ‘timely and astute advice’ on high-value transactions involving complex antitrust issues. Antitrust chair Bernard Nigro, who splits his time between Washington DC and New York, acted as antitrust counsel to Media General in its recently completed $4.6bn merger with Nexstar. In another highlight, recently promoted New York-based partner Nathaniel Asker advised Permira on antitrust issues associated with its $2.6bn sale of to Silver Lake and GIC. Washington DC’s Richard Park is another key contact in the group. Other clients include Boulder Brands, Genesys and Goldman Sachs.

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.

At Hogan Lovells US LLP, a cross-office team led by Washington DC-based Janet McDavid and London-based Suyong Kim recently acted as US and EU antitrust counsel to SABMiller in its takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which represented the fourth-largest transaction in corporate history. In another highlight, Logan Breed is a key adviser to Aeromexico in a second request investigation into the client’s proposed alliance with Delta Airlines. Other contacts are Rachel Brandenburger (New York), Robert Robertson, Robert Leibenluft and Leigh Oliver. Meghan Rissmiller made partner. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Mayer Brown’s team includes William Stallings, Mark Ryan and counsel Meytal McCoy, who acted for Virgin America in a DOJ investigation into its proposed sale to Alaska Airlines. Stallings and Ryan are also key advisers to CNH Industrial as an intervenor in both DOJ-initiated litigation and a parallel review that is being conducted by Brazilian antitrust agency CADE, associated with Deere & Co’s proposed acquisition of Precision Planting from Monsanto. Robert Bloch, Adrian Steel and Scott Perlman are other key contacts. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP recently hired ex-DOJ lawyer Mary Strimel, who has previous experience in investigating and litigating mergers within the Antitrust Division’s Networks and Technology Enforcement Section. Raymond Jacobsen leads the group, which has a particularly standout reputation in healthcare and hospital mergers. In 2016, among several matters, Stephen Wu (Chicago), Jeffrey Brennan and Carla Hine assisted Hackensack University Medical Center with the antitrust aspects of its merger with Meridian Health, and also with Banner Health’s acquisition of Mogollon Health Alliance. Jon Dubrow, Joel Grosberg, William Diaz (Orange County) and Michelle Lowery (Chicago) are recommended. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s team, which is jointly led by Steven Reed in Philadelphia and Darren Tucker, assists clients with filing HSR pre-merger notifications, FTC/DOJ investigations and obtaining non-US merger clearances, among other matters. In 2016, Scott Stempel and New York’s Harry Robins acted as lead US antitrust counsel to Pfizer in its proposed merger with Allergan, which included representing the client in an FTC investigation into the deal. Google, Qualcomm and Uber are other blue-chip clients. Tucker, Jonathan Rich, Willard Tom and Hill Wellford all have previous senior-level federal agency experience. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP excels in investigations into high-profile, high-stakes multibillion-dollar deals, with strengths in particularly heavily scrutinized sectors such as airlines and pharmaceuticals. A team including Richard Parker, Ben Bradshaw, Kenneth O’Rourke (Los Angeles) and Courtney Dyer assisted Alaska Airlines with obtaining DOJ approval of its proposed $4bn acquisition of Virgin America. In other highlights, the firm acted as litigation counsel to Halliburton in its proposed $28bn acquisition of Baker Hughes, and acted as co-counsel to Humana in a DOJ lawsuit challenging its proposed $37bn merger with Aetna. Ted Hassi, Michael Antalics and Katrina Robson are recommended. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s diverse practice spans advisory work, pre-merger filings and second request investigations, as well as merger litigation. Moses Silverman and Aidan Synnott acted for Pace Plc in the DOJ’s investigation into the client’s proposed $2.1bn takeover by ARRIS, which was cleared in December 2015. In 2016, the sizable team was strengthened by the arrival in Washington DC of partners Charles Rule, Joseph Bial, Andrew Forman, Jonathan Kanter and a group of other lawyers from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Rule and Kanter are currently handling various antitrust matters for Monsanto arising from its $66bn takeover by Bayer, which recently included a regulatory review and a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Joseph Simons (Washington DC) and Jacqueline Rubin are other notable individuals. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in New York.

The Washington DC-based team at White & Case LLP has top-notch capabilities in defending clients from a wide variety of industries against FTC/DOJ investigations into proposed and completed M&A and joint venture deals. Global antitrust chair Mark Gidley, a former acting assistant attorney general at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, worked with George Paul, Rebecca Farrington and others to represent Anthem in litigation brought by the DOJ challenging the client’s proposed $54bn acquisition of Cigna. In 2016, the firm successfully assisted Zimmer Biomet with the merger clearance aspects of its $1bn acquisition of LDR Holding. Noah Brumfield, who practices in Silicon Valley, has a particular focus on technology sector mergers. Also recommended is recently promoted partner John Donaldson.

Active in antitrust work across a variety of industries, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has particular strengths in areas such as technology and life sciences. In 2016, Scott Sher and Ben Labow acted as antitrust counsel to Brocade in its $5.9bn takeover by Broadcom. Sher also acted for FanDuel in an FTC investigation associated with its merger with DraftKings, and also worked with Jamillia Ferris in the advice to NetSuite on competition issues connected with its $9.3bn acquisition of Oracle. Susan Creighton has previous experience serving as a director at the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP recently strengthened its merger control capabilities with the additions in Washington DC of Corey Roush and Gorav Jindal from Hogan Lovells US LLP and Dechert LLP respectively. Roush and Jindal are both experienced in representing clients in FTC/DOJ reviews of proposed and consummated mergers; the latter has particular expertise in antitrust issues connected with the pharmaceuticals sector. Practice head Paul Hewitt led a team that represented Enterprise Products in an FTC investigation into its merger with Oiltanking Partners. In 2015, Ed Pagano advised the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev Carlos Brito on a Senate subcommittee hearing concerning the company’s proposed takeover of SABMiller, and also provided strategic advice on a DOJ review. Fairley Spillman is also recommended.

Cooley LLP has a strong track record in helping clients avoid second requests for information from government agencies. In a recent highlight, antitrust chair Jacqueline Grise assisted Snyder’s-Lance with obtaining clearance of its acquisition of Snack Factory/Pretzel Crisps from Diamond Foods without a second request being issued by the FTC. The firm has a particularly notable following of pharmaceutical and life sciences clients, including Medivation, Pathology, Horizon Pharma and Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Howard Morse, Marc Schildkraut and Francis Fryscak (San Francisco) are recommended. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based group is led by Gary Kubek and Daniel Abuhoff, who provide ‘very situation-specific advice, based on a strong commercial understanding of markets and how the regulators would view potential issues’. Kubek is working with the London and Moscow offices to assist Dover Corporation with obtaining multi-jurisdictional approvals for its $780m acquisition of Wayne Fueling Systems. Michael Schaper and counsel Kyra Bromley are other contacts.

Linklaters LLP’s Jeff Schmidt, based in Washington DC, is ‘an excellent advocate for his clients, especially in front of the federal agencies’. The firm’s global platform puts it on a strong footing in multi-jurisdictional investigations; New York-based Thomas McGrath is working with the Düsseldorf and London offices to assist Deutsche Börse with obtaining US and EU clearances for its proposed €21bn merger with the London Stock Exchange Group. Novartis, BP and The Linde Group are other notable clients. New York-based Douglas Tween is also recommended.

Stephen Smith heads Morrison & Foerster LLP’s Washington DC-based practice, where merger review work spans industries such as hi-tech, transport and telecoms. In a high-profile matter, Jonathan Gowdy, David Meyer, Roxann Henry and David Cross are acting as lead trial counsel to Deere & Co in litigation arising from the client’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto’s Precision Planting equipment business, where the deal has been challenged by the DOJ. In another matter, Jeff Jaeckel and members of the Brussels and Tokyo offices advised Softbank on antitrust issues associated with its £24bn acquisition of ARM Holdings. Michael Miller (New York) and Bradley Lui are other names to note.

The Washington DC-based team at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP handles a full range of antitrust issues arising from high-value, domestic and cross-border transactions. Daniel Wellington and Neely Agin worked with the Brussels office to assist ROFIN-SINAR Technologies with the US and EU competition aspects of its $942m takeover by Coherent. Wellington and Agin also acted as antitrust counsel to Mattress Firm in its $780m acquisition of Sleepy’s. David Foster is another notable individual in the team, which is led by Layne Kruse.

Ropes & Gray LLP’s workload spans multiple industries, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals and information technology. In addition to filing HSR notifications, the group coordinates multi-jurisdictional clearances and assists with investigations initiated by the FTC/DOJ/state attorneys general. Counsel Deirdre Johnson in Boston and Michael McFalls in Washington DC acted as antitrust counsel to Shire Plc in its $32bn acquisition of Baxalta. The pair also acted for Bain Capital in various matters, including its $220m sale of Blackhawk Specialty Tools to Frank’s International. Washington DC-based Jonathan Klarfeld is a seasoned merger enforcement expert, having previously spent 13 years at the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s US team operates alongside practitioners in London, Frankfurt and Brussels in high-value, high-stakes cross-border transactions involving a wide range of complex antitrust issues. Jessica Delbaum, who is ‘knowledgeable about what to expect early on in the transaction’, worked with the London office to assist Investcorp with obtaining multi-jurisdictional clearances for its $1.08bn sale of Icopal to GAF. Corning, B/E Aerospace and Thomson Reuters are among other clients of the practice. New York-based Delbaum and Washington DC-based Heather Kafele head the US team, following the departure of former antitrust co-head Beau Buffier, who became chief of the New York State Attorney General’s Antitrust Bureau. Recently promoted counsel Kelly Karapetyan is an expert in US HSR and international pre-merger notification requirements.

Vinson & Elkins LLP is ‘excellent on all fronts’ for merger review work. Neil Imus combines ‘deep experience in HSR filings and antitrust concerns’ with ‘a very measured approach to a tough negotiation’. William Vigdor is another highly regarded individual in the team, which is jointly headed by Craig Seebald and James Reeder. Imus assisted LSB Industries with the antitrust aspects of the $364m sale of its climate control business to NIBE Industrier. Vigdor and Seebald are based in Washington DC, and Reeder is based in Houston.

WilmerHale represents clients before government agencies and US courts in merger investigations and litigation, both in support of and in opposition to corporate transactions. The firm’s work also includes negotiating merger clearances outside of the US. Molly Boast (New York), Hartmut Schneider, James Lowe and Heather Tewksbury (Palo Alto) are acting as antitrust counsel to Baker Hughes in its proposed merger with General Electric. Perry Lange and Leon Greenfield are other notable practitioners in Thomas Mueller’s largely Washington DC-based team.

Bracewell LLP’s antitrust head Daniel Hemli in New York and counsel Jacqueline Java in Washington DC are key contacts at the firm, for which energy-related matters are the mainstay of its merger control work. A recent highlight included handling a DOJ investigation and providing other antitrust advice to Great Plains Energy regarding its $12.6bn acquisition of Westar Energy. The team also advised Alinda Capital Partners and its co-seller on the competition aspects of the proposed $1.89bn sale of SourceGas Holdings to Black Hills.

Reflective of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s standout reputation in the technology sector, in 2016, Alex Okuliar assisted AVG Technologies with antitrust issues arising from its $1.3bn takeover by Avast. In another matter, Garret Rasmussen, Antony Kim and James Tierney (a recent hire from the DOJ) are acting for IronPlanet in its $758m sale to Ritchie Brothers. The firm’ non-tech sector work currently includes advising private investment fund Blackfriars (the owner of several plastics distributor brands) on the competition aspects of its acquisition of Polymershapes from SABIC. San Francisco-based Robert Rosenfeld heads the team; other named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

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