Hill Wellford > Vinson & Elkins LLP > Washington DC, United States > Lawyer Profile

Vinson & Elkins LLP
WASHINGTON, DC 20037-1701
United States
Hill Wellford photo

Work Department





Hill Wellford heads the firm’s Antitrust Government Investigations team and is co-head of its HSR and CFIUS groups. Since leaving the DOJ Antitrust Division for private practice, he has focused on matters in the energy, technology, pharmaceutical and media industries, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Hill’s antitrust practice includes matters in the Americas, Asia and Europe. He files dozens of “merger control” notifications yearly under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR Act) and parallel international laws, and his non-deal work includes cartel and criminal investigations, civil conduct challenges, and jury, bench, and administrative trials. He also counsels third parties involved in merger divestitures and has been appointed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as counsel for agency-installed divestiture monitors and trustees.

In Hill’s work with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), he assesses the deal risks of a national security review and makes voluntary and mandatory CFIUS filings, in compliance with the 2018 Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) and the Pilot Program rules on Covered Transactions in “critical industries.”

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Antitrust > Merger control

Vinson & Elkins LLP bases its global merger practice out of Washington DC and has a prolific record in HSR filings, as well as handling merger reviews and investigatory processes before the FTC, DOJ, and international competition regulators. The team also has a considerable presence in Texas and California, and marries the firm’s traditional strength in the energy sector with a growing record in tech sector work, evidenced by the firm’s successful clearance of Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. Elsewhere, the firm has continued to work on behalf of major international names such as Hitachi alongside top energy clients such as Chevron, Noble Energy, and Parsley, for whom the firm advised on its sale to Pioneer Natural Resources. Darren Tucker leads the team, bringing in-house FTC experise to merger clearance proceedings for deals in the technology, energy and pharma sectors, leading on the unconditional Google-Fitbit clearance while Hill Wellford specializes in government investigations and HSR filings. Counsel David Smith‘s expertise includes international merger reviews and associated litigation, as well as advising on intellectual property elements of contested mergers. All lawyers mentioned are in Washington DC.

United States > Antitrust > Civil litigation/class actions: defense

The antitrust team at Vinson & Elkins LLP, praised for having ‘excellent skill and experience in defending antitrust civil litigations’, is regularly sought after by clients in the energy, technology, automotive, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. Darren Tucker spearheads the practice from Washington DC with extensive experience in both domestic and international competition matters including global dominance investigations. Jason Powers and Harry Reasoner are names to note in the firm’s Houston office, while head of the antitrust government investigations team Hill Wellford and cartel and price-fixing specialist Craig Seebald are based in DC.

United States > Antitrust > Cartel

Vinson & Elkins LLP represents clients in a broad range of industries, including tech, pharma, airline and chemicals, with notable strength in handling cross-border civil and criminal cartel proceedings, with standout international representations of Wanhua and Hitachi in FTC and DOJ cartel investigations. The firm offers significant agency expertise through a number of former DOJ and FTC officials, and has broad geographical reach with particular strength in Washington DC, Texas, and California. Alden Atkins has been particularly active in the airline space during 2021, representing Southwest Airlines in the ongoing DOJ investigation into airline capacity, and AirTran in a multi-district case relating to bag fees, cases that Houston-based Jason Powers is also playing a key role in. The team is led by Darren Tucker, a specialist in DOJ and FTC proceedings in the technology, energy and pharma sectors, while Hill Wellford takes the lead on governmental investigations within the US and internationally. Brian Schnapp is a specialist in representing multinational companies in cartel and price-fixing investigations, with Lindsey Vaala also a key name for global cartel defense. Lawyers are in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.