GCR 100 - 17th Edition

United States: Washington DC

10 January 2017

United States: Washington DC

Through its political ups and downs, Washington, DC remains the world’s highest-profile and most competitive antitrust law market.

Elite

Former deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust litigation David Gelfand returned to CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON’s Washington, DC team in 2016, joining a highly acclaimed and multi-generational team. The firm promoted three antitrust lawyers to partner – Elaine Ewing in October 2015, and Kenneth Reinker and Daniel Culley in October 2016 – and added more than a dozen competition associates during the relevant period.

Even before her addition to the partnership became official, Ewing was helping to lead a blockbuster merger through antitrust review, as she and Brian Byrne acted as counsel to Air Liquide in its US$13.4 billion tie-up with Airgas. Other recent top-dollar deals include George S Cary and Jeremy J Calsyn advising Western Digital’s €16.8 billion acquisition of rival flash and digital storage provider SanDisk; Cary acting for Dow Chemical as it seeks to join with DuPont to become US$130 billion market chemicals, material science and agriculture company DowDuPont; Byrne steering Johnson Controls in its US$16 billion inversion deal with Tyco International; Mark W Nelson, Leah Brannon and Reinker representing healthcare data company IMS Health in tying up with Quintiles, which runs drug trials; and Mark Leddy and Byrne assisting Molson Coors as the brewer enabled the Anheuser-Busch InBev/SABMiller deal in the US by buying SABMiller’s share of the MillerCoors joint venture.

Mergers are only part of the story. Each partner also defends multinationals in criminal investigations, in litigation around the United States, or both. Leddy and Nelson signed off on Citibank’s May 2015 settlement with the Antitrust Division, although the formal guilty plea awaits a regulatory exemption to allow the bank to continue its work despite the felony charge. In the courtroom, Cary and Brannon preserved a district court win for pharmaceutical company Sanofi in a loyalty discounting case at the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Cary obtained a partial victory for global distribution system Sabre in July 2016, when a New York federal judge ruled that the federal Airline Deregulation Act pre-empts state antitrust laws regarding airline prices, but allowed federal antitrust claims against Sabre and other companies accused of conspiring to charge higher fees for use of their platforms to proceed. But perhaps the firm’s most headline-grabbing success has been for a relatively small client, the telemedicine company Teladoc, which is battling a state medical regulation that would shut down its business model. A team led by Brannon and Cary won an injunction against enforcement of the regulation and beat the Texas Medical Board’s motion to dismiss; the board dropped its appeal in October 2016 in favour of litigating the merits in trial court.

The only DC-based firm in the Elite category, COVINGTON & BURLING brings a strong line-up of former enforcers to its clients’ cartel, mergers and litigation needs. Co-chairs of the antitrust practice Thomas O Barnett and Deborah A Garza have each headed the DOJ’s antitrust division, while other senior attorneys have been a deputy at the division, an acting general counsel at the FTC and an adviser in the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning. The size of the practice has changed little in nearly two years, except that Ted Voorhees and Alan Wiseman have stepped back from being partners to counsel. The team advised Altice in the European telecommunications company’s first US deals – acquisitions of Suddenlink Communications and Cablevision – and state-owned China National Chemical Corporation and its China National Tire & Rubber subsidiary in buying Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli. Covington has advised Verizon on multiple deals, including the US$4.8 billion acquisition of of Yahoo! announced in July 2016.

Following his prior success for Samsung in Motorola Mobility v AU Optronics, Robert Wick again was recognised as GCR USA Litigator of the Week for convincing New York federal judge Katherine Forrest on behalf of JPMorgan that the plaintiffs’ claims in the Zinc matter could be dismissed without creating a legal conflict with a prior decision in the Aluminium Warehousing class action. But after having Judge Forrest’s Aluminium decision overturned on appeal with regard to indirect purchasers, Wick then talked Judge Forrest into reversing herself with regard to the direct purchasers as well. This past year, Covington helped the National Football League reach settlements with purchasers of NFL-branded apparel who had challenged the league’s exclusive merchandise licensing deals; with state attorneys general regarding its alleged price floor for ticket reselling; and with football fans suing over the distribution of “out-of-market” NFL broadcasts. The firm also defends clients in the follow-on damages claims for Libor, US Treasury securities, capacitors and auto parts.

Covington particularly prides itself on finding clients a way out of cartel probes that does not require an admission of wrongdoing. The firm pulled one company out of the DOJ’s resistors probe by arguing that it did not actually manufacture the specific product, and another client from the air cargo and air passenger fuel surcharge investigations by refusing to plead guilty or affirmatively engage with the Antitrust Division, despite 19 airlines opting to take that route through the course of the DOJ’s seven-year investigation. In a power cables investigation of almost equal length, Covington bolstered Prysmian with defence presentations until the DOJ closed the probe. The firm also helped SandRidge Energy avoid charges in an alleged two-company conspiracy to keep down the price it had to pay for oil and gas leases, despite a grand jury’s indictment of the leniency applicant’s former chief executive.

JONES DAY practice chair David P Wales welcomed Julie McEvoy back to the firm in December 2015, after she had spent three years as a deputy assistant attorney general at the Antitrust Division. Joe Sims stepped back to of counsel in 2015 and has more or less retired, but a new generation of partners, including Ryan Thomas and former FTC attorney Ken Field, is coming forward. Meanwhile, Phil Proger also has taken the of counsel title, but remains active on deals such as the €32 billion tie-up of fertiliser producers Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and Agrium, and Rite Aid’s US$17.2 billion purchase by Walgreens.

Sims and partner Bruce McDonald ushered DirecTV’s US$67 billion acquisition by AT&T through the Antitrust Division without any conditions, while former FTC mergers lawyer Geoffrey Oliver got Reynolds American through its game-changing merger with cigarette rival Lorillard with just a handful of divestitures. Wales steered longtime client Procter & Gamble’s sale of its beauty brands to Coty, and Boehringer Ingelheim’s sale of Roxane Laboratories to Hikma Pharmaceuticals, for which the FTC required three drug divestitures. He and McDonald also assisted in electricity provider Southern Company’s US$12 billion deal with natural gas distributor AGL Resources. The team had less luck for Electrolux, when its attempt to buy General Electric’s appliance division fell apart in December 2015 near the end of a trial against the DOJ.

John Majoras is the practice’s headline litigator, including in US v Electrolux, and faced the Antitrust Division again at the end of 2016 on behalf of Aetna, which wants to buy fellow health insurer Humana. He’ll have one thing to stiffen his spine that few do: a recent merger victory over a federal antitrust agency, thanks to a September 2015 court’s refusal to grant the FTC a preliminary injunction against the Steris/Synergy deal. Majoras defended Deutsche Bank in the antitrust division’s investigation of credit default swaps and against follow-on class actions. While the government probe has resulted in no action, the private litigation obtained a US$1.87 billion settlement from defendants that was court-approved in April 2016. McEvoy jumped into action soon after her return, and helped fight off the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to seek an injunction against the Penn State Hershey Medical Center/PinnacleHealth tie-up. However, their May 2016 victory lasted only a few months; after the Third Circuit reversed on appeal, the Pennsylvania hospitals gave up on the deal.

After Michael Egge became managing partner of its Washington, DC office, LATHAM & WATKINS looked to the next generation for leadership with the appointment of Amanda Reeves as the firm’s global antitrust co-chair in March 2016. GCR recognised the young alumna of the FTC as one of its “40 under 40” in 2015 and, along with partner Peggy Zwisler, Reeves also featured in GCR’s 2016 “Women in Antitrust” feature. The firm also added two counsel to its DC office.

Zwisler won additional GCR plaudits – including Litigator of the Week for her defeat of class certification in a lawsuit against Ocean Spray Cranberries, brought by cranberry growers, that alleged price-fixing and attempted monopsonisation. On behalf of cable service provider Cox Communications, Zwisler convinced an Oklahoma federal court to reject a jury’s verdict in favour of plaintiffs, and instead enter judgment as a matter of law for Cox. In another success against similar factual claims regarding the rental of set-top cable boxes, Zwisler and partner Jenn Giordano preserved a lower court’s decision favouring Time Warner Cable after the plaintiffs appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which upheld the dismissal of tying claims.

The DC team’s strengths extend beyond litigation. Reeves and Michael Egge were co-counsel in obtaining US antitrust approval for Time Warner Cable’s US$78 billion acquisition by Charter Communications, despite intense regulatory scrutiny and vigorous opposition from consumer groups. Reeves and Joshua Holian helped Orbitz through a DOJ second request review of its sale to rival online travel agent Expedia. Major ongoing deals include Nissan Motors’ acquisition of a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors – which  triggered competition filings in more than 16 jurisdictions – and FMC Technologies’ US$4.5 billion merger with Technip. Meanwhile, Lipsky and partner Jason Cruise used white papers and multiple presentations to the heads of the bureaus of competition and economics to convince the FTC’s front office to end a four-year conduct investigation into trade association activities.

Outstanding

ARNOLD & PORTER boosted its East Coast presence at the end of 2016 by merging with Kaye Scholer, which in addition to an acclaimed New York competition law practice also brings former FTC litigator Claudia Higgins and pharmaceutical antitrust specialist Laura Shores into the firm’s DC practice. The DC office otherwise neither gained nor lost any partners, but promoted Matthew Shultz to counsel.

The firm’s global antitrust head Jonathan Gleklen is currently advising Monsanto on its proposed US$66 billion acquisition by Bayer, the largest all-cash deal in history. Richard Rosen, a “terrific, wonderful lawyer” in one rival’s words, is counsel to Anthem in its US$54.2 billion purchase of health insurer Cigna, which the DOJ has challenged. Recently closed mergers on which the Arnold & Porter team acted include AT&T’s US$48.6 billion acquisition of DirecTV and General Electric in its US$10.6 billion acquisition of Alstom’s power and grid businesses. DC lawyers also are advising Visa on the merchant payment card and ATM card litigations, and won an appellate judgment overturning a jury verdict that would have cost client Nucor US$156 million for allegedly participating in a group boycott against MM Steel. Gleklen also advised Intellectual Ventures, one of the top five owners of US patents, in its response to the FTC’s market study of patent-assertion entities.

BAKER BOTTS has a give-and-take relationship with the FTC. Even as the firm brought back Stephen Weissman from his stint as deputy directory of the bureau of competition and hired Michael Perry, counsel to the bureau director, partner Charles Loughlin went to the agency in September 2015 and became its chief trial counsel.

While Halliburton’s US$34.6 billion deal with fellow oilfield services provider Baker Hughes received lengthy DOJ review and a court challenge, other deals on which Baker Botts advised have fared much better. The firm acts for Boehringer Ingelheim in its US$12.6 billion asset swap with Sanofi, and for Olin in its completed US$8 billion acquisition of Dow Chlorine Products. In litigation, the Baker Botts team won summary judgment in favour of Philips in the cathode ray tube follow-on litigation, limiting the company’s liability to the period before it withdrew from the conspiracy. After a previous victory in district court that was overturned on appeal, partners Jim Kress and Paul Cuomo again got SawStop’s group boycott claim against Ryobi tossed on a motion to dismiss.

DECHERT elevated Craig Falls to partner in December 2015, and had another big year in deals. While General Electric opted to terminate the proposed US$3.3 billion sale of its appliance business to Electrolux after a few weeks at trial with the DOJ, the matter ended well enough for Dechert’s client GE – represented by partners Paul T Denis, Paul H Friedman and Mike Cowie – which collected a US$175 million reverse breakup fee, and announced the sale of the business to Haier for US$5.4 billion. Cowie steered CVS Health’s acquisitions of top long-term care pharmacy Omnicare and Target’s pharmacy business through FTC reviews with unconditional clearance for both deals. Jim Fishkin advised Dollar Tree on the divestiture process for its US$8.5 billion acquisition of Family Dollar and industrial auctioneer Ritchie Bros in its US$758.5 million acquisition of IronPlanet.

However, even a successful consummation of a merger does not mean the companies live happily ever after. Dechert is investigative and litigation counsel to several clients that it previously advised on deals. These include US Airways, now part of the “new American”, which is being probed by the DOJ and sued in more than 100 putative class actions for allegedly coordinating capacity with rivals; and Albertsons, sued by divestiture buyer Haggen. Denis and Fishkin helped the supermarket chain settle the claim for less than a penny on the dollar and buy 55 divested stores and 15 legacy Haggen stores out of bankruptcy.

GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER’s reputation and resources for cartel work grew even greater in 2014 when Scott Hammond arrived from the DOJ to chair the firm’s DC competition practice. D Jarrett Arp leads the team that has guided UBS through the successful settlement of overlapping regulatory and criminal forex investigations and follow-on U.S. class action litigation. The Swiss bank was the first to discover and self-report in the forex case, allowing it to secure immunity in the US and several other jurisdictions, though its non-prosecution agreement regarding Libor manipulation was revoked and it pleaded guilty to wire fraud. It also received immunity for its potential exposure relating to conduct bearing on markets for precious metals and other products.

Cynthia Richman is part of a cross-country Gibson Dunn group defending Uber from a closely watched lawsuit in Manhattan federal court that claims the company’s chief executive conspires with drivers to fix the prices of rides sold through the company’s smartphone app. The firm is simultaneously preparing for trial in 2017 and working to push the case into arbitration. Much of the same group, including Richman, also represented Swisher in successfully vacating a US$44 million antitrust jury verdict against it in a lawsuit brought by Trendsettah for allegedly breaching an agreement in order to eliminate the plaintiff as a potential threat to Swisher’s place in the cigarillo market. On appeal, Thomas Hungar and Joshua Soven in August 2016 won dismissal of Robinson-Patman Act claims against Clorox for refusing to sell large-package sizes of Clorox products to a small retailer.

HOGAN LOVELLS recruited former FTC commissioner Julie Brill as a co-director of the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity practice in 2016 and promoted Justin Bernick to counsel, but lost partner Corey Roush to Akin Gump in September 2015. That same month, Hogan Lovells’ client Alstom closed on the sale of its power business to General Electric, which required negotiating with 30 enforcers worldwide. The firm also served as US and EU antitrust counsel to SABMiller as it was bought by AB InBev, for which the DOJ demanded both structural and behavioural remedies, and helped ARRIS to purchase Pace for US$2.1 billion without conditions.

Robby Robertson led the team that defended Advocate Healthcare Network’s tie-up with NorthShore University Health System from the FTC’s bid for an injunction; the Chicago hospitals’ victory in district court was overturned on appeal, but the companies have determined to fight on. The firm continues to serve as co-lead counsel in multi-district litigation against Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance for allegedly conspiring to allocate geographic markets. It also represented Credit Suisse in a DOJ investigation and now-settled follow-on litigation regarding alleged collusion among banks to block exchange trading of credit default swaps.

O’MELVENY & MYERS had another strong year in mergers, litigation, and litigations about mergers. Practice chair Richard Parker, along with partners Ted Hassi and Katrina Robson, served as litigation counsel to Halliburton in its now-abandoned acquisition of Baker Hughes after the DOJ sued in Delaware federal court to stop oilfield service providers’ tie-up. The same team also represents Humana as the health insurer’s proposed acquisition by Aetna goes to trial in Washington, DC.

Cases involving past deal clients include helping American Airlines to settle antitrust counterclaims brought by Latin American online travel agency Despegar, which alleges a refusal to deal and attempted monopolisation; and Robson and Henry Thumann acting as trial counsel for US Airways in a lawsuit against airfare distributor Sabre. Ian Simmons secured a victory for Samsung in a matter that was neither merger nor conventional litigation: in February 2016, a federal court in California denied Qualcomm’s requests to subpoena Samsung and others for information the chipmaker could use in a proceeding brought against it by Korea’s Fair Trade Commission.

The Washington, DC, office of SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT took an undeniable hit in October 2016 when it lost FTC alumnus Matthew Reilly to Kirkland & Ellis. Reilly and Kevin Arquit co-chaired the firm’s global competition group and had headed the DC antitrust practice. However, the remaining partners – including other former FTC senior enforcers Sara Razi and Peter Herrick – remain capable collaborators with the firm’s New York headquarters.

Before departing, Reilly – along with Herrick and Andrew Lacy – represented Office Depot in its US$6.3 billion sale to rival office superstore chain Staples. The FTC’s effort to stop the tie-up resulted in one of the most-watched merger trials in recent memory, presided over by a judge who had just overseen the DOJ’s trial against Electrolux/General Electric. The 10-day hearing ended in April 2016 without the companies putting on a defence; the Washington, DC, federal court granted a preliminary injunction against the merger, which the companies opted to abandon. In happier deal news, the firm represented Ahold in its merger of equals with Delhaize, which after a year-long review the FTC allowed on condition of 81 supermarket divestitures. Simpson Thacher also acted for NXP Semiconductors in its merger with Freescale Semiconductor, which the FTC also cleared with structural remedies. Non-deal litigation representations include for Deutsche Bank in class actions alleging manipulation of the market for US Treasury securities, now consolidated and pending in the Southern District of New York.

New York-based powerhouse SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM welcomed Tara Reinhart back to its Washington, DC, office in October 2016 after an eventful two years as chief trial counsel for the FTC’s bureau of competition. She returns to a practice which has recently had a big docket of litigation work – including for Bausch + Lomb, Corning, Glencore, Norfolk Southern, Valeant and its wholly owned subsidiary Medicis. Other pharma experience includes ongoing representation of longstanding client Allergan in securing dismissal of federal and state antitrust claims brought by a proposed class of indirect purchasers of diabetes drugs ACTOS and ACTOplus.

Nonetheless, Skadden is best known for its deals work – the multibillion-dollar mergers that grab headlines and enforcers’ attention around the world. The firm represented ride-hailing service provider Didi Chuxing in merging with Uber China, and the special committee of the board of directors of SolarCity in evaluating Tesla Motors’ US$2.8 billion bid to buy the company. Other technology counselling includes Nokia’s US$17.6 billion purchase of Alcatel-Lucent and SanDisk’s US$19 billion acquisition by Western Digital. The firm has also acted for Yahoo! as Verizon bought it for US$4.8 billion; Intel in its US$4.2 billion McAfee joint venture with TPG Capital; Air Products in the US$3.8 billion cash sale of the performance materials division of its materials technologies segment to Evonik Industries; HP in buying Samsung’s US$1 billion printer business; and Cisco Systems on the antitrust aspects of its US$700 million acquisition of Acano. Skadden also advised Plum Creek Timber on its US$8.4 billion purchase by Weyerhaeuser, and Cavium on its US$1.3 billion QLogic acquisition. On the cartels side, the firm helped  a Japanese subsidiary of Corning to resolve a four-year DOJ investigation into auto part price-fixing.

WEIL GOTSHAL & MANGES has once again acted for healthcare-related companies in mergers worth tens of billions of dollars. The Washington, DC team represented Allergan in the US$40.5 billion sale of its global generic pharmaceuticals business to Teva Pharmaceutical; AbbVie in its US$5.8 billion acquisition of Stemcentrx, which develops cancer treatments; and Johnson & Johnson in the US$1.99 billion sale of Cordis to Cardinal Health. These tie-ups have all closed, but the firm is still working on pushing Sanofi’s exchange of its animal health business Merial with the consumer healthcare business of Boehringer Ingelheim through the FTC, as well as Walgreens Boots’s US$17.2 billion all-cash acquisition of Rite Aid – a deal deferred by the need to find divestiture buyers to satisfy the antitrust agency.

Outside healthcare, Weil acts for Sherwin-Williams in its proposed US$11.3 billion acquisition of Valspar, but its biggest deal of the past year was of course Staples’ attempt to buy its remaining office supply superstore rival Office Depot. Partners Diane Sullivan, Jeffrey Perry and Carrie Mahan stood up for the merger in Washington, DC federal court, but the FTC won a preliminary injunction to block the tie-up. Mahan’s other major litigation this year was as lead counsel for Michael Foods, which is fighting numerous claims alleging a vast conspiracy to reduce output and inflate the prices of shell eggs and egg products in the US. She successfully argued on behalf of all defendants against class certification for indirect purchasers and for direct purchasers of egg products, and in favour of summary judgment dismissing all claims related to egg product purchases.

WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR promoted Perry Lange to partner this year, adding another talented antitrust all-rounder. The firm had a particularly strong year in cartel and litigation defence, but its mergers were no snooze. After representing Baker Hughes in the oilfield service provider’s abandoned deal with Halliburton, Hartmut Schneider and colleagues in New York and Brussels are now advising the company during its acquisition by General Electric. Schneider also acted for Envision Healthcare in its US$620 million purchase of Rural/Metro, a privately held ambulance service, proffering the the “failing firm” defence during the investigation; meanwhile, Jim Lowe advised International Paper in buying Weyerhaeuser’s cellulose fibres business for US$2.2 billion.

A layperson in the US most likely would have heard of partner Leon Greenfield in his role as appellate counsel to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s appeal of the O’Bannon trial court decision. The Ninth Circuit ruled in autumn 2015 that rules restricting payments to athletes for using their likeness violated federal antitrust laws, but overturned the lower court’s mandate that universities be allowed to pay athletes up to US$5,000 a year; neither side convinced the Supreme Court to take up the case. Greenfield also beat antitrust claims against Regal Entertainment for allegedly coercing film distributors into excluding certain films from a competitor’s theatres, and pitched in to defend Denso in auto parts follow-on litigation. Thomas Mueller helped ELNA achieve a 60% fine discount in the capacitors probe based on cooperation and inability to pay. He also represented Chesapeake Energy in the DOJ and Michigan investigations; Chesapeake settled with Michigan for US$25 million.

Following his departure from the FTC, Joshua Wright became a special counsel at WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI in January 2016, though his role with the presidential transition has generated speculation about his possible return to government. In the meantime, the partnership recruited Jamillia Ferris from the Federal Communications Commission, where she led the telecommunications regulator’s review of AT&T/DirecTV. She jumped right into a confidential deal that received antitrust clearance as GCR 100 went to press. The firm is longtime counsel to Google, and acted for the tech giant before the DOJ in defence of its search and search advertising agreement with Yahoo!. The DOJ conducted an in-depth investigation into the agreement but ultimately closed its probe without taking any action – contrasting with the Antitrust Division’s 2008 threat to block a similar deal. The firm also represented McDonald’s in opposing Staples/Office Depot; the company was cited as a key witness in the court’s opinion enjoining the deal.

Wilson Sonsini says it is involved in at least 10 cartel matters, of which many are on behalf of individuals – a senior trader for a major bank; the president and former general manager of an international supplier of auto parts; a former executive of a Japanese financial financial services company; and a senior manager and executive of an international bank. Susan Creighton and Scott Sher are part of an inter-office team representing Arista Networks in claims against Cisco. Seth Silber assists with Mylan’s accusation that Celgene has illegally used federal restrictions on the distribution of drugs to foreclose generic competition, and that Warner Chilcott and Mayne Pharma are product-hopping Doryx. Sher also worked on Wilson Sonsini’s great appellate success of the past year – convincing the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to reverse a trial court judgment of more than US$140 million against Chinese vitamin makers – on the grounds that the Hebei Welcome and North China Pharmaceutical were compelled by their government to collude. Creighton co-leads the team representing Spotify in matters that include the music streaming company’s complaints about Apple’s competing business.

AXINN VELTROP & HARKRIDER’s eponymous co-founder John Harkrider is based in New York and appears on most deals that involve his DC colleagues, including with Michael Keeley as lead global counsel for Dell in its US$67 billion acquisition of EMC, which was the largest merger of two technology companies in history. Keeley also represented NIBE Industrier in the Swedish company’s acquisition of the Climate Control Group from LSB Industries; while the FTC investigated that deal, which saw the combination of the two largest geothermal heat pump providers in the US, it received unconditional clearance.

DC antitrust practice head John DeQ Briggs acts as lead counsel for defendant Independence Blue Cross in the massive Blue Cross Blue Shield class action, and for Danfoss against GE’s claim in the refrigerant compressors follow-on action. He’s also an expert antitrust witness for Sabre. Rachel Adcox is lead counsel in several litigations and grand jury investigations, including for Nishikawa Rubber in an auto parts follow-on, co-lead with Briggs in the Blue Cross litigation, and as lead for Yardi, the defendant in a monopolisation case in Utah. Richard Dagen acts as lead counsel for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in section 2 litigation and related matters, and is on the trial team for Black & Decker in the defence of a suit brought in the Eastern District of Virginia by SawStop. The federal district court granted summary judgment against the plaintiff, but SawStop has appealed again.

The makeup of the team at CROWELL & MORING changed over the past year or so as lawyers hopped in and out of government and rose up the ranks. Joe Miller, formerly a senior official at the DOJ and a trial attorney in the FTC’s bureau of competition, joined in December 2015 after serving as general counsel of America’s Health Insurance Plans. The firm hired Andrew Gavil, a former director of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, as senior counsel in July 2016. Sadly, partner Arthur Lerner – another of the firm’s antitrust and healthcare devotees – passed away in November 2016.

Kent Gardiner and Shari Lahlou lead a team that also includes Miller, Christie Stahlke, David Schnorrenberg, Shawn Johnson and Astor Heaven as they represent Humana in connection with the antitrust review of its proposed US$37 billion merger with Aetna, which the DOJ has challenged; they went to court in December 2016. The firm was also lead antitrust counsel for TransCanada during the review of its US$13 billion acquisition of Columbia Pipeline. In litigation, Crowell won motions for summary judgment against a claims of tying and exclusive dealing, and against a lawsuit alleging price-fixing for titanium dioxide. It is also defending United Airlines in the capacity restriction follow-on litigation, and eight Blue Cross Blue Shield companies in that nationwide antitrust class action.

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER promoted Mary Lehner, formerly attorney adviser to FTC commissioners Edith Ramirez and Jon Leibowitz, from counsel to partner in May 2016. She worked with practice chair Paul Yde and partner Thomas Ensign in the antitrust reveiw of Rexam’s takeover by Ball Corporation; Yde and Ensign also teamed up for Intel on its US$16.7 billion acquisition of Altera. The firm is regular antitrust counsel to Johnson & Johnson, including in its recent acquisitions of Vogue International and NeoStrata Company.

Yde represents United Airlines on a variety of matters, such as the DOJ challenge to its slot acquisitions from Delta at Newark airport, which ended when a regulatory change made slots easily available, and the ongoing DOJ investigation of alleged capacity coordination among US airlines. Freshfields guided Continental AG through its plea agreement with the Antitrust Division, internal client audits to determine any potential antitrust-related issues, and compliance with DOJ grand jury subpoenas. The firm defends the British Vita Group, which received amnesty from the DOJ, in the Polyurethane Foam antitrust litigation, and Hachette in the e-books follow-on.

A long-time observer of the DC antitrust scene says HUNTON & WILLIAMS is a “really strong antitrust boutique”, with great litigators who have good government connections, and “a powerful punch up” relative to its size. Washington managing partner David Higbee came to the firm in 2005 after serving as a deputy and chief of staff in the DOJ’s antitrust division; in November 2016 he became part of the presidential transition team for the DOJ. Antitrust chair Bruce Hoffman and partner Amanda Wait bring experience from the FTC. Hoffman welcomed FTC attorney Phyllis Marcus as counsel in the global competition team in October 2015.

Hoffman advised Haier America as a third party in the DOJ’s challenge to Electrolux/General Electric; after that deal fell apart, Haier bought the assets from GE instead. The firm acted for Norfolk Southern during an unwanted bid from Canadian Pacific Railway, which the latter dropped after the DOJ opposed the company’s petition for the US rail sector regulator to allow use of a voting trust that would expedite the deal. Hoffman also represents Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in both the national BCBS litigation brought by consumers and healthcare providers, and a lawsuit brought by rival health insurer Aetna. Djordje Petkoski defends Rubycon in the capacitors follow-on damages litigation.

The streets of Chicago may be KIRKLAND & ELLIS’ true home, but Washington, DC is where it wields most of its antitrust clout. The firm lost two partners in April 2016, when Christine Wilson went in-house as deputy general counsel at Delta Air Lines and Bilal Sayyed joined McDermott Will & Emery. But it recruited Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s DC practice head Matthew Reilly as GCR 100 was going to press. Kirkland also promoted Katherine Katz to partner in October 2015. Many of the firm’s lawyers have valuable agency experience: of counsel Tim Muris served as chairman of the FTC from 2001 to 2004; Reilly spent 13 years at the agency; and Ian Conner is a former trial attorney for the DOJ’s antitrust division.

The firm says it handled nearly 12% of all Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) filings in the federal government’s 2015 fiscal year. These include advising Charter Communications in its US$78 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and its US$10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks. The TWC transaction was subject to a second request review by the Department of Justice and a review by the Federal Communications Commission; both agencies cleared the mergers with remedies. Kirkland also represented pharmaceutical giant Teva in its US$40 billion acquisition of Allergan’s generics business, which obtain FTC approval after a year-long review and conditioned on 79 product divestitures to 10 different buyers – the largest pharmaceutical divestiture consent in US history by a wide margin. Other marquee deals include Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s US$4.6 billion acquisition of Media General, which went to second request at the DOJ and required divestitures; Vestar’s US$3.5 billion sale of Sun Products to Henkel; Accenture’s sale of its Navitaire airline reservation software business to Amadeus; Delta’s acquisition 49% of Grupo Aeromexico; and Boehringer Ingelheim’s US$2.65 billion sale of Roxane Laboratories to Hikma Pharmaceuticals, which involved an FTC second request and divestiture of three generic drugs. Kirkland is also involved in confidential cartel investigations.

The numbers at MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY held steady in the last year; the firm recruited Bilal Sayyed from Kirkland & Ellis in April 2016, but partner Warren Rosborough left for Emerson Thomson Bennett in June 2016. Antitrust practice chairman Ray Jacobsen, along with Joel Grosberg, Carla Hine and William Diaz, advised Evonik Industries in obtaining US clearance for its US$3.8 billion acquisition of the specialty and coating additives business of Air Products. Jacobsen and Diaz also teamed up for Impax in the drugmaker’s US$586 million acquisition of 19 products that were divested as part of the FTC’s consent order in the Teva/Allergan deal; with Hine and Gregory Heltzer, they secured US antitrust clearance for TreeHouse Foods’ US$2.7 billion acquisition of ConAgra’s private brands business. Other big-ticket deals include Lockheed Martin’s acquisition of Sikorsky from United Technologies; Coty’s US$12.5 billion purchase of 43 of Procter & Gamble’s beauty brands; and the veterinary hospital tie-up of Mars and Pet Partners. Jeff Brennan advised Cabell Huntington Hospital on its merger with St Mary’s Medical Center, both before the FTC – which opposed the deal – and in connection with the passage of state legislation that could grant antitrust immunity for hospital tie-ups.

In non-merger matters, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favour of Mars in the chocolate price-fixing litigation. Stefan Meisner led that matter, and also acted for NGK Insulators in its agreement to plead guilty and pay a US$65.3 million fine for fixing auto part prices. McDermott now represents NGK Insulators in the follow-on litigation. Peg Warner defends Weyherhauser in the containerboard class action. Impax called on Jacobsen and Paul Thompson in March 2016 to defend the company against litigation alleging that generic pharmaceutical manufacturers conspired to raise the price of digoxin or certain doxycycline products.

As was true for a few firms in 2016, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS’ biggest deal by dollar value did not quite happen. DC partner Scott Stempel and Harry Robins in New York represented Pfizer as lead US antitrust counsel in the drugmaker’s US$160 billion proposed inversion merger with the Irish company Allergan, which at the time of being announced was the largest pharma deal in history and the third-largest in any industry. However, Pfizer dropped the tie-up when the Obama Administration changed the tax rules on such transactions.

Darren Tucker and Hill Wellford, alumni of the FTC and DOJ respectively, provide strategic counselling and antitrust advice to Google on Android and other services on a global basis, which includes engaging with enforcers as well as supporting the company’s policy work in a variety of areas. Jon Roellke in DC acts for ICAP in the Interest Rate Swaps antitrust litigation, while Leiv Blad negotiated a favourable settlement with Alaska’s state attorney general on behalf of generic-drug maker Lupin regarding alleged pay-for-delay settlements with the branded-drug makers of Loestrin and Effexor.

MORRISON & FOERSTER practice chair Stephen Smith is described by other antitrust lawyers as a “very experienced and knowledgeable antitrust attorney whose advice is practical and balanced”, while American Bar Association antitrust chair Roxann Henry is acclaimed by her peers as “a preeminent cartel practitioner.” Their colleagues Roger Fones and David Meyer are recognised for their experience at the Antitrust Division, where Fones spent almost 30 years and Meyer served as principal deputy assistant attorney general. Accusations of collusion and the inevitable follow-on litigation absorb much of this team’s time, whether they are defending a client in multi-jurisdictional investigations of the auto parts, freight-forwarding, battery or semiconductor industries.

David Cross joined as a partner from Crowell & Moring in August 2015. He represents CSX Transportation in its defence against direct purchasers’ price-fixing claims in the Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge class action, and Sumitomo Electric Industries in the wire harness auto parts follow-on damages claim. Meyer defends Amadeus against allegations of a long-running conspiracy relating to its airfare distribution business, and acted as lead regulatory counsel in Norfolk Southern Railway’s successful opposition to the proposed takeover by Canadian Pacific. Smith and Jeffrey Jaeckel represented a multinational technology company in successfully persuading the DOJ to close an investigation of its search agreement with another multinational technology company, which the enforcer had previously threatened to block. Jaeckel additionally represented ON Semiconductor on approvals with competition authorities in China, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and the US related to its US$2.4 billion acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor.

WHITE & CASE promoted Dana Foster and Claire DeLelle in the past year. Global antitrust practice chair J Mark Gidley, who sits in the firm’s Washington, DC office, describes their strengths: Foster’s “got a great head for complex antitrust cases,” while DeLelle brings “enormous expertise in transnational antitrust extraterritorial reach”. Such skills also were necessary for the team acting for Nexans in the DOJ investigation of a cable cartel, as the case drew an amnesty applicant, requests for information under an international treaty, and parallel investigations on five continents.

Gidley and partner Peter Carney were part of the team representing CertainTeed, the only defendant to obtain summary judgment against claims of conspiracy in the drywall market, with an audacious use of scores of witness declarations to prove the company never agreed with competitors at the times plaintiffs said it could have done so. The DC office also continued its work for pharmaceutical companies accused of pay-for-delay deals on behalf of Par Pharmaceutical and Paddock Laboratories in the FTC and private actions regarding AndroGel; and on behalf of Allergan and Warner Chilcott regarding Asacol. In other drugmaker work, White & Case defeated plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment against Allergan in the Botox class action, and evaded the New York attorney general’s initial attempt to force Forest Laboratories to disgorge profits from its “product hopping” of Namenda. As GCR 100 went to press, Gidley and others went to court to fight the DOJ’s request for an injunction to block Anthem’s US$54 billion acquisition of health insurer Cigna.

ALLEN & OVERY’s team in Washington, DC did not grow in the past year, although it now is formally led by former Antitrust Division prosecutor John Terzaken. However, the lawyers there enjoyed a healthy crop of litigation work, particularly in follow-on actions, as the young practice becomes better established. These included defending BNP Paribas against allegations of collusion in the credit default swaps industry; the Bosch Companies – the world’s largest manufacturers of auto parts – in 31 separate damages claims by auto dealers, end payors, and direct and indirect purchasers; Deutsche Bank against claims of manipulating benchmarks for sovereign, super-sovereign, and agency bonds; and Tri-Union Seafoods in litigation involving allegations of price-fixing in the packaged seafood industry, as a DOJ investigation continues. Terzaken and partner John Roberti, an alumnus of the FTC, also frequently pitch in for matters being handled primarily in another Allen & Overy office, such as the European Commission’s abuse of dominance charges against Google for its Android operating system; Tullett Prebon’s acquisition of ICAP’s voice and hybrid broking and information businesses; and a lawsuit against Barclays and other banks for allegedly conspiring to fix the prices of gold and silver.

The former Howrey litigators who make up most of BAKERHOSTETLER’s antitrust practice devote themselves largely to handling lawsuits for clients on both sides of the “v”, and to defending against government probes. In the latter category, one non-­confidential matter was Greg Commins’ and Dan Foix’s representation of the National Association of Animal Breeders during FTC investigations, which were resolved with no admission of wrongdoing after the association agreed to remove provisions in its code of ethics that the agency accused of limiting competition among its members. Along with practice chair Robert Abrams and partners Terry Sullivan and Bob Brookhiser, Commins and Foix also led the farmers’ class action alleging that milk marketers and processors conspired to stifle competition; despite concerns raised by the original class representatives, they reached a settlement in December 2015 of US$50 million with Dairy Farmers of America. Abrams, Brookhiser, Commins and Foix represent longtime client Caterpillar against group boycott and exclusionary dealing allegations brought by International Construction Products. Partners John Fornaciari and Bob Disch act for NYK Line, one of the world’s largest ocean shipping companies, in follow-on damages claims regarding roll-on roll-off vehicle shipping; the district court threw out the claims as being barred by the Shipping Act, and a decision from the Third Circuit is pending.

BAKER & MCKENZIE lost Lee Van Voorhis to Jenner & Block in September 2016, but he already had been replaced as antitrust practice chair in Washington, DC by Mark Hamer, who joined from DLA Piper. Before going into private practice, Hamer had been a senior trial attorney for six years in the DOJ’s antitrust division. As GCR 100 was going to press, the DC office also added Craig Lee, the assistant chief of the division’s Washington Criminal 1 section, balancing Hamer’s civil litigation experience with a criminal prosecutor’s resume. The firm represented Okaya Electric in a DOJ grand jury investigation, which was closed as to Okaya in January 2016, and in a follow-on damages claim, which was settled for US$3.65 million. It also acted for Safran in its sale of its Morpho-Detection security solutions business to the Smiths Group for US$710 million, and for Veolia Environnement in its US$350 million acquisition of a nuclear waste company, and US$325 million acquisition of the sulfur products division of Chemours.

BOIES SCHILLER & FLEXNER is a firm of generalists, but antitrust is an area of strength, especially in DC thanks to a large group of former enforcers. FTC alumni Richard Feinstein and Nick Widnell, along with Hampton Dellinger, are defending the Carolinas Healthcare System against the DOJ’s lawsuit claiming that anti-steering provisions of CHS’s contracts with health insurers violate the antitrust laws. Jim Denvir and Mike Mitchell represent Delta Air Lines in two cases alleging conspiracies with other airlines: one to fix the prices of multi-city tickets, and the other to restrict capacity. Partners William Isaacson, Chris Renner and newly promoted Abby Dennis assist on the latter case. Isaacson, Widnell and Stacey Grigsby act for Zuffa, better known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, against professional mixed martial arts fighters’ allegations that Zuffa used exclusive dealing arrangements to obtain monopoly power and depress fighters’ compensation in violation of the antitrust laws. On the plaintiff’s side, as co-lead counsel for the class in the Municipal Derivatives antitrust litigation, Isaacson, working with Jonathan Shaw and Scott Gant, obtained another US$100 million-plus in settlements from defendants.

COOLEY’s deal-heavy DC antitrust group boasts impressive agency experience for its relatively small headcount: partners M Howard Morse and Marc Schildkraut are FTC alumni; and of counsel Mark Schechter and special counsel Parker Erkmann were at the Antitrust Division. In the past year, practice head Morse handled big-ticket acquisitions and sales made by Rovi, Delphi Automotive and Qualcomm, some of which drew close reviews by the DOJ and FTC. He represented Sazerac on its purchase of Southern Comfort during 2016, and Prasco as a divestiture buyer in Teva’s acquisition of Allergan’s generic business. Jackie Grise is advising Alarm.com on an acquisition of assets from iControl Networks, and recently acted for Medivation in its US$14 billion sale to Pfizer, Horizon on its US$1.1 billion acquisition of Hyperion Therapeutics, and Dollar Shave Club in its billion-dollar sale to Unilever. Litigation successes over the last year include obtaining summary judgment for Patheon in litigation brought by joint venture partner Procaps; Morse, Schildkraut and Cooley litigation partners are now defending that victory at the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

With Michael N Sohn’s impending retirement, former FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz now chairs DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL’s competition practice in Washington, DC. New partner Jesse Solomon helped advise Irish drugmaker Shire on its US$5.9 billion purchase of US biopharmaceutical company Dyax, General Electric on its disposal of GE Capital, and is part of the antitrust team for Syngenta in ChemChina’s pending US$43 billion acquisition of the company. Sohn also was counsel on the Shire/Dyax deal, and Leibowitz on Syngenta. Other mergers on which Sohn advised include IHS’s acquisition of Canadian company CarProof, and Solvay’s US$6.4 billion acquisition of Cytec Industries. The most headline-grabbing deal of all the deals Davis Polk counselled, however, might have been Uber’s sale of its China business to local rival Didi Chuxing.

Barry A Nigro Jr, a one-time deputy director for the FTC’s bureau of competition, chairs the merger-happy antitrust practice at FRIED FRANK HARRIS SHRIVER & JACOBSON. His deals in the past year include Media General’s US$4.6 billion sale to Nexstar Broadcasting, which the DOJ approved with the divestiture of seven television stations; New Mountain Capital portfolio company SNL Financial’s US$2.225 billion sale to McGraw Hill Financial and New Mountain’s deals for Equian and Trover Solutions. Nigro also assisted ProQuest in its acquisition of Ex Libris Group from Golden Gate Capital, and Permira as part of a consortium buying eBay Enterprise from eBay for US$925 million.

KING & SPALDING lost Peter Todaro to Latham & Watkins in August 2016, but the firm retains a strong presence of former enforcers such as FTC veteran Norm Armstrong and ex-prosecutors Jim Griffin, Wendy Waszmer and Chris Wray, which makes it a go-to for targets of cartel investigations. King & Spalding represents both individuals and a company in auto parts, an energy company as a leniency applicant in a bid-rigging inquiry, an individual in ocean shipping and senior executives in Libor. But the firm’s merger work is at least the equal of its cartel defence. Practice chair Jeffrey Spigel led the antitrust advising for TSYS’s US$2.35 billion purchase of TransFirst, which provides secure payment processing services and enabling technologies, from Vista Equity Partners. Counsel John Carroll advised CareSouth on the sale of its home health operations to HealthSouth’s home health business, Encompass. Probably the most controversial deal for both Spigel and Carroll, however, is the US$1.2 billion sale of Carmike to rival AMC Theaters. The merger received a second request in July 2016 from the DOJ, which has been pressured by elected officials and others to block the tie-up, which would bring together the second- and fourth-largest cinema companies in the US and leave AMC owning more than 600 theaters and 8,000 screens.

MAYER BROWN added two partners in 2015, both from senior roles at the DOJ’s antitrust division: former litigation head Mark Ryan – who now chairs the practice – and ex-chief of the transportation, energy and agriculture section William Stallings. After spending some of their time at the agency scrutinising airline deals, Ryan and Stallings have teamed up to assist Virgin America in its US$2.6 billion acquisition by Alaska Air, which the DOJ was still holding up as of November 2016. They are receiving support in that work from counsel Meytal McCoy, who spent much of December 2015 in a Washington, DC, courthouse protecting third-party LG Electronics’ interests during the DOJ’s challenge to the Electrolux/General Electric tie-up. In litigation, Ryan acts for Viamedia, the largest independent spot cable advertising representative in the US, in a lawsuit against cable giant Comcast for allegedly monopolising the spot cable advertising market through subsidiary Comcast Spotlight, which competes directly with Viamedia. A federal judge largely denied Comcast’s motion to dismiss in November 2016. Partners Adam Hudes and Carmine Zarlenga had two victories for Nestlé in late 2015. A US appellate court upheld the dismissal of direct purchasers’ antitrust class action against chocolate candy makers, finding that evidence of a conspiracy in Canada was too ambiguous to support an inference of price-fixing in the US. A district court dismissed antitrust claims brought against Nestlé by rival spring water bottler Nirvana.

Former DOJ antitrust litigator Scott Hataway took the reins as chairman of the PAUL HASTINGS antitrust practice in February 2015. Praised as a “smart, good young lawyer” by competitors, Hataway counselled Vanguard Natural Resources on the antitrust aspects of its merger with LRR Energy, and Merck in its acquisition of Afferent Pharmaceuticals. With nearly 20 years of DOJ experience, MJ Moltenbrey rakes in compliments as a “very talented” practitioner who is also a “good antitrust theorist”. She is part of a multi-firm team representing Monsanto in the agrichemical company’s high-profile, US$66 billion acquisition by Bayer. Moltenbrey also provided antitrust advice to the conflicts committee of Crestwood Midstream Partners in the negotiation of a definitive agreement to merge Crestwood Midstream and Crestwood Equity Partners into a single publicly traded partnership valued at US$7.5 billion.

PAUL WEISS RIFKIND WHARTON & GARRISON’s Washington, DC outpost got a big boost this year when it hired much of the Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft antitrust practice: Charles F (Rick) Rule, Jonathan Kanter, Joseph Bial and Andrew Forman. Along with Rule and Forman came one of the biggest litigations of 2016: the DOJ’s lawsuit to prevent Anthem from buying their client Cigna, which is made even more interesting by Cigna’s reluctance to stick with the deal if it cannot close by April 2017. Not long after his arrival, Rule also got a spot on the multi-firm team advising Monsanto on its US$66 billion acquisition by Bayer. Paul Weiss lost partners Beth Wilkinson and Alexandra Walsh in January 2016 when they formed their own boutique. Partner Kenneth Gallo, a litigator, represents News Corp against now-settled monopolisation claims, MasterCard in its interchange-fee woes and in a Supreme Court appeal regarding the alleged fixing of automatic teller machine fees.

ROPES & GRAY added Chong Park to its list of DC partners in August 2015, having hired the veteran antitrust litigator and FTC alumnus from Steptoe & Johnson. Practice chair Mark S Popofsky represents Hitachi-LG Data Storage in optical disk drives follow-on damages litigation, defending against antitrust class actions as well as some direct purchasers’ individual lawsuits. In June 2016, he obtained a favourable settlement for the company in the indirect purchaser action brought by those who bought products in which the drivers were component parts, but continues to litigate the cases brought by Dell and Hewlett-Packard. Michael McFalls steered Shire in its US$32 billion acquisition of Baxalta to form a global leader in rare disease drugs, avoiding a second request from the FTC. He obtained unconditional FTC antitrust approval and an early termination for Synageva BioPharma’s US$8.4 billion sale to Alexion Pharmaceuticals. McFalls advised Bain Capital on several deals, including its US$2.4 billion purchase of security and networking technology provider Blue Coat Systems. Partner Jonathan Klarfeld assisted Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe with all antitrust aspects, including HSR compliance and FTC investigation, in the creation of a joint venture between its company United Surgical Partners International and Tenet Healthcare.

SIDLEY AUSTIN puts a solid team with plenty of agency experience to work on a large number of matters ranging from mergers to lobbying to litigation. Practice chair William Blumenthal, along with Ray Atkins, Karen Kazmerzak and Amanda Norton, is counsel to Duke Energy, the largest utility in the US, on the antitrust aspects of its US$4.9 billion acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. Partner Ken Glazer acts for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care in both its opposition to state legislation to ban unilateral pricing policies in the contact lens industry, and against an antitrust action brought by the state of Maryland that alleges a violation of state law through the use of resale price maintenance agreements. Blumenthal advised Keurig Green Mountain on antitrust clearances for its US$13.9 billion acquisition by JAB Holding. A cross-office – indeed, transatlantic – team of Sidley Austin attorneys included Kazmerzak and Glazer as lead competition counsel to Recall Holdings in its sale to rival document management provider, Iron Mountain, for US$2.6 billion.

STEPTOE & JOHNSON’s DC antitrust group has shrunk slightly with the departure of partner Chong Park for Ropes & Gray, but Edward Schwartz, Ken Ewing, Doug Green and Andrew Lee are still going strong. The firm is regular antitrust counsel to FedEx and currently defends the company from claims that it and rival UPS conspired to exclude the plaintiff from providing rate negotiation services to large-volume shippers that enter discounted contracts for services with the companies. The defendants won summary judgment on all claims. Steptoe also represents the National Milk Producers Federation in several class and individual plaintiffs’ actions regarding coordinated reductions in the national herd of dairy cows, which allegedly increased consumer milk prices. Schwartz serves as lead litigation counsel to Amadeus IT Group against a class action that accuses it of conspiring with competing global airfare distribution services; with the indirect purchasers’ state law damages claims dismissed, the plaintiffs now have with only a claim for injunctive relief.

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL antitrust practice head Daryl Libow is deemed a “very good” lawyer by his peers, with one fan ranking him among the top five antitrust attorneys in Washington, DC. Special counsel Joseph Matelis brings experience from the Antitrust Division’s front office that helps him navigate increased merger scrutiny by regulators. Libow and Christopher Viapiano represent Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in Libor investigations, as well as related class action litigation. Libow and Amanda Davidoff further continue to work on cutting-edge cases, and have engaged in a number of futures-related actions, including securing a dismissal for JPMorgan in a silver futures case, and currently represent BP in the Brent Crude Oil futures-related MDL litigation.

VENABLE entered the DC survey partly on the back of its win in the Nexium pay-for-delay trial for defendant Ranbaxy – now Sun Pharmaceuticals – and the firm continues to act for drugmakers in a host of lawsuits. In the latest victory for Sun, an appellate court in September 2016 reversed the trial judge’s decision to certify a class of fewer than two dozen direct purchasers of anti-narcolepsy drug Provigil. The firm is lead counsel for Impax Laboratories against allegations of an anticompetitive conspiracy to delay entry of a generic version of the pain medication Opana ER and of the acne drug Solodyn. Non-pharma litigation includes Perdue Farms’ defence against class action complaints brought by broiler chicken buyers who accuse poultry producers of conspiring to fix prices through restricted output. Venable assists the plaintiff class in the O’Bannon antitrust suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association over the use of college players’ likenesses without payment. In September 2015, the Ninth Circuit upheld the trial court’s ruling that the NCAA’s restrictions on compensating student-athletes violated antitrust law, but overturned the lower court’s order that the NCAA allow universities to pay students up to US$5,000. The US Supreme Court declined to take the case.

VINSON & ELKINS’ antitrust lawyers are go-to counsel in investigations and litigation. Alden Atkins leads for Texas-based Southwest Airlines in the Domestic Airline Travel putative class actions consolidated in DC federal court. Following revelations of a DOJ investigation, plaintiffs allege a multi-year conspiracy among the four major airlines to restrain the growth of airline capacity and increase air travel fares. A federal judge has so far refused to dismiss the complaints. Practice chair Craig Seebald represented Maxwell in a criminal investigation concerning its alleged participation in an international conspiracy to fix the prices of cell phone and laptop batteries. While the DOJ brought no charges against Maxwell, dozens of class action lawsuits claim the company engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to artificially stabilise the prices of such lithium ion batteries. Both Seebald and Atkins act for Hitachi Automotive Systems in auto parts follow-on damages litigation. Partner William Lawler represented both Dart and Solo against a lawsuit alleging they coordinated to keep a new material for disposable cups off the market. In July 2015, the district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, which the First Circuit upheld in August 2016.

Of course, there are many top antitrust practitioners in Washington, DC at firms not listed in GCR’s survey. W Todd Miller and Donald I Baker stay busy at antitrust boutique Baker & Miller. Hughes Hubbard & Reed does most of its antitrust work out of New York, but veteran practitioner William Kolasky provides clout in DC. Linklaters’ Jeffrey Schmidt is a former FTC competition bureau director who is active in mergers. Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo practice head Bruce Sokler gets a chunk of work in the antitrust and healthcare fields, but also has clients in cartel investigations and litigation. Winston & Strawn is home to Asia specialist H Stephen Harris Jr and three other partners.

Firm

Head(s) of competition

Size

Who’s Who Legal nominees

Clients

Elite

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

N/A

8 partners

1 counsel

3 senior associates

53 associates

Leah Brannon

Jeremy J Calsyn

George S Cary

Mark Leddy

Mark W Nelson

Abbott Laboratories, Air Liquide, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Telekom, Dow Chemical, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, HSBC, IMS Health, Keurig Green Mountain, Lafarge, Teladoc

Covington & Burling

Thomas O Barnett

Deborah A Garza

16 partners

5 counsel

15 associates

Bruce Baird

Thomas O Barnett

Deborah A Garza

Theodore Voorhees Jr

Alan M Wiseman

Acorda Therapeutics, Altice, ChemChina, Citigroup, Expedia, ExxonMobil, JPMorgan Chase, Mitsubishi, NFL, Salix, Samsung, Shire, Verizon

Jones Day

David P Wales

22 partners

2 of counsel

24 associates

2 staff attorneys

Kathryn M Fenton Michael H Knight Phillip A Proger

Joe Sims

David P Wales

Aetna, Electrolux, HeidelbergCement, NASDAQ, Newell Brands, Procter & Gamble, Rite Aid, Southern Company, Steris

Latham & Watkins

Amanda Reeves

10 partners

3 counsel

28 associates

Michael G Egge

Abbott (Tad) B Lipsky Jr

Amanda P Reeves

Margaret M Zwisler

Apple, Embraer, Energy Transfer Equity, Ford Motor, Genentech, Koch Industries, London Metal Exchange, Novartis, Omnicom, Par, The Carlyle Group, Weatherford

Outstanding

Arnold & Porter

Jonathan Gleklen

18 partners

7 counsel

43 associates

Jonathan Gleklen

Richard L Rosen

Anthem, AT&T, Boston Scientific, Visa, General Electric, Kroger, Monsanto, Nucor, Philip Morris

Baker Botts

Sean FX Boland

John Taladay

17 partners

5 counsel

29 associates

Sean FX Boland

Paul C Cuomo

James F Rill

John Taladay

Philips Electronics, Halliburton, McWane, Liberty Media, Caterpillar, Dresser-Rand, Eaton, Merck

Dechert

Paul T Denis

6 partners

9 associates

Paul T Denis

Paul H Friedman

American Airlines, Albertsons, CVS Health, Dean Foods, General Electric, Gordon Food Service, OfficeMax, Ritchie Bros

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Scott Hammond

7 partners

19 counsel and associates

D Jarrett Arp

Scott Hammond

Joseph Kattan PC

Joshua H Soven

Aetna, AT&T, HP, Intel, McDonald’s, National Association of Broadcasters, Sony Music, Tenet Healthcare

Hogan Lovells

Janet L McDavid

13 partners

2 counsel

12 associates

Logan M Breed

Joseph G Krauss

Janet L McDavid

J Robert Robertson

American Express, ARRIS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dell, Genzyme, HarperCollins, ITW, Novartis, Reed Elsevier, SABMiller, UnitedHealthCare

O’Melveny & Myers

Richard G Parker

Ian Simmons

8 partners

6 counsel

10 associates

Richard G Parker

American Airlines, US Airways, Halliburton, Humana, Bumble Bee Foods, Samsung

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

N/A

4 partners

1 counsel

11 associates

Andrew M Lacy

Ahold, ChemChina, Deutsche Bank, Holcim, ISDA, KeyCorp, KKR, Lorillard, NXP Semiconductors, Office Depot, Owens Illinois, Sandoz, StubHub, TRW Automotive

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Steven C Sunshine

5 partners

3 counsel

16 associates

John M Nannes

Steven C Sunshine

Allergan, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Didi Chuxing, SolarCity, Nokia, SanDisk, Yahoo!, Intel, Air Products, HP, Cisco, Corning

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Steven A Newborn

9 partners

3 counsel

17 associates

Ann Malester

Steven A Newborn

Abbott Laboratories, Allergan, Canon, Kinder Morgan, Park Hotels & Resorts, Sanofi, Signet Jewelers, Staples, TPG Capital, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Thomas Mueller

11 partners

1 special counsel

11 counsel

35 associates

James W Lowe

Thomas Mueller

Hartmut Schneider

Baker Hughes, Cephalon, Chesapeake Energy, Danaher, DENSO, Envision Healthcare, International Paper, Schaeffler, Regal, Statoil

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Susan Creighton

6 partners

5 counsel

13 associates

Susan Creighton

Mark Rosman

Scott A Sher

Arista Networks, Autodesk, FanDuel, Google, InterDigital, Micron Technology, Mylan, T-Mobile, Salesforce.com, Seagate, Spotify

Highly recommended

Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider

John DeQ Briggs

4 partners

1 counsel

9 associates

John DeQ Briggs

Danfoss, Dell, Google, Independence Blue Cross, Nishikawa Rubber, Black & Decker, Sabre, Yardi, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Crowell & Moring

Wm Randolph Smith

13 partners

9 counsel

13 associates

Wm Randolph Smith

Alcoa, Amazon, Cardinal Health, Chemours, DaVita Healthcare Partners, Enterprise Holdings, Ericsson, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Humana, Ingram Micro, Kaiser Permanente

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Paul Yde

4 partners

2 of counsel

1 counsel

17 associates

Terry Calvani

Thomas Ensign

Robert Schlossberg

Paul Yde

AmerisourceBergen, Carlson Group, Hapag Lloyd, Intel, London Stock Exchange, Novartis, Smiths Group, United Airlines

Hunton & Williams

D Bruce Hoffman

10 partners

4 counsel

12 associates

D Bruce Hoffman

BCBS of Michigan, Haier America, Norfolk Southern, Rubycon, Universal Music Group

Kirkland & Ellis

N/A

25 partners

7 counsel

5 associates

Mark L Kovner

Tim Muris

Matthew Reilly

Accenture, 3G Capital, Teva, Abbott Laboratories, Bain Capital, Vista Equity, Boeing, BP, Delta, Danaher, Infineon, Leap Wireless, Wellcare, Boehringer Ingelheim

McDermott Will & Emery

Raymond A Jacobsen Jr

10 partners

9 associates

Raymond A Jacobsen Jr

JAB Partners, Irving Oil, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, BNP Paribas, Constellation Brands, Morton Salt, NGK Insulators, Weyerhaeuser

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Leiv Blad

9 partners

1 counsel

7 associates

John H Shenefield

Apollo Global Management, Google, ICAP, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Morgan Stanley, Perrigo, Pfizer, Qualcomm, TDK

Morrison & Foerster

W Stephen Smith

9 partners

2 counsel

14 associates

Roxann E Henry

David L Meyer

W Stephen Smith

Amadeus, CSX, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Norfolk Southern, ON Semiconductor, Sumitomo Electric, UPS

White & Case

J Mark Gidley

11 partners

7 counsel

31 associates

J Mark Gidley

Actavis (Allergan, Forest Laboratories and Warner Chilcott), Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Anthem, Boehringer Ingelheim, CertainTeed, Comex, Paddock, Par, Toshiba, Upsher-Smith

Recommended

Allen & Overy

John Terzaken

2 partners

6 associates

None

Barclays, BNP Paribas, Cargill, Deutsche Bank, Mercuria Energy Trading, Robert Bosch, Tri-Union Seafoods, United Airlines

BakerHostetler

Robert Abrams

10 partners

4 counsel

3 associates

None

The Aluminum Association, HP, ThyssenKrupp, Elevator, TransDigm, National Association of Animal Breeders, TOTE, US Beet Sugar Association, Funai, Oldcastle Materials

Baker & McKenzie

Mark Hamer

12 partners

6 associates

None

Safran, Okaya Electric, Canpotex, American Natural Soda Ash, Veolia Environnement, Fresenius, Unilever, Maxim Integrated Products, FedEx, Cardtronics

Boies Schiller & Flexner

William A Isaacson

N/A

Robert Cooper

James P Denvir III

Amy J Mauser

William A Isaacson

American Express, Barclays, Carolinas Healthcare System, Cogent Communications, Delta Air Lines, SolarCity, Ultimate Fighting Championship

Cooley

M Howard Morse

3 partners

2 counsel

8 associates

M Howard Morse

Marc G Schildkraut

Medivation, Dollar Shave Club, Delphi Automotive, Qualcomm, Prasco, Tesoro, Horizon Pharma, Patheon

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Jon Leibowitz

2 partners

1 counsel

4 associates

Jon Leibowitz

Michael N Sohn

General Electric, Uber, Solvay, Shire, Bio-Reference Laboratories, IHS, BATS Global Markets, Volkswagen Truck

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson

Bernard A Nigro Jr

2 partners

2 associates

Bernard A Nigro Jr

Media General, Genesys, New Mountain Capital, SNL Financial, ProQuest, Permira, AEA Investors, Boulder Brands, Novelis, Harris Teeter, Polypore

King & Spalding

Jeffrey Spigel

28 partners

2 counsel

16 associates

None

American Home Patient, Carmike, CareSouth, Equifax, Forterra Building Products, Progressive Casualty Insurance, TSYS, University of Texas Southwestern

Mayer Brown

Mark W Ryan

10 partners

6 associates

None

Cargill, Nestlé, Virgin America, Big Ten Conference, Blue Shield of California, Starwood Hotels

Paul Hastings

Scott Hataway

6 partners

3 counsel

17 associates

MJ Moltenbrey

American Airlines, Dow Chemical, Equinox, Korean Airlines, Shuanghui, Twin America, LG Display, UTi Worldwide, Sony, eBay

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison

Kenneth A Gallo

6 partners

1 counsel

24 associates

Kenneth A Gallo

Charles F (Rick) Rule

Joseph J Simons

ASCAP, Alaska Communications, Cigna, Deutsche Bank, Encana, MasterCard, News Corp, Pfizer, Sharp

Ropes & Gray

Mark S Popofsky

3 partners

8 associates

Mark S Popofsky

Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Shire, Synageva BioPharma, Bain Capital Investors, Welsh Carson, Anderson & Stowe

Sidley Austin

William Blumenthal

11 partners

1 counsel

5 associates

William Blumenthal

Kenneth L Glazer

BorgWarner, Catalyst Paper, Duke Energy, Exelon, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Keurig Green Mountain, Recall Holdings, Sigma-Aldrich, Welltower

Steptoe & Johnson

Ed Schwartz

4 partners

3 counsel

4 associates

None

National Milk Producers Federation, Republic Services, Rockwell Collins, Crestron Electronics, PhRMA, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, LG Display, Entergy, US Travel Insurance Association

Sullivan & Cromwell

Daryl Libow

2 partners

2 counsel

9 associates

None

AT&T, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BP, British Airways, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, NewPage, Valeant

Venable

Lisa Jose Fales

16 partners

6 counsel

8 associates

None

Impax Laboratories, Perdue Farms, Guthy Renker, Sun Pharmaceuticals, O’Bannon, Crowley Maritime, Fannie Mae, National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Vinson & Elkins

Craig Seebald

6 partners

7 associates

None

Agility Logistics, Dart (Solo Cup), Hitachi, Huntsman, Maxell, Southwest, Eagle Rock Energy

Williams & Connolly

N/A

N/A

None

N/A

 

 

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