GCR 100 - 17th Edition

United States: Massachusetts

10 January 2017

United States: Massachusetts




Massachusetts remains a hotbed for elite antitrust practices, with an array of firms counselling a variety of major clients across industries.


Robert Buchanan continues to run the antitrust practice at CHOATE HALL & STEWART, one of the largest firms in Boston. The antitrust practice focuses on the healthcare and life sciences industry, and Choate also has a private equity practice that leads to involvement in several industries and deals. The firm did not add or lose any partners last year, and one associate left and one joined.

This past year, Choate represented Momenta in a patent case against Amphastar, which is scheduled to go to trial in July 2017 in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. In an effort to turn the tables, Amphastar filed an antitrust complaint in federal court in California, but the court granted Choate’s motion to move Amphastar’s lawsuit to Massachusetts, and subsequently granted the motion to dismiss. That case is now in the appeal process. Choate also represented Momenta in a class action that echoed Amphastar’s antitrust allegations, defending the pharmaceutical company in Tennessee.

In another case, Choate filed suit on behalf of WHDH, a television station in Boston, after Comcast/NBC allegedly acted to entrench its market position by refusing to deal with the station. That case is pending on appeal too. The firm also is active in the merger field, with Buchanan supervising the team’s handling of Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger filings for private equity firms and other clients.

MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS maintains a strong presence in the competition world, with partner Thane D Scott leading the Massachusetts antitrust practice. Partners Daniel Goldberg and Daniel Savrin, who like Scott came to the firm from the now-defunct Bingham McCutchen in 2014, join him in devoting most of their time to antitrust. Samuel Rowley, elected to the partnership in June 2016, is a general commercial litigator as well as an adviser on competition compliance and Hart-Scott-Rodino.

The firm had several litigation victories in the past year, including a case for Ranbaxy in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, which in September 2015 dismissed several putative class action complaints alleging that it was part of a reverse payment to block competition to two diabetes drugs, ACTOS and ACTOplus. In March 2016, the end-payor plaintiffs also dropped Ranbaxy and other generic drugmakers from their appeal. Scott was part of the team that successfully defended the Common Application, a provider of online college application creation and processing services, against monopoly and collusion claims from competitor CollegeNET in Oregon federal court. The firm convinced a New Jersey federal court to dismiss a putative class action against BMW of North America that alleged attempted monopolisation claim and violations of state laws stemming from an aftermarket tying theory related to fuel injectors. The court dismissed the complaint for a lack of standing, among other reasons.

On the deal side, Scott pitched in on Morgan Lewis’s assistance to Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget in the global hygiene and forest products company’s US$513 million acquisition of Wausau Paper, which closed in January 2016. The firm maintains an impressive client list that also includes Ahold USA, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the National Football League’s New England Patriots.

Partner Jane Willis handles a lot of the antitrust matters for the Boston office of ROPES & GRAY, where she is joined by partners Matthew McGinnis and Daniel Ward, and counsel Deidre Johnson. The firm has a far reach, with over 1,100 attorneys working in offices across the United States, Asia and in London; most of the antitrust partners are located in the US.

Willis teams up with Washington, DC, partner Mark Popofsky in providing continuing counsel to Hitachi-LG Data Storage in the Optical Disk Drives antitrust litigation. Notably in the past year, the firm secured a favourable settlement for its client in the action brought by a group of indirect purchasers. The case remains ongoing against Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Turning to mergers, Ropes & Gray represented Westchester Medical Center, New York’s largest integrated healthcare delivery system, in its acquisition of two Health Alliance hospitals in New York. The letter of intent was signed in December 2014 for the merger, but it did not clear until March 2016 after the Federal Trade Commission and the New York attorney general scrutinised the deal. The firm handled US and European Union merger filings for Silver Lake Partners in its joint acquisition of SolarWinds, a developer of IT infrastructure management software, a deal valued at US$4.5 billion. Silver Lake also acquired Fanatics, an online retailer of licensed sports apparel and merchandise, a deal for which Ropes & Gray provided counsel and that was cleared by the antitrust agencies in just four days.

Partner Tim Syrett, promoted to the position at the outset of 2016, joins Mark Ford to head WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE & DORR’s top-notch Boston antitrust group. This marked a big change for the firm, from which James Burling and former global antitrust group co-chair Michelle Miller retired in February and May respectively. The team works with the Brussels and Washington, DC, offices to provide counsel to a roster of esteemed clients on the spectrum of international antitrust issues.

WilmerHale represents Cephalon in the pay-for-delay cases brought against the pharmaceutical company by the Federal Trade Commission, classes of direct and indirect purchasers and generic drugmaker Apotex, attaining a series of settlements for its client. The firm also represents Cephalon before the European Commission. WilmerHale provides counsel to Schaeffler Group USA, an automotive company that manufactures components for engines, in the Eastern District of Michigan, where direct and indirect purchasers have accused the company of conspiring to fix the prices of bearings. Those cases are in discovery, with class certification briefings scheduled for this year.

In a big year for litigation at the firm, WilmerHale also counsels PhRMA as amicus curiae in two high-profile antitrust cases within the pharmaceutical industry: the alleged product-hopping case Mylan v Warner Chilcott and the Wellbutrin XL antitrust litigation, a case regarding alleged reverse payments. The firm is active in the patent space, acting on behalf of Cytonome in the Western District of Wisconsin regarding allegations of monopolistic patent acquisition strategy – the case is currently in discovery. The impressive client roster also includes the likes of luxury car brand Maserati and oilfield services giant Baker Hughes.


NUTTER MCCLENNEN & FISH, which did not provide additional updated information to GCR 100, continues to handle cutting-edge antitrust issues out of its Massachusetts office. Those include obtaining a jury verdict for an unnamed national diesel truck engine manufacturer in a dealer termination case; and getting a client dismissed from alleged price discrimination claims against a large retailer department store. Partner Kathryn Conde is joined by Matthew Ritchie, promoted to partner this past year, and Jonathan Kotlier, chair of the government investigations and white-collar defence practice group. FOLEY HOAG also declined to participate in this year’s survey, but partner Lisa Wood continues to lead the Boston mainstay in the antitrust world. Jones Day, K&L Gates, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Proskauer Rose all have Boston offices and handle antitrust and litigation matters there.


Head(s) of competition


Who’s Who Legal nominees



Choate Hall & Stewart

Robert Buchanan

1 partner


Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Sunbeam Television, Cape Cod Healthcare, Windjammer Capital Investors, Spectrum Equity, Haemonetics Corp

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Thane D Scott

3 partners


Ahold USA, BMW of North America, Guy Carpenter & Co, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, New England Patriots, PTC, Ranbaxy Laboratories

Ropes & Gray

Jane Willis

3 partners

1 counsel

4 associates


Hitachi-LG Data Storage, IASIS Healthcare, Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, Westchester Medical, Silver Lake Partners, TPG Capital

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Tim Syrett

Mark Ford

2 partners

1 special counsel

7 associates


Cephalon, Analog Devices, Baker Hughes, SkillSoft, MKS Instruments, Cytonome, PhRMA, Maserati, MediaTek, Schaeffler Group USA


Foley Hoag

Lisa Wood




Nutter McClennen & Fish

Kathryn Conde




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