Jones Day remains one of the top antitrust groups in the world and, perhaps by some margin, the top merger litigation team anywhere. Its track record over the past several years is unparalleled; it has helped clients fight against enforcers’ attempts to block deals in the airline, household appliance, healthcare and insurance sectors – including five such deals in the past calendar year alone. It is a truly remarkable run for any one firm, and it magnifies Jones Day’s unmatched strength in the US market and its growing reputation as one of the best courtroom antitrust practices anywhere.
|Merger ranking||2||Litigation ranking||2||Cartel ranking||10|
|Global head||David P Wales|
|Number of jurisdictions with a competition team||9|
|Counsel and Consultants||14|
|Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal||34|
|Lateral partner hires||2|
This past year, it successfully defended Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System from the US Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to block their merger in federal district court, although the decision was reversed on appeal. Nonetheless, the victory at trial was the second against the FTC for partner John Majoras and his litigation team in less than a year, following its courtroom victory in the Steris/Synergy challenge. In July, the FTC dropped its lawsuit against Jones Day client Cabell Huntington Hospital challenging its acquisition of St Mary’s Medical Center, after changes to state law crippled the FTC’s case against the hospital tie-up. The firm’s docket of pending deals includes Jones Day’s biggest case of the year: as GCR 100 goes to press, Majoras and the team are back in court defending the Aetna/Humana health insurance merger from a US Department of Justice challenge. This comes in addition to its work on the Electrolux/General Electric appliance deal, which the companies abandoned near the end of an injunction hearing against the DOJ in US court.
The firm’s antitrust litigation work is strong overall – the second-best in our rankings – and for non-merger matters as well. It includes class actions involving multiple auto parts and multiple plaintiffs, stemming from criminal antitrust work on which the firm has advised over the past few years. Adobe Systems, Intuit and Sony Entertainment all turned to Jones Day to help guide them through class actions alleging conspiracies to restrict employee poaching, and Deutsche Bank is its primary client in the financial services rate fixing cases. The firm has also staked its ground as a go-to firm for pay-for-delay defence. It currently represents Bayer, Dr Reddy’s and Indivior against reverse-payment settlement claims and product hopping allegations.
No firm in our survey boasts as many ex-enforcers in top partnership positions as Jones Day – 20 former competition authority officials and another three who have occupied court benches or positions elsewhere in government. That experience starts at the top of the practice. David P Wales, who leads the global group from Washington, DC, is the former head of the US Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of competition. Meanwhile, local practice leaders such as Craig Waldman in San Francisco, Bernard Amory and Mario Todino in Brussels, Akio Yamada in Tokyo and Yizhe Zhang in Beijing all come from the top ranks of enforcers in their respective jurisdictions. The firm saw 22 of its partners nominated to Who’s Who Legal: Competition this year.