The Hogan Lovells competition practice firmly established itself as a top-10 global antitrust group in 2016. It boasts power on both sides of the Atlantic, with a major hub of experience and depth in Washington, DC, and another deep bench in London and, to a lesser degree, Brussels.
|Merger ranking||9||Litigation ranking||=8||Cartel ranking||8|
|Global heads||Janet McDavid, Suyong Kim|
|Number of jurisdictions with a competition team||8|
|Counsel and consultants||18|
|Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal||39|
|Lateral partner hires||3|
The DC office is particularly well placed to handle the very biggest clients and most complex matters in the US. Janet McDavid co-leads the global group from Washington, and a diverse group of litigators and deal mavens – including big names Robby Robertson, Logan Breed, Kathryn Hellings and Joseph Krauss – add punch to any antitrust fight. Earlier in 2016, the DC team grew stronger with the addition of former US Federal Trade Commission member Julie Brill, who brings extensive and current experience in how the agency approaches antitrust and consumer protection enforcement. Meanwhile, practice co-head Suyong Kim leads the EU team from London, where former enforcer Christopher Hutton and Brussels managing partner Matthew Levitt headline.
The firm was on many of the most notable deals of the year, which drew headlines, competition enforcers’ scrutiny and sometimes even political debate. One of the latter such mergers was General Electric’s acquisition of Alstom’s power businesses – GCR Merger Control Matter of the Year – which roused concerns about US companies’ buying up European national champions. Hogan Lovells acted as global coordinating counsel for Alstom, pulling together notifications around the world. On behalf of the seller in the AB InBev/SABMiller mega-merger, the firm shepherded the tie-up through clearance in the US, where the government went beyond the expected divestiture of SABMiller’s business to demand complex behavioural remedies as well. Star antitrust litigator Robertson fended off an FTC challenge in Chicago federal court to Advocate Health Care Network’s merger with NorthShore University HealthSystem; though an appeals court revived the agency’s case as GCR 100 went to press, the hospitals have determined to keep fighting for their deal, which Robertson argued would enable innovation rather than harming competition.
The Hogan Lovells lawyers took home additional GCR Awards in 2016 for their cartel defence work. They advised Air Canada in its appeal against the European Commission’s air cargo cartel decision, and were part of the team that eventually convinced the EU General Court to throw out more than US$800 million in fines. And their courtroom work for ZTE during its patent and antitrust fight with Huawei Technologies secured another GCR trophy in 2016. The firm’s award-winning representations over the past year shows off its skill and geographic reach recipients came from its DC, London, Brussels and Düsseldorf offices. Hogan remains one of the most well-rounded antitrust groups in the world, with a top-10 position in mergers, cartels and litigation.