GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Arnold & Porter

10 January 2017

The announcement came after GCR 100 2017’s reporting period – indeed, as the publication went to press. But some of the biggest news for Arnold & Porter in the past year is not of a merger on which it advised, but the firm’s own tie-up with Kaye Scholer. Jonathan Gleklen will remain the chair of the competition group, but is joining forces with Saul Morgenstern, who heads a well-respected antitrust practice in New York. Arnold & Porter’s focus historically has been on the centres of enforcement power in Washington, DC, and Brussels, where it fields experienced ex-enforcers such as Richard Rosen and Peter Levitas, who have held senior positions in both US antitrust agencies, and Luc Gyselen, who formerly led the banking and insurance and then the pharmaceutical, food and agriculture areas for DG Comp.

Merger ranking 6 Litigation ranking 4 Cartel ranking -
Global heads Jonathan Gleklen
Number of jurisdictions with a competition team 3
Practice size 86
Partners 27
Counsel 9
Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal 19
Associates 50
Lateral partner hires 0
Partner departures 1
Former enforcers 3

While Sue Hinchliffe left the firm in June 2016, she likely sees her former colleagues quite often, having gone in-house at longtime client General Electric. After getting Arnold & Porter’s help with its acquisition of Alstom’s power and grid businesses and sale of its appliance business to Haier, the conglomerate has the firm handling the US and EU merger reviews for its proposed purchase of oilfield services company Baker Hughes. Other major merger clients include Visa Inc in buying Visa Europe; Mondelēz in a joint venture with DE Masters Blenders; and AT&T on the acquisition of Time Warner, which US president-elect Donald Trump already has vowed to block. Fortunately, Arnold & Porter is very accustomed to scrutiny of the deals on which it advises; of all the firms in the Global Elite, it had the fourth-largest number of mergers go to phase II or second request. Even a relatively small deal can merit hiring such high-powered counsel, as when AMC Entertainment bought the 33-theatre Starplex Cinemas for US$172 million. The DOJ required two divestitures, in what may have been a prelude to the scale of remedies required for AMC’s pending US$1.2 billion purchase of Carmike Cinemas.

Dozens of Arnold & Porter attorneys are actively involved in antitrust litigation, particularly in defending against follow-on damages claims after a competition authority’s investigation becomes public. It represents Cristal USA against the titanium dioxide indirect purchaser class action, which remains in court, and the direct purchaser opt-outs, which the company settled in June 2016. In the auto parts litigation regarding wire harnesses, the firm acts for Fujikura and reached settlements with some groups of plaintiffs while winning a motion for summary judgment against the truck dealer class. Cases against other auto parts clients, Koito and Yamashita Rubber, remain in discovery. Arnold & Porter represents Mitsui OSK in the roll-on roll-off vehicle shipping follow-on, and Visa in a variety of litigation that includes the appeal dropped by the Supreme Court regarding ATM operators’ and users’ claims of fee-fixing.

The quieter cartels side of the practice includes some matters that can be published. In October 2015, the firm obtained the maximum 50% fine reduction as well as partial immunity for Hitachi-LG Data Storage in the European Commission’s optical disk drives investigation, and has been retained for the company’s appeal before the EU General Court. It also represents Fujikura in a General Court appeal regarding DG Comp’s power cables investigation. For confidential clients, Arnold & Porter is defending against the Antitrust Division’s probe of pharmaceutical industry practices and of an auto parts maker, and the EU’s vehicle shipping investigation.

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