GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

10 January 2017

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s litigation strength sets it apart from the pack. Its US- and EU-heavy competition practice features several former high-ranking enforcement officials, and it filled gaps opened through the retirement of Boston partners Jim Burling and Michelle Miller by promoting Perry Lange and Tim Syrett in Washington, DC and Boston respectively.

Merger ranking - Litigation ranking 5 Cartel ranking -
Global heads Thomas Mueller
Number of jurisdictions with a competition team 5
Practice size 110
Partners 27
Counsel 19
Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal 9
Associates 64
Lateral partner hires 0
Partner departures 2
Former enforcers 6

Halliburton/Baker Hughes was the headline deal for the WilmerHale practice last year. While the oilfield services companies ultimately abandoned the deal, a transatlantic team advised or coordinated reviews across multiple jurisdictions – of which 14 conducted an in-depth investigation of the transaction. The firm’s German team also had a hand in the controversial Edeka/Kaiser’s Tengelmann supermarket transaction, acting for third party Coop. WilmerHale advised Monsanto during its attempted US$46.6 billion acquisition of Syngenta. Other major merger clients include the likes of Deutsche Telekom, BC Partners and International Paper.

WilmerHale’s deals track record is nothing to sniff at, but the firm is at its best during a fight – whether that’s against an enforcer, or in court against a private litigant. In the leniency sphere, WilmerHale has filed for first-in immunity for Chesapeake in the US, sought leniency for a global financial services institution in the foreign-exchange matter in three jurisdictions, and bagged a leniency discount for ELNA in the US and EU capacitors investigation. The firm acted for Credit Suisse in its successful defence in the credit default swaps investigation. A Brussels team represents Brussels Airlines during the DG Comp investigation of a codeshare with TAP Portugal; the enforcer issued a statement of objections in autumn 2016. WilmerHale handled Apple’s unsuccessful US Supreme Court petition for certiorari in the e-books investigation.

The team also represented Apple in an unusual litigation matter, as it successfully opposed a Qualcomm request for US discovery to support the chipmaker’s defence in the Korean investigation of its patent licensing practices. Intellectual property and pharmaceuticals are clearly a strong area: WilmerHale represented Cephalon throughout the US Federal Trade Commission’s litigation against it. And in financial services, the firm has acted for Barclays as it defends itself against allegations that it monopolised pricing indices for electricity contracts in the US, and Credit Suisse in the Credit Default Swaps antitrust litigation. The latter case settled in April 2016.

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