GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Baker Botts

10 January 2017

Baker Botts maintains impressive presences in its Brussels and Washington, DC, offices with a complementary few antitrust attorneys sprinkled across the US. Global competition practice co-head Catriona Hatton works in Brussels while John Taladay and Stephen Weissman – who recently returned from serving as deputy director of the FTC’s bureau of competition – are in DC.

Merger ranking - Litigation ranking - Cartel ranking -
Global heads Catriona Hatton, John Taladay, Stephen Weissman
Number of jurisdictions with a competition team 3
Practice size 68
Partners 23
Counsel 7
Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal 20
Associates 38
Lateral partner hires 3
Partner departures 1
Former enforcers 11

The firm is well known as a leader in merger clearance, including on complex deals in multiple jurisdictions that were presumed to be anticompetitive effects due to high resulting market shares. Notably, the firm advised Halliburton in connection with its US$34.6 billion proposed acquisition of Baker Hughes, and was retained as co-lead counsel for the litigation team. The deal was never going to be an easy one to push over the regulatory hurdles, and the companies ultimately called off their merger after the DOJ sued to block the deal. Meanwhile, the FTC’s opposition sank client Superior Plus’s purchase of Canexus in June 2016. In deals better received by competition authorities, Baker Botts also advised Boehringer Ingelheim in its US$12.6 billion business swap with Sanofi, for which the FTC has cleared the consumer health asset sale; represented Dresser-Rand in its US$6.5 billion merger with Siemens, which ultimately underwent phase II review; and acted for Olin in the company’s acquisition of Dow Chemical’s chlor-alkali business for US$4.6 billion. All of these deals required filings in multiple jurisdictions.

Baker Botts maintains a deep bench of lawyers with international reputations who have handled hundreds of cartel investigations and defended dozens of criminal cases before agencies and juries. The firm obtained immunity in the US and, as co-global coordinating counsel, in eight other jurisdictions for Philips and Lite-On Technologies in the optical disk drive cartel. It also is working for two confidential clients in the ongoing auto parts investigation in the US, the EU and Latin America.

The firm has been in the courtroom defending clients in nearly a dozen clusters of consolidated class actions, including Philips in the Cathode Ray Tube and Optical Disk Drive follow-on litigations, and Eaton against claims that it increased the cost of truck transmissions. Baker Botts was part of the team that succeeded in defeating antitrust claims against power tool makers – including its clients Techtronic, Milwaukee Electric Tool, and Ryobi – brought by SawStop, which accused the defendants of group-boycotting its safety technology.

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