O’Melveny & Myers’ competition practice is back in the Global Elite. In addition to several US offices, the firm counsels clients far outside the US borders with partners in Brussels, Singapore and Tokyo. Both global practice heads – former FTC bureau of competition director Richard Parker and former DOJ attorney Ian Simmons – work out of the Washington, DC, office, where they are joined by two other former FTC lawyers.
|Merger ranking||-||Litigation ranking||-||Cartel ranking||-|
|Global head||Richard Parker, Ian Simmons|
|Number of jurisdictions with a competition team||3|
|Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal||16|
|Lateral partner hires||0|
After a loss to the FTC in Sysco/US Foods in 2015, O’Melveny was hired as antitrust litigation counsel on another highly scrutinised tie-up in the US: Halliburton/Baker Hughes. Despite the merger eventually being called off, the firm counselled Halliburton and tried to appease the DOJ’s antitrust concerns by offering to sell additional assets. O’Melveny advised Humana in its US$37 billion acquisition by Aetna – a deal the DOJ sued to block as well – and obtained clearance in the EU, US, China, Brazil, Turkey, Russia and South Africa for longtime client Honeywell in its US$5.1 billion acquisition of Elster.
The firm has a distinguished record of defending clients that are subject to cartel investigations, including Samsung Electronics, Asiana Airlines, Bumble Bee, Hertz and LEONI – a stable of clients that have relied on the firm’s services for many years regarding global investigations. While some of the ongoing matters are confidential, one may surmise certain details based on representations in follow-on actions, such as for ROHM regarding alleged price fixing of capacitors and resistors. The firm is advising AU Optronics in implementing a court-mandated comprehensive antitrust compliance programme following its conviction for price-fixing liquid crystal displays.
O’Melveny is also on the frontlines of other behavioural issues, helping clients work through pay-for-delay claims, hub-and-spoke allegations, patent infringements and more. That includes counselling Impax, a drugmaker involved in the FTC’s Opana ER reverse payment investigation. The team is helping Honeywell on this end as well, advising the client on EU and US investigations into a potential antitrust infringement regarding a joint product development and manufacturing agreement with DuPont.