GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

10 January 2017

United States: New York

The full-time competition lawyers at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz focus on doing one thing extremely well: obtaining antitrust clearances for some of the largest deals in the US and internationally, working hand-in-glove with the firm’s storied M&A practice. Highly regarded antitrust head Ilene Knable Gotts, partners Joseph D Larson, David A Schwartz and Nelson O Fitts, and of counsel Michael H Byowitz worked on many of the largest and most challenging deals of the past year.

Among them are Gotts’s handling of Charter Communications’ US$78 billion merger with Time Warner Cable and proposed US$10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks; Schwartz and counsel Franco Castelli helping Nasdaq to buy International Securities Exchange; Larson’s advising of McGraw Hill Financial on its cash acquisition of SNL Financial for US$2.2 billion, and of Dufry in its US$3.8 billion acquisition of World Duty Free; Fitts’s counselling of the US$37.7 Energy Transfer tie-up with Williams; and Covidien’s US$50 billion sale to Medtronic, allowed by the FTC and other competition authorities after divestitures. The DOJ also was flexible with partner Damian Didden’s client Cox Automotive, which was allowed to buy Dealertrack after agreeing to a divestiture, but the FTC took two of his deals to court in 2015. The agency successfully blocked Sysco’s US$3.8 billion acquisition of rival food distributor US Foods, but not Steris’s purchase of UK-based sterilisation service provider Synergy Health.

Litigation partner Stephen DiPrima pitched in at the Steris trial on the cross-examination of the commission’s witnesses, which shows how the firm’s capacity for competition matters extends to disputes. For example, Morgan Stanley receives counsel from litigation department co-chair Jonathan Moses in the Forex follow-ons, and litigation partner George Conway co-authored an amicus brief in the Namenda product-hopping appeal.

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