United States: New York
As typified by antitrust practice leaders Olivier Antoine and Dan Zelenko, CROWELL & MORING provides merger, investigations and civil litigation services. Antoine focuses on deals, counselling and international issues; Zelenko on counselling and cartels, where he represents both companies and individuals, and acts in related follow-on litigation. The practice assists those involved in ongoing criminal investigations – auto parts, resistors, Libor and Forex – and plays a key role in major litigation matters, including ongoing representation of DaVita, Target and Viewsonic. The firm won a summary judgment for DuPont in the titanium dioxide litigation, a month before trial was to begin, and defended United Airlines when the DOJ sued it for seeking to buy Newark airport takeoff and landing slots from Delta. The Antitrust Division ultimately dropped the case when the federal aviation regulator removed the limitation on the number of such slots at Newark. The small New York antitrust group has assisted on some of the biggest and most controversial deals of the past year. It was part of the core team that obtained DOJ clearance for AT&T’s US$67 billion acquisition of DirecTV, and supported the DC office in representing foodservice company Shamrock Foods in its opposition to the proposed Sysco/US Foods merger – a deal ultimately enjoined and abandoned. Antoine advised on antitrust aspects of Siemens AG’s sale of its hearing-aid business to investment company EQT and the Strüngmann family for US$2.7 billion, and of its healthcare IT business to Cerner.
United States: Washington, DC
The makeup of the team at CROWELL & MORING changed over the past year or so as lawyers hopped in and out of government and rose up the ranks. Joe Miller, formerly a senior official at the DOJ and a trial attorney in the FTC’s bureau of competition, joined in December 2015 after serving as general counsel of America’s Health Insurance Plans. The firm hired Andrew Gavil, a former director of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, as senior counsel in July 2016. Sadly, partner Arthur Lerner – another of the firm’s antitrust and healthcare devotees – passed away in November 2016.
Kent Gardiner and Shari Lahlou lead a team that also includes Miller, Christie Stahlke, David Schnorrenberg, Shawn Johnson and Astor Heaven as they represent Humana in connection with the antitrust review of its proposed US$37 billion merger with Aetna, which the DOJ has challenged; they went to court in December 2016. The firm was also lead antitrust counsel for TransCanada during the review of its US$13 billion acquisition of Columbia Pipeline. In litigation, Crowell won motions for summary judgment against a claims of tying and exclusive dealing, and against a lawsuit alleging price-fixing for titanium dioxide. It is also defending United Airlines in the capacity restriction follow-on litigation, and eight Blue Cross Blue Shield companies in that nationwide antitrust class action.
United States: California
Dan Sasse and Jason Murray leads the California antitrust practice at CROWELL & MORING, which includes six partners, four counsel and 18 associates. Chahira Solh in Orange County was promoted to partner this past year, and Angela Yu and Christie Stahlke promoted to counsel. Josh Stokes left the firm to become a name partner at the Berry, Silberberg & Stokes boutique.
In the past year, the Crowell team experienced success in all facets of the practice: headline mergers, criminal cartel investigations and high-stakes antitrust litigation for Fortune 100 companies and other high-profile clients. Some of the notable wins include the summary judgment decision in favour of Ericsson regarding an unfair competition claim under state law. The case was scheduled to go to a federal jury trial in October 2016 for the other claims and will likely result in the first court decision to establish worldwide fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms for a global portfolio of standard-essential patents in telecom. On the merger front, a Crowell team is helping handle antitrust matters for telecom giant AT&T in its US$85 billion acquisition of media conglomerate Time Warner, although Arnold & Porter has taken the lead.