GCR 100 - 11th Edition

Arnold & Porter LLP

24 January 2011

Annually one of the top antitrust groups in Washington, DC, Arnold & Porter spent 2010 adding strength and depth to its Brussels group, which, while strong, has always trailed global rivals Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer.

5. Arnold & Porter LLP

Global head: William J Baer
Home jurisdiction: United States
Total size of firm: 710
Number of competition specialists: 94
Percentage of competition specialists: 13
Who's Who nominees: 12
Partners: 30
Percentage of partners in Who's Who: 40
Associates: 43
Counsel: 10
Other: 11
Number of lateral partner hires: 3
Number of partner departures: 1
Number of internal promotions: 0

Over the past year, the firm added a team of senior lawyers from Shearman & Sterling, including highly-regarded partners Annette Schild and Silvio Cappellari, to help bolster the Brussels group. While the team isn’t yet at the same level as its competitors, it is certainly a group to watch. And the firm’s DC office continues to strive as one of the, if not the, best for US antitrust investigations, mergers and courtroom work. The practice garnered the sixth-most recommendations from rival firms of any competition and antitrust team in the world.

Over the past year, the Arnold & Porter team has again handled top-tier investigations and mergers, including work for global clients AT&T, Kraft, Unilever and others. The team led the way for AT&T during the multi-agency review of its purchase of wireless properties being divested by rival Verizon Wireless. Arnold & Porter lawyers also helped guide BASF through the US$3.8 billion purchase of Cognis on both sides of the Atlantic, Intel in the multi-jurisdictional review of its purchase of McAfee and, in perhaps the most watched merger review of the Obama administration so far, General Electric in Comcast’s purchase of a controlling stake of GE property NBC Universal.

Brussels

In September 2009, Arnold & Porter LLP&'s European competition team in Brussels grew from eight to 15 lawyers. The new hires include partners Annette Schild and Silvio Cappellari, and counsel Stephanie Birmanns - all of whom came from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Marleen Van Kerckhove leads the practice, which rivals repeatedly single out as the one that has strengthened the most in the last 12 months. "The hires were exactly what the practice needed," says a Brussels-based lawyer. "Now the firm has much stronger capabilities." Its work portfolio only attests to this.

Luc Gyselen and Niels Ersboell are representing a company in a DG Comp cartel probe of the computer sector. Schild is advising energy company Areva in two appeals before the General Court against European Commission decisions in the gas insulated switchgear case and power transformer cases.

On the merger front, the firm is representing GE in the NBC/Comcost merger in the EU, and advising Bucyrus in its sale to Caterpillar. It also represented Sanyo in the EU filing of its merger with Panasonic.

United States: California

The three partners in Arnold & Porter LLP's California antitrust team focus almost exclusively on litigation. The firm has several high-stakes cases pending in federal courts in California, including defending Clear Channel and Live Nation against an unfair monopolisation claim in the concert ticket market; advising LG Electronics in private damage claims related to an alleged cathode ray tube cartel; and guiding Visa through several antitrust actions, including a class action alleging illegal tying in the credit card market. Other clients include Philip Morris USA, NBC Universal, Monsanto and General Electric, among others.

United States: Government Antitrust

In the cut-and-thrust world of DC antitrust practices, Arnold & Porter LLP continues to thrive. The firm has one of the largest competition groups in the world - and one of the best reputations. Willliam J Baer is one of six Who's Who nominees in the group. He leads a team of 30 partners, 10 consultants and 43 associates. The group has had a hand in many of the biggest antitrust cases of 2010.

On the transactional side, it is representing Air Products in its hostile acquisition of Airgas, and handling AMC&'s acquisition of Kerasotes Showplace Theaters. The team advised AT&T when the US Department of Justice and US Federal Communications Commission reviewed its US$944 million takeover of Centennial Communications. It counselled Avis Budget on its bid for Dollar Thrifty, as well as steering through Intel&'s purchase of McAfee for US$7.7 billion. Kraft Foods, Nucor, PepsiCo, Sanyo and Visa all called on the firm for M&A work this year.

Cartel work also came in thick and fast in 2010. The team is advising clients in cartel investigations taking place in the financial services, defence contracting, specialty chemicals, computer equipment, air cargo and auto parts markets, among others.

Arnold & Porter is also involved in a number of other governmental investigations, including advising Intel on the US Federal Trade Commission's administrative proceeding challenging Intel&'s conduct in the market for microprocessors and graphics chips. It is also co-counsel to Monsanto in a DoJ investigation of alleged anti-competitive conduct.

Meanwhile, on the litigation side, the team is representing BP in class action lawsuits alleging that gasoline retailers throughout the United States have conspired to sell gasoline without any adjustment to reflect the variations in energy content that result from differences in temperature. These cases, which were filed in many different courts, have been coordinated for pretrial proceedings in federal court in Kansas.

The firm is representing Clear Channel and Live Nation in a multi-district litigation in which plaintiffs claim the companies have monopolised the market for concert tickets throughout the United States.

The firm is also handling antitrust litigation on behalf of General Electric, LG Electronics, NBC Universal, Nucor, Philip Morris, Texas Pacific Group and Visa.

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