GCR 100 - 11th Edition

Hogan Lovells LLP

14 January 2011

In the last GCR 100, British firm Lovells squeezed into the Global Elite at number 18, thanks in large part to its strength in Europe.

10. Hogan Lovells LLP

Global heads: Janet McDavid and Susan Bright
Home jurisdiction: United States and United Kingdom
Total size of firm: 2,500
Number of competition specialists: 131
Percentage of competition specialists: 5
Who's Who nominees: 13
Partners: 45
Percentage of partners in Who's Who: 29
Senior associates: 15
Associates: 44
Counsel: 1
Other: 2
Number of lateral partner hires: 2
Number of partner departures: 0
Number of internal promotions: 1

But its merger in May with Washington, DC-based Hogan & Hartson has propelled it up the rankings to number 10. The merger was a great fit both for Lovells and for Hogan and Hartson, and the merged firm boasts standout teams in Washington, London and Brussels, as well as numerous other jurisdictions worldwide. The new firm also attracted a team of three from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, including partner Suyong Kim from the firm's London office. And in September, Robby Robertson, former chief trial counsel at the US Federal Trade Commission, joined the firm in Washington, DC.

In Brussels, Hogan Lovells advised Alstom on its €2.3 billion acquisition of Areva's transmission business. The team also coordinated the defence of the world's leading ship classification body following dawn raids by the European Commission at all of the leading European organisations responsible for setting standards for ship construction and maritime safety.

Meanwhile, the firm's Washington practice advised AdMob on the US$750 million takeover by Google, including the US Federal Trade Commission's ensuing investigation. The team also advised Black & Decker on its US$4.5 billion merger with The Stanley Works.

Brussels

The merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells to form Hogan Lovells has had an impact in many competition markets worldwide, not least this one. As a result of the tie-up, the firm has doubled in size and its Brussels competition practice now includes eight partners, five counsel and three senior associates. Managing partner and Who's Who nominee Catriona Hatton says the merger is "paying off handsomely", with the competition team experiencing a greater number of instructions and an increase in referral work.

The firm advised the International Association of Classification Societies following dawn raids by the European Commission at all of the major European organisations responsible for setting standards for ship construction and maritime safety. Hogan Lovells also successfully defended Korean Air in the air cargo investigation – the commission found no infringement against the airline – and Belgium's La Poste in a state-aid matter.

Recent transactional work includes advising Black & Decker on its merger with Stanley Works, and acting for car manufacturer Ford in its sale of Volvo Cars to Zhejiang Geely Holding.

Italy

Partner Gianluca Belotti leads the competition team at Hogan Lovells, working alongside two senior associates and a junior associate.

The firm provides advice to Siderurgica Latina Martin in an alleged EU price fixing cartel case involving steel wire rod producers. It is also representing clients facing cartel investigations in the markets for pasta, cosmetics and shipping.

Nintendo and eBay both use the firm for competition advice, while a client in the food and beverages industry relied on Hogan Lovells to steer through its complaint against the unfair commercial practices of its competitor.

The team also offers advice to SP, Leali and Acciaierie e Ferriere Liugi Leali, on an appeal to the General Court against the European Commission's cartel decision in the Italian concrete reinforcing bar sector.

Poland

As of 1 May, Lovells LLP became Hogan Lovells, after completing its merger with US firm Hogan & Hartson. Counsel Robert Gago heads Hogan Lovells' competition practice in Poland. Gago joined the firm from CMS Cameron McKenna in 2000, and has been a counsel since 2007. The firm has particular experience in the banking, insurance, telecommunications, fuel and pharmaceutical markets. The practice, which started out as a niche operation within the corporate department, has grown over the years in tandem with the Polish authority's activities. In 2006 and 2007 the firm recruited two associates to assist Gago.

HoganLovells represented Lesaffre, a French food ingredients, yeast and biotech company, regarding alleged illegal exclusivity clauses and received a reversal of the Polish authority's decision at the Court of Appeals. The court ruled that assessments of vertical agreements require in-depth analysis, even in cases where the supplier has a high market share. It also represented two banks - BGZ and BRE - in their appeal before the Competition Court regarding credit card interchange fees, and it is due to represent the banks in the authority's appeal against the court's reversal. The firm is also advising US pharmaceutical company Baxter on its distribution system, as well as its acquisition of a Polish pharmaceutical company.

Another client is cable television network, Petrus Polska, which ithe firm is advising in an alleged abuse of dominance case. On the merger side, it represented UK insurance company Aviva in a joint venture notification to the European Commission, as well as First Data Corporation on its acquisition of a majority stake in Polcard. It is also counsel to Grohe Polska on distribution arrangements.

United Kingdom

Since the creation of Hogan Lovells LLP, the London-based competition team has doubled in size, now boasting six partners, five of which are nominees to the Who's Who, including practice head Susan Bright. The 24-strong team advises on the full scope of competition matters, including mergers, competition litigation, state aid and public procurement. It received a further boost last year with the arrival of partner Suyong Kim and counsels Karman Gordon and Christopher Hutton from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.

Last year, the team defended Alstom Group in a £250 million follow-on antitrust damages claim brought by National Grid in the UK High Court. The claim follows the European Commission's decision in the gas insulated switchgear cartel case. It represents Air Canada, which was fined €12 million in the European Commission's air cargo cartel investigation.

Broadcaster ITV is a major competition client, which the firm advised on several acquisitions of regional ITV broadcasters, and in the review of a merger remedy imposed in 2003 by the UK's competition enforcers and Ofcom. Other major competition clients for the firm are Waitrose, SABMiller and MasterCard.

United States: Government Antitrust

Hogan Lovells is another DC powerhouse that handles a varied diet of competition work, from governmental investigations to litigation to counselling and compliance.

The office boasts three Who's Who nominees - Janet L McDavid, Joseph Krauss and Philip C Larson - in its well-respected team. That team is made up of nine partners, two counsel and 13 associates. The merger of Hogan & Hartson LLP and Lovells has also added extra strength internationally.

This year, the firm advised AdMob on its acquisition by Google, and counselled Black & Decker on its merger with The Stanley Works. The team also handled Ford Motor Company's sale of Volvo cars to Geely Holding.

Hogan Lovells is advising IBM in the DoJ's monopolisation investigation and the related private litigation. The firm is also advising on the European Commission investigation.

AEG is another high-profile client. The international concert promoter opposed the Ticketmaster/LiveNation merger before the DoJ, as well as competition authorities in the UK and Canada.

Hogan Lovells advised Election Systems & Software in an investigation by the DoJ and several state Attorneys General of its acquisition of a competitor in the election systems and services business. The team also successfully defended the client in an antitrust lawsuit filed by a competitor in the US district court for the District of Delaware, which had challenged the same acquisition.

Amcor, General Dynamics, Intergraph and American Express are also clients of the firm.

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