GCR 100 - 12th Edition

The Economics 20

25 January 2012

The Economics 20 is our annual survey of the world’s leading competition economics practices.

Bates White LLC

Global heads: Eric Gaier, Randal Heeb, Matthew Raiff and George Rozanski
Home jurisdiction: United States
Total size of firm: 138
Number of competition economists: 93
% of firm specialised: 67
Who's Who Legal nominees: 5
Group one: 8
Group two: 8
Group three: 28
Group four: 49
Part-time consultants: 0
No. of lateral hires: 1
No. of departures: 0
No. of internal promotions: 1

Bates White has grown impressively since last year. Almost 70 per cent of its 138-strong practice specialises in competition law, and the team has five nominees to Who’s Who Legal: co-head George A Rozanski, Marius Schwartz, Michael Whinston, Halbert White and B Douglas Bernheim. Eric Gaier, Randal Heeb, Matthew Raiff and George A Rozanski co-head the practice. The firm hired former US Department of Justice antitrust economist Eric Emch in May, and promoted David Osinski to partner in the firm’s Washington, DC, office.

Bates White was retained by Grifols in connection with its acquisition of Talecris, and also advised DuPont’s agricultural subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred on its proposed merger with Pannar Seed in South Africa. South Africa’s Competition Tribunal blocked the deal in October. The firm was also asked by SGL to present analysis to the DoJ on the potential anti-competitive effects and increased risk of collusion between Seadrift and ConocoPhillips following the sale of the former to GrafTech. The DoJ approved the acquisition subject to a consent decree that terminated GrafTech/Seadrift’s supply agreement with ConocoPhillips.

On the behavioural side Bates White remains busy. It is providing expert testimony in the TFT-LCD and Urethanes antitrust litigations to assess damages in connection with antitrust claims. The firm is also providing economic analysis and data support for a client defending allegations of price fixing in the nutrition industry. Bates White is providing economic analysis on behalf of a health-care services provider in connection with its proposed acquisition of a competitor, analysing the potential anti-competitive impact and assisting with a response to the US Federal Trade Commission’s second request.

Case Associates

Global heads: Cento Veljanovski
Home jurisdiction: United Kingdom
Total size of firm: 5
Number of competition economists: 5
% of firm specialised: 100
Who's Who Legal nominees: 1
No. of lateral hires: 0
Group two: 5
No. of departures: 0
No. of internal promotions: 0

Who’s Who Legal nominee Cento Veljanovski heads UK economics consultancy Case Associates. The firm is one of the smallest in the Economics 20 with just five economists in total, but all focus entirely on competition matters.

The firm is working on a growing number of litigated cases providing expert evidence. It has assisted in European, Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong cases in the gas, airline and telecommunications sectors.

In particular, the group has been involved in air cargo cartel litigation in New Zealand and Australia giving evidence in “hot tub” proceedings on behalf of the airlines. It has also assisted in cases on interconnection and margin-squeeze disputes in Europe and Asia.

CEG

Global heads: Europe - Nils von Hinten-Reed, Paul Muysert and Paul Reynolds;
United States - Robert Lind;
Asia - Jason Ockerby and Tom Hird
Home jurisdiction: United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, United States
Total size of firm: 30
Number of competition economists: 19
% of firm specialised: 63
Who's Who Legal nominees: 4
Group one: 8
Group two: 5
Group three: 2
Group four: 4
Part-time consultants: 3
No. of lateral hires: 0
No. of departures: 8
No. of internal promotions: 0

Competition Economists Group - CEG - is a specialist consultancy with offices in Brussels, London, Milan, Sydney and Silicon Valley in the United States. Nils von Hinten-Reed, Paul Reynolds and Tom Hird launched the consultancy in late 2007 with Jason Ockerby, all of whom are Who’s Who Legal nominees.

The firm had grown annually until this year when it lost eight economists, including competition economist and European co-head Pinar Bagci, who moved to rival The Brattle Group. The rest were energy specialists.

The consultancy is advising on numerous cartel cases, including the European Commission’s polyurethane foam and freight forwarders cases. CEG is also involved in a number of cartel cases before the Brazilian antitrust authorities.

The group has several high-profile telecoms clients. It advised T-Mobile on a range of matters, including the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom’s mobile sector review and future mobile termination charge regulation, and on several court proceedings. CEG has also successfully advised T-Mobile Netherlands on mobile termination issues before a Dutch court, and consulted for T-Mobile Austria in a 2.6GHz auction. CEG advised SingTel subsidiary Optus on regulatory issues and the divestment of Telstra’s copper access network.

Finally, CEG has advised on a number of high-profile arbitrations including T-Mobile/Vivendi and several energy-related disputes.

Compass Lexecon

Global heads: Daniel Fischel, Margaret Guerin-Calvert and Jonathan Orszag
Home jurisdiction: United States, Europe, Argentina
Total size of firm: 310
Number of competition economists: 259
% of firm specialised: 84
Who's Who Legal nominees: 24
Group one: 56
Group two: 36
Group three: 56
Group four: 106
No. of lateral hires: 24
No. of departures: 4
No. of internal promotions: 4

Boasting an impressive 84 per cent of its staff as competition specialists, Compass Lexecon LLC has grown dramatically over the last year.

In March, as part of a series of acquisitions from LECG, Compass Lexecon added a European competition practice led by Jorge Padilla; a team of international arbitration and competition specialists in Latin America and the United States led by Pablo Spiller and Manuel Abdala; Daniel Kasper, Darin Lee and Eric Amel, experts on airline competition issues; and Anne Layne-Farrar, an expert on intellectual property and competition issues. These acquisitions expanded Compass Lexecon’s geographic footprint to Brussels, London, Madrid, Paris and Buenos Aires.

In the summer, Compass Lexecon expanded further by adding Peter Davis, who previously served as the deputy chairman of the UK’s Competition Commission, and Elizabeth Farina, a professor of economics at the University of São Paulo and the former president of Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE). Farina works jointly with Brazilian economic consultancy Tendências Consultoria Integrada.

In addition, Jay Ezrielev and David Weiskopf, both of the Washington, DC, office were promoted to senior vice president. Emmett Dacey in Los Angeles and Eugene Orlov in Chicago were both promoted to vice president.

This year, the firm advised on a number of high-profile transactions, including the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger; the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger; the United/Continental merger; the Southwest/AirTran merger; the Comcast/NBC merger; the PepsiCo/Pepsi Bottling Group and Pepsi Americas deal; PPL’s acquisition of E.ON; Yahoo’s sale of HotJobs to Monster Worldwide; and Unilever’s acquisition of Alberto Culver. Compass Lexecon also advised Delta Air Lines on its application for antitrust immunity with affiliates of the Virgin Blue Group.

Compass Lexecon also worked on a number of major litigation matters, including for Abbott Laboratories in a major antitrust case where a jury rejected all of GlaxoSmithKline’s antitrust claims that Abbott engaged in anti-competitive bundled discounting. Compass Lexecon advised multiple parties in the DRAM and LCD litigations.

Copenhagen Economics

Global heads: Claus Kastberg Nielsen and Henrik Ballebye Okholm
Home jurisdiction: Denmark
Total size of firm: 40
Number of competition economists: 12
% of firm specialised: 30
Who's Who Legal nominees: 4
Group one: 2
Group two: 3
Group three: 5
Group four: 2
No. of internal promotions: 3

Who’s Who Legal nominees Claus Kastberg Nielsen and Henrik Ballebye Okholm lead Denmark’s Copenhagen Economics. The firm has 12 competition economists. Karl Lundvall is also nominated to Who’s Who Legal along with Petter Berg, who recently returned to Copenhagen Economics having successfully completed his PhD.

The team has advised the television broadcaster MTG/Viasat on a complaint to the Commission against the Danish state-owned broadcaster TV2 regarding conditional loyalty rebates related to the Single Channel Card. The idea of a Single Channel Card was subsequently abandoned by the Danish government.

The team advised the Norwegian dairy producer Tine in a landmark alleged abuse of dominance case in the cheese market. The case was recently brought to a close in the Norwegian High Court, where Tine was cleared of the allegations. The team is also assisting the state-owned Norwegian postal service Posten Norge in an abuse of dominance case. Copenhagen Economics continues to advise Scandinavian airline SAS in a Norwegian case regarding frequent flyer programmes on domestic routes. The administrative decision is pending.

The team also advised companies in a number of successful mergers in Sweden. An example is Assa Abloy, manufacturer and wholesaler of locks, in its acquisition of Swesafe, Sweden’s largest locksmith business. The Swedish Competition Authority approved the merger without remedies. The team also advised Bring Citymail in an abuse of dominance case against Posten Norden, which Bring Citymail won in the Swedish Market Court.

Cornerstone Research

Global heads: Andrea Shepard and Michael Topper
Home jurisdiction: United States
Total size of firm: 315
Number of competition economists: 47
% of firm specialised: 15
Who's Who Legal nominees: 2
Group one: 10
Group two: 10
Group three: 15
Group four: 12
No. of internal hires: 1

Cornerstone Research is a US-based consultancy, with a team of approximately 47 competition specialists in six offices across the US. Andrea Shepard, in the San Francisco office, and Michael Topper, in the Menlo Park, California, office co-head the antitrust and competition practice. The competition specialists represent approximately 15 per cent of the whole firm.

In the past year, the firm hired Kate Lee from LECG as a principal to its Washington, DC, office.

Over the past year, Cornerstone Research has continued to advise clients on high-profile mergers, including the joint venture of Comcast Corporation and NBC Universal, Google’s acquisition of ITA Software, Intel’s acquisition of McAfee, and the acquisition of Foremost’s Wisconsin milk-processing business by Dean Foods.

The firm has also assisted in a number of cases that involved allegations of collusion, including the Southeastern milk antitrust litigation, the Northeast milk antitrust litigation, the Rambus DRAM antitrust case, and the SRAM antitrust litigation. The firm also assisted in the Apple iTunes antitrust litigation, litigation involving allegations of abuse of dominance brought by fishermen against a large seafood processor, and litigation arising from allegations that Cox and other cable television companies tied cable set-top boxes to certain video services.

Charles River Associates

Global heads: Margaret Sanderson
Home jurisdiction: United States, Europe
Total size of firm: 520
Number of competition economists: 111
% of firm specialised: 21
Who's Who Legal nominees: 28
Part-time consultants: 0
No. of lateral hires: 7
No. of departures: 4
Group four: 12
No. of internal promotions: 4

It’s been a very busy year at Charles River Associates. The firm has welcomed a plethora of high-calibre economists, including three from the European Commission’s chief economist team: Raphaël De Coninck, Greg Langus and Hans Zenger. Damien Neven, DG Comp’s former chief economist, joined the firm as a senior consultant in June, and Pierre Régibeau joined CRA’s London office as a vice president. Former director of the US FTC’s economics bureau Michael Salinger left rival LECG for CRA, and senior consultant Darrell Williams and principal Steven Waters also joined the firm this year. The firm also promoted four economists. Four people left CRA, two of whom went on to fill senior government positions.

The firm has worked on several of the most prominent matters this year, including advising Sprint Nextel in its opposition to the US$39 billion proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. CRA also provided economic support to News Corporation in its failed attempt to acquire BSkyB, and NBC Universal over its joint venture with Comcast. The DoJ and Federal Communications Commission cleared the venture with conditions.

CRA also advised a company regarding Germany’s Federal Cartel Office’s fuel sector inquiry, and assisted Unilever in its £2.4 billion acquisition of Alberto Culver’s personal care products business. In South Africa, CRA advised publisher Caxton in its appeal against the unconditionally approved merger between rivals Paarl Media and Primedia@Home. The Competition Tribunal asked the Competition Commission to reconsider its decision, and the commission reversed its approval and blocked the deal. The tribunal’s decision in this matter is the first of its kind in South Africa.

E.CA Economics

Global heads: Hans W Friederiszick and Rainer Nitsche
Home jurisdiction: Germany
Total size of firm: 15
Number of competition economists: 15
% of firm specialised: 100
Who's Who Legal nominees: 2
Group one: 2
Group two: 1
Group three: 6
Group four: 6
No. of lateral hires: 0
No. of departures: 0
No. of internal promotions: 1

E.CA Economics, formerly known as ESMT Competition Analysis, is a research-based consultancy located in Berlin. Both E.CA leaders - Hans W Friederiszick and Rainer Nitsche - are Who’s Who Legal nominees, and all of its economists work exclusively on competition-related cases. Through its exclusive partnership with the European School of Management and Technology, it has access to a pool of academics who complement its consulting team.

The firm’s former founding partner Lars-Hendrik Röller was appointed chief economic adviser to the German Chancel, and it continues to benefit from its partnership with the US firm Bates White LLC on transatlantic matters.

Over the past 12 months, the firm has supported clients not only in European and German proceedings, but also regarding cases in the UK, Eastern Europe, Denmark and Austria, as well as in India and the Gulf. Besides its engagement in international and German cartel cases, including several private litigation cases, it has been and is currently active on several EU merger cases, including LGI/Unitymedia and Xella/H+H, and is representing Deutsche Bahn on state aid matters before the European Commission.

Further important matters include providing economic support in the German sector inquiry of the fuel market, on online payment systems and in a study on internet neutrality for Deutsche Telekom. E.CA says it will open an office in Brussels in 2012.

Economists Incorporated

Global heads: N/A
Home jurisdiction: United States
Total size of firm: 55
Number of competition economists: 34
% of firm specialised: 62
Who's Who Legal nominees: 4
Group one: 11
Group two: 4
Group three: 12
Group four: 4
Part-time consultants: 3
No. of lateral hires: 0
No. of departures: 0
No. of internal promotions: 0

US consultancy Economists Incorporated added two to its practice this year. Almost two-thirds of the practice is dedicated to competition, and four of its senior staff are Who’s Who Legal nominees: Philip Nelson, William P Hall, Barry Harris and William Myslinski.

Nelson and Hall assisted Regal Beloit Corporation in obtaining approval of its purchase of the electric motor business of AO Smith. Regal Beloit and the business acquired from AO Smith both manufacture a variety of electric motors. Following an investigation by the DoJ, Regal Beloit agreed to sell certain assets to address the DoJ’s competitive concerns.

The firm also assisted in the antitrust defence of two notable electric power company mergers. The first was between Mirant Corporation and RRI Energy to form GenOn Energy, and the second involved the acquisition of Allegheny Energy by FirstEnergy Corporation. Principal John Morris’s analyses addressed the DoJ’s competitive concerns regarding issues of market concentration.

Frontier Economics

Global heads: Zoltan Biro
Home jurisdiction: United Kingdom
Total size of firm: 96
Number of competition economists: 43
% of firm specialised: 45
Who's Who Legal nominees: 8
Group one: 7
Group two: 8
Group three: 8
Group four: 20

Frontier Economics added five more competition specialists to its practice this year. Eight of Frontier’s senior economists are nominated to Who’s Who Legal, including group leader Zoltan Biro. The firm lost economist James Harvey in July, who launched a new practice - Economic Insight - with former Frontier economist Sam Williams.

The firm continues to be well regarded as it has acted on many of the high-profile matters in Europe this year. It advised Caterpillar on gaining Phase II clearance from DG Comp for its merger with MWM, represented Stena in its merger with DFDS, and is advising Vodafone before the European Commission regarding its merger with Wind Hellas, to name but a few.

The behavioural practice has been arguably even busier. Frontier is representing Walt Disney and FirstGroup in the UK’s Competition Commission’s investigations of the movie pay-TV and local bus markets. The firm is also providing economic analysis in the Office of Fair Trading’s market studies of outdoor advertising and private health care.

In other matters, Frontier is advising Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Slovak Telecom over abuse of dominance proceedings, and assisting E.ON in Germany’s energy sector inquiry.

Lear

Global heads: Paolo Buccirossi
Home jurisdiction: Italy
Total size of firm: 9
Number of competition economists: 9
% of firm specialised: 100
Who's Who Legal nominees: 1
Group one: 1
Group two: 2
Group three: 3
Group four: 3

Who’s Who Legal nominee Paolo Buccirossi leads the Italian competition economics boutique Laboratorio di Economia, Antitrust, Regolamentazione (LEAR). The firm remained the same size as last year.

The firm is assisting TV company Mediaset in a court case concerning the quantification of damages from the violation of intellectual property rights by YouTube, and also advised Slovenian mobile operator Mobitel in a case regarding alleged predatory pricing. LEAR also advised a bitumen producer in an Italian cartel case, in which Italy’s Competition Authority dismissed the allegations.

As well as representing private companies, LEAR is also carrying out an economic study for the European Parliament aimed at identifying the most important barriers to competition in the European mortgage market. It is also conducting a review of the economic literature and case law regarding pricing agreements for the OFT.

London Economics

Global heads: Paula Ramada
Home jurisdiction: ~United Kingdom
Total size of firm: 35
Number of competition economists: 18
% of firm specialised: 51
Group one: 3
Group two: 6
Group three: 6
Group four: 3

It’s been another steady year at London Economics. The 18-strong group is led by Paula Ramada and has not changed in size since last year.

Ramada says the firm has been very busy over the last year in both public and private matters. She says the group is working closely with Hausfeld in a number of high-profile private cartel damages cases, but these remain confidential. The firm has also handled other private matters relating to market definition and abuse of dominance cases.

Publicly, London Economics is providing ongoing competition analysis work for the OFT, and is advising in a high-profile case for the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition. Ramada says the group continues to be active in projects commissioned by DG Comp, the US authorities and several European countries.

NERA Economic Consulting

Global heads: Ramsey Shehadeh and Mark Williams
Home jurisdiction: United States
Total size of firm: 390
Number of competition economists: 120
% of firm specialised: 31
Who's Who Legal nominees: 17
Group one: 17
Group two: 17
Group three: 22
Group four: 49
Part-time consultants: 15
No. of lateral hires: 0
No. of departures: 1
No. of internal promotions: 1

NERA Economic Consulting saw a change in its leadership last year. Ramsey Shehadeh in New York took over from Los Angeles-based Gary Dorman as practice co-chair, and he shares it with London-based Mark Williams. All three are nominated to Who’s Who Legal along with 14 other competition economists. The practice lost vice president Steven Olley earlier this year, and Paul Hofer left NERA to establish AMC Economics in November, but it promoted Tokyo-based economist Hiroaki Ishigaki to vice president in February.

NERA has had a particularly strong year in merger analysis. It advised both Western Digital and Hitachi in the companies’ hard disk drive deal, which was made more complicated by DG Comp’s earlier approval of another transaction in the same sector between Samsung and Seagate. It was cleared by the commission in November with commitments.

Shahedeh and Timothy Watts provided economic support to Google in its US$400 million acquisition of online advertising company Admeld, which was cleared in December.

Oslo Economics

Global heads: Rolf Sverre Asp and Ove Skaug Halsos
Home jurisdiction: Norway
Total size of firm: 9
Number of competition economists: 5
% of firm specialised: 56
Who's Who Legal nominees: 1
Group one: 5
Group two: 0
Group three: 0
Group four: 0

Oslo Economics made four prominent hires last year. Karl Rikard Løvhaug, a former employee at the Norwegian Competition Authority and a transport market specialist, joined from The Ministry of Transport and Communications. Håkon Hagtvet and Line Bakken, both transport economics and former employees at the consultant company Analyses & Strategy, further strengthened the firm’s knowledge on the transport markets. In addition, Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen, a health-care economics professor, joined Oslo Economics to strengthen its health economics team.

During the last year, the firm has been involved in a wide range of competition cases. To name a few, Oslo Economic assisted Lemminkäinen, a provider of asphalt, in the Norwegian Competition Authority’s investigation of the merger of competitor Mesta. The firm has also assisted Nortura, the largest Norwegian meat producer, in a court case regarding anti-competitive cooperation. Oslo Economics produced different analysis on behalf of Post Denmark in the abuse case against the Danish Competition Authority.

Oxera

Global heads: Helen Jenkins and Gunnar Niels
Home jurisdiction: United Kingdom
Total size of firm: 54
Number of competition economists: 20
% of firm specialised: 37
Who's Who Legal nominees: 4
Group one: 2
Group two: 5
Group three: 4
Group four: 9
Group four: 9
No. of lateral hires: 0
No. of departures: 1
No. of internal promotions: 2

Oxera has worked on many of the most significant cases across Europe and further afield in the last 12 months. It is acting for Ryanair on both a large number of aviation state aid cases, and on the OFT’s consideration of Ryanair’s minority stake in Aer Lingus. Oxera acted as experts for Belgacom, defendants in the long-running abuse of dominance and damages case before the Belgian courts; and assisted Mars in defending itself against litigation by Nestlé in the Netherlands. Oxera continues to act for Électricité de France and other clients on a number of state aid cases before the European Commission.

Oxera is currently acting on over a dozen follow-on damages cases resulting from cartels prosecuted by the European Commission. Joint head of practice Gunnar Niels acted as the expert for the New Zealand Commerce Commission in its prosecution of the air cargo cartel. After a hearing involving an expert “hot tub”, the court found in favour of the commission.

In the UK, Oxera acted as the economists for Thomas Cook in its travel agency joint venture with the Co-operative Group and Midlands Co-operatives, unconditionally cleared by the Competition Commission after a Phase II inquiry. In addition, joint head of practice, Helen Jenkins, provided expert evidence for the Co-operative Group in its autumn 2011 Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) hearing appealing against the OFT’s decision in the tobacco case. The CAT overturned the OFT’s decision in December.

Four of the firm’s staff are listed in Who’s Who Legal – Helen Jenkins, Gunnar Niels, Robin Noble and Simon Pilsbury – and Niels was one of the nominees for GCR’s Economist of the Year.

Oxera had one senior member of its Competition team depart during the year. There were two promotions among the senior team: Robin Noble was promoted to associate director and James Kavanagh was promoted to managing consultant.

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Global heads: David Lancefield, Jan Willem Velthuijsen
Home jurisdiction: United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, France
Total size of firm: 210
Number of competition economists: 54
% of firm specialised: 25
Who's Who Legal nominees: 1
Group one: 9
Group two: 11
Group three: 11
Group four: 23
No. of lateral hires: 1
No. of departures: 0
No. of internal promotions: 1

The global network available to PricewaterhouseCoopers competition economists is one of its greatest assets. As well as 12 established economics practices in jurisdictions including the UK and Australia, the firm is also expanding steadily in Hong Kong and India. The firm says its competition economists are part of a wider economics team with specialists in regulated industries, financial economics, macroeconomics and sustainability.

PwC promoted Enrique Cañizares to director in Spain, and in the UK, former head of economics in the OFT’s mergers division Eric Morrison rejoined the firm after stints at Ofcom and Postcomm. Practice leader Jan Willem Velthuijsen is nominated to Who’s Who Legal.

The firm says it has had a varied caseload in the last year, with particular success in market investigations and state aid. In the UK, PwC has advised on market investigations in the audit, private health care, financial services, pay TV and aggregates sectors. On the state aid front, the firm advised a major government body to ensure its price contracts complied with EU state aid rules, and is assisting a large international vehicle manufacturer in Germany in getting state aid approval for an investment project.

In other matters, PwC advised the Netherlands Competition Authority regarding a breach of merger remedies by a Dutch newspaper publisher, and it produced an expert report in a cartel investigation by Spain’s Competition Commission in the press clipping sector. In Germany, PwC is also assisting a large multinational company with economic advice relating to the European Commission’s cartel probe of the cement sector.

RBB Economics

Global heads: N/A
Home jurisdiction: United Kingdom
Total size of firm: 47
Number of competition economists: 47
% of firm specialised: 100
Who's Who Legal nominees: 11
Group one: 14
Group two: 9
Group three: 10
Group four: 14
Part-time consultants: 1
No. of lateral hires: 10
No. of departures: 5
No. of internal promotions: 11

RBB Economics has been busy growing its practice this year to add to its sterling reputation as a leading competition economics consultancy. All 47 economists are dedicated to competition, and RBB saw 10 new arrivals this year, many from competitors and competition authorities. They include Katie Curry, the former head of econometrics at the OFT, and Sam Brown from NERA Economic Consulting, who joined the London office; Chris Whelan from Frontier Economics who joined in Melbourne; and Stephane Dewulf joined RBB’s Brussels office from LECG.

Five people left RBB this year. In addition, Jan Peter van der Veer in Brussels and Richard Murgatroyd in Johannesburg were promoted to partners, and Bojana Ignjatovic and Dan Gore in London were promoted to principal. Seven associates were also promoted to senior associate.

RBB has continued to work on some of the leading cases in Europe. These include advising Google in its abuse of dominance probe by the European Commission, and assisting the FA Premier League in Ofcom’s investigation of BSkyB’s premium channel packages.

Mergers-wise, RBB advised on arguably the most prominent deal in South Africa this year, between Walmart and Massmart, which was cleared in May but is now subject to government scrutiny. The firm also advised on VanDrie Group’s acquisition of Alpuro before Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, and both T-Mobile and Orange in obtaining DG Comp clearance for a mobile telephone joint venture in the UK.

Tendências Consultoria Integrada

Global heads: Elizabeth Farina, Fabiana Tito and Ernesto Guedes
Home jurisdiction: Brazil
Total size of firm: 47
Number of competition economists: 14
% of firm specialised: 30
Group one: 2
Group two: 3
Group three: 3
Group four: 6
Part-time consultants: 21
No. of lateral hires: 3
No. of departures: 1
No. of internal promotions: 4

Brazil-based consultancy Tendências Consultoria Integrada’s antitrust practice has seen a lot of movement over the past year. It has grown dramatically, gaining additional consultants, including Fabiana Tito, who has worked at LECG, RBB Economics and the UK’s Competition Commission. Elizabeth Farina, a former CADE president, co-heads the group.

In terms of case analysis, the firm has been advising on a number of complex mergers including the tie-up between Sadia and Perdigão in the processed food sector; the Citrovita/Citrosuco deal, on which the firm advised Citrovita, the world’s largest producer and exporter of orange juice; and the Brazilian meat producer JBS on its acquisition of rival Bertin.

Apart from that, Tendências provided antitrust advice and data support on a range of antitrust behavioural cases, including to brewer Ambev, petrochemical company Braskem, and cement manufacturer CSN, among others such as Hypermarcas and Telefónica.

Tendências also advised companies over regulatory issues, compliance and antitrust risk when negotiating mergers and acquisitions. With the Brazil’s new competition law imposing pre-merger notification system, Tendências says more companies will need specialised economic expertise to ensure deals go through.

The Brattle Group

Global heads: Robert Reynolds and Carlos Lapuerta
Home jurisdiction: United States
Total size of firm: 142
Number of competition economists: 39
% of firm specialised: 27
Who's Who Legal nominees: 3
Group one: 19
Group two: 14
Group three: 3
Group four: 3
Part-time consultants: 0
No. of lateral hires: 4
No. of departures: 0
No. of internal promotions: 0

International consultancy The Brattle Group provides economic analysis and expert testimony in mergers and acquisitions, behavioural cases and competition litigation. London-based Carlos Lapuerta co-heads the competition practice with US head and nominee Bob Reynolds; both are Who’s Who Legal nominees. The firm’s network of senior advisers includes Basil Yamey, emeritus professor of the London School of Economics; John Kwoka, the Neal F Finnegan distinguished professor of economics at Northeastern University; John Rust, a professor at the University of Maryland; and Stuart Brotman, a faculty member at Harvard Law School.

The practice grew significantly this year, with four lateral hires at the top level. Who’s Who Legal nominee Oliver Grawe and Janusz Mrozek joined from rival CapAnalysis Group, antitrust specialist John Simpson joined from the FTC and Shaun Ledgerwood joined from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. All are based in The Brattle Group’s Washington, DC, office.

The group provided economic analysis on the Oneworld airline alliance’s successful antitrust immunity application, which received approval from both the European Commission and the US Department of Transportation.

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