GCR 100 - 20th Edition

White & Case

14 January 2020

Merger ranking 8 Litigation ranking - Cartel ranking 9
Global head J Mark Gidley
No. of jurisdictions with a GCR-ranked competition team 11
Practice size 212
Partners 54
Counsel 30
Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal 9%
Associates 128
Lateral partner hires 2
Partner departures 2
Former senior enforcers who are partners/counsel 18

It has been a successful 12 months for White & Case, which is reflected in the firm’s jump to sixth place. J Mark Gidley continues to lead the global competition team, which boasts 54 partners and 30 counsel and is abound with ex-enforcers from agencies including the US Department of Justice, the European Commission and Japan’s Fair Trade Commission. The October 2018 acquisition of rising Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton star Tilman Kuhn was a coup for the practice and a real statement of intent.

One of the firm’s standout merger cases from the past year was advising Deutsche Telekom as its subsidiary, T-Mobile Netherlands, merged with rival Tele2. The EU unconditionally cleared the four-to-three merger in November 2018. White & Case also advised Newmont Mining Group as it acquired rival Goldcorp and in a joint venture with Barrick, which created the world’s largest gold mining company.

Pharmaceutical work remains one of the firm’s great strengths. In December 2018, the EU General Court cut the European Commission’s fine on client Servier by €100 million, finding the authority incorrectly defined the relevant market when it probed the drug maker’s patent settlements with five generic drug companies. The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal in 2018 overturned a €84.2 million fine on White & Case client Pfizer for alleged excessive pricing. The appeal against that decision is set to be heard before the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in late 2019, and will likely have significant ramifications on how future excessive pricing cases will be analysed.

In the US, White & Case represented Allergan in winning reversal of end-payor class certification in the Asacol class action litigation. The plaintiffs had challenged the drug maker’s alleged product hopping, but lost a second motion to certify the class in a district court.

The firm is also involved in high-profile cartel cases, representing clients in the Euribor, Air Cargo and Power Cables investigations. It co-advises Google as the company appeals against the EU’s AdSense and Android fines. Away from Europe, the firm counselled Glovo in relation to allegations by Egypt’s competition authority that the online food-delivery company left the Egyptian market after coming to an anticompetitive allocation agreement with a German competitor. Glovo agreed to return to the market and avoided fines.

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