GCR 100 2024

Ballard Spahr

Ballard Spahr

Professional notice

United States: Pennsylvania


Led by Leslie John, the antitrust group at BALLARD SPAHR’s Pennsylvania office includes seven other partners, one counsel and 10 associates. The firm represents leading companies in the agricultural, pharmaceutical and media industries, among others. In the past year, Ballard Spahr guided Teva Pharmaceuticals as it entered a historic deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) over price-fixing allegations relating to generic drugs. The firm advises Corteva in a major multi-district antitrust lawsuit challenging its alleged group boycott against online crop protection product retailers. It also counsels Mountaire Farms against allegations it conspired with rival poultry processors to fix wages and unlawfully exchange wage information. Ballard Spahr represents the Associated Press in a lawsuit claiming the Trusted News Initiative – created by several publishers and technology companies to combat misinformation – constitutes an illegal group boycott. The firm secured transfer of the case to a New York federal court, but the plaintiffs refiled the lawsuit in Louisiana.

FirmHead(s) of competitionSizeNo. WWL nomineesClients
Ballard SpahrLeslie John8 partners, 1 counsel, 10 associates1GlaxoSmithKline, The Associated Press, Corteva Agriscience, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, American Board of Internal Medicine, Wawa, Partnership for Safe Medicines, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Biotech, Mountaire Farms, Neuronetics

Ballard Spahr’s nationally ranked Antitrust and Competition Group has the experience, depth, and bench strength to vigorously defend businesses in high-stakes civil and criminal antitrust cases—from multidistrict litigation and class actions to investigations by federal and state authorities and any ensuing criminal actions—and to protect businesses injured by anticompetive practices. We also offer strategic guidance on circumventing class actions, securing antitrust clearances, and developing a cogent competition strategy that will hold up in court, at the negotiation table, or before an antitrust agency.

Our track record of success is rooted in our approach. Our litigators emphasize strategic and creative thinking, efficiency, and hard work to resolve complex cases through decisive advocacy in court and during appeals; via advantageous settlement; by prevailing on critical pretrial rulings; and by consistently gaining tactical advantages, such as narrowing the scope of litigation and limiting potential damages.

We have obtained important victories in precedent-setting cases with billions of dollars on the line. And when a company’s market share has been threatened by anticompetitive conduct, we have obtained significant victories at trial and through multimillion-dollar settlements. We are currently defending one of the country’s largest agricultural companies in a multidistrict class action involving more than two dozen cases filed in multiple courts. We also have recently represented a major poultry processor in a nationwide wage-fixing class action.

We represent leading U.S. companies in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, chemical, accreditation, media, retail, and financial sectors in top-tier cases with billions of dollars at stake.  Our clients include Corteva Agriscience, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), The Associated Press, CSL Behring, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Johnson & Johnson, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and MarketPlace Development. 


We have tried and won antitrust cases in courts throughout the country and defended charges of price-fixing, monopolization, vertical and horizontal restraints, and tying arrangements. We represent clients in litigation and during investigations by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. attorneys, and state attorneys general. We also help clients go on the offensive if they are being harmed by a competitor’s violations of antitrust law.

Criminal Antitrust Investigations and Violations

We represent publicly held corporations, officers and directors, and prominent individuals in federal and local grand jury investigations and defend them in any ensuing proceedings. Our recent successes include obtaining a favorable sentencing outcome for an heir-locator company and a former bank executive convicted in a municipal bond bid-rigging case. We also negotiated a favorable resolution for a global pharmaceutical company accused of orchestrating a criminal conspiracy to fix the price of generic drugs. In addition, we counsel clients in responding to government inquiries and subpoenas.

Antitrust Implications of Business Combinations and Transactions

We advise on the antitrust implications of planned business combinations, acquisitions, and collaborations. We prepare pre-merger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act for buyers and sellers and handle "second requests" and other investigations initiated by the DOJ and FTC. We also provide antitrust advice for due diligence and integration planning.

Counseling on Compliance and Policy Issues

Our preventive counseling guides clients in the areas of product pricing, discounts, distribution arrangements, and trade association activities. We offer comprehensive advice on: product pricing, including resale price maintenance, Robinson-Patman Act price discrimination, and promotional allowance provisions; product distribution, including tying arrangements and other distribution issues; trade association activities; and antitrust hiring and compensation issues—including wage-fixing, non-solicitation agreements, and the exchange of salary and compensation information.

False Advertising Litigation

Our antitrust, competition, and intellectual property lawyers have significant experience with prosecuting and defending false advertising claims under the Lanham Act and related intellectual property and competition claims under other federal and state laws. We have successfully prosecuted and defended cases involving billions of dollars in sales at issue. We also regularly assist clients in evaluating potential claims and in engaging competitors or regulators in correspondence with the aim, often successful, of curbing the conduct without litigation.

Website: www.ballardspahr.com

Unlock unlimited access to all Global Competition Review content