Sidley Austin's competition practice is strong on both sides of the Atlantic and this year it added three partners to its global antitrust group this year, taking its tally of competition specialists to 65. Two partners moved laterally – antitrust and commercial litigation specialist Samuel Miller joined the San Francisco office from Folger Levin & Kahn; Adrienne Pitts joined in Chicago from Winston & Strawn – while litigator Teague Donahey was made partner in San Francisco.
|Global heads: Charles Douglas, Stephen Kinsella, Lawrence Fullerton, Thomas Ryan|
|Home jurisdiction: USA|
|Total size of firm: 1,700+|
|No. of competition lawyers: 65|
|% of firm specialised: 4|
|Who's Who nominees: 3|
|Non-equity partners: 32|
|Senior associates: 5|
|No. of lateral partner hires: 2|
|No. of partner departures: 0|
|No. of internal promotions: 1|
This year saw Sidley retained on several major antitrust cases in Europe. For example, it represented the Association for Competitive Technology in relation to its intervention in support of Microsoft's appeal before the Court of First Instance. It is also antitrust co-counsel to Warner Music (together with Herbert Smith), and represented it on the European Commission's revived investigation of deals between major record companies and Apple in relation to the sale of digital music on iTunes. Its European practice is led by Stephen Kinsella. "Super smart" and "highly recommended", say sources, Kinsella works from both Brussels and London.
In the US, meanwhile, Sidley is regular counsel to AT&T. This year it obtained antitrust and regulatory approvals for AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth before the US DoJ, the Federal Communications Commission and various state agencies.
Sidley is also regular competition counsel to First Data Corporation and advised it on its proposed US$26 billion acquisition by an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Another key client is Johnson & Johnson. Since 2003, Sidley has represented it in three government investigations and six cases challenging the company's ‘bundled' discounts on sutures and endomechanical products. Sidley tried the first case in 2006 and, after a six-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favour of Johnson & Johnson. The company has since settled two ‘competitor' cases and seen the New York attorney general formally drop its investigation.
Sidley is currently representing China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in relation to a class action alleging a price-fixing conspiracy in China by four vitamin C producers. The case, which is pending in New York, is the first US antitrust cases against defendants from China. MOFCOM has appeared as an amicus curiae in support of the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint.
Other significant clients this year have included the Monte Carlo Masters Series tennis tournament in a high-profile antitrust action; the Nationwide Association of Realtors in a federal antitrust suit brought by the DoJ; the American Medical Association; AstraZeneca; Citibank; and FIA, the owner and regulator of Formula One.
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