Antitrust - California
THE FIRM Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is indisputably one of the leading antitrust firms for litigation in California. Peers and clients alike see it as a powerhouse in the area, with a seemingly endless list of high-quality lawyers at all levels. Although it has great expertise across the civil antitrust space, including in class action defense, the firm is best known for its cartel defense practice, led by Gary Spratling. Among its work highlights is achieving an extremely favorable settlement for Intel against the State of New York in an alleged monopolization case, as well as the ongoing defense of UBS in a class action case concerning alleged fixing of the LIBOR inter-bank rate.
Sources say: "Their intelligence and professionalism is at a different level."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "The master of the cartel leniency program in the US," Gary Spratling is world-renowned and has "instant credibility" in the criminal defense arena. He is able to "bring something unique to the process," no doubt in part due to his 28 years' experience as a DOJ prosecutor. He is co-lead counsel in the UBS LIBOR case.
Joel Sanders is "one hell of a lawyer" according to sources, who praise him for his intelligence and "great interpersonal skills." He maintains a broad antitrust practice, which includes expertise in such diverse areas as shipping and technology. His notable work of late includes representing Micron in the defense and settlement of a price-fixing claim brought by Oracle.
One commentator described the "fabulous" Daniel Swanson as "head and shoulders above most other antitrust lawyers," pointing in particular to his PhD in economics, while another called him "the guy you'd want in a super-sensitive meeting with the government." A highly adept trial lawyer, he was lead counsel for Cox Communications in defeating a class action brought on behalf of cable and satellite TV subscribers, and won dismissal with prejudice for Dole Food in the fresh and process potatoes litigation.
Robert Cooper is, in the words of one commentator, "one of the best lawyers I've ever seen." He has almost 50 years' experience in the fields of antitrust and commercial litigation and was involved in the representation of Intel against the State of New York.
THE FIRM This group is a giant in this sector, with a depth of experience across the board that few can match, and a presence in all the big cases. Sources praise not only the strength of the practice, but also the diversity of the work it undertakes, with all the bases including criminal and civil litigation and merger clearance well covered. It represented National Semiconductor in the investigation of its $6.5 billion merger with Texas Instruments, and also acted for Oracle in a case filed by Hewlett-Packard claiming anticompetitive practices.
Sources say: "With their deep, deep bench and ability to do all aspects of antitrust, they're the real deal."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "phenomenal" Daniel Wall is "a big player" in the antitrust arena, say commentators. He is seen as a "rounded antitrust practitioner" and this combination of breadth and depth of experience is evident from the number and variety of cases he has undertaken lately. Among these is the representation of Nuance Communications in the investigation into its acquisition of SVOX and Loquendo, and acting for Wells Fargo Bank on the ATM antitrust litigation.
Another antitrust all-rounder, Alfred Pfeiffer has got "every aspect of an outstanding antitrust lawyer" according to one source, with another pointing out that he and Daniel Wall make "a pretty powerful pair." This partnership was on display in the Oracle case mentioned above, while Pfeiffer also represented Lundbeck in successfully defending against a challenge to a completed merger brought by the FTC and the State of Minnesota.
Karen Silverman works mainly on the transactional side of antitrust and in matters involving government agencies, where she is described as "a really superb" and "very prominent" practitioner. Among her recent work is advising Avery Dennison on its $550 million sale to 3M and representing Singapore Airlines in a global cartel investigation.
Niall Lynch is continuing to build his practice, having arrived at Latham in January 2011. Already a "well-liked and respected" attorney, sources say that he will be "a strong contender over the coming years," with his prior experience at the DOJ especially notable. He focuses on cartel defense within the antitrust sphere in addition to undertaking white-collar criminal work.
THE FIRM Jones Day's California antitrust practice builds on the profile and successes of the firm nationwide to deliver excellent results for its clients, which include a number of blue-chip companies. With a fairly even split between litigation and transactional work, it can handle with ease most antitrust work referred to it, helped by a strong team of partners at both the senior and junior levels. It represented Adobe and Intuit in a high-profile class action brought by former employees against some of the largest technology companies in California.
Sources say: "What you get from a firm like Jones Day is responsiveness from the partners and tremendous support behind them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Mittelstaedt is seen by sources as an "all-purpose litigator" who is "one of the finest trial lawyers in the state." He is adept in a wide array of areas and within antitrust is noted in particular for his skill in class action litigation. He worked on matters for Adobe and Intuit as well as acting for Apple in the iPod/iTunes antitrust litigation.
Jeffrey LeVee has gained a reputation as a "terrific lawyer" who commentators call "prepared and professional." He has an excellent antitrust practice which encompasses expertise in healthcare and IP-related areas. Among his notable recent cases is the defense of Dollar Thrifty Automotive in a class action relating to car rental. He also successfully defended Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in a seven-week antitrust trial brought by a former surgeon.
Craig Waldman is described as being "one to watch" for his antitrust practice, while clients praise his ability to address all of their concerns. He has been lead counsel in the firm's representation of Adobe, and also headed up the merger clearance team in SAP's acquisitions of SuccessFactors and Ariba.
THE FIRM This strong antitrust group has two offices in California, where its entire operation is based. It excels across a variety of areas including pharmaceuticals, technology and entertainment. Although traditionally recognized for the litigation aspects of its practice, the firm has expertise in transaction-related work, as exemplified by its representation of Universal Music in the FTC review of its widely publicized $1.9 billion merger with EMI. On the litigation side, clients have included LG Display in the LCD antitrust litigation and Fox Entertainment in a lawsuit alleging a conspiracy in the cable and satellite TV market.
Sources say: "They are very responsive, very commercially savvy and have a wealth of practical experience."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Glenn Pomerantz is back in the firm's employ having briefly transferred to the DOJ to be co-counsel on the high-profile investigation into the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. This stint, as one source put it, "shows you how well respected he is." Commentators are full of praise, describing him as "very analytical and aware of commercial realities." He has a wealth of experience representing clients in the entertainment industry.
Bradley Phillips is an "extraordinarily talented lawyer," according to one source, while another called him "outstanding." His complex civil litigation practice takes in a great deal more than just antitrust work, including having argued a constitutional case in the US Supreme Court. In the antitrust arena he was recently part of the team involved in the AT&T/T-Mobile proposed merger.
Jeffrey Weinberger is described as a "top litigator" who is "very strong in antitrust and IP." Noted particularly for his pharmaceuticals expertise, he acted for Abbott Laboratories in a complaint brought by the FTC concerning a so-called 'pay for delay' agreement.
THE FIRM Known principally for its prowess in the courtroom, O'Melveny & Myers handles the full panoply of litigation matters. With five offices in the state and superb nationwide coverage, this team is frequently seen by peers on many of the biggest cases in California. This has included a significant victory for Hynix Semiconductor in a claim brought by Rambus concerning an alleged computer memory conspiracy. Other notable clients include Apple in the e-books antitrust litigation and US Airways in a case relating to travel agents.
Sources say: "They are a significant player on a national level."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Tubach has an excellent reputation for his criminal antitrust and white-collar defense work, although he is also an active practitioner on the civil side. Described as a "leader in the field" and a "phenomenal lawyer," he is noted for his ability to work well with defendants in cartel cases. He has played an active role in the Apple and Hynix cases mentioned above.
Kenneth O'Rourke is described as being an "all-purpose antitrust lawyer" with an "excellent practice" in antitrust and intellectual property. In addition to being lead counsel in the Hynix Semiconductor case, he also co-led with Michael Tubach the representation of Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals against an allegation of collusion made by several California pharmacies.
Chuck Diamond is a noted trial lawyer at the firm who has substantial expertise in the antitrust, intellectual property and technology sectors. He led the firm's representation in the US Airways case against Sabre Airways and others.
THE FIRM This group continues to be well regarded for its litigation ability, with particular aptitude and experience working with technology companies. It has solid bench strength, with a number of younger partners becoming more prominent. Bingham continues its relationship with Intel, representing it in several cases including the hi-tech employees antitrust case. Other work for top clients includes acting for SanDisk on a Sherman Act case relating to flash memory, and assisting Sharp with the TFT-LCD antitrust litigation.
Sources say: "They've been amazingly good at thinking creatively and the work they produce is phenomenal."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources call Donn Pickett a "first-rate first chair trial lawyer" who "exudes credibility." His trial expertise encompasses IP and securities in addition to antitrust. He has been the leading attorney in the firm's representation of Intel, including a case relating to the alleged monopolization of the market for x86 microprocessors.
Frank Hinman is held in "high regard" by peers for his antitrust and appellate practice. He cochairs the firm's antitrust and competition practice group, and was involved in the SanDisk and Intel hi-tech employees cases.
Brian Rocca is quickly gaining a reputation as one to watch in the coming years across the antitrust and complex commercial litigation space. Clients have been "very impressed" by his willingness to "roll up his sleeves and really dive in deep to understand the case," as well as his strategic mindset. He led the firm's representation of Ricoh Americas in a case relating to purported anticompetitive practices by Ricoh's subsidiary, IKON Office Solutions.
THE FIRM The team at Davis Polk & Wardwell has been involved in cases for clients across a range of media and technology-related industries. These include representing Chimei Innolux in the LCD antitrust litigation and acting for Comcast on a DOJ investigation into dealings involving GE and NBCUniversal. It is active on both the litigation and transactional fronts and also counsels organizations such as the United States Golf Association.
Sources say: "One of the best firms I've worked with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "really talented" Arthur Burke is respected by peers for the strength of his antitrust litigation practice. He has regularly represented Comcast in various matters and has also acted for LoopNet in an FTC investigation into its acquisition by CoStar Group. He splits his time between Menlo Park and New York.
Christopher Hockett is a "tremendous trial lawyer" according to commentators, who also point out his excellent negotiation skills. His practice covers a wide range of litigation areas in addition to antitrust, including IP and securities. His recent clients include T-Mobile, which he has represented in a number of matters, including multidistrict litigation concerning text messaging rates.
THE FIRM This group's focus is on the intersection between technology, IP and antitrust, an increasingly relevant and important part of the California antitrust market. Its clients include several major names in these areas such as Verizon, which it represented on a policy matter, and Nikon Metrology, for which it acted in a case involving antitrust matters in relation to patents. Its two California offices undertake antitrust litigation, counseling and transactional work.
Sources say: "Substantive expertise is a given - what differentiates them is that their partners are very practical and business-oriented problem solvers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Penelope Preovolos is held in high regard by sources, who call her a "very bright and successful lawyer." Her antitrust expertise covers areas such as consumer class action defense and product liability, with an emphasis on technology matters.
THE FIRM With significant strength in technology and IP-related antitrust work, the team at Orrick is noted for the experience and skill of its antitrust bench in those fields. It has a very good presence in California, with five offices across the state. Lately, it has undertaken multiple representations for Microsoft, as well as acting for Sony Electronics in the LCD antitrust litigation, and representing Apple in a matter before the ITC.
Sources say: "They're excellent lawyers and tacticians and have a very good way of interacting with the client."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior counsel Stephen Bomse is a "fantastic antitrust lawyer" who has around 45 years' experience in the field. He is also an accomplished appellate lawyer, appearing in several cases before the US Supreme Court. He led Orrick's representation of Sony in the LCD antitrust litigation.
Clients call Robert Rosenfeld "a fantastic substantive adviser - brilliant but approachable and easy to work with." A highly experienced litigator, he has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, representing the software and technology giant in several matters recently. He is chair of the firm's antitrust group.
Laurence Popofsky is an "incredible lawyer" who remains an active presence at the firm in a senior counsel role. He is a seasoned litigator in a wide range of antitrust and intellectual property matters.
THE FIRM This firm's experienced bench is adept across a broad spectrum of antitrust litigation, including government investigations on both the civil and criminal side, and civil class actions. Recent representations include representing LG Electronics in the cathode ray tube antitrust litigation, and BP in a number of actions contending claims of vertical price-fixing and other anticompetitive practices.
Sources say: "They were responsive and the lawyers were very knowledgeable in their field."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "excellent" Ronald Redcay is a lawyer with a "great practical perspective," according to sources. Undertaking both litigation and counseling work, he has been practicing in antitrust for almost 40 years. Of late he has been co-lead in the defense of BP against allegations relating to the sale of gasoline.
Robert Taylor practices in antitrust and intellectual property, and is lauded for his wealth of litigation experience. He is also an active antitrust counselor, undertaking work for a number of firms.
THE FIRM The antitrust group at Fenwick & West is recognized for its expertise in merger clearance and related transactional matters, although it also undertakes litigation work in a variety of antitrust areas. The firm is particularly prominent for its presence in the technology and life sciences arenas.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Tyler Baker is praised by commentators as a "very impressive" attorney who is both "smart and capable." He is co-chair of the firm's antitrust practice group, and a litigator with expertise in both antitrust and intellectual property.
Mark Ostrau assists clients with the antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions, with a particular focus on those linked to intellectual property. Sources note his strength in technology-related matters.
THE FIRM This team has been boosted by the addition of two partners well regarded for their expertise in the antitrust arena, which has served to give its nascent California office an increased profile in this area. It practices in both the litigation and transactional aspects of antitrust, with notable matters including advising SAMSUNG on the sale of its hard disk drive business to Seagate, and acting as co-counsel for defendants LG Display in the LCD antitrust litigation.
Sources say: "A firm we see and respect, and their recent additions are a boost to the practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very incisive" Holly House is described as a "really down-to-earth lawyer who gives very practical, very sound advice." Her expertise in antitrust is complemented by experience in IP, and she represents both plaintiffs and defendants. She recently brought her experience to bear for LG Display in the LCD consumer class action.
Thomas Brown's niche expertise in payment systems technology makes him "stand out from the crowd" according to sources. Lately, he has worked extensively with eBay on litigation and counseling matters.
THE FIRM With eight offices in California, Sheppard Mullin is an active and busy presence in the state. The antitrust team undertakes a range of work, including criminal cartel cases, civil litigation and class actions. It has a long-standing relationship with MasterCard, which it represents in two antitrust cases, and has also represented Samsung SDI in the LCD and CRT litigations.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gary Halling has over 35 years' experience as a litigator, with antitrust being his primary focus. He is particularly adept at defending clients against criminal cartel cases brought by government agencies.
James McGinnis is another practitioner with a criminal focus, and he undertakes white-collar criminal work in addition to his antitrust practice. He also has particular experience coordinating defendants in class action cases.
THE FIRM Sidley Austin's antitrust practice covers a broad range of areas and industries, with clients ranging from electronics firms to insurance companies. One of its strengths is in the pharmaceuticals sector, where it represented AstraZeneca against an allegation of conspiracy among major manufacturers. The team also represented Johnson & Johnson in a case alleging collusion with a nursing home provider.
Sources say: "They provide a unique combination of substantive legal advice with experience in the regulatory world."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marie Fiala is a litigator specializing in complex commercial cases, with a practice covering antitrust and energy. She has 35 years' experience in the field.
Senior counsel Samuel Miller is a "knowledgeable and reliable" practitioner who has a broad litigation practice including white-collar, securities and antitrust work. He has continued his relationship with Microsoft as a counsel on antitrust matters, and also lectures at Berkeley Law School.
Joseph Alioto of Alioto Law Firm is one of California's highest profile plaintiff lawyers and is consistently involved in many of the largest antitrust matters in the state.
Several sources call Maxwell Blecher of Blecher & Collins "the top plaintiffs' antitrust lawyer in California" and a "unique and superb" litigator. Vastly experienced, he has practiced in California for almost six decades and continues to represent plaintiffs in a plethora of antitrust matters.
Anita Stork of Covington & Burling LLP is a respected attorney with a wealth of experience in government investigations and counseling in addition to antitrust litigation. She is currently representing S-Y Systems Technologies in the automotive wire harness litigation.
Allison Davis of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an attorney who "goes the extra mile" for clients and has a "no-nonsense, practical" approach. She has an active transactional practice, including acquisitions and Hart-Scott-Rodino filings. On the litigation side, she recently represented SANYO in the LCD antitrust class action.
Sources say Megan Dixon of Hogan Lovells US LLP is "a tremendous lawyer." She is a criminal antitrust specialist, with a particular focus on criminal cartel investigations. Of late, she has represented Appliance Components Companies in the defense of a cartel case relating to alleged price-fixing of refrigerator compressors.
Bruce Simon of Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP is also noted for his plaintiff antitrust work, although he also undertakes consumer fraud and securities cases. He has substantial experience in class action cases and is currently one of the lead lawyers in the DRAM antitrust litigation.
Geraldine Alexis of Perkins Coie LLP undertakes a wide range of antitrust matters in both the litigation and transactional arenas. She is also an active antitrust counselor and has a particular expertise on payments matters.
Roxane Polidora of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is head of Pillsbury's antitrust practice team, although she practices in a diverse range of areas including IP, energy and healthcare. Sources compliment her direct and efficient approach.
Robert Pringle of Winston & Strawn LLP is "very well-respected in the antitrust field" and has "a strong presence on the West Coast" according to sources. A highly experienced antitrust litigator, of late he has undertaken cases for NEC in the SRAM, DRAM and optical drive cases.
Francis Scarpulla of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP is described as "one of the deans of the antitrust Bar" for his plaintiff-side practice, which focuses mainly on class actions. He is a respected and well-liked figure, earning recognition from peers on both sides.