Antitrust - Georgia
THE FIRM One of the undoubted leaders in both civil and criminal antitrust litigation in the Georgia market, this group receives rave reviews from commentators for the capability of its attorneys and the overall strength of the practice. It continues to represent an impressive roster of blue-chip clients, including Dell and Nokia, the latter of whom it has acted for in the LCD antitrust class action litigation alleging price-fixing. In addition, it recently represented auto safety parts manufacturer Autoliv in a government investigation.
Sources say: "They were outstanding. We were able to draw on their knowledge, experience and global network and they delivered a result that was far beyond our expectations."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources are quick to flag up the excellent Randall Allen as a "very talented and skilled" antitrust litigator. In addition to his antitrust work, he also undertakes general commercial litigation, practicing out of both Atlanta and Silicon Valley. Among his recent highlights is acting for Mohawk Industries in two cases concerning alleged anticompetitive conduct.
Adam Biegel has built an excellent profile in antitrust law which belies his years. He is described as "well plugged in and very knowledgeable" by commentators, particularly in relation to his familiarity with the workings of the DOJ.
Head of the practice Teresa Bonder is highly regarded both as a "tremendous case manager" and also for her "top-notch" litigation skills. Lately she has represented First Multiple Listing Service in defense of a class action alleging that real estate commissions were fixed by various firms.
"Very, very good" trial lawyer Michael Kenny undertakes antitrust work as part of a general commercial practice, which also includes financial services and trade secrets litigation. He has recently acted for SunTrust Banks in defense of a class action alleging that the setting of interchange and merchant discount fees by the Visa and MasterCard credit card networks was in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
Peter Kontio has worked on many of the group's biggest cases lately, including acting for Nokia and Equifax, the latter of whom he represented in a purported conspiracy against one of its customers. He is highly regarded among sources, particularly for his "understated and focused" approach to matters.
THE FIRM With a high-quality broad antitrust practice, which includes cartel defense and criminal investigations in addition to more general civil antitrust litigation and counseling, this firm is able to cover all of the bases. It has recently represented UCB in relation to an alleged vitamins cartel matter and has counseled MillerCoors on pricing and distribution issues, as well as continuing to act for a host of other major corporations including Coca-Cola and The Home Depot.
Sources say: "For sure they're a top firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The much-admired Jeffrey Cashdan enjoys a reputation in the Georgia market that very few practitioners can match. He has recently been involved in a number of class action cartel matters, including acting for Kemira in a case concerning the sale of hydrogen peroxide.
Sources regard Russell Wofford as "a really great resource" and reserve particular praise for the practicality of his knowledge base. Among his recent highlights is acting for Palmyra Medical Center in litigation relating to alleged anticompetitive tying practices.
Senior associate Christine Hopkinson is developing an excellent name in the field and wins much praise from the market, with one source describing her as a "smart lawyer who writes well," while another is quick to comment: "I have great confidence in the advice she gives."
THE FIRM This team thrives on its status as a pure litigation boutique, utilizing small, streamlined teams to take on big-ticket litigation as well as smaller cases. Sources especially praise the practice's efficiency and the litigation skills of its attorneys. Recent case highlights include successfully defending the Albany-Dougherty County Hospital Authority in proceedings brought by the FTC and the Georgia Attorney General.
Sources say: "They provide quality representation on the litigation side." "They can do major litigation efficiently and smartly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Frank Lowrey is frequently seen in major Georgia antitrust work and impresses sources with his knowledge and writing ability. Of late he has headed up the plaintiffs' class counsel team in a case against several large manufacturers of insulation.
Edward Krugman is a practitioner who commands respect from his peers for his litigation skill and experience, which includes antitrust work as part of a broader portfolio that also takes in IP and employment disputes, among others.
Emmet Bondurant is variously lauded as "a dean of antitrust" and "one of the great lawyers in this field." He remains an active presence for the firm and has recently worked on cases involving CompuCredit as well as the hospital authority case referred to above.
THE FIRM A firm with a heavy litigation focus, Bryan Cave specializes particularly in representing clients who have opted out of class actions. Lately it has acted for The Home Depot as a plaintiff in an action alleging price-fixing of shipping costs to Puerto Rico.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Patrick Watson comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike and is described as an experienced and practical lawyer. His plaintiff opt-out practice is particularly well regarded, although he undertakes a wide variety of antitrust cases.
THE FIRM As in many other areas, this firm's strength is its exceptional global reach. More counseling-focused than many of the other groups in Georgia, it receives praise for its risk management, distribution and Robinson-Patman work.
Sources say: "I wouldn't consider using anyone else. They have excellent resources and connections throughout the globe and coordinate seamlessly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS William Smith is a key contact.
THE FIRM This compact, litigation-oriented department has strength in complex private actions as well as in criminal work, and is particularly noted by peers for the quality of its litigators. Recently the team represented Key Property Solutions in a government investigation into foreclosure bidding within Georgia, and also acted for Johns Manville in a case concerning the alleged price-fixing of fiberglass insulation.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Commentators describe Tony Powers "an agile adversary and strategist" who has "great judgment." He led on the aforementioned matters for Key Property Solutions and Johns Manville.
THE FIRM Vaughan & Murphy has something of a niche in criminal defense work, with over half of its work coming from that side and commentators viewing it as a go-to firm in that arena. In spite of this, the group also remains well versed in all areas of contentious antitrust work.
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Experienced litigator" Charles Murphy continues to be regarded as "one of the best criminal defense lawyers" in the region and unsurprisingly remains a first choice among peers to refer criminal antitrust defense work to. Alongside his much-lauded criminal work, Murphy also remains highly sought after for his expertise in civil antitrust matters, including complex class actions.
Sole practitioner Jeffrey Berhold is noted for his expertise in antitrust and white-collar criminal defense work. He wins much praise from peers, not least for the commitment he shows to his clients.
Thomas Rhodes heads up Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP's antitrust offering and has over 35 years' experience in antitrust work across a wide variety of areas, including in M&A.
James McGibbon of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is held in high esteem by market commentators for his experience in the antitrust arena. He maintains a practice in both litigation and counseling across a broad array of antitrust areas.