Antitrust - Nationwide
THE FIRM This group remains a potent force in the US antitrust space, despite the departure in January 2013 of global practice co-head Bill Baer to become assistant attorney general of the DOJ's antitrust division. It has strong nationwide scope, and offers particular strength in Washington, DC and California. It is able to cover all aspects of antitrust, with leading practitioners in transactional work as well as litigation. It represented VISA in the payment card interchange fee litigation, and also acted for Sony Corporation of America and Sony/ATV on its $2.2 billion acquisition of EMI's music publishing business.
Client Service "The quality of the different lawyers we work with there is just outstanding, as is their knowledge of our business, cost management and teamwork. It's a model relationship actually."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Following Baer's departure, Deborah Feinstein is now sole head of the firm's practice group and is a highly respected deal lawyer working out of Washington, DC. She is ably assisted there by Jonathan Gleklen.
THE FIRM Cleary Gottlieb has one of the leading antitrust practice groups in the country, and is predominantly based out of Washington, DC. Its capabilities are manifold, with exceptional strength and coverage in civil litigation, cartel investigations and mergers and acquisitions. Among its blue-chip clients is Western Digital, which it represented in its $4.8 billion acquisition of Hitachi's hard disk drive arm. It also gained dismissal in the New York Supreme Court for a number of major financial institutions, including Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, in a case of alleged monopolization concerning the financing of airline terminals. The team has also acted for a number of organizations on responding to automotive parts cartel investigations undertaken by authorities on a global scale, demonstrating its ability to coordinate its impressive worldwide resources.
Client Service "They are so easy to work with – they fit right in, are highly intelligent and I trust them implicitly."
Commercial Awareness "They bring a unique combination of agency experience, talent and advocacy skills – they are experts in the variety of antitrust issues that arise out of a company's day-to-day operations."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice continues to be spearheaded by formidable practitioners George Cary and Mark Leddy.
THE FIRM Few firms can claim to have such strength across such geographical breadth as Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Its influence extends well beyond its Californian roots, with high-quality practitioners in New York, Washington, DC and Texas. It is particularly lauded for its cartel-related work, led by legendary cartel figure Gary Spratling, although it offers impressive full-service capability. Its recent work includes acting as lead counsel for Apple on the high-profile eBooks antitrust litigation. It also represented Cox Communications in defense of a putative class action case concerning cable television bundling. The firm's impressive client base also includes Sony, Facebook and Microsoft.
Client Service "They do excellent work, and are responsive and thorough. They can handle any issue that comes up. They are people you can uniformly work with and who are on your side."
Commercial Awareness "They are very good at analyzing the situation and developing plans to address the issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The firm has four lawyers heading up their practice. They are Peter Sullivan in New York, Daniel Swanson in Los Angeles, Sean Royall in Dallas and Gary Spratling in San Francisco.
THE FIRM Another giant in the antitrust world, Jones Day has an outstanding national and international legal network. Within the US, its exceptional coast-to-coast coverage sets it apart from many of its competitors. It has a plethora of high-level, high-quality lawyers who cover the gamut of antitrust work from criminal investigations to merger reviews. It represented Goodrich Corporation in one of the largest recent deals in the country, its $18.4 billion acquisition by United Technologies. It also acted for Union Pacific Railway on the defense of antitrust litigation stemming from claims of an alleged conspiracy to fix fuel surcharges.
Client Service "We use them because they know our business – they are pragmatic and efficient and give us concrete advice."
Commercial Awareness "The firm excels at explaining the rules in a way that is understandable, despite the fact that there are often lots of nuances and tangents."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Highly rated David Wales is the firm's new antitrust practice group leader, based out of the Washington, DC office.
THE FIRM With leading practices in both New York and Washington, DC, Skadden's sphere of influence for antitrust is based on the East Coast. It is a particularly dominant force in transactional antitrust, and is regularly involved in many of the biggest deals in this space. It also offers strong litigation and criminal cartel aspects to its practice. Its recent representations reflect the team's leading expertise in the arena, and include acting for Express Scripts on its titanic $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions. It is also acting for Anheuser-Busch on its proposed $20.1 billion acquisition of the 50% of Grupo Modelo it does not already own.
Sources say: "They are a good team – detail-oriented, very available and responsive. They were very deep in all of the areas we've needed them for."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York antitrust litigator Shepard Goldfein heads the global practice group while his colleague Steven Sunshine in Washington, DC is head of the North American antitrust and competition practice.
THE FIRM New York-based firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore is known principally for its litigation strength, although it has been boosted on the transactional front by the addition of high-profile former head of the antitrust division at the DOJ, Christine Varney. Despite only having one US office, it is able to stand alongside many of the larger firms in the country, demonstrating the ability to handle a wide range of antitrust matters on a nationwide scale. It has recently acted for American Express on four civil lawsuits concerning alleged breaches of antitrust laws. Other highlights include representing AmerisourceBergen in its $250 acquisition of TheraCom, and providing advice on a range of antitrust matters to Warner Music Group.
Commercial Awareness "They are very practical, they understand our business and I was very pleased with the consistency in quality of their work product."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christine Varney chairs the firm's antitrust practice group. Fellow antitrust expert Evan Chesler is the firm's presiding partner.
THE FIRM Davis Polk maintains a preeminent antitrust practice in New York, and also offers a strong presence in California. Its leading position in New York is largely predicated on its impressive transactional practice, although it also houses notable litigation capabilities. Partner Arthur Burke continues to have a strong relationship with Comcast, and the firm has represented it in a number of matters in recent times. This includes its significant victory for Comcast in the cable television bundling class action case. On the transactional side, it recently acted for CNOOC in its $15.1 billion acquisition of Nexen.
Commercial Awareness "They exhibited superb knowledge of the field, had impressive connections with the regulators, formulated a very effective strategy and executed it flawlessly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christopher Hockett heads the antitrust practice group out of its Menlo Park, California office. In New York, Ronan Harty is the most prominent antitrust practitioner.
THE FIRM Latham is another big name in the antitrust arena, with sources particularly pointing to its strength on the litigation side in addition to undoubted ability in transactional work. Prominent offices in California and Washington, DC confirm its nationwide scope, and it houses a significant bench of high-level, experienced attorneys. It has continued to represent Apple in class action cases relating to the tying of iPhones to the AT&T network, as well as acting for Apple on government investigations into Google and Motorola, and, separately, Samsung Electronics. The team's recent work also includes acting as antitrust counsel to The Carlyle Group on a global scale, work which involved advising on several multibillion-dollar transactions.
Sources say: "They were strong across the board."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The antitrust practice group's three global co-chairs are Michael Egge, who works out of the firm's Washington, DC and Brussels offices, and San Francisco-based Al Pfeiffer and Christopher Yates.
THE FIRM The center of gravity for this firm's antitrust practice is in New York, although it also operates out of other key locations in the country, including Washington, DC. It maintains a strong reputation across both litigation and transactional work, led by the exceptional Kevin Arquit, and works with clients from a wide range of industries. It continues to defend JPMorgan Chase in several civil actions related to the investigation into the alleged fixing of LIBOR rates. It also represented CoStar Group in its $860 million acquisition of LoopNet.
Sources say: "They gave wise and balanced advice and there is no way they could have been any more responsive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Arquit remains the lead lawyer in the practice as well as one of the most well-regarded attorneys at the New York antitrust Bar.
THE FIRM Sullivan & Cromwell's antitrust group is predominantly based around its New York office, although it also has some presence in Washington, D.C, Los Angeles and Palo Alto. It is highly skilled at undertaking antitrust litigation, government investigations and merger clearances. It is particularly lauded for its financial services work, and recently acted for Barclays in the LIBOR rate-fixing investigation. It also advised HSBC on the sale of a number of US branches to First Niagara Bank and on the sale of its US card business to Capital One Financial Corporation.
Sources say: "I've yet to run across a partner there that I'm disappointed with and there's very little in this area that they can't deal with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Yvonne Quinn in New York and Daryl Libow in Washington, DC are the co-heads of the antitrust practice group.
THE FIRM Wachtell is highly regarded for its antitrust expertise in mergers and acquisitions, and is considered a leading transactional firm in this area. Based entirely in New York, the firm houses a compact but highly skilled antitrust group whose members are also experienced in handling complex investigations. It has represented clients in some of the biggest recent deals, for instance acting for United Technologies in its $18.4 billion acquisition of Goodrich, and for Motorola Mobility in its $12.5 billion acquisition by Google.
Sources say: "They are the premier transactional firm. Their bench strength is fantastic."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ilene Knable Gotts continues to be one of the finest transactional lawyers in New York, while Michael Byowitz is also extremely highly regarded.
THE FIRM This group has an increasing recognized antitrust practice, and houses highly respected practitioners whose experience spans a wide range of litigation and transactional matters in the field. The firm's strength in this area lies predominantly in Washington, DC, although it has a broader geographical presence allowing it to handle matters on a nationwide basis. Its expertise in matters involving agencies is enhanced by the presence of two former assistant attorney generals of the antitrust division of the DOJ. Its recent work includes acting for Expedia in defending several antitrust class actions filed in relation to hotel bookings. It also advised Facebook on its $747 million acquisition of Instagram.
Client Service "They are some of the best lawyers we work with – savvy, pragmatic and usually two steps ahead. They understand our business and understand our goals – everything you'd want in lawyers doing work for you."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice is fronted by Thomas Barnett and Deborah Garza, both former heads of the DOJ antitrust division. Both gain praise from peers for their experience and skill in this area.
THE FIRM Dechert's US antitrust practice is largely focused around its Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia offices. It remains the dominant force for antitrust in Pennsylvania, housing an impressive number of skilled practitioners there. It is highly experienced in antitrust litigation and has also had several notable recent representations in the transactional front, including advising Medco Health Solutions on its significant $29.1 billion merger with Express Scripts. Its recent litigation highlights include defending Whole Foods in a class action concerning the acquisition of Wild Oats Market. Class certification was successfully denied.
Client Service "They are cost-effective, cost-conscious and very creative about alternative fee arrangements. They're very relationship-oriented people."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice is cochaired by partners George Gordon in Philadelphia and Michael Weiner in New York. Paul Denis also remains a key member of the group.
THE FIRM This team's power base for antitrust is in its Washington, DC office, although it has notable practitioners in its New York and California offices as well. It has expertise in all areas of antitrust, including cartel work, civil class action litigation and mergers and acquisitions. Among its recent work is acting for IBM in the high-tech antitrust employees investigation and civil litigation. It also acted for Ariba on its acquisition by SAP, a $4.3 billion deal. Another recent highlight is the advice provided to Verizon Communications on the DOJ investigation conducted into the company's agreement to buy wireless spectrum from four cable companies.
Sources say: "They were responsive and communicative, and gave good counsel, while helping us find the right avenues and listening to our concerns."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The antitrust, competition and economic regulation practice group at the firm is headed by two practitioners, Janet McDavid in Washington, DC and Suyong Kim in London.
THE FIRM Kirkland & Ellis maintains an impressive presence in nationwide antitrust, with strong offices in both Chicago and Washington, DC. The Washington, DC branch is particularly respected for its expertise in transactional matters and has been involved in such major recent matters as acting for Constellation Energy Group on its $7.9 billion merger with Exelon. The firm is also lauded for its litigation expertise, having recently represented, for example, Bain Capital Partners in a putative class action alleging fixing of stock prices.
Sources say: "They were outstanding, not only at addressing the issues of the day, but also planning carefully and anticipating problems down the line."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The leading lawyers in this practice group include Timothy Muris and Mark Kovner in Washington, DC, and James Mutchnik and Daniel Laytin in Illinois.
THE FIRM This group is a dominant force in Illinois, hosting an impressive group of top practitioners. It also maintains a strong foothold in the Washington, DC market, and has additional presence in New York. It is particularly noted for its cartel-related work, and acts as co-counsel to ArcelorMittal in allegations of an antitrust conspiracy undertaken by steel producers. It has also been involved in several large transactions, including acting for Nestle in its $11.9 billion acquisition of the infant nutrition arm of Pfizer.
Sources say: "They are very prompt and knowledgeable advisers, giving practical, efficient and actionable advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Bloch remains Mayer Brown's global antitrust head.
THE FIRM This group has a good breadth of nationwide presence with its well-established offices in Washington, DC and Chicago being joined by an increasingly recognized group in Texas, following the addition there of Allan van Fleet. It covers the gamut of antitrust work, handling both litigation and transactional work with aplomb. Its recent representations include acting for Mars in a case concerning the alleged price fixing of chocolate, and for the Dairy Farmers of America in defense of a putative class action alleging monopolization in the dairy market.
Client Service "They are very responsive and, more importantly, the guidance they give is very clear – they are able to synthesize issues in a coherent way so that I can explain it to my clients. They're an excellent resource for me."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Joseph Winterscheid is head of the practice group. Other notable practitioners at the firm include Joel Chefitz and David Marx in Illinois, and Allan van Fleet in Texas.
THE FIRM O'Melveny's reputation is largely founded on its strength in antitrust litigation, where it remains a nationally strong practitioner. The firm has a substantial presence in California, and maintains a strong foothold in Washington, DC. Its representations include acting for Apple on both the eBooks investigation and the high-tech employees litigation. The group has also recently represented Samsung Electronics in the cathode ray tube antitrust class action. Its client base is representative of its broad-based capabilities, and also includes Capital One, Honeywell International and SK Hynix.
Sources say: "They are a significant player on a national level."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Parker continues to be head of the antitrust practice group as well as its leading light.
THE FIRM The bulk of Weil Gotshal's antitrust strength resides in its Washington, DC office, although it also retains a significant presence in New York. Although practicing across the full breadth of the antitrust spectrum, the group has recently been in involved in several high-profile matters on the transactional side. This includes representing Johnson & Johnson in the multibillion-dollar acquisition of Synthes, the largest transaction ever undertaken by the company. It also represented Walgreen in its recent $6.7 billion acquisition of a 45% interest in Alliance Boots.
Sources say: "They have all the know-how and horsepower, but also have a pragmatic and reasoned approach. They understand our goal and are helpful in getting us there."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The head of practice and leading antitrust partner is Steven Newborn, based out of the firm's Washington, DC office.
THE FIRM WilmerHale's sphere of influence is on the East Coast, with particularly strong offices in Boston and Washington, DC. It has an active cartel practice involved in many of the most important ongoing criminal investigations, including the autoparts and freight forwarding investigations, in which it represented DENSO Corporation and Nissin Corporation respectively. In addition, it has been busy in mergers and acquisitions and civil litigation, including acting for the Walt Disney Company in the cable bundling class action case.
Client Service "They support us extremely well – they always give us detailed answers in a timely manner, no matter how urgent. They always try to give us something more than we expect and they always have good suggestions – sometimes things we didn't think of."
Commercial Awareness "These folks are really, really good lawyers. They're efficient and really customer-focused. They have street savvy and a very good understanding of the formal and informal processes of the DOJ."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The antitrust practice group is co-chaired by Michelle Miller in Boston and Thomas Mueller in Washington, DC.
THE FIRM This team is increasingly establishing itself as a well-regarded firm for antitrust litigation, and has particular expertise in the technology arena. With two strong offices in New York and Washington, DC as well as maintaining a presence in California, it can certainly boast nationwide scope. Its biggest client is Google, which it has acted for on a number of matters, including the government investigation into its search behavior and advertising. Other clients include T-Mobile, which it represented in several acquisitions.
Sources say: "I really love their work – they are fantastic, responsive and easy to work with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice group is co-chaired by two of Wilson Sonsini's most prominent antitrust lawyers, Susan Creighton in Washington, DC and Jonathan Jacobson in New York.
THE FIRM Bingham McCutchen enters the rankings on the back of its strong nationwide presence, which comprises substantial antitrust presences in Massachusetts and California, in addition to practitioners in New York and Washington, DC. It focuses primarily on antitrust litigation, and recently represented Intel in the high-tech employees litigation as well as acting for Sharp in opt-out cases related to TFT-LCD televisions.
Commercial Awareness "We've required them to think very creatively and do something they've never done before and they've been amazingly good at it."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Leiv Blad and Frank Hinman head the firm's antitrust and competition practice group.
THE FIRM This group continues to have an outstanding reputation for its litigation work and many of its litigators are also skilled in the antitrust space. It has an active presence in both Florida and New York. It undertakes a significant amount of plaintiff-side work and has been involved in cases such as the LCD class action suit on behalf of opt-out plaintiffs.
Sources say: "For pure antitrust litigation, they are excellent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Two of the named partners at the firm, David Boies and Donald Flexner, remain the firm's antitrust lead lawyers. In Florida, Stuart Singer is the key partner.
THE FIRM This firm has recently strengthened its presence in Washington, DC, giving it a recognized antitrust practice on the East Coast to go with its established presence in California. Sources praise the group's depth of expertise in the antitrust arena, and highlight its aptitude in technology and IP-related matters. It is also experienced in handling work with cross-border elements, and tackles complex litigation and transactions for a wide range of clients. It recently acted for JPMorgan Chase in the ATM fees antitrust litigation.
Commercial Awareness "What differentiates their partners is that they are not only substantively strong, but also very practical and business-oriented problem solvers. You don't just get the black letter law but also a very practical solution that allows you to apply it to the real world situation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice group heads are Stephen Smith and David Meyer, both based out of the Washington, DC office.
THE FIRM Litigation specialist Paul Weiss, a new addition to the table, has a growing antitrust presence in Washington, DC and New York. It has an excellent reputation for work within the cartel space in addition to proven success in civil litigation matters. Recently it defended Pfizer in a case concerning alleged anticompetitive conduct related to the drug Neurotonin.
Sources say: "They are a go-to firm for really serious, bet-the-company, high exposure litigation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The practice group is cochaired by Aidan Synott in the firm's New York office and Joseph Simons in Washington, DC.
THE FIRM This group is predominantly active in antitrust litigation, although it is also able to undertake sizeable transactional work for clients. It has a solid presence in both Illinois and California, and covers all aspects of antitrust work for clients based across the country. The US-based practitioners can also draw on the global strength of the firm's antitrust team when handling transactional, regulatory and litigation work. It continues to represent Macmillan in the ongoing eBooks litigation as well as acting for Citi in the payment card interchange fee suit.
Sources say: "They're thorough, fast, efficient professionals who go above and beyond."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The Sidley antitrust practice group is run by the triumvirate of Marie Fiala in San Francisco, Joel Mitnick in New York and John Treece in Chicago.
THE FIRM This team has grown greatly in size of late following the arrival of a large group of antitrust lawyers from Dewey & LeBoeuf, including heavyweight litigators such as Jeffrey Kessler. Its antitrust capabilities are largely on the litigation side, and it features a solid criminal cartel practice. It recently represented Uralkali in the potash civil antitrust litigation, as well as acting for Panasonic on a number of litigation matters.
Sources say: "Excellent in all respects – we have been very pleased with the talent we've been exposed to."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Four partners run the practice group at Winston & Strawn. They are Paul Griffin in San Francisco, Jeffrey Kessler in New York, Mark McCareins in Chicago and Robert Ruyak in Washington, DC.