Chambers & Partners has compiled their independent and objective list of America's Leading Lawyers for Business based on comments gathered from thousands of interviews with clients and lawyers from Maine to Hawaii. This guide -- which is designed to reflect market opinion -- contains a view of the firms and attorneys who are considered leaders in their field.
In Chambers' 2005 review of national legal talent in the area of "Antitrust," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
Illinois Ranking: 1
The Firm: Active in antitrust work since the 1960s, this giant has a pedigree to be proud of. Its "very effective" senior partners and batch of younger attorneys combine to create a broad band of specialists who drive the firm's current high profile in this area. Adopting a "strong litigation mentality" and with "tremendous trial experience," the firm has a recognized strength in high-stakes international price-fixing litigation and, in keeping with prevailing trends, attorneys are increasingly undertaking criminal defense work. On the advisory and transactional side, the firm's private equity caseload generates business in a steady flow of merger-related work.
The Lawyers: Clients rated the "very competent and personable" James Mutchnik, formerly with the Department of Justice antitrust criminal prosecution team. This "good listener, who is open to suggestions," now spends a significant amount of time working on criminal antitrust defense, class action defense and merger clearance advice for big corporates. He represented Concord EFS in its $7 billion merger with First Data and served as lead defense counsel for Infineon Technologies in a grand jury investigation of alleged price fixing in the DRAM industry. The "talented, smart and cordial" Andrew Langan is admired as an efficient generalist practitioner, whose caseload includes merger investigations, high-profile drug prescription litigation, as well as products liability and water rights. He has been acting for BP in a case involving claims concerning the trading of Alaska North Slope crude oil and its alleged effects on California gas prices. The team was significantly boosted by the return of Robert Robertson, who had been working as senior litigation counsel for the Bureau of Competition at the FTC. With substantial experience in competition matters involving the cruise line, pharmaceutical, and software industries, he has also acted as lead trial counsel in the matter of Chicago Bridge & Iron, the first post-closing merger challenge tried at the FTC in over a decade. With almost 40 years at the firm, the well-respected Frank Cicero is considered the elder statesman of the practice. Antitrust litigation is just one string to his bow.
The Clients: Infineon Technologies; Concord EFS; Health Care Service Corporation; Dow AgroSciences; BP; General Motors; Kraft; 3M and Polaris Industries.
District of Columbia Ranking: 5
The Firm: "First choice for a large piece of complex and difficult litigation," this "outstanding collection" of trial lawyers is able to draw on antitrust expertise throughout its network of offices in the USA and beyond. Its "strong team concept" is also brought to bear in the areas of M&A and joint ventures. Highlights have included advising Barr Laboratories on a nationwide class action involving the alleged wrongful delay of the introduction of a lower-priced generic version of the antibiotic Cipro. The "highly organized and aggressive approach" proved successful in battling cases such as the FTC's challenge to the Heinz/Beech-Nut baby food merger. Its "strategic thinking" was also illustrated in transactions such as Alpharma's acquisition of the generic oral solid dose pharmaceutical business of FH Faulding & Co.
The Lawyers: Transferred to DC from the Chicago office, Tefft Smith maintains a solid foundation from which to launch a "hands-on" line of attack. In charge of the firm's antitrust and competition practice group, he is respected for his "rigorous analytical" style, which is often parlayed on sensitive merger clearances, criminal investigations and class action price-fixing cases.
The Clients: BP America; Dow Chemical; SC Johnson & Son; Bayer; Chiquita Brands International and Coors Brewing Company.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2005 - www.chambersandpartners.com.