Award Chambers & Partners

America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2006: Antitrust

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' 2006 review of national legal talent in the area of "Antitrust," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.

Chambers' comments:

Illinois Ranking: 1

The Firm: A "natural leader" in the field, this firm generates the type of "substantive antitrust experience that gets tremendous results for clients." The firm's strong suit is litigation, and this group approaches projects with a mentality consistent with its "top-tier trial expertise." Its "premier litigators" raise the bar on such cases as cartel competition, monopolization and IP-related issues. The group also takes the lead on criminal defense, handling an abundance of cases with an antitrust element. On the transactional side, the corporate department's glut of private equity and venture capital clients helps produce a substantial amount of M&A-related work, much of it with an international flavor. The group's reach stretches way beyond state borders and forms part of an integrated network that tackles matters nationwide and globally. Clients concur that the firm "brings to its cases a realistic overview that is both professional and effective."

The Lawyers: Andrew Langan drew compliments for being a "fine trial lawyer" with experience acting on high-stake class actions, multidistrict litigation and products liability cases across the commercial arena. Langan is especially active in antitrust litigation and trade regulation, where his workload includes competition disputes, price-fixing allegations and unfair trading cases. Recently he has acted as lead counsel for GM in five statewide consumer and commercial class actions. Commentators highlighted his "outstanding level of client responsiveness," with one saying: "He's someone you can rely on to always go the extra mile." James Mutchnik springs readily to mind as an "aggressive, highly ethical" criminal defense attorney who works on cases with a substantive antitrust element. In addition, he stands out in the commercial field where he enjoys a steady diet of M&A: he represented Bain Capital in securing antitrust clearance of its acquisition of Toys 'R' Us, a deal valued in excess of $8 billion. In a separate matter, Mutchnik led GMT Group in its $350 million sale to First Data Corporation. As well as his "practically applied, substantive well of knowledge," one interviewee appreciated both the way he "understands what the client needs to solve his problems and his success at interacting with management."  "First-rate" younger partner Daniel Laytin impresses on antitrust and competition law while also displaying a comparable expertise in general commercial litigation. High-profile clients acknowledge: "He's really smart and has a boundless supply of creative, new ideas."

Clients/Work Highlights: Dow AgroSciences; BP; GM; Illinois Tool Works; Kraft; 3M; Abbott Laboratories and Polaris Industries.

District of Columbia Ranking: 5

The Firm: A firm operating an "active and well-organized practice" in DC, Kirkland may not have achieved a level of market penetration commensurate with its profile elsewhere. Despite this, representation of numerous public companies and private equity firms ensures that the group regularly oversees some of the most complex mergers in the market. It has handled hundreds of Hart-Scott-Rodino filings and represented Concord EFS before the FTC during its $7.1 billion acquisition by First Data. Kirkland's true forte, however, is "intelligent aggressiveness" in litigious circumstances. Recently, the team has battled numerous cartel allegations while continuing to play a pivotal role in the ongoing Infineon Technologies DRAM litigation. It extends the skills it has cultivated in this capacity to the developing of industry-specific compliance programs intended to offset or minimize the potential prosecution of its clientele.

The Lawyers: In charge of the antitrust competitive law group, and exemplifying the best qualities of his firm, the "tough and highly focused" Tefft Smith "spends time absorbing the facts of the case and deploying them to devastating effect" in criminal, civil, pricing and distribution litigation. He represented Dow Chemical in a prosecution arising from its joint venture with DuPont, which had entered into a unit facing prosecution for price-fixing. DuPont agreed to accept full responsibility for all antitrust liabilities arising from this prior arrangement.

Clients/Work Highlights: BP; SC Johnson; Bayer; Chiquita Brands International; Coors Brewing Co.

Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2006 -