Chambers & Partners has compiled its 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' 2009 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: Tier 1
Best known for its work on litigation and trials, this group has historically been a market leader, and this remains the case today. The Chicago office is the hub of the firm's national practice, housing 65 antitrust attorneys who are active on both litigation and counseling matters and work closely with the firm's private equity-based corporate practice. Clients agree that strategy is one of the firm's key strengths, and praise its "tenacity when it comes to finding a great resolution." Daniel Laytin recently became head of the group. Praised as "whip-smart and great in the courtroom," he frequently acts for the firm's institutional clients, and recently represented GM in a consolidated class action antitrust conspiracy lawsuit. Andrew Langan's practice has a focus on gas and oil-related antitrust issues, and he works primarily for BP: of late he has been representing the company in various state and FTC inquiries into gasoline pricing. Clients voice appreciation for Langan's "efficiency and amicability." He has developed a specialty in suspected collusion matters. James Mutchnik, the most senior antitrust lawyer in the group, combines a traditional antitrust practice with specialties in criminal defense and price-fixing matters. He has been representing Navistar regarding the DOJ's investigation into Navistar's since-abandoned purchase of GM's medium-duty truck business.
Nationwide Ranking: Tier 2
Kirkland & Ellis is recognized throughout the marketplace for its top-quality antitrust litigation and class-action offering. While the roots of this firm are in Chicago, the Washington, DC team generates considerable praise; and heavy investment in the area in the Los Angeles office testifies to the firm's determination to grow the practice even further. Confirming its status as the place to go for heavyweight representation in disputes, the team was retained by Dow Chemical in connection with a series of price-fixing cases founded on allegations of cartel activity. Although the regulatory component of the practice may be less well known, big names such as Barr Pharmaceuticals rely on the team for its "tactical advice and powers of negotiation." Cases originating in the IP and private equity sectors regularly feature in the group's impressive caseload. For negotiations, few come as highly recommended as Tefft Smith.
District of Columbia Ranking: Tier 2
Kirkland's litigation practice is regarded as among the foremost in the USA. Although its roots lie in Chicago, the Washington, DC office is noted for its antitrust litigation practice and is a popular destination for the most complex multidistrict litigation, class actions and government investigations; this is due, interviewees agree, to the high caliber of its attorneys, its ability to marshal resources in a cost-effective way and its trial-readiness. The team was retained by Dow Chemical to represent it in a series of price-fixing cases alleging a global cartel for certain types of synthetic rubber. Tefft Smith is described as an extremely savvy advocate and a top pick for tough negotiations, as "he knows how to secure results." He has a phenomenal amount of experience in this area, and was lead partner acting for Dow Chemical. Mark Kovner climbs the tables following a strong year in which he represented Barr Pharmaceuticals before the FTC in its proposed $7.5 billion merger with Teva, creating the world's largest generic drugs company. Equally strong in litigation matters, he is also representing Cisco Systems and all other major manufacturers of cable modems for use in the USA in an IP and antitrust action pending in federal court in Delaware. Karen Walker debuts in this year's rankings due to work on an impressive caseload, including securing a victory for Barr Pharmaceuticals in an action brought by the FTC, 35 US states, and various class action plaintiffs concerning a license and supply agreement between Barr and Warner Chilcott related to the oral contraceptive Ovcon.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2009 — www.chambersandpartners.com.