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' 2011 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
The Firm: This powerhouse is particularly distinguished for its litigation strength. It continues to defend Bain Capital as one of several private equity houses alleged to have colluded when buying public companies in take-private transactions. The group is also known for its expertise in criminal and civil antitrust matters and represents Component Hardware in connection with price-fixing claims in the food service equipment industry. The department wins further acclaim for its M&A practice and recently led Youbet.com in its sale to Churchill Downs. Other names on the group's impressive client list include Blue Cross and Blue Shield, GM and Navistar.
Sources Say: "A tremendous practice. It has a group of outstanding lawyers with a trial-ready philosophy, all well equipped to offer sound, commercial-oriented advice."
Key Individuals: The "highly experienced" James Mutchnik handles antitrust and white-collar defense matters and is recommended as "the real deal when it comes to criminal antitrust representation." He has played a significant role on the Bain Capital, Component Hardware and Youbet.com cases. Andrew Langan is renowned for his expertise in handling class actions, as well as high-profile merger investigations. He enjoys a fine reputation among peers and is described as "a brilliant lawyer with tremendous analytical skills." Daniel Laytin is "a gifted antitrust counselor who has excellent commercial understanding and sound judgment." He specializes in complex litigation and is representing GM in a multidistrict antitrust case involving 70-plus putative class actions in federal and state courts. Acting alongside Laytin on these matters is David Zott. Zott principally focuses on complex commercial and class-action litigation, and is singled out by sources as "a wonderful trial lawyer with a fine understanding of complex antitrust matters."
District of Columbia Ranking: Tier 2
The Firm: This firm has built an excellent reputation for its antitrust litigation capabilities, and clients employing this side of the team single out its particular expertise in class actions and appellate litigation. Cisco Systems has instructed the firm in monopolization counterclaims, and the Hershey Company has retained it in connection with several actions following price-fixing allegations. The practice also attracts transactional work of considerable weight, such as representing Avis Budget Group in its struggle with Hertz over the purchase of Dollar Thrifty, valued at approximately $1.5 billion, and advising Bristol-Myers Squibb on its acquisition of ZymoGenetics.
Sources Say: "They are very responsive to clients, and strive to achieve both business and legal objectives."
Key Individuals: Mark Kovner receives excellent feedback from clients, who describe him as "very quick to absorb details and provide first-rate strategic advice." He is valued for his ability to "translate competition law concerns into very practical business advice," and for his "client-centric" outlook and "good relationships with the regulators." Seasoned litigator Tefft Smith offers expertise across the spectrum of antitrust disputes. His caseload features a number of high-profile matters for Dow Chemical, including private litigation in the USA and UK, and a Pennsylvanian price-fixing class action. Karen Walker also has impressive experience in class actions, and in defending clients against government enforcement. Her 2010 mandates demonstrate her familiarity with the pharmaceutical sector, including work for clients such as generic pharmaceutical giant Teva. Timothy Muris and Christine Wilson recently joined the group from O'Melveney & Myers. Muris is described as "smart, extremely well connected and hugely helpful." His client base includes a number of major names from the energy, hi-tech and aviation industries. Wilson has advised high-profile clients from a range of sectors on the clearance of complex mergers.
Nationwide Ranking: Tier 3
The Firm: This practice is historically known for its strength in Illinois and Washington, DC but has in recent years expanded its presence in New York and California. The team has built an excellent reputation for its antitrust litigation capabilities. Cisco Systems has instructed the firm in monopolization counterclaims, while the Hershey Company has retained it in connection with several actions following price-fixing allegations. The team also continues to defend Bain Capital as one of several private equity houses alleged to have colluded when buying public companies in take-private transactions. The department wins further acclaim for its transactional work and represented Avis Budget Group in its struggle with Hertz over the purchase of Dollar Thrifty, in a matter valued at approximately $1.5 billion.
Commercial Awareness: "An outstanding practice; the lawyers approach matters creatively and are always exceedingly well prepared."
Key Individuals: Tefft Smith and Mark Kovner are integral members of the team in Washington, DC, while Jim Mutchnik spearheads the practice in Chicago.
Reprinted with permission from Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2011— www.chambersandpartners.com.