Press Release

Kirkland Expands National Antitrust & Consumer Protection Practices

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that Sean Royall, Olivia Adendorff and Richard Cunningham have joined or will soon be joining as partners of the Firm. Ms. Adendorff and Mr. Cunningham have already completed their transitions to Kirkland. Mr. Royall will do so upon finalizing obligations to his current firm.

Mr. Royall, Ms. Adendorff and Mr. Cunningham are leading antitrust, data privacy and consumer protection attorneys who regularly represent clients in some of the most high-stakes litigation matters and cutting-edge government investigations. All three lawyers have substantial experience handling major Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations, including inquiries involving merger clearance, anticompetitive practices, advertising and marketing compliance, privacy, and data security. Mr. Royall, Ms. Adendorff and Mr. Cunningham each also maintain active litigation practices in courts throughout the United States, handling high-exposure government, private party and class action lawsuits for clients in high-tech, pharmaceutical and a wide range of other industries.

“We are delighted to expand our world-class litigation and government investigations practice. This group of lawyers brings strong experience and reputations for achieving results for their clients during internal investigations, before the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, in litigation and at trial.  They will be a tremendous asset to our clients across the country who face an increasingly complex regulatory and litigation landscape,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. 

Ms. Adendorff and Mr. Cunningham were previously partners of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where Mr. Royall remains a partner pending his transition to Kirkland.

Mr. Royall has served as the long-time co-chair of the antitrust and competition practice group at Gibson Dunn, and was also a founding co-chair of the firm’s privacy, cybersecurity and consumer protection practice group. Mr. Royall has been honored by Chambers USA as a Band 1 antitrust lawyer for well over a decade, in addition to being a recent Law360 national MVP in Antitrust and receiving similar recognition by the National Law Journal, The Best Lawyers in America and Benchmark Litigation.  

Among other high-profile representations, Mr. Royall was the lead lawyer for Facebook in the company’s recent privacy-related FTC investigation, in which a publicly announced settlement is pending judicial approval. In 2018, he was counsel for AT&T in connection with its acquisition of Time Warner and a member of the trial team that successfully defended that transaction against a DOJ-led court challenge. 

Mr. Royall served as Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition from 2001 to 2003 and played a key role in shaping and overseeing the agency’s antitrust enforcement agenda, both in the merger and non-merger areas. He also led the FTC’s review of many high-profile transactions, and has advised companies on proposed mergers and transactions involving hundreds of billions of dollars. Mr. Royall will split his time between Kirkland’s Washington, D.C., and Dallas offices.

Ms. Adendorff handles a variety of antitrust, consumer protection and general litigation matters, with particular experience managing complex commercial class actions. She has practiced in federal district and appellate courts across the country. In addition to playing a key role in the Facebook FTC investigation, her experience includes successfully defending Sanofi-Aventis in federal district court and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an antitrust-based False Claims Act suit brought by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, leading to a complete victory for her client.

Texas Lawyer named Ms. Adendorff “On the Rise” in 2019 and Dallas Business Journal recognized her among the “40 Under 40” business leaders in Dallas in 2017. Ms. Adendorff will be resident in Kirkland’s Dallas office.

Kirkland’s Dallas office launched in 2018 and now includes more than 50 lawyers handling an array of sophisticated transactions and litigation in Texas, the United States and globally.

Mr. Cunningham’s practice focuses on FTC and DOJ investigations and related client counseling and litigation. He spent more than eight years as a Staff Attorney and Senior Trial Counsel in the FTC’s Bureau of Competition prior to transitioning to private practice in 2013. At the FTC, he was involved in numerous prominent enforcement actions, including FTC v. Promedica, FTC v. Rockford Health and FTC v. Whole Foods

Mr. Cunningham’s experience in private practice includes securing unconditional clearance for Tenet Healthcare's $2.1 billion joint venture with USPI, which created the nation’s largest operator of ambulatory surgery centers, and representing Allergan in competitor and consumer class action litigations. Super Lawyers and Euromoney have recognized him as a rising star in the antitrust space. 

Mr. Cunningham will be based in Kirkland’s Washington, D.C., office, and will also spend significant time in Kirkland’s West Coast offices.

Mark Filip, a litigation partner and member of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee, stated: “Some of the most important areas of law now concern competition, privacy and related consumer issues in the context of technology companies. We have added an elite practice team in this area, which will continue to engage on these issues for clients from across the country and world, both in government investigations and in commercial and government-facing litigations.” 

“Adding this group of litigation partners makes a strong statement about our commitment to having top-notch litigation talent, including here in Texas. They are a great addition to our platform,” said Andy Calder, a corporate partner in Kirkland’s Houston office and a member of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee.