Antitrust and Competition REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Drawing on our lawyers’ broad experience, we offer clients exceptional insight in dealing with competition agencies in the United States, Europe and around the world.


WilmerHale has one of the leading antitrust and competition practices in the United States and Europe, with more than 50 years of experience and more than 70 competition lawyers in the United States, Europe and China. We have secured antitrust clearance for hundreds of complex mergers and joint ventures, helped clients avoid fines and prison terms in many cartel investigations, and won numerous victories for clients in private and government litigation. Many of our partners and senior counsel have served in high levels of government in the United States or Europe, and all have a wealth of experience representing clients across the full range of antitrust issues. Global Competition Review has repeatedly ranked our practice in the “Top 20 Global Elite” and has distinguished the practice for its “ever-impressive antitrust team.”

Contacts

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Miller, Michelle D.

Michelle D. Miller

Co-Chair, Antitrust and Competition Practice Group

+1 617 526 6116 (t)

michelle.miller@wilmerhale.com

Mueller, Thomas

Thomas Mueller

Co-Chair, Antitrust and Competition Practice Group

+1 202 663 6766 (t)

thomas.mueller@wilmerhale.com

Experience

Ranked as one of the leading transatlantic antitrust and competition firms, our recent matters include:

  • Representing Apple, Broadcom, Research in Motion and other industry participants in cases in the United States and throughout the world asserting Sherman Act Section 2 and breach of contract claims arising out of a competitor’s refusal to license patents declared essential to industry standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
  • Representing Cephalon in a prominent action brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and in separate antitrust actions by putative classes of direct and indirect purchasers of Provigil®, as well as by a would-be generic competitor, Apotex, Inc., all of which challenge Cephalon’s settlement of Hatch-Waxman patent litigation.
  • Representing Intel in FTC Part 3 litigation, where the FTC alleged unlawful monopolization of markets for computer microprocessors and graphics processing.
  • Obtaining US clearance for International Paper’s acquisition of Temple-Inland and obtaining US, German and Chinese clearance for its acquisition of Weyerhauser’s containerboard business.
  • Obtaining first-phase EU clearance for Lufthansa’s sale of British Midland to International Airlines Group, marking the first time that the EU cleared a combination of airlines with hubs at the same airport. Also represented Lufthansa AG in its successful acquisitions of three European air carriers—Brussels Airlines, British Midland and Austrian Airlines.
  • Representing clients in the United States and Europe in response to civil and criminal antitrust probes and class action litigations in the automotive, shipping, financial, rail and natural gas industries, among others.
  • Representing clients in a number of US Supreme Court proceedings, including matters involving the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, defense against alleged violations of federal antitrust laws, and class arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act.

Publications & News

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April 7, 2014

WilmerHale Provides Wide-Ranging Antitrust Insights at ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting

WilmerHale was a significant contributor to the 62nd Spring Meeting of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law, an annual three-day event recognized as the largest antitrust and consumer protection conference in the world, with nearly 2,900 registered participants.

April 7, 2014

Department of Justice Obtains First Litigated Extradition for Antitrust Violations

On April 4, 2014, the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced the first successful extradition of a foreign national to the United States to stand trial for alleged US criminal antitrust law violations.

April 4, 2014

Reforms to China's Company Registration Law

Both the amended Company Law and the amended Registration Regulations took effect on March 1, 2014. These reforms create a simplified and more capital-efficient registration system with respect to registered capital and regulatory requirements for companies in China.

April 1, 2014

Important Changes to the UK’s Competition Regime

Changes to UK Competition Law: As from today, the prosecution no longer needs to prove dishonesty to convict an individual of the criminal cartel offence in the UK. The change is intended to make it easier to prosecute individuals for cartel behaviour; to date, the authorities have had little success in securing convictions. Today also marks the coming into being of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA replaces the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading. While there are some procedural changes, the UK’s civil enforcement of competition law will not change substantially.

March 28, 2014

SAIC Announces Beginning of Revision Process to Anti-Unfair Competition Law

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has announced that it has formally begun the task of revising the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL). SAIC's Anti-Monopoly and Anti-Unfair Competition Enforcement Bureau held the first revision session in Beijing on February 28.

March 28, 2014

WilmerHale’s Antitrust Group Wins Litigation of the Year Award from GCR

WilmerHale's Antitrust and Competition Practice was announced the winner of the Litigation of the Year Award for the German Rail Cartel follow-on litigation in a Global Competition Review(GCR) awards ceremony held in Washington DC on March, 25, 2014.

March 28, 2014

Motorola Mobility v. AU Optronics: Seventh Circuit Curtails Liability for Foreign Component Sales in International Cartel Cases

Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an important opinion in Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., No. 14-8003, 2014 WL 1243797 (7th Cir. Mar. 27, 2014), part of the LCD flat panel antitrust litigation that has been ongoing since December 2006.

March 26, 2014

European Commission’s New Rules on Application of EU Competition Law to Licenses, Settlement Agreements and Patent Pools

On 21 March, the European Commission published the final version of its revised Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) to categories of technology transfer agreements.

March 18, 2014

Five WilmerHale Partners to Speak at 2014 ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting

Five WilmerHale partners will participate in the 62nd ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting held March 26-28 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington DC.

March 14, 2014

Chambers & Partners Recognizes WilmerHale in its 2014 Global Edition

Thirty-one WilmerHale lawyers have been named among the “World’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in the 2014 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, 13 of the firm’s practice areas were also recognized.

Recognition

WilmerHale’s Antitrust and Competition Practice has received significant recognition around the globe.

  • Global Competition Review (GCR) ranked WilmerHale among its list of “Top 20 GCR Global Elite” firms for 2014. In addition, the firm was recognized in the 2014 edition of GCR 100, with “elite” first tier rankings in the Massachusetts and US Government Antitrust categories, and “highly recommended” rankings in the Brussels and Germany categories. Further, the practice was recognized by GCR and announced as winner of the “Litigation of the Year Award.”
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business recognized our antitrust practice in Belgium, the United States and globally in 2014. In addition, Jacques Bourgeois, Christian Duvernoy, Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, Frédéric Louis, John Ratliff and Thomas Mueller received individual honors for their work in the field.
  • Chambers USA 2013: America’s Leading Lawyers in Business ranked our practices in Massachusetts, Washington DC and nationally. We were selected for the Cartel Spotlight table and received special recognition for client service and commercial awareness. The publication quoted our clients as saying “they support us extremely well—they always give us detailed answers in a timely manner, no matter how urgent. They always try to give us something more than we expect and they always have good suggestions—sometimes things we didn't think of,” and “these folks are really, really good lawyers. They’re efficient and really customer-focused. They have street savvy and a very good understanding of the formal and informal processes of the DOJ.” Five of our partners are individually recognized for their work in the field, including Molly Boast, James Burling, Leon Greenfield, Michelle Miller and Thomas Mueller.
  • Chambers Europe has recognized our practice as a “well-established practice [that] handles top-end work,” including “cartel and private damages litigation, merger control and Article 102 investigations.”
  • In the 2014 Best Law Firm rankings by U.S. News and Best Lawyers, our antitrust and competition practice was praised as “top notch” and ranked in the first tier nationally and in Boston and Washington DC.
  • Partners James Burling, James Lowe, Michelle Miller and Thomas Mueller were recognized for their work in the antitrust field, and selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
  • The Legal 500 United States 2013 recognized the firm’s antitrust practice, and clients cite us as a “top-notch” team that is “excellent at driving clients’ desired outcomes.” Further, the guide individually recommends co-chairs Thomas Mueller and “outstanding adviser” Michelle Miller, as well as Partner Eric Mahr whom clients praise for his “practical advice and knowledge of the ‘ins and outs’ of government agencies.”  
  • In 2013, our group was recognized by Acquisition International as "Antitrust Litigation Law Firm of the Year" in California and "Antitrust Litigation Legal Practice of the Year" in Washington DC.
  • In 2012, Practical Law Company (PLC) ranked WilmerHale as a leading law firm in the area of antitrust and competition in Boston, and recommended the firm nationally and in Washington DC. Internationally, the firm was recommended in Belgium and Germany. In addition, 13 WilmerHale partners were selected as “Leading Lawyers.”
  • In 2012, WilmerHale was also recognized in PLC’s Competition Super League, a directory highlighting “the best global competition teams from around the world.”
  • WilmerHale is a multi-year recipient of the Law360 “Competition Groups of the Year.” In 2011, the practice was noted for “steering controversial transactions through merger reviews” and “recording big wins for major corporations in civil antitrust suits.”