Our market-leading antitrust and competition team—which includes former high-level government officials with superior insight into competition enforcement agencies worldwide—has tackled some of the most complex, high-stakes matters involving all sectors of the global economy. Our substantive depth, global scale, and deep industry knowledge mean that we can swiftly assemble targeted teams to handle our clients’ most significant competition law challenges—whether in defending bet-the-company government or civil litigation, securing transaction approvals, or counseling clients to avoid antitrust obstacles that could sidetrack legitimate business objectives.
Our team’s extensive knowledge spans the spectrum of competition law—from obtaining global premerger approval in competitive transactions, to responding to investigations by government authorities and defending class action and competitor lawsuits, to advising on issues involving intellectual property, competitor collaborations, and other antitrust matters.
Our record of accomplishment for clients has garnered high-profile and consistent recognition from respected publications such as Chambers, The Legal 500, Global Competition Review, and Law360.
Our lawyers represent clients in US federal and state, UK, and European courts in civil cases brought by the government; lawsuits brought by competitors; and class actions involving claims of price fixing, abuse of dominance, exclusive dealing, monopolization, group boycotts, price discrimination, tying, bundling, and unfair competition.
Our antitrust litigators have secured precedent-setting wins before appellate tribunals worldwide. Our experience includes the successful defense of a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit challenging constitutionally protected petitioning activity that presented a matter of first impression regarding the FTC’s authority to sue in federal court, and a landmark victory in the UK Supreme Court supporting our client’s claim that multilateral interchange fees are a restriction of competition under UK and EU law.
Morgan Lewis was ranked as the second-most active defense firm in antitrust matters as part of Lex Machina's 2019 Antitrust Litigation Report. Our team was involved in 140 cases in 28 jurisdictions—a nearly 40% increase over the previous three-year period. We were also ranked the #1 “Top Defense Counsel in Defendant Wins” in the University of San Francisco School of Law/Huntington National Bank 2020 Antitrust Annual Report, with 14 wins by motion or trial from 2009-2020.
We have been involved in the majority of major cartel probes in the last 25 years. Our team of lawyers defends multinational corporations and their executives in criminal and civil conduct proceedings in the United States, the United Kingdom, and before the European Commission, while also providing coordinating representation before competition authorities across Asia and in Latin America.
Our clients benefit from access to a global team of lawyers with experience handling all aspects of the defense—including internal investigations, dawn raids/search warrants, document production, leniency and immunity requests, plea negotiations, and, when necessary, trial.
We also represent clients in follow-on private treble damage actions under US law—including actions by class plaintiffs, opt-out plaintiffs, indirect purchasers, and non-US plaintiffs—as well as damage actions outside the United States.
Working seamlessly across the United States and globally, our market-leading transactional antitrust practice provides critical insights and the best strategies for handling complex transactions. Our team includes former senior officials from the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, and the FTC. Clients also benefit from our ability to work closely with our extensive and longstanding network of premier local counsel.
We have successfully defended some of the most complex transactions facing scrutiny from antitrust enforcement agencies, including the DOJ, FTC, European Commission, French Competition Authority, German Federal Cartel Office, UK Office of Fair Trading, and Japan Fair Trade Commission. Leveraging our network of local counsel, we also represent clients before agencies in more than 40 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland.
Our experience handling complex transactions in simultaneous proceedings in multiple jurisdictions means that we can offer a consistent and seamless defense. With experience across a broad range of industries, we are able to develop the relevant facts quickly and anticipate, address, and overcome potential challenges to transactions before they become a problem.
Intellectual property (IP) licensing and enforcement frequently give rise to a range of daunting antitrust issues for clients. Our antitrust team includes lawyers with a thorough understanding of the interplay between IP and antitrust laws, including a principal drafter of the Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property issued jointly by the DOJ and FTC.
We have a command of the issues in IP licensing, standard setting, standard-essential patents, procurement and enforcement of patents, and patent and copyright pools. Where it benefits the client or transaction at play, we work in lockstep with our firm’s IP lawyers to address antitrust issues arising out of patent disputes, including the relationship between damages issues and antitrust claims.
Our antitrust lawyers provide counseling and regulatory advice on a wide variety of antitrust issues, including IP licensing and settlements, competitor collaborations, joint ventures, new market entry, industry and trade association activities, standards development, pricing, distribution, dealer termination, and labor practices, including alleged employee no-poach agreements.
In addition, we create global antitrust compliance programs tailored to our clients’ needs. These include written compliance policies, presentations to senior management and employees, and in-person and online training programs. We also offer training to our clients and their employees on how to respond to “dawn raids,” and guidance on how to best manage government investigations.
Our team of lawyers with dedicated industry knowledge provides a full range of antitrust and consumer protection services to our automotive and mobility clients. We counsel and defend them in antitrust matters involving all facets of a vehicle’s life cycle from design and procurement through manufacturing, distribution, sales, and marketing. We have served as national and regional counsel for a number of leading vehicle and component manufacturers and distributors on some of the most difficult issues they have faced, including seminal antitrust litigation and class actions arising under state and federal antitrust laws, related unfair trade practice and competition laws, and state motor vehicle statutes. We effectively defend automotive and mobility clients before the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and state attorneys general and motor vehicle agencies, securing closures of investigations and, where appropriate, effective, nondisruptive resolutions. Our automotive antitrust lawyers also counsel automotive and mobility companies in the context of collaborative initiatives, joint venture formation, joint purchasing, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property/licensing arrangements, as well as on the antitrust and state dealer law aspects of motor vehicle distribution.
We understand the competitive practicalities of the changing energy industry, including those in the utilities, nuclear, and oil and gas sectors. Our antitrust team works closely with our firm’s energy lawyers in both litigation and counseling, enabling us to swiftly and effectively respond to antitrust litigation in the energy industry.
Our experience includes successfully defending a global oil and gas company in multiple putative class actions alleging manipulation of the benchmark price for Brent crude oil drawn from the North Sea. We also counseled clients in many of the largest recent energy mergers—often handling related government investigations involving the energy industry.
We routinely provide antitrust guidance to many of the leading US public and private colleges and universities, accreditation agencies, intercollegiate associations, and trade groups on sensitive and high-profile antitrust issues.
Our team handles matters related to the following, among other issues:
We also defend clients in government investigations in many of these areas, including investigations by the DOJ and FTC, as well as representing institutions in civil antitrust litigation.
We have a long history of assisting clients with competition issues across all segments of the financial services industry, handling enforcement and private litigation matters, transactions, and compliance counseling. Our clients include investment and merchant banks, market makers, payment systems, insurance companies, hedge funds, private equity managers, institutional issuers and investors, mutual funds, and trading platforms and exchanges. We also assist key industry trade groups and consortia on a range of competition issues, and serve as a leading advisor to acquisitive private equity firms.
Our antitrust healthcare lawyers represent healthcare companies in federal and state investigations, civil litigation, regulatory inquiries, and clearance and completion of mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, as well as counseling on day-to-day issues to help mitigate the risk of antitrust actions.
Our healthcare clients benefit from the strategic insights of members of our team with prior high-ranking government experience, including an assistant chief of the DOJ Antitrust Division’s Healthcare and Consumer Products Section and a former general counsel of the FTC. We have served as antitrust counsel on numerous multimillion- and multibillion-dollar hospital mergers and acquisitions, all of which were completed without government enforcement action.
We also have served as antitrust counsel on many health insurer mergers and acquisitions, including obtaining clearance for a merger-to-monopoly in the sale of health plans on Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Pharmaceutical, medical device, and other life science clients come to Morgan Lewis for trusted advice and advocacy on the full array of antitrust matters—from antitrust class actions and enforcement actions to global mergers and day-to-day counseling.
Our antitrust litigation team has a particularly strong track record in litigating high-stakes antitrust cases in the pharmaceutical sector, including matters involving the following:
Our experience includes representing pharmaceutical companies in the largest-ever multidistrict antitrust litigation in the US pharmaceutical sector, and successfully defending an FTC lawsuit challenging constitutionally protected petitioning activity that presented a matter of first impression regarding the FTC’s authority to sue in federal court.
On the transactional side, our antitrust lawyers have acted as antitrust counsel in several of the industry’s most high-profile mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures.
In addition, our European team is widely recognized as a leader in representing life science clients in their most important competition law matters, including those involving cartel, abuse of dominance, and distribution issues. Our experience in this area includes prevailing in landmark proceedings in the first-ever challenge in the English High Court of a search warrant issued to the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
Our team provides the complete range of antitrust and consumer protection counseling and representation to our retail and ecommerce clients. We regularly counsel our clients on a wide range of operations related to antitrust and consumer protection issues that they confront on a routine basis. We also regularly assist our retail and ecommerce clients in responding to the wide range of inquiries (both formal and informal) that they receive from consumers, interested parties, and local, state and federal regulators.
When the government inquiries are more formal, we defend our retail and ecommerce clients in the full range of antitrust and consumer protection investigations, from those brought by local authorities to those brought by state attorneys general, the FTC, and the DOJ. We also have an extensive and successful track record defending our retail and ecommerce clients in antitrust and consumer protection civil and class action litigation.
Additionally, our team provides counseling on a wider range of issues confronting retail and ecommerce clients, including, among others, development and implementation of compliance programs, joint venture formation, joint purchasing or marketing initiatives, collaborative initiatives, licensing, and merger and acquisitions.
We represent the full range of retail and ecommerce companies, recognizing that, while they often confront similar antitrust and consumer protection issues, there are important distinctions between their operations. Our clients include leading luxury and fashion brands, mass market retail and ecommerce operations, supermarkets, pharmacies, “big-box” retail and ecommerce companies, dollar store operators, and specialty goods retail and ecommerce operations.
Technology companies are operating in a challenging climate of increasing regulatory scrutiny and ever-accelerating product innovation cycles. Clients turn to us to counsel them on leading-edge competition issues in the technology industry, including technology platforms, “big data,” licensing and contracting practices, the intersection of patent law and antitrust, and so-called “predatory innovation.”
Our technology industry clients range from new and disruptive competitors to multinational industry leaders, including companies in the online, software, semiconductor, licensing, electronics, fintech, social media, and telecommunications sectors.