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Overview

Antitrust attorneys help companies navigate competition issues created by organic growth or acquisition under national and international laws and regulations. Antitrust attorneys straddle the line between litigation and corporate attorneys. They may advise about possible antitrust regulatory issues in an acquisition or other transaction and also represent companies in litigation, especially against the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, or similar foreign government agencies. The stakes in antitrust cases can be very high “bet the company” litigation and involve complicated, sophisticated issues that can turn on minute details. Antitrust lawyers tend to be smart, methodical, and cerebral. Antitrust practitioners work across industries, and each engagement requires the attorneys to understand the products or services at issue, how they are made, how they are sold, how firms compete, and how they collaborate. It is common for antitrust attorneys in the U.S. to spend at least part of their careers working for the Department of Justice or FTC.

Featured Q&A's
Get an insider's view on working in Antitrust from real lawyers in the practice area.
Ken Reinker, Partner
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

My practice involves antitrust litigation, merger review before the DOJ and FTC and foreign regulators, and criminal and civil antitrust investigations. We tend to work on matters that have particularly high stakes and are substantively challenging.

Across all of those areas, essentially what we do is learn as much as possible about the industry and the particular facts of the case; organize, analyze, and synthesize that information into a coherent framework; and then teach our audience, whether a judge, a jury, or a regulator, through a variety of formats: oral advocacy, briefs or white papers, slides, etc.

What types of clients do you represent?

We work across all industries. Most of our clients are major multinationals, but we also represent smaller companies with important antitrust issues. I’ve done a lot of work in pharmaceuticals, financial institutions, and high-tech industries, but I’ve also done work in industries as varied as retail, transportation, chemicals, steel, and more.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Last year, my biggest matter was representing 21st Century Fox on the U.S. antitrust aspects of the Disney-Fox merger. Different teams at Cleary represented both parties—Fox in the U.S. and Disney in Europe—reflecting the strength of our global practice. It was a great matter all around. Everyone likes movies, TV, and sports, and the industry is evolving rapidly with new entrants and technology. The substantive antitrust analysis focused on interesting issues about bargaining among content producers and content distributors, and the situation was complicated by the U.S. government suing to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. The clients were smart, practical, and nice, which made things so much easier, and we ended up with a great result and fast U.S. clearance.

How did you choose this practice area?

I chose antitrust because it involves the application of complex legal and economic principles to complex factual situations in a way that doesn’t really exist in any other practice area. You learn a lot about a lot of things, and every matter stays interesting because you have to become an expert about new industries. Antitrust matters also tend to be important to the clients (such as transformative mergers or litigations challenging fundamental business practices), so you get a lot of exposure not only to general counsel, but also senior business leadership.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

I wake up early to have more time with my wife and baby boy. Then at work, there is a lot of variety. I spend most of my time thinking about antitrust issues; meeting and talking with clients to learn about their industries, to explain the law, or to plan next steps; and drafting briefs, white papers, and presentations. I’m also often meeting with regulators, taking or defending depositions, etc.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

Antitrust law, of course, as well as any other black-letter law classes where you learn to apply law to complicated situations. You need an economic mindset to be successful, so law and economics. It is also valuable to join the law review to practice writing and research and to clerk to see how legal decisions are made in the real world.

What do you like best about your practice area?

I like the early part of a case best: You learn about a new problem, gather the facts, and figure out the answer. I also like teaching others what we’ve figured out.

What is unique about your practice area at your firm?

We’re the only firm ranked at the top for antitrust work in both the U.S. and Europe. Our antitrust lawyers cover all aspects of antitrust law—mergers, litigation, and investigations—while antitrust lawyers at many other firms are more limited. We have strength at all levels, from senior partners to junior partners to the associates, not just one or two big names. Our advice is practical and reflects business realities. A lot of antitrust lawyers take the easy way out and just say everything is risky, while we analyze the facts and give you our best advice.

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area?

A lot of it depends on the particular lawyer. Cleary has a pretty flexible model where what associates do depends on what they are ready to do and their interests. A strong junior associate could pretty quickly be interviewing businesspeople; drafting briefs, white papers, and presentations; and becoming the go-to person for particular areas of the case.

Given the breadth of antitrust, what must attorneys do to be successful in practice?

You need to have a practical, economic mindset, focused on what makes sense as a functional matter; you need to be flexible and comfortable working across industries and legal theories; you need to absorb facts quickly and have good recall; you need to know the precedents so that you can draw on them; and you need to be able to take complex issues and simplify them.

Ken Reinker, Partner—Antitrust

Ken Reinker is a partner in Cleary’s Washington, DC, office. His practice covers all aspects of antitrust law, including litigation, government investigations, and merger review, and all industries, including extensive experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health care; high-technology industries; media; and financial institutions.

Ken has been named among the “Top 40 Attorneys in DC Under 40” by Bisnow and to the “Under 40 Hot List” by Benchmark Litigation. He has also been recognized as a “Next Generation Lawyer” by The Legal 500, a “Competition Future Leader” by the Global Competition Review, and a “Rising Star for Antitrust Litigation” by Super Lawyers.

Ken joined the firm in 2010 and was elected partner in 2016. Earlier, Ken clerked for Judge Michael Boudin on the First Circuit and worked as an antitrust economist consulting on litigation matters as executive director of Legal Economics LLC.

He received a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was co-chair of the articles committee on the Harvard Law Review, and a B.S. in economics, magna cum laude, from Duke University.

Maggie D’Amico, Partner
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

My practice focuses on transactional matters, antitrust regulatory approval, and government investigations, as well as general antitrust counseling. I advise on and navigate my clients through the many different stages of transactions and the related regulatory processes that are often heavily scrutinized, including negotiating antitrust-related provisions of the transaction agreement, managing DOJ and FTC investigations and strategy, overseeing international filings, negotiating potential remedies, and serving on trial teams, should the transaction face a government challenge.

What types of clients do you represent?

My clients represent a wide diversity of industries, including aerospace and aviation, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, consumer products, media, manufacturing, and technology. I recently advised Time Warner Inc. on regulatory clearance issues in connection with its $109 billion sale to AT&T, including winning the lawsuit filed by the DOJ seeking to block the merger, which culminated in a six-week trial. My other clients have included AerCap Holdings, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brunswick Corporation, Delta Air Lines, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Grupo Modelo, and Mylan.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

My representation of ABI in its acquisition of SABMiller captures many of the different types of work I’m able to do in my practice. I managed the DOJ review of the transaction, including overseeing the analysis and production of more than 1 million documents; responded to extensive data requests; and defended a variety of ABI witnesses in related investigational hearings. Similarly, I also managed the day to day of the DOJ review and the international filings for Time Warner and was also a part of the trial team representing Time Warner in its acquisition by AT&T, the first fully litigated vertical merger in 40 years.

How did you choose this practice area?

I first joined Cravath as an associate in the general litigation practice, and I did not envision myself doing competition work—honestly, it wasn’t really on my radar. But while I was going through Cravath’s rotational system, I had the chance to work with Christine Varney, the head of our Antitrust practice. Having her as a teacher and mentor really drew me to antitrust work, and I now cannot imagine doing anything else.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

Because my practice involves many different types of work—general transactional and antitrust counseling, handling regulatory clearance issues and government review processes, overseeing foreign filings, representing witnesses in investigations, and acting as trial counsel—no two days are exactly alike. The trajectory any day or week will take depends almost entirely on my caseload, but generally involves discussions and correspondence with both clients and government agencies regarding ongoing transactions and working internally, both with my corporate counterparts and managing my own team on the day-to-day aspects of our caseload.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

Certainly a background in both antitrust law and the fundamental economic concepts in antitrust theory is very helpful in grasping the dynamics of this area of law, but perhaps equally important is weaving theory together with real-world context. It is crucial to develop the skills to really learn about an industry and understand what your client does and what their goals are, both overall and in the context of a particular transaction. Keeping up with business and trade publications in order to understand how the economics of antitrust play out in varying ways across industries also is very beneficial.

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

The most challenging aspect is often also the most exciting, since a broad antitrust practice requires work across industries and throughout the many stages of a deal cycle. To manage this dynamic effectively, it is crucial to be adaptable and to be able to work on many tasks that differ in their scale and scope simultaneously.

What do you like best about your practice area?

Antitrust is constantly evolving, which affords me the opportunity to learn new approaches and practice creative problem solving, all while handling some of the most pressing challenges that major companies are facing today. I am fortunate to work with a wide variety of clients and companies representing so many diverse industries—the work is never the same or cookie-cutter, which means we are always innovating in order to best serve our clients.

How do you see this practice area evolving in the future?

Over the next decade, I think antitrust regulators will continue to be creative in anticipating how competition will be affected by the rapid pace of technological change, among other changing market dynamics. Regulators are likely to continue applying increased scrutiny to transactions, which means that those of us who advise companies trying to do transformative deals need to make sure our clients understand all the different ways they could be opening themselves up to increased risk in this environment.

What kinds of experience can summer associates gain in this practice area at your firm?

Our summer associates are promised extensive, real-world practice experience—we treat summer associates as if they are first years. During the summer I spent at Cravath, for example, I attended depositions, an arbitration, and several other client-facing meetings alongside partners. It is central to our training culture to be immersed in substantive responsibility on day one, and this is made possible by the emphasis we place upon mentorship, both formal and informal.

Maggie D’Amico, Partner—Litigation

Margaret (“Maggie”) Segall D’Amico is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation department and a member of the firm’s Antitrust practice. She focuses on transactional matters, antitrust regulatory review, government investigations, and general antitrust counseling. Maggie has advised a wide variety of clients in diverse industries, including aerospace and aviation, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, consumer products, media, manufacturing, and technology.

Maggie received her A.B. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 2003 and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2008.

In 2018, Maggie was included on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List,” was named a “Rising Star” by Law360, and was recognized at Euromoney’s Americas Rising Star Awards.

Maggie, a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, resides in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Carrie C. Mahan, Partner
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

Weil prides itself on, and has a reputation for, securing antitrust approval for highly complex deals that require sophisticated analysis and advocacy before the U.S. antitrust agencies. Weil offers global solutions to our clients’ antitrust transactional needs with one of the largest, most diversified, and well-respected practices in the world. We coordinate multi-jurisdictional filings to assure maximum chances for swift approval and help clients structure transactions and business practices to minimize antitrust concerns. Collaborating with lawyers in Weil’s M&A, Intellectual Property, Restructuring, and Corporate Governance practices, we provide integrated solutions to competition-related business issues.

On the litigation front, our expertise spans all types of civil cases before judges and juries in state and federal courts across the country. Our approach emphasizes streamlined, targeted efficiency—focusing strategy and resources on early advantageous claim resolution where practical and advisable. Our team has prevailed for clients in “bet-the-company” litigations at Rule 12 without discovery, at class certification (both winning certification for plaintiffs and defeating it for defendants), and at summary judgment. If trial is required, the team has an unparalleled bench of top-notch trial lawyers who have secured complete jury verdicts for clients.

Weil successfully litigates competitor vs. competitor cases and other private antitrust lawsuits involving allegations of collusion, illegal pricing, and restraints of trade, as well as monopolization claims. Additionally, Weil is among the top firms in the cartel space and has been involved in some of the largest cartel investigations in recent years. We have coordinated international cartel defense in many of the leading “hot spot” jurisdictions around the world for enforcement.

What types of clients do you represent?

Weil represents high-profile clients from a broad range of industries, including: Allergan, Bridgestone, Chemtrade, CBS, Hilton Worldwide, Johnson & Johnson, Kinder Morgan, Panasonic, Pilgrim’s Pride, Providence Equity, Sanofi, Sherwin Williams, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Signet Jewelers, Simon & Schuster, and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

I have the opportunity of working on all types of cases. In any given week, I could be negotiating a merger with the FTC or DOJ, arguing to defeat class certification in federal court, negotiating the quiet closure of a grand jury investigation, or counseling a client on how to achieve a business goal in a way that mitigates legal risk to avoid the courts and the government.

I am lead counsel for Pilgrim’s Pride in In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation, where I was appointed liaison counsel for more than 20 defendants in defending more than 30 complaints, including three class actions. Having successfully defeated a purported class action against Hilton at Rule 12 several years ago, I was asked by Hilton to lead their defense when both a class action and a direct suit were filed alleging a hotel conspiracy regarding key word bidding. I have led the defense of Michael Foods for many years in In re Processed Eggs Antitrust Litigation. Over 10 years of litigation, arguing on behalf of the entire defense group, I successfully defeated indirect purchaser class certification and a direct purchaser class and prevailed on various summary judgment motions.

I also have the opportunity to work closely with my clients on their transactional matters, securing approvals of proposed mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures from both the DOJ and the FTC. This year, I was thrilled to obtain the clearance without Second Request of longtime client MovieTickets.com in its acquisition by historic competitor Fandango. I also represented The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. (A&P) in its chapter 11 case. Through persuasive advocacy to the FTC and effective use of the rarely successful failing firm defense, I secured antitrust clearance from the FTC for the sale of 120 stores to supermarket competitors.

I have several matters in which I represent clients in various grand jury investigations. Most recently, I obtained closure without indictment of a client in an investigation into the media industry.

How did you choose this practice area?

I took some time off between college and law school and had the opportunity to participate in the Outstanding Scholars program as a paralegal at the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. Long debating a career in business versus law, I quickly realized that antitrust was the perfect combination. Diving into proposed mergers requires immediate and complete immersion in an industry—what’s the product, who else makes it, who could make it, how do they make it, what could be used in its place? It barely took a day—I was hooked. During law school, I summered and interned at the FTC with an amazing group of lawyers reviewing pharmaceutical mergers. It was then that I knew antitrust was what I wanted to do. While I ended up in private practice, I continue to work more than two decades later with those same lawyers—a number of whom are now my partners and have long been my friends. Over the years, my practice expanded beyond mergers into the Sherman Act, which presents even more complicated and challenging legal and economic issues. But the consistent thrill of diving into a business problem to navigate complicated legal and economic issues has never lost its allure. I have never looked back or had second thoughts—antitrust was and is for me!

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

Generally it is a whirlwind. In addition to juggling a number of litigations and pending transactions, my phone rings regularly with longtime clients who have legal problems they don’t know how to solve. They look to me to help make practical business decisions that achieve the business goal while minimizing the legal risk. The questions come fast and often from a wide variety of areas related to distribution, pricing, technology, customer and vendor relationships, and overall strategic direction.

Given the significance of our cases, I have to employ and manage large teams of attorneys and paralegals. On any given day, I serve as a guide and resource for dozens of professionals at all levels of the legal profession. While my primary job is to serve my clients, the only way to do that long term is to foster and advance those around me. Thus, training, mentoring, and generally acting as a professional sounding board are a large part of my daily schedule.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

I look for smart, energetic, and committed people who are looking for a job to love. The ability to analyze complicated scenarios, absorb vast quantities of evidence, and then communicate clearly and concisely the critical facts will equal success in the law. Written advocacy is an enormous part of what we do, so a demonstrated writing ability is a clear advantage. Antitrust experience such as internships with enforcement agencies will move a candidate to the top of the stack every time.

Having sound judgment and the ability to be responsive, take ownership of projects, and work closely with clients are sought-after qualities. A true team player that can jump in with both feet is what we are looking for.

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

In antitrust, you never know what the issue will be when the phone rings except that it will be high stakes, complicated, and urgent! Antitrust discovery and fact-finding is vast; it is not uncommon to have tens of millions of documents and hundreds of depositions. Being able to distill a record of that size down to what matters is key. The legal theories are complex, and there almost always is a need for economic experts. Being able to “translate” economic theory and complicated legal theories into a language that lay people can understand forces you to constantly reassess your arguments and presentation style. But these are the same things that make practicing antitrust law so rewarding!

What do you like best about your practice area?

The sheer variety of issues and cases with which I get to deal. I am never bored. Because antitrust encompasses so many aspects of a client’s business—pricing, distribution, customer and vendor relationships, industry and competitor contacts, marketing—I have the opportunity to really learn the business and forge relationships with lawyers and businesspeople company wide. With such an in-depth understanding of the business priorities and realities—and the competing motivation and personalities involved—I am uniquely situated to serve as a trusted advisor and partner and not just the outside counsel they randomly call for one-off legal questions presented in isolation.

What is unique about this practice area at your firm?

Some firms are focused on just one aspect of antitrust. Weil is unique in that we have a strong presence and deep bench across the spectrum of antitrust: regulatory merger clearance, civil litigation and investigations, cartel work, and counseling. Further, our “one firm” approach means we are truly able to tackle highly complex matters around the world, taking advantage of our strengths across other practice areas such as M&A, private equity, and white collar, to name just a few. It is extremely rewarding that we have the best of the best in every area of antitrust. And our record of not only clearing major transactions, but also prevailing in bet-the-company litigation and resolving high-stakes criminal matters helps us retain top-notch attorneys and clients!

What kinds of experience can summer associates gain in this practice area at your firm?

Summer associates in our practice are treated as regular members of the team. I was the hiring partner in the DC office for nearly a decade, and every summer repeated the same mantra on the first day: If you leave this firm at the end of the summer not having experienced what life will be like as an associate here, then we have both wasted our time. Summer associates are placed on case teams and are at the table when incoming projects are divvied up. This team-based approach enables them to see every aspect of a case during their time at the firm and to participate in a wide variety of projects. If something is happening on their case, they will be a part of it.

Carrie C. Mahan, Partner—Litigation

Carrie Mahan is a partner in Weil’s Washington, DC, office, where she has a diverse practice advising clients on antitrust and consumer protection issues in government investigations and private litigation, as well as mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures.

Ms. Mahan has extensive experience representing clients in all major antitrust venues, including both state and federal courts and federal, state, and international competition and consumer protection enforcement agencies. Her ability to develop unique arguments under complex antitrust theories has led her to play a leading role in the defense and overall strategy for many key clients, including large joint defense groups. Most recently, she was appointed as liaison counsel for 20 defendants in the federal antitrust class actions and direct action complaints being litigated in In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation.

Ms. Mahan works closely with clients to secure approvals of proposed mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures from the DOJ and FTC; she has also favorably resolved a number of civil and criminal non-public investigations by enforcement authorities without litigation or public disclosure. Additionally, she represents clients in criminal investigations before the Antitrust Division, including a recent grand jury investigation in the media industry.

Ms. Mahan is consistently recognized for Antitrust Litigation by Super Lawyers and recommended for Civil Litigation/Class Actions by Legal 500 US.

Wendy Huang Waszmer, Partner
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

I often describe my practice as having two majors, which overlap: antitrust and litigation. On the antitrust side, I represent companies and individual employees who are under federal investigation; sometimes, those investigations could lead to criminal charges or civil litigation filed in federal court. I am a defense counsel for clients in those scenarios. Antitrust investigations are interesting because they require assessment of facts and people in multiple countries across numerous business and product lines, and antitrust agencies around the world cooperate and communicate with each other. As a result of this global scope, I spend time during the year in Europe and Asia and also have contacts with counsel in Latin America, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. Even when companies are not facing an investigation, I provide counseling and legal advice to clients when they need to assess whether their business practices—for example, how they distribute their products—raise antitrust issues. As I have a background as a trial lawyer, there are times when I represent companies and individuals in other types of civil litigation in federal and state courts in New York and nationwide.

What types of clients do you represent?

At Wilson Sonsini, we work with companies making exciting and groundbreaking moves in high-tech and innovation markets. The best part is that our clients are at all stages of the corporate life cycle, from global public companies—like Google, Qualcomm, Netflix, and Symantec—to individual founders of startups that are the next-generation trailblazers (and every stage in between).

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

I will share two recent examples of the kinds of matters I
worked on in the past year. First, I am working with a team of antitrust, data privacy, and investigations lawyers to defend a tech company in global regulatory investigations and
class action litigation that raise fundamental questions about the way users interact with news, social media, and online platforms. We are making significant efforts to work collaboratively with agencies in the U.S. and other countries to understand their concerns and provide information about cutting-edge products and services. A second example is that I represent several executives in a U.S. government investigation into alleged fraud and criminal cartel violations. My objective in these matters is to understand clearly what the clients’ exposure is and to advocate on their behalf for successful resolution of the investigations without charges. If there are charges brought against them, we will litigate on our clients’ behalf in federal court.

How did you choose this practice area?

My path to being an antitrust and litigation partner was a bit of a zigzag—not linear. My practice resulted from years of exploring and finding a community of lawyers I want to be around (and try cases with when we have the chance!). I began my legal career as an antitrust associate and was mentored by several female antitrust partners in my first year of practice. After that, I took a six-year detour from antitrust to learn how to try court cases, first seeing trials during my clerkship and after that, being in court every week as an Assistant United States Attorney. Although being a litigator is a very demanding career, the camaraderie and the challenge of doing cases is very meaningful. I ultimately returned to anti-trust because there were opportunities for me to serve in the Department of Justice Antitrust Division with some of the colleagues that I had worked with at the start of my career, and there were large-scale trials on the horizon at that time. These cases are difficult and big, and I like the challenge.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

What is amazing and challenging with my practice is that it varies so much day to day. Here’s an example of a recent day:

9:00 a.m.: Video call with a client to discuss responses and next steps in a global competition investigation.

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Walk down the hallway to check in with a senior associate about preparation for a deposition in a federal civil antitrust case, including how the witness will react to questioning and key documents. The senior associate and I both conduct the deposition. Talk about pro bono civil rights case with the same senior associate and payment of the settlement the associate has secured for the client.

12:15 p.m. - 12:30p.m.: Talk with a new associate about draft letter and how certain positions in discovery impact trial. Discuss pros, cons, and examples of when my chosen strategy wasn’t as effective.

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Team meeting with WSGR attorneys to discuss response to discovery motions and economic expert reports in an antitrust case and hear the group’s feedback on advocacy.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Calls and correspondence on a criminal antitrust investigation in which U.S. and state agencies have asked the client for production of information.

The rest of the afternoon into evening: Videocalls with cross-office associate team to talk about scope and interviews in an internal investigation. Draft summary to give the client an update on key facts.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

I would recommend that a person seek out and get to know antitrust professors and lawyers (newer and more experienced) who have worked in government, firm, or in-house positions to ask them about their careers and get to know the subject matter area. In terms of training, the more practical exposure newer lawyers have, the more confident they will be in problem solving and working with clients and other people. A lack of confidence (especially when starting out in a legal career when one has less experience) can be paralyzing. Among the best ways to gain confidence and practical experience are clinics and other court/client-oriented programs at law school, federal or state clerkships, and pro bono representations that put you in contact with people who need your help.

What is unique about your practice area at your firm?

Like our clients—which include the full range of technology companies, from new startups to well-known social media and digital platforms—our lawyering needs to be fast paced, creative, and energetic. Our clients are trailblazers, and we strive to keep up and advise them well as they grow and change.

I came to WSGR’s Antitrust practice because it was one of the most innovative and highly regarded competition practices that had talent at all levels of experience. We have an unusually diverse group of lawyers, with lawyers in their first two decades of practice leading some of the group’s cases and business development, as well as more experienced lawyers who are viewed as luminaries in the field of competition. We have more than a dozen attorneys who were previously government antitrust attorneys in U.S. and European agencies, so we have seen both sides of arguments.

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area?

Here is what one first-year attorney has worked on with me in the course of a week:

  • Preparing and thinking through material for an economic expert report for an antitrust case.
  • Attending deposition preparation sessions with witnesses, including preparing key topics and documents to review with the witnesses.
  • Researching criminal procedure topics for a DOJ investigation.
  • Handling calls with a pro bono client regarding a federal court case.
  • Attending a lunch for diverse antitrust attorneys to encourage law students to explore antitrust.

What kinds of experience can summer associates gain in this practice area at your firm?

Summer associates with WSGR’s Antitrust group do real work, and we have them try out the same types of projects that they would do if they joined us after law school—seeing depositions, researching and drafting memos and briefs, and interacting with clients. They get to know colleagues of all experience levels, from new associates to senior partners. We have them help us with business development (e.g., attending client meetings and preparing presentations), so they see how clients view us and how important client relationships are for our practice. We also give feedback on their work, including areas for further development. We want them to have a realistic idea of what it is like to work as a WSGR antitrust attorney.

What are some typical career paths for lawyers in this practice area?

Among the newer attorneys I have a chance to work with in my practice, there are many paths:

  • Federal, state, or overseas antitrust/competition agencies (e.g., Department of Justice has an Honors Attorney Program for new attorneys to join government service).
  • Private law firms of all sizes, working on antitrust litigation (plaintiff or defense side), counseling on antitrust issues, and responding to government investigations.
  • Nonprofit competition and consumer protection public interest and advocacy organizations.
  • In-house legal departments that have M&A, litigation, competition, and regulatory attorneys.
  • Research and other academic positions in economic and competition areas.

Wendy Huang Waszmer, Partner—Antitrust

Wendy Huang Waszmer is an antitrust and litigation partner who represents and defends companies and individual employees in criminal cartel and other U.S. and cross-border government investigations, and in federal court cases and trials. Her first experience in antitrust was working on a Department of Justice investigation as a first-year associate. On that investigation, she saw up close how companies and their employees, as well as government prosecutors, respond to allegations that collusion or fraud has undermined markets and consumer interests. After that, she spent 10 years in public service as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard J. Leon, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia; an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; and later, in policy and leadership roles in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. Being part of the Wilson Sonsini team has been a boost to her practice because of the firm’s experience with high-tech and innovative companies, the diversity of viewpoints and expertise of her colleagues, and the “think-outside-of-the-box” culture.

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