Antitrust and Competition Regulation and Enforcement

Our Antitrust and Competition Regulation and Enforcement practice includes all aspects of antitrust and competition-related regulatory compliance and defense of clients in antitrust and competition investigations and regulatory enforcement actions.

Our team includes several former federal prosecutors and we regularly assist companies and executives in regulatory investigations relating to allegations of antitrust and competition law violations. Whether responding to a DOJ criminal investigation or an FTC civil investigation, our Chambers and The Legal 500-ranked white collar defense and corporate investigations team has a superb record in achieving favorable results on behalf of our clients. In enforcement actions, we are skilled trial lawyers and are comfortable handling cases in federal courts as well as before FTC administrative law judges.

We have particular strength in helping companies navigate parallel government and civil actions, working with them to determine the most advantageous litigation strategy, including working with economic experts as appropriate, when facing criminal and civil actions relating to the same conduct. We also have significant appellate experience in antitrust and competition matters.

We also regularly counsel clients on regulatory compliance matters for companies across a variety of industries, including representing parties contemplating mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions with competitive implications before the FTC, DOJ, and other regulators. We conduct internal investigations as part of our compliance counseling, when appropriate.

Two of our partners have served in leadership roles within the ABA Antitrust Section for years, and our senior attorneys regularly lecture and write on issues of interest to the antitrust community.

Key Contacts

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Antitrust and Competition Investigations

Defended one of the country’s largest manufacturers of disposable cups and plastic cutlery against allegations of criminal and civil cartel activity in the industry; no criminal charges were brought and obtained dismissal of civil case.

Represented a commodities trading firm in connection with a Department of Justice criminal antitrust investigation of alleged price-fixing of brokerage commissions in energy trading.

Represented a road salt manufacturer in a criminal antitrust investigation by the DOJ Antitrust Division and various state attorneys general, avoiding any charges against the client.

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Melissa Maxman appeared on the Women in Antitrust (WIA) Podcast to talk about the role and relevance of the immunities and exemptions in the antitrust laws, as well as an overview of the main doctrines and case law in the U.S. and some of the current discussions about this topic in the U.S. Congress and antitrust community. Melissa also shared several of her interesting and inspiring experiences from both the academia and career perspectives.

International law firm Cohen & Gresser has been recognized in The Legal 500 United States 2022 guide for “bringing excitement and innovation to the practice of law.” The 2022 guide recognizes more C&G lawyers and practice areas than ever before, including a 58% increase in individual attorney recommendations and new rankings at the practice and “Leading Lawyer” levels.

The guide highlights C&G’s “elite group of practitioners” and use of advanced machine learning techniques and notes that the firm “handle[s] cases that are every bit as complex and challenging as big, national law firms.” Commentators noted that the firm “punches way above its weight” in litigation and investigation matters.

C&G Co-Founder Mark S Cohen is one of only two lawyers in the United States to be recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in both Securities Litigation: Defense and Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense. Commentary from The Legal 500 recognizes Mark as a “top-tier advocate” who is “at the top of the profession” and “can litigate with the best of them.”

For the first time, C&G’s Antitrust practice has been recognized in Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Actions: Defense for its handling of class action cases concerning allegations of cartel behavior, monopolization, and other exclusionary conducts. The Legal 500 cites the leadership of Melissa H Maxman and the addition of “heavyweight” lawyer John Roberti as key reasons for the practice’s recognition.

C&G is again recognized in the Advice to Individuals and Advice to Corporates categories of the Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense section. The Legal 500 commentary notes that the practice is led by “partners with deep experience who obtain excellent results for clients” and is “well placed to handle transatlantic cases” with offices in New York, Paris, and London, and has “particular expertise in financial crime, antitrust enforcement, public corruption, and tax issues.”

The guide has also recognized C&G once again in the General Commercial Disputes category, praising the practice for showing the “discipline and focus necessary to win a case.” Testimonials from the guide highlight the team’s ability to “handle large and complex matters” with “experienced people, good judgment,” and “better use of technology.”

For the 10th consecutive year, C&G has been recognized in the Securities Litigation: Defense category for the firm’s “expertise in the financial services sector” and “recognized trial expertise” in cross-border and domestic securities litigation and enforcement proceedings. The Legal 500 emphasizes the team’s “strong practitioners” and “attentiveness to clients” in the 2022 guide.

Recognized Practices:

  • Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Actions: Defense
  • Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Individuals
  • Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates
  • General Commercial Disputes
  • Securities Litigation: Defense
Recognized Individuals:

Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Actions: Defense

  • Melissa H Maxman
  • John Roberti
  • Ronald F Wick
Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense

  • Jonathan S Abernethy
  • Jason Brown
  • Mark S Cohen
  • S Gale Dick
  • Jeffrey I Lang
  • Melissa H Maxman
  • Reggie Schafer
General Commercial Disputes

  • Mark S Cohen
  • S Gale Dick
  • Lawrence T Gresser
  • Melissa H Maxman
  • Daniel H Tabak
Securities Litigation: Defense

  • Jonathan S Abernethy
  • Mark S Cohen
  • S Gale Dick
  • Lawrence T Gresser
About The Legal 500:

The Legal 500 analyzes the capabilities of law firms across the world. Its rankings “highlight the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel.”

International law firm Cohen & Gresser today announced that prominent antitrust litigator John Roberti has joined the firm’s Antitrust practice as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office. John’s arrival is part of the firm’s strategic expansion of its Antitrust & Competition capabilities and will strengthen its ability to provide strategic counsel in all aspects of antitrust litigation and investigations. He will work alongside distinguished antitrust litigators Melissa H Maxman and Ronald F Wick in Washington, D.C., to form a dynamic team of leading antitrust lawyers who are deeply entrenched in many of the most consequential antitrust matters ongoing in the U.S.
The Biden Administration has made its picks for antitrust leadership, and they are all members of an intellectual movement to increase antitrust enforcement in big tech and beyond. What broader impacts will these appointments have and what are some of the challenges they will face? C&G’s Melissa H Maxman co-hosts this episode of the podcast “Our Curious Amalgam,” presented by the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section, where she spoke with Bill Kovacic, Former Chair of the FTC and Director of the Competition Law Center at George Washington University, to discuss how the nearly decade-long debate about antitrust reform may play out in the new administration.
Melissa H Maxman is featured in The Athletic, in which she discusses the NCAA’s argument to exempt its amateurism rules from federal antitrust scrutiny. “The NCAA is going to try to backdoor into an antitrust exemption the same way baseball did,” Melissa said. “The baseball exemption came to be accidentally through a Supreme Court ruling, and it’s just gone on and on. It is bad law. That is what I fear here.” (Subscription required.)

Cohen & Gresser is pleased to announce that 35 of the firm's New York and Washington D.C.­based attorneys have been named to the 2020 Super Lawyers List across a wide range of practice areas. C&G co-­founder Mark S Cohen and partners Jonathan S Abernethy and Daniel H Tabak have also been named to the Super Lawyers list of the top 100 lawyers in the New York metropolitan area, and partner Karen H Bromberg has been recognized as one of the top 50 women lawyers in the New York metropolitan area.
Cohen & Gresser announces the expansion of its white collar defense offering with the appointment of Tim Harris as a senior associate in the firm’s London office. Tim brings a long track record as a financial crime lawyer and will focus primarily on white collar matters, including internal and regulatory investigations. He also provides noncontentious advice with respect to tax evasion, antibribery and corruption, and antimoney laundering regulations.
We are pleased to announce that 33 of our New York and Washington D.C.-based C&G attorneys have been recognized by Super Lawyers this year across a wide range of practice areas. Super Lawyers also selected C&G co-founder Mark S Cohen and partners Jonathan S Abernethy and Daniel H Tabak to its list of the top 100 lawyers in the New York metropolitan area, and partner Karen H Bromberg to its list of the top 50 women lawyers in the New York metropolitan area.
We are pleased to announce that thirty of our New York and Washington, D.C.-based C&G attorneys have been recognized by Super Lawyers this year across a wide range of practice areas. Super Lawyers also selected C&G co-founders Mark S Cohen and Lawrence T Gresser to its list of the top 100 lawyers in the New York metropolitan area, and partners Karen H Bromberg and Alexandra Wald as two of its top 50 women lawyers in New York. Super Lawyers ranks outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Fewer than five percent of all lawyers in the U.S. receive this honor.
Cohen & Gresser announces the expansion of its London office and White Collar Defense & Regulation group with the appointment of partner John W Gibson. A former UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) senior prosecutor, John will focus his practice on cross-border corporate investigations and white collar defense. He has over 25 years of experience as a barrister, and advises on all matters relating to law enforcement, regulatory and internal investigation of suspected crimes and regulatory breaches, as well as the defense of companies and individuals. In addition, John has expertise in data strategy and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in big data litigation and investigations.
Twenty-eight of our New York and Washington D.C.-based Cohen & Gresser attorneys have been recognized by Super Lawyers this year across a wide range of practice areas. Super Lawyers also named C&G co-founding partner Mark S Cohen to its list of the top 100 lawyers in the New York metropolitan area, and partners Karen H Bromberg and Alexandra Wald to its top 50 women lawyers in New York list. Super Lawyers ranks outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Fewer than five percent of all lawyers in the U.S. receive this honor.

Melissa H Maxman was quoted in a Bloomberg article regarding Google’s internet dominance and the effects on internet searches, noting that “bringing plaintiff cases in the U.S. will be challenging, especially after the Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation of Google in 2013.”

The Capitol Forum Interview Series features a discussion with Melissa H Maxman, Managing Partner of C&G's Washington, D.C. office. 

View the interview here

Twenty-two of our New York and Washington, D.C.-based attorneys have been recognized by Super Lawyers this year across a wide range of practice areas. Super Lawyers also named C&G co-founding partners Mark S Cohen and Lawrence T Gresser to its list of the top 100 lawyers in the New York metropolitan area, and partner Karen H Bromberg to both its list of top 50 women lawyers and top 100 lawyers in the New York metropolitan area.

Cohen & Gresser is pleased to announce the opening of its fourth office in Washington, D.C. The Washington office will be led by partner Melissa H Maxman, and will handle a range of commercial litigation and regulatory enforcement matters, with a focus on U.S. antitrust issues, criminal and civil litigation, and compliance and regulatory disputes in the federal agencies.

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Twice in the past month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unanimously announced consent decrees that are a strong signal of the current Commission’s intent to investigate private equity transactions aggressively.

  • The consent decrees allow the private equity fund JAB Consumer Partners SCA SICAR's National Veterinary Associates to close two recent deals with some divestitures but also impose a series of strict prior notice requirements that are unprecedented in their breadth.
  • The announcements come a month after the confirmation of a fifth commissioner that gave the Democrats a 3-2 majority on the FTC.
  • As long as Democrats control the majority, private equity firms should be prepared for additional scrutiny and be cognizant of other competition issues that may impact them.
In this client alert, John Roberti, Melissa Maxman, Ronald Wick, David Lisner, and Derek Jackson discuss the potential implications of these rulings for private equity firms and offer insight into how PE firms can be more cognizant of competition and antitrust compliance issues that may pose a potential risk moving forward.  

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is unlikely to be deterred by last week’s trial setbacks.
  • Juries acquitted two sets of defendants of antitrust claims involving labor markets.
  • The Antitrust Division will continue to pursue labor cases and has three more trials pending.
  • The Division is willing to accept some losses in trials as a cost of taking a more aggressive enforcement position.
In this client alert, the authors summarize the recent setbacks, discuss the Division’s labor initiative, and conclude that more aggressive enforcement is on its way.

In this C&G Client Alert, Melissa H Maxman, Ronald F Wick, Erica Lai, and Danielle Morello discuss the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) announcement that it will now consider crediting companies for “robust” compliance programs at the charging stage of criminal antitrust investigations. This signals a reversal of the DOJ’s longstanding policy of allowing substantial penalty reductions only for “early-in” whistleblowers.

Ronald F Wick discusses the implications of the Federal Trade Commission's plan to create a new task force focused on monitoring competition in U.S. technology markets in his latest C&G Client Alert

Considering traditional antitrust principles, it is hard to conceive the government losing this case.

Melissa H Maxman will speak at the ABA Class Actions 2022 Conference on a CLE panel titled, “Don’t Squat on Your Spurs: Ethical Issues in Class Actions Involving Injury and Experts.” The panel will look at what constitutes injury-in-fact and the ethical, strategic, and policy concerns it creates.

Melissa H Maxman moderates this ABA Business Law Section virtual panel entitled “Protections Against Self-Incrimination – What International Corporations Should Know” that explores the interplay of international white-collar crimes (focusing on antitrust violations in jurisdictions where these are treated as criminal offenses) and the evidentiary right against self-incrimination, for both individuals and corporations in the antitrust context.

The panel discusses the rights against self-incrimination in parallel criminal and civil cases, in a comparative-law approach across five jurisdictions – the US, Canada, UK, Switzerland, and Brazil. Also discussed is a discourse of best practices as to how an international corporation’s board addresses allegations of impropriety in the context of an antitrust case scenario.

Melissa H Maxman will moderate a panel during the ABA Litigation Section’s 2021 Women in Litigation Joint CLE Conference. This empowering conference will include 16 dynamic programs highlighting women leaders,  emotional intelligence, and the gender gap. Melissa’s panel will explore the judiciary’s role in promoting diversity in legal leadership.

Melissa H Maxman will speak on a panel titled “Antitrust and Politics: Are We Entering a New Era?” during the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ 2021 White Collar Practice Seminar.

In an upcoming program for Lawline, Melissa H Maxman and Ronald F Wick explore NCAA v. Alston, the first comprehensive case addressing the NCAA's scope of authority in more than 35 years.

In June of 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that the National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") has violated the Sherman Act with its rules limiting the amount of education-related compensation colleges and universities can provide to student-athletes. However, the Court did not define what constitutes education-related compensation, and the NCAA still has the ability to define the outer boundaries of that term.

This webinar will consider NCAA v. Alston as it relates to the Sherman Act and the implications the Court's decision will have.

Melissa H Maxman presented in this ABA Antitrust Section webinar where she discussed the rise in private antitrust class actions and outlined clear steps to ensure the best strategies to prevent and defend against different types of anticompetitive allegations.

In an on-demand Lawline CLE course, Melissa Maxman and Erica Lai discuss the origins of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, explain its current legal framework and standards, and examine its continued evolution, focusing on Section 2 challenges brought by state and federal governments against Google.

Melissa Maxman joined a conference call hosted by The Capitol Forum to discuss the pending Supreme Court case NCAA v. Alston. During the call, Melissa discussed antitrust exemptions and the O’Bannon case and spoke about the impact these and other issues will have on the pending Alston case.

Erica Lai served as the moderator of a panel discussion titled “Promoting Women’s Professional Development And How Men Can Help – During the Challenges of the Pandemic and Beyond.” The panel was hosted by American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section’s Women.Connected committee.

Melissa H Maxman guest lectured at Fordham Law School’s Global Cartels course on the topic of International Cartel Enforcement and The Globalization of Antitrust.

Melissa H Maxman participated in a presentation, titled “The Incoherent Justification for Naked Restraints of Competition: What the Dental Self-Regulation Cases Tell Us about the Cavities in Antitrust Law” at the 19th Annual Loyola Antitrust Colloquium at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Partner Melissa Maxman appeared on Legal Talk Network’s podcast series ‘On the Road’ on the ‘Antitrust Exemptions in Sports--& More!’ episode. She joined host Creighton Macy of Baker McKenzie, and panelists Sathya Gosselin of Hausfeld and Kim Scott of Miller Canfield, in a discussion about antitrust exemptions in sports, antitrust careers, and litigating sports cases.

Ron Wick moderated this second installment in the Civil Practice & Procedure Committee's Class Action Series, which offered insights into best practices in presenting and rebutting economic evidence, including retaining and working with experts; tactical considerations and evidentiary issues unique to class actions; and the impact of the Supreme Court's most recent class certification decisions on antitrust class actions.

Association of Transportation Law Professionals (“ATLP”)  87th Annual Meeting in New Orleans

Multiple presentations while at the U.S. Department of Justice, including to the U.S. Navy, officials and military in Guam, and agencies and governmental bodies in California, Nevada, and Alaska.