Antitrust and Trade Regulation

Since our involvement in the famous Electrical Equipment cases in the early 1960s, Schiff Hardin has been one of the leading antitrust firms in the United States, on the forefront of defending clients against antitrust claims. Our many decades of experience include:

  • Antitrust and trade regulation counseling
  • Civil antitrust litigation
  • Criminal antitrust investigations and prosecutions
We have taken major responsibility in antitrust grand jury investigations and in resulting criminal prosecutions under the antitrust laws, as well as in nationwide civil treble damage antitrust litigation involving a wide range of industries. Our firm counsels a wide variety of corporate and business clients in antitrust and trade regulation matters ranging from supplier and distributor aspects of patents, trademarks and copyrights to internal antitrust compliance programs.

Counseling and Compliance

Schiff Hardin counsels a number of insurance companies and a wide variety of other corporate and business clients in antitrust and trade regulation matters.

We are experienced in designing and implementing internal antitrust compliance programs. We have prepared antitrust guidelines and handbooks and conducted antitrust compliance training, as well as antitrust audits, for a variety of clients.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Schiff Hardin's antitrust practitioners work closely with our business clients to provide practical advice and assistance in the antitrust aspects of mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other consolidations.

We prepare the filings required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR) and the Exon-Florio provision, and we regularly counsel clients with respect to the risks of antitrust challenge under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, including how to structure and implement transactions to reduce antitrust concerns. We have represented many companies in HSR "second request" situations and merger reviews by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Antitrust Division.

As our clients' businesses have expanded globally, the need to understand and comply with antitrust and competition laws in other countries has expanded in parallel. With the assistance of its network of cooperating counsel overseas, Schiff Hardin attorneys have been responsible for the preparation, filing and prosecution of multi-jurisdictional merger clearance filings, including economic analysis, negotiations with competition authorities and compliance with information requests.

Civil and Criminal Antitrust Litigation

Civil Antitrust Litigation

Schiff Hardin represents a range of businesses in complex, nationwide, multi-district civil antitrust litigation, including:

  • Price-fixing
  • Dealer termination
  • Unfair competition
  • Patent abuse
  • Other trade regulation matters

Schiff Hardin has represented clients in proceedings initiated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including Section 7 merger cases, Robinson-Patman Act investigations and criminal investigations and prosecutions.

In connection with the pre-merger notification reports required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, we also handle the resulting negotiations with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

Criminal Antitrust Investigations and Prosecutions

Schiff Hardin represents corporations, including Fortune 500 companies, and corporate officers in antitrust grand jury investigations and prosecutions. These representations have included negotiation of immunity agreements and various forms of amnesty under the Department of Justice's corporate and individual leniency programs and trials.

Insurance Antitrust Litigation

Schiff Hardin's attorneys have played leading roles in numerous antitrust cases involving property-casualty insurance. These cases include allegations of:

  • Price-fixing
  • Nationwide boycotts
  • Insurance boycotts
  • Boycotts in the commercial automobile residual market

Among our most notable experiences in insurance antitrust litigation, Schiff Hardin was involved in a case that led to a precedent-setting decision on the McCarran-Ferguson Act. In Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. California, 113 S.Ct. 2891 (1993), 19 state attorneys general filed complaints alleging that defendant insurers

The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's decision, rejecting the conclusion that the defendant insurers were entitled to antitrust immunity under the McCarran-Ferguson Act. The U.S. Supreme Court held that foreign companies could be held liable if they attempted to restrain trade in the United States.

This landmark case is just one example of the leading roles our attorneys have played in antitrust cases involving a range of insurance industry issues.

Unfair Competition and Unfair Trade Practices

Schiff Hardin attorneys are experienced in the antitrust-related area of unfair competition and unfair trade practices. The California courts, for example, have given increasing breadth to the reach of the state's deception and unfairness laws in recent years. These cases, often presented in a form similar to consumer class actions, call for the same strengths in organization, analysis, judgment and trial ability that we have demonstrated in antitrust cases for many years.