Paul H. Friedman is the managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and is a past co-chair of the antitrust/competition practice. Mr. Friedman has been ranked as a top antitrust lawyer by Chambers USA, a referral guide to leading lawyers in the United States that has noted his “excellent cross-examination of experts in antitrust cases” and that “his litigation prowess gains him further acclaim.” He has also been considered a “true star” in antitrust litigation by Benchmark Litigation. Mr. Friedman Co-Created the Annual Antitrust Law & Economics Institute for Judges that is co-sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law and the Law and Economics Center at the George Mason University School of Law. Mr. Friedman served as Co-Chair of the Institute from 2010-2014, and currently is a member of the Institute’s Curriculum Committee.
Mr. Friedman represents parties in merger and non-merger investigations and in antitrust litigation. Mr. Friedman regularly serves as lead counsel in multi-defendant class and non-class action matters in federal and state courts as well as in domestic and foreign arbitral tribunals.
- Lead counsel for Dean Foods Company and liaison counsel for all defendants in consolidated class action MDL antitrust suits brought by dairy farmers alleging conspiracy to monopolize, conspiracy to monopsonize, monopolization and attempted monopsonization of raw milk markets in certain southeastern states in the United States. Successfully negotiated settlement for Dean Foods.
- Lead counsel for Dean Foods Company in putative class action antitrust suit brought by retailers alleging conspiracy to monopolize, monopolization and attempted monopolization of processed milk markets in the southeastern United States. Litigation ongoing.
- Played a leading role in defending the merger of US Airways and American Airlines in litigation brought by the United States and seven states. Mr. Friedman’s defense of key witnesses and examination of third parties helped pave the way for the settlement of the case with the United States and the states. On the eve of closing, Dechert led the briefing to fend off a last minute challenge by private plaintiffs to enjoin the transaction. In the span of four days, Dechert prepared briefs for the bankruptcy court, the district court and the court of appeals, in each case successfully opposing the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction. US Airways/American Airlines created the world’s largest airline, benefiting all stakeholders including AA equity holders.
- Acting as one of the lead trial lawyers for Whole Foods Markets, Inc. in a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking to enjoin the company’s US$565 million acquisition of Wild Oats Markets Inc. Mr. Friedman deposed key third party witnesses before trial. At trial, Mr. Friedman’s “hard-nosed” cross examination of the FTC expert economic witness played a pivotal role in convincing the federal judge to issue an opinion rejecting the FTC’s request to temporarily block the merger.
- Represented Actelion against demands by generic drug manufacturers that Actelion supply samples of its drug product to generic companies to copy. The resolution of Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. & Actelion Clinical Research, Inc. v. Apotex Inc. et al. will influence the dealings between innovator and generic drug companies and provides a road map for firms facing similar demands, and brought into stark relief the policy tension between that right and the public policy favoring entry by generic drugs.
- Represented Louisiana Pacific and served as defense liaison counsel in In re OSB Antitrust Litigation, and successfully arguing, on behalf of all Defendants, that a proposed class of all homebuyers since 2002 should not be certified in In re OSB Antitrust Litigation.
- Lead counsel for Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in federal MDL class and opt-out litigation and in state court indirect purchaser cases. Achieving closure of FTC informal inquiry in record time, which permitted Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to close on sale of assets that were vital to its financial survival.
- Persuaded the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to close an investigation and take no action in an alleged market allocation conspiracy among the Baby Bells in the provision of Internet Yellow Pages, and then represented the same client in a private suit brought by a competitor. The competitor voluntarily dismissed that suit following successful mediation efforts involving a former head of the Antitrust Division.
- Defended ConAgra Foods in the Vitamins Antitrust Litigation and navigated a favorable settlement despite the many guilty pleas by co-defendants and former employees. The Vitamins Antitrust Litigation remains one of the most complex antitrust matters to be handled in an MDL proceeding.
- Represented the Air Transport Association and serving as lead counsel for the commercial airline industry in group boycott litigation brought by a prospective service vendor to the industry, obtaining judgment for the defendants in three separate suits filed by the plaintiff, which was affirmed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Represented Pergo AB in an arbitration proceeding brought by the bankruptcy trustee of a former supplier, which was conducted under the auspices of the German Arbitral Institute, persuading the Tribunal that the contract provisions that formed the basis for the claim were unenforceable under European competition law, and obtaining an affirmative award for Pergo.
Mr. Friedman also guides clients through Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice investigations. He has been successful in persuading the enforcement agencies to forego expensive and time-consuming second requests and has gained expedited clearance following the issuance of a second request.
- Served as lead global competition counsel for client Peabody Energy in its A$4.8 billion acquisition of Australian-based miner Macarthur Coal Limited. The acquisition began as a hostile tender offer, but eventually was completed as a friendly deal. Dechert’s antitrust team in the United States, Brussels and Beijing coordinated global merger filings and clearances in Brussels, China, Japan, Korea and Brazil. The Dechert team successfully persuaded the European Commission’s competition directorate that a costly EU merger filing was not required. Our U.S. and Beijing lawyers worked closely with the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) and other China-based counsel to secure clearance earlier than outside observers expected. Our U.S. and Brussels lawyers directed local counsel in Brazil, Japan and Korea and achieved timely clearance in each of those jurisdictions. Securing competition clearance was a key factor in persuading Macarthur’s largest shareholder, a sovereign Chinese investment fund, to negotiate terms that led to a friendly takeover.
Policy and Politics
Some transactions raise political as well as competition issues. Mr. Friedman has prepared clients involved in mergers for testimony before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. For example, Mr. Friedman helped prepare the buyer and the seller for testimony before the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, which was investigating a merger in the defense aerospace industry.
Administrative Proceedings and Advocacy Projects
Mr. Friedman represents parties in administrative adjudications before the FTC and other federal agencies in connection with merger and non-merger investigations. These administrative proceedings have their own unique rules of practice and require strategies different from those used in court. He has also handled a number of competition advocacy projects before the FTC, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission, including matters involving Internet businesses, telecommunications, wireless cable, direct broadcast television, and satellites.
Helping clients avoid costly litigation and government investigations is key. Mr. Friedman’s in-depth knowledge of such industries as aerospace and aviation, broadcast, consumer products, and telecommunications enables him to provide practical compliance advice, particularly with regard to sales and marketing practices. Mr. Friedman has created and implemented training programs for both in-house lawyers and non-lawyer sales and marketing groups.
The University of Chicago, B.A., 1975
Boston University School of Law, J.D., 1978
Supreme Court of the United States
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
District of Columbia
Mr. Friedman is an active member of the American Bar Association Antitrust Section. He has been a member of the Section’s Council since August 2012 and has held a number of other positions in the Section’s leadership, including Chair of the Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, Co-Chair of the Communications and Digital Technology Industries Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Section’s Programs Committee and the Advocacy Committee. Mr. Friedman is Principal Editor of the Section’s authoritative handbook, Model Jury Instructions in Civil Antitrust Cases, 2005 Edition.