Paul T. Denis


Paul T. Denis

Retired Partner

Washington, D.C. | 1900 K Street, NW, Washington, DC, United States of America 20006-1110
+1 202 261 3430 | +1 202 261 3333

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Paul T. Denis focuses his practice on mergers and other business combinations under antitrust scrutiny. He is widely recognized as one of the leading antitrust lawyers in the United States and has been hailed as a "master strategist," a "spectacular litigator," and “the gold standard for antitrust counsel.” 

Financial Times named Mr. Denis as one of the ten most innovative individuals in the North American legal sector and has recognized engagements he led for innovation in corporate, litigation, and the business of law. Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, and Legal 500 (U.S.) have ranked him in their top tier of antitrust/merger control lawyers in the United States. He was named to the National Law Journal’s inaugural list of M&A and Antitrust Trailblazers, and Law360 twice named Mr. Denis as one of the Competition Law MVPs in the United States. Recently, Who’s Who Legal recognized him as a "first port of call for many leading clients in the retail, transportation and food and beverages sectors,” and named him a “thought leader” in competition.

Combining unique insights from his government tenure in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice with diverse private sector experience, Mr. Denis advises on the antitrust implications of business practices, structures transactions to obviate competition law and Hart-Scott-Rodino issues, quietly resolves the most sensitive and complex government investigations, and forcefully litigates to achieve the results needed by his clients.

Among the numerous high-profile transactions Mr. Denis has guided to unconditional clearance or for which he crafted effective settlements to secure closing and preserve the efficiency benefits of the deal are Danone/WhiteWave, Alberstons/Safeway, US Airways/American Airlines, OfficeMax/Office Depot, Express Scripts/Medco, Dean Foods/Foremost Farms, Monster/Hot Jobs, Kellogg/Wholesome & Hearty, Whole Foods/Wild Oats, Travelport/Worldspan, Harrah’s/Horseshoe, Suiza Foods/Dean Foods, and CSX/Norfolk Southern/Conrail.

In litigation, Mr. Denis has defended high-profile transactions from government and private attack including in United States v. AB Electrolux and General Electric Company (D.D.C.), United States v. National CineMedia (S.D.N.Y.), United States v. US Airways Inc. (D.D.C.), Polypore International, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission (11th Cir. and Sup. Ct.), United States and Plaintiff States v. Dean Foods Company (E.D. WI), Kottaras v. Whole Foods Market (D.D.C. and D.C. Cir.), and Federal Trade Commission v. Whole Foods Market (D.D.C. and D.C. Cir.).

While serving in the Antitrust Division, Mr. Denis was the principal draftsman of the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission 1992 Horizontal Merger Guidelines (noted as “one of the most cited documents of modern antitrust”), which is the foundation for merger guidelines around the world including the current U.S. merger guidelines.

As part of his merger counseling practice, Mr. Denis developed DAMITT, the Dechert Antitrust Merger Enforcement Timing Tracker, which tracks the frequency, duration and resolution of significant U.S. and EU enforcement agency merger investigations and litigations. Data from DAMITT have been widely reported in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Time, and other leading publications.

Mr. Denis is also a frequent author and speaker and regularly acts as a media spokesperson on antitrust and merger clearance topics.

Mr. Denis was formerly a member of the firm's policy committee, served as deputy chair of the firm’s global litigation practice group and acted as co-chair of the firm’s antitrust practice.

  • Villanova University, B.A., 1980, summa cum laude
  • University of Michigan, M.A., Economics, 1983
  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1984, cum laude
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association, Section on Antitrust
    • Former member, 2016 Presidential Transition Task Force
    • Former Chair of the International Antitrust Committee
    • Former Editorial Vice Chair of the Annual Review of Antitrust Law Developments
    • Fomer member of the editorial board of the Premerger Notification Practice Manual
Speaking Engagements
  • The Consumer Welfare Standard: From The Antitrust Paradox to Hipster Antitrust — George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, Arlington, VA (February 16, 2018)
  • From Staples to Staples – 20 Years of Merger Enforcement in the United States, 20 Years in Antitrust and Lessons for a New Administration — George Mason Law Review's 20th Annual Antitrust Symposium, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, Arlington, VA (February 23, 2017)
  • Markets, Remedies and Survival: Cutting Edge Issues in Global Merger Control — 4th Annual Global Merger Control Conference, Paris, France (December 2, 2016)
  • United States v. AB Electrolux and General Electric Company: A Panel Discussion with Trial Counsel, 2016 Golden State Institute — The State Bar of California Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Section, San Francisco, CA (November 3, 2016)
  • Economics in Merger Litigation — Hal White Antitrust Conference sponsored by Bates White, Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2016)
  • GUPPI-Based Harbor: Safe or Perilous? — Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, Spring Meeting 2016, Washington, D.C. (April 6, 2016)
  • Navigating State and Federal Regulators During Your Merger — New York State Bar Association Antitrust Law Section Annual Meeting, New York, NY (January 30, 2014)
  • Antitrust Developments: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure — Association of Corporate Counsel, Greater New York Chapter, New York, NY (January 29, 2013)
  • Deal Dynamics Under Antitrust Fire: Contrasting AT&T/T-Mobile and Express Scripts/Medco — NJCCA'S Annual Conference, Whippany, NJ (September 20, 2012)
  • Economic Analysis of Consummated Mergers: Enforcement and Policy — Washington, D.C. (June 1, 2011)
  • The FTC v Whole Foods Antitrust Challenge: A Head-to-Head Debate Regarding the Legal and Economic Issues — New York, NY (June 25, 2009)