Dennis S. Schmelzer


Dennis S. Schmelzer


Washington, D.C. | 1900 K Street, NW, Washington, DC, United States of America 20006-1110
+1 202 261 3348 | +1 202 261 3333


Dennis S. Schmelzer focuses his practice on antitrust and regulatory matters. He guides clients through all phases of merger reviews and investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), state attorneys general, and international competition and regulatory authorities.  Mr. Schmelzer also has considerable experience with civil litigation, including advising clients through multidistrict class action proceedings and defending clients at trial.

Mr. Schmelzer handles matters across a wide range of industries, including aviation, consumer and commercial electronics, energy, food products, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, and travel. Based on more than a decade of experience, Mr. Schmelzer has been listed as a Rising Star for Antitrust Litigation in Washington, DC by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2015 through 2020.

Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Schmelzer served as an associate at two other international law firms.


Merger Reviews & Regulatory Proceedings

  • Defended One Equity Partners' US$640 million sale of PeroxyChem, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of hydrogen peroxide and other peroxygen chemistries, to Evonik Industries in a successful Section 13(b) merger trial. 
  • Represented American Airlines in connection with its successful DOT application for antitrust immunity for its joint business agreement with Qantas Airways Limited.
  • Advised American Airlines in regulatory proceedings before the DOT and international competition authorities in connection with multiple additional applications for antitrust immunity for joint business agreements with international partners.
  • Secured DOJ approval for American Airlines’ acquisition of a significant equity stake in a leading regional carrier.
  • Advised C&J Energy Services on its US$2.86 billion combination with Nabors’ completion and production businesses in a transaction that created a leading diversified provider of completion and production services.
  • Represented the Oman Oil Company, a commercial company wholly owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, in its US$2.4 billion acquisition of Oxea, the world’s largest supplier of Oxo chemical products, from Advent International.
  • Represented Riverstone Holdings in connection with its US$9.5 billion formation of Talen Energy Corporation, which combined the merchant power generation businesses previously operated by PPL Corporation and Riverstone Holdings into one of the largest independent power producers in the United States. 
  • Advised Sabine Oil & Gas in its combination with Forest Oil Corporation to form a leader in exploration and production services in East Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
  • Represented Oiltanking Partners in connection with its US$4.4 billion sale of Oiltanking Holdings Americas to Enterprise Products Partners.
  • Secured FTC clearance for Plains All American Pipeline’s sale of its Rocky Mountain Pipeline System to Magellan Midstream Partners.
  • Counseled St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in its US$1 billion sale to Catholic Health Initiatives, a nationally recognized healthcare system.
  • Represented Liberty Dialysis in its US$1.7 billion sale to Fresenius Medical Care North America, the largest provider of dialysis services in the United States.
  • Advised Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V. in its US$959 million acquisition of Sara Lee’s North American fresh bakery business.

Government Investigations & Litigation

  • Advised American Airlines in connection with multidistrict antitrust litigation alleging anticompetitive conduct related to domestic airline capacity and related government investigations into alleged anticompetitive conduct. 
  • Represented Hitachi Ltd. in connection with consumer class actions alleging an international cartel concerning optical disk drives.
  • Represented Hitachi Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary Maxell Corporation of America in connection with consumer class actions alleging anticompetitive conduct related to lithium ion batteries.
  • Represented a leading automobile parts supplier and its affiliates in a series of criminal grand jury investigations and civil litigation involving antitrust allegations related to semiconductors and other consumer products.
  • Represented Toshiba Corporation and several affiliates in multi-district antitrust proceedings related to LCD panels and products, and assisted with the defense of those entities in a class action antitrust trial.
  • Represented a foreign air carrier in multi-district antitrust proceedings related to air cargo services.
  • Represented the Generic Pharmaceutical Association as amicus curiae in Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. v. Apotex, Inc.
  • Successfully defended ITOCHU International Inc. and its subsidiary MedSurg Specialty Devices, Inc. at trial against a US$70 million claim for alleged material breaches of an agreement to distribute medical devices.
  • Advised the audit committee of a telecommunications company in matters related to alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in Eastern Europe.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

  • Columbia University, B.A., 2006, cum laude
  • Duke University School of Law, J.D. and LL.M., 2009, Chief Executive Editor for the Duke Law & Technology Review and Lead Editor for the Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law
  • American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law