Perspectives on the In-House Practice of Antitrust Law

Roy Hoffinger, Apr 29, 2013

After 30 years practicing antitrust law, 18 as in-house counsel, I think I can say that I have a fairly decent grasp of antitrust law-or at least what is known about antitrust law (more on that later). But in no way do I believe that my growth as an antitrust lawyer has ended or will end soon. I am continuously challenged and excited to apply the things I have learned in order to provide the legal services my clients expect and deserve. By this I mean providing antitrust advice that is not only correct from a legal perspective, but also understandable and useful to clients. After all, “correct” antitrust advice does no one any good if it is incomprehensible and/or impractical.

I am also referring to employing in my antitrust counseling practice the knowledge and experience I gain through management and involvement in antitrust litigation, and vice-versa. I may not be impartial, but in my experience there is no better way to get an understanding of the dimensions, scope, and intensity of competition than by advising clients on real transactions on a daily basis. This kind of knowledge is difficult as outside counsel to acquire in the same depth and within the same period of time. It improves not only the quality and usefulness of the day-to-day antitrust advice I provide, but also the arguments I help to formulate and make in antitrust litigation.

I will in the remainder of this article discuss some of the things that have worked for me in practicing antitrust law in-house, and why I have found this practice so fulfilling.

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