After nearly four years as the Federal Trade Commission’s Director for the Bureau of Competition, which ended last February, Debbie Feinstein is returning in September to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, where she will lead the global antitrust group, the firm said Wednesday.
“Arnold & Porter is home, and so it just seemed like the natural place to go back to. I worked there when I was a summer associate, and then when I was an associate,” Feinstein said in an interview Wednesday. “Then, after I went to the FTC, I came back to Arnold & Porter. It’s just always been a terrific antitrust group going back decades upon decades upon decades.”
Indeed, Feinstein found a landing spot at Arnold & Porter following an earlier stint at the FTC. After two years as an associate at Arnold & Porter, she left in 1989 to become Assistant Director to the Bureau of Competition. In 1991, she returned to the firm as an associate, rising to partner in 1995. From 2010 to 2013, she led Arnold & Porter’s US antitrust group.
“It took me 20 years to move two doors down the hall, but it was worth the wait,” she said, referring to the two decades separating her initial role at the FTC and her 2013 appointment as chief of the agency’s competition bureau.
Feinstein, whose tenure as the FTC’s top antitrust enforcer was marked by litigation victories against Sysco Corp.’s proposed acquisition of US Foods and Staples’ bid to buy rival Office Depot, returns to the private sector at an uncertain time for the commission. Only two of the FTC’s five commissioner seats are currently filled, and it is unclear whether President Donald Trump will install the acting chairwoman, Maureen Ohlhausen, to the top post in a permanent capacity.
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