Criminal Antitrust Defense and Investigations

Criminal Antitrust Defense and Investigations

The past decade has seen an explosion in criminal antitrust enforcement activity by antitrust enforcement agencies around the globe, and a dramatic increase in the legal risk facing multinational businesses with exposure to accusations of involvement in price fixing, customer or market allocation, and other types of "cartel conduct."

Hunton & Williams LLP has decades of experience representing corporate and individual clients in cartel investigations in the U.S. and abroad. Our clients have included U.S. and foreign companies and executives, with a significant number of clients from Japan and other East Asian countries. During the last decade alone, we have represented clients in nearly every major international cartel investigation, including DRAM, air cargo, municipal bonds, LCD panels, ocean shipping, cathode ray tubes, auto parts, batteries, and compressors.

We understand that criminal cartel investigations can have a significant impact on company operations and reputation and can impose unprecedented burdens and distractions on management. We strive to work closely with our clients to navigate through these risks, while providing top level, efficient representation in Department of Justice and related investigations. When representing corporate clients based outside of the U.S., we frequently work very closely with their long-term local counsel to ensure effective client communication and to make maximum use of their local resources and deep knowledge of the client’s operations and business strategies.

The Hunton & Williams criminal antitrust defense practice is led by partners David Higbee and Djordje Petkoski. David is a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. In that role, he was a principal architect of the Department of Justice’s most significant criminal antitrust enforcement activities. Djordje is a cartel specialist, who trained under our former partner Ray Hartwell, one of the “founders” of the modern cartel bar in the United States. Djordje has extensive experience managing multinational cartel investigations and is an expert on compliance and legal strategy. He is a frequent lecturer on these topics at leading institutions, including Wharton Business School executive education programs.

Our team has successfully represented companies and individuals defending against indictment, as well as those seeking protection under amnesty programs in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. Our attorneys have strong relationships and frequent dealings with personnel in the key Antitrust Division sections involved in criminal enforcement – the National Criminal Enforcement Section in Washington and the San Francisco Field Office, among others. They also have regular interaction on behalf of clients directly with the Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Director of Criminal Enforcement at the Antitrust Division.