Cleary Gottlieb Wins 2023 Law360 Competition Practice Group of the Year

January 31, 2024

Cleary Gottlieb has won Law360’s Competition Practice Group of the Year award for its role guiding clients through several significant antitrust matters in 2023.

This is the fourth time in the last eight years that the firm has won this award.

This year, the firm’s antitrust group was recognized for its work steering one “hotly contested” merger through to closing, forcing the Justice Department to settle another case, and helping to “guide one of the largest-ever tech deals across the regulatory finish line.”

Law360 highlighted the group’s representation of Change Healthcare at trial in a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department and two states seeking to enjoin the procompetitive $13 billion merger of Change and UnitedHealth Group. The merger closed in early October 2022, and the DOJ abandoned a planned appeal of the loss in March.

Law360 also lauded the group’s work for door manufacturer Assa Abloy. The DOJ challenged its $4.3 billion acquisition of Spectrum Brands’ hardware and home improvement business, only to settle that lawsuit in the middle of trial, resolving allegations over direct horizontal overlap for building door locks.

The resolution was the first—and so far, only—merger clearance settlement under a Biden-era DOJ policy to deny most such deals. “We view that as a pretty significant win, especially in this antitrust environment,” said Cleary partner Jeremy Calsyn.

Law360 also praised the group’s antitrust counsel for Broadcom in its $61 billion acquisition of cloud services provider VMware. Cleary helped the deal clear competition enforcer scrutiny in multiple international jurisdictions in a time of intense focus on technology transactions.

“Competition authorities looked at a number of different theories, including conglomerate effects,” said Cleary partner Leah Brannon. “And the team worked across the globe to secure clearance everywhere.”

The annual Practice Group of the Year awards honor the attorney teams behind litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year.

To read Law360’s full profile of Cleary’s antitrust group, click here.