Trade and Antitrust

In today's competitive economy, businesses can ill afford the financial and human resources cost associated with defending antitrust and trade regulation claims. Therefore, the goal of our Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group is to help clients handle these matters in the most cost-efficient, practical manner available. 

Our Services

Robinson+Cole's long history of servicing manufacturing clients has advanced significantly our experience in counseling clients on the legal issues associated with the distribution of products and services. Our lawyers are well versed in the direct and indirect restrictions on marketing and distribution of products and services, including:

•  Customer and territory restrictions
•  Competitor contacts and collaboration
•  Advertising and promotional programs
•  Boycotts
•  Tying arrangements
•  Price discrimination
•  Contests and sweepstakes
•  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
•  Promotional programs and resale price issues
•  Unfair competition
•  Trade association activities

Although we have extensive litigation experience, we believe the best defense to antitrust and illegal trade claims is careful business counseling and avoidance. This approach enables us to work with clients to develop effective, proactive, and preventive law approaches and meaningful compliance programs. Our lawyers are experienced in business counseling on complex antitrust issues, as well as in litigating significant antitrust cases. We serve as compliance counsel to a range of business interests, including manufacturers, service industry clients, trade associations, insurance companies, and health care organizations.

Our antitrust lawyers have defended numerous corporate clients facing grand jury investigation and criminal prosecution for alleged antitrust violations. We also have extensive experience litigating and trying a wide variety of civil antitrust claims.

Our antitrust lawyers have worked with some of the nation's leading antitrust economists in developing merger and acquisition strategies, including "fix-it-first" solutions, competition and pre-merger filings and notifications, second request responses, and the like. We also have developed complex market studies with leading experts in both business counseling and litigation scenarios.

We have advised and represented clients responding to state and federal civil investigative demands in the petroleum, sportswear, paper products, and housing industries.

Our Team

The strength of our group arises from the breadth of experience of our members. The group includes lawyers with extensive knowledge of antitrust, competition law, trade regulation, and franchise law counseling as it applies to mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and other business arrangements. Our team can provide you with antitrust compliance counseling and pre-litigation advice to help prevent protracted and costly litigation, whether at the state, regional, or national level. Our lawyers have a record of securing positive outcomes for clients. Our assistance recently allowed a client to avoid indictment in a Federal Trade Commission price-fixing conspiracy investigation. A partner on our team, Brian Moran, is the principal author of a 2013 book, The Executive’s Antitrust Guide to Pricing.

    • Experience
      • Represented a company involved in the national distribution of petroleum products. Company acquired a subsidiary engaged in the manufacture and distribution of industrial gases. Advised the company on integrating the newly acquired company into the client’s existing antitrust compliance program. Made substantive modifications to compliance manuals, conducted interviews of key sales and supervisory personnel, presented in-house seminars, and reviewed business files of the subsidiary company to identify any existing antitrust concerns, resulting in a successful integration of the antitrust compliance programs of the two companies was achieved.

      • Acted as environmental permitting counsel to a public ferry operation in securing state and federal permits for the expansion of a coastal ferry terminal.

      • Represented a wholly-owned subsidiary of a company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in building a world-wide distribution program in the strategic planning stages of the company. Our lawyers worked closely with sales and management personnel to customize a distribution program that accommodated the specific needs of the company and had functionality beyond the boundaries of the U.S.
      • Obtained summary judgment for a supermarket entity in a civil case alleging monopolization and attempted monopolization. The plaintiffs had alleged that our client and others had purchased real estate with the goal of impeding supermarket development. We obtained a judgment in favor of our client without the need for trial.
      • Successfully persuaded the Department of Justice not to prosecute a manufacturing client in a nationwide price fixing investigation in the explosives industry. For other manufacturers, the prosecution resulted in record-setting criminal penalties.
      • Representing a refuse removal company in New York in a private antitrust action that follows a federal criminal investigation of the trash hauling industry in the suburbs of New York City.
      • Obtained an acquittal for a waste hauling corporation after an eight-week federal antitrust trial. The government had alleged a customer and geographic market allocation scheme.

      • Defended breach of contract, unfair trade practices, and fraud claims asserted against managed care organization by financially troubled managed care subcontractor. Collaborated with firm’s Government Relations Group to respond to Connecticut Attorney General’s concern regarding member services provided by subcontractor and to provider complaints regarding subcontractor’s service. Vigorous defense of principal resulted in a settlement in which subcontractor was replaced, all claims were withdrawn, and service to managed care members was never disrupted.
      • Defended helicopter manufacturer from tort, equitable, and trade practice claims asserted by former Venezuelan sales representative relating to its termination. Based defense on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Four-week trial to a jury in state court resulted in verdict favorable to client.

      • Defended helicopter manufacturer and its parent against contract, tort, and trade practice claims asserted by Argentine sales representative arising from contract termination. Asserted FCPA as defense. A five-week trial to a federal jury resulted in a highly favorable verdict for the manufacturer.

      • Completed Hart-Scott-Rodino filing for pharmaceutical company and related entities in connection with the sale of an FDA-approved pharmaceutical product line to a publicly traded pharmaceutical company.
      • Representation of NYSE-listed company in subpoena response to New York State attorney general industry-wide investigation of highly regulated industry.
      • Structured and counseled manufacturers and distributors in various minimum price policy programs, co-op advertising, and resale price maintenance programs.
      • Counseled several national trade associations on antitrust compliance.
      • Representation of public and private companies in continued matters, before several Northeast state attorneys general, related to Robinson Patman, consumer protection, and trade regulations matters.
      • Conducted internal investigations and assisted in conducting investigations for major public and privately held food service, oil, and Internet services companies.
      • Advice regarding compliance with trade regulations, including Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), as well as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and antiboycotting rules. Advice includes classification counseling, I-129 certifications for immigration, compliance programs and training, as well as due diligence in transactions, contract manufacturing and strategic alliances.
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    • News
      • August 20, 2020

        61 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021

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      • November 1, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Receives 37 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and 3 National Rankings in Latest U.S. News – Best Law Firms Survey

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      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • November 1, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives 34 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and 3 National Rankings in Latest U.S. News – Best Law Firms Survey

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • November 1, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives 34 First-Tier Metropolitan Rankings and Three National Rankings in U.S. News – Best Lawyers Survey

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • September 14, 2012

        Ten Robinson & Cole Attorneys Selected as “Lawyers of the Year”

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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    • Publications + Presentations
    • "A Return to the Core Principles of Antitrust: Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter and FTC Chair Lina Khan Reflect on Their Successes and Learning Experiences" co-authored by Jennifer M. Driscoll, Kathleen M. Porter, David E. Carney and David E. Carney (10/18/23)

      "Getting Your Business Ready for a Sale Transaction," co-presented by Leslie J. Levinson and Eric M. Kogan, in a Robinson+Cole webinar (5/15/2019)
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      "Antitrust Do's & Don'ts for Home Heating Oil Dealers," published in Massachusetts Oilheat Council Newsletter, authored by Kathleen M. Porter (6/2008)

      "U.S. Antitrust Compliance," at Fancy Foods Trade Show, New York City, presented by Brian E. Moran

Our Team