A former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawyer and head of the firm’s competition and consumer protection practice, Amanda develops creative strategies for clients contemplating or undergoing mergers in the retail and energy sectors, combining her in-depth knowledge of agency practice with a business-focused approach. 

With the understanding that mergers typically happen once or twice in a company’s lifecycle—and often bring about tremendous uncertainty—Amanda uses her deep experience to counsel clients on making sound strategic and day-to-day business decisions that are informed by the client’s strategic goals and antitrust risk.

She is equally adept at shepherding companies through the intricacies involved in presenting their case before the FTC, DOJ and state attorneys general. Amanda skillfully guides clients through the gamut of issues that may arise under FTC and DOJ antitrust and consumer protection investigations, litigation, and enforcement actions. She has written and spoken extensively on her experience representing parties and witnesses in dozens of FTC and DOJ investigations and litigation. 

A frequent speaker on antitrust topics, Amanda is regularly sought after by major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, and Associated Press to provide analysis of significant mergers, most often in the retail and consumer products industries. 

Amanda’s impressive legal acumen is only matched by her commitment to community service. She is co-founder of The Grapevine, the first networking platform established for professional women in the Washington, DC area who practice in the competition and consumer protection arenas; mentors up-and-coming lawyers through the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section; and supports the Kautz-Uible Fund at the University of Cincinnati by serving on its board of trustees. Amanda is also steadfastly committed to pro bono work.  Among other matters, she applied her passion for running in representing Run To Honor, a group that honors alumni of the US Naval Academy who gave their lives in service to our country.

Relevant Experience

Amanda regularly represents merging parties before the FTC and DOJ, including:

  • A global packaging company in the premerger review of a strategic transaction valued in excess of $1 billion. The transaction was reported in four jurisdictions and also reviewed voluntarily in the UK. The deal cleared in all reviewing jurisdictions after initial advocacy without issuance of Second Request (or equivalent in foreign jurisdictions).
  • Duke Energy Corporation in a DOJ investigation into alleged premature exercise of control (aka “gun jumping”).
  • An international retailer in obtaining premerger clearance in a strategic acquisition to expand product offerings into adjacent product and service areas in a deal valued in excess of $500 million. Amanda’s team obtained clearance during the initial HSR waiting period.
  • A national home improvement retailer in multiple strategic acquisitions before the FTC. All investigations have been cleared without divestitures or other remedies. 
  • A major energy company before the FTC in multiple strategic refining divestiture transactions. Obtained early termination of the HSR waiting period in each to enable client to move forward with extensive integration process relating to the sale.
  • A leading provider of funeral and cemetery services in its $1.4 billion strategic merger being reviewed by the FTC and several state attorneys general. The reviewing agencies cleared the transaction with divestitures after a Second Request.
  • One of the world’s largest retail supermarket chains in connection with strategic divestitures reviewed by FTC. After a Second Request, the FTC cleared the transaction with divestitures.
  • Universal Music Group before the FTC in its $1.9 billion acquisition of the recorded music business of EMI Music. After a second request and an extensive investigation, the FTC voted 5-0 to close its investigation without requiring divestitures or other remedies.
  • Delta Air Lines before the DOJ in its successful acquisition of Northwest Airlines. Following a second request and extensive investigation, the DOJ closed its investigation without requiring any divestitures or other remedies.
  • A federally regulated financial institution in a DOJ merger investigation. The DOJ closed its investigation, allowing the transaction to close without remedy or other action.

Amanda works closely with non-party witnesses in FTC and DOJ antitrust investigations and litigation to achieve their strategic objectives to oppose, support or remain neutral regarding a proposed merger while, at the same time, protecting confidential and privileged materials and managing costs.  Recent relevant matters include representing:

  • The sole customer of two merging parties in 18-month long investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Competition Commission.
  • A purchaser in FTC investigation and litigation regarding the proposed acquisition of US Foods by Sysco.
  • A group of downstream purchasers before the DOJ resulting in a decision not to clear the proposed merger of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The global opposition to BHP Billiton/Rio Tinto joint venture won Global Competition Review’s Award for “M&A Transaction of the Year—Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.”

Amanda’s antitrust and complex litigation experience includes representing:

  • A physician association in litigation involving contract, tort, and antitrust claims relating to a hospital joint venture.
  • A healthcare products manufacturer in a multidistrict class action litigation involving allegations of price fixing.
  • As trial counsel, a global high technology company in patent infringement case; case went to full trial on the merits on antitrust counterclaims.
  • As trial counsel, a national retail and casino development company in commercial litigation resulting in favorable settlement on the eve of trial.

Memberships

  • Member of the MLex Advisory Board, 2018
  • Board of Trustees, Kautz-Uible Fund, Department of Economics, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati (2016-present; founded Women in Economics Initiative)
  • Co-Founder, The Grapevine, 2010-present
  • Section Leadership, Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, 2007 - Present (various positions)

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized as a Future Leader for Competition Law, Who’s Who Legal, 2018
  • PACEsetter Award, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati, 2017
  • Named to “Under 40 Hot List” by Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2018
  • Listed as a Future Star in Virginia, Benchmark Litigation, 2017-2018
  • Selected as a Rising Star for Antitrust Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Washington, DC Super Lawyers, 2014-2017
  • Official Commendation for Meritorious Service, Federal Trade Commission, November 2007

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