Former FTC Chief Joins Hogan Lovells to Lead Antitrust Group

By Alexei Alexis, Bloomberg BNA

Former Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez has joined Hogan Lovells LLP, where she’ll be focused on antitrust and privacy issues, the firm announced Sept. 6.

Ramirez, a Democrat who served in the Obama administration, will be co-head of Hogan Lovells’ global antitrust, competition, and economic regulation practice and will also play an active role in the privacy and cybersecurity group, according to the firm. She will be based in Washington and Los Angeles. She previously was a litigation partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, but she won’t be returning to her old law firm.

Her new role comes at a time of growing uncertainty in the area of antitrust policy, both within the U.S. and abroad. Currently, three out of the FTC’s five commissioner seats are vacant, and the agency has an acting leader. Makan Delrahim, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, is still waiting for Senate confirmation.

Meanwhile, multinational companies are grappling with a rapid expansion of antitrust enforcement regimes overseas in recent decades.

“I look forward to returning to private practice and to assisting companies as they navigate competition, privacy, and data security issues in the U.S. and around the world,” Ramirez said in a Hogan Lovells statement.

Hogan Lovells has a prominent antitrust practice. It is hosting a Sept. 7 roundtable discussion in New York on how political protectionism affects mergers and acquisitions.

Ramirez was appointed by former President Barack Obama in April 2010 to serve on the commission. She became a chairwoman in March 2013, after Jon Leibowitz resigned as chairman.

Under her leadership, the FTC successfully challenged the mergers of Sysco Corp. and U.S. Foods Inc., as well as Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc.

Hogan Lovells’ antitrust team consists of more than 135 lawyers in 18 countries. Ramirez will be co-leading the group with Suyong Kim, who is based in London.

The privacy and cybersecurity practice includes more than 80 lawyers in 16 countries.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexei Alexis in Washington at aalexis@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bna.com

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