FTC alum joins Covington amid a rise in law firm antitrust hires

Signage is seen outside of the law firm Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Ryan Quillian spent eight years at the FTC
  • Law firms like Cooley and Kirkland & Ellis have added antitrust attorneys in recent months

(Reuters) – Covington & Burling said Tuesday that it has added Ryan Quillian, who spent eight years at the Federal Trade Commission, to its antitrust department in Washington, D.C.

Quillian was most recently deputy assistant director of the FTC’s technology enforcement division. He’ll advise clients on antitrust issues, merger investigations and civil litigation, Covington & Burling said.

There has been a flurry of movement of antitrust attorneys to and from large law firms in recent months.

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Last month, Covington added Christian Ahlborn, former global head of antitrust at Linklaters, as a partner in Brussels.

Latham & Watkins hired former Kirkland & Ellis antitrust partner, Katherine Rocco in April.

In March, Cooley added the former head of Linklaters’ global competition practice, Jonas Koponen, in Brussels. The firm also added the chair of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s antitrust investigations and government enforcement practice.

Charles Rule, co-chair of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison’s antitrust group left the firm to open a new antitrust firm in March.

Quillian said the uptick in antitrust work may be due to the Biden administration’s public comments on increasing enforcement. “There are a lot of antitrust issues that are on the front burner for [government] agencies,” he said.

While at the FTC, Quillian said he worked on matters such as Sysco Corp’s attempt to acquire US Foods Inc. He said he helped FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips write the sole dissenting statement when 1-800 Contacts was ordered to change online advertising practices that restricted competitors.

Read more:

Latham snags partner from Kirkland as antitrust hiring remains hot

Cooley adds Linklaters’ former antitrust head in Brussels

D.C. antitrust vet forms new law firm, leaving Paul Weiss

Small antitrust firm snags Winston & Strawn partner in New York

Covington snags ex-Linklaters antitrust chief amid EU competition crackdown

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Chinekwu Osakwe

Thomson Reuters

Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at Chinekwu.osakwe@thomsonreuters.com.

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