Winston & Strawn healthcare co-leader to join DOJ antitrust team

Signage is seen outside of the legal offices of the Winston & Strawn law firm in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • David Dahlquist is slated to become senior trial counsel in Justice Department’s antitrust division
  • Dahlquist is latest law firm partner to join the division

(Reuters) – David Dahlquist, a co-chair of Winston & Strawn’s healthcare and life sciences group who works on antitrust matters, is leaving the firm to become senior trial counsel in the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division.

Dahlquist’s last day at the firm is Friday, Winston disclosed in two filings made the same day in two different Chicago federal court cases on behalf of Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Dahlquist confirmed his new position and declined to comment further. Winston chairman Tom Fitzgerald congratulated Dahlquist on his move in a statement Friday.

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Winston said in one of Friday’s filings that although Dahlquist is withdrawing, the firm will continue to represent NorthShore in a 15-year-old class action lawsuit accusing it of having an illegal monopoly on healthcare services due to its ownership of three Chicago-area hospitals. NorthShore has denied the allegations.

The other Friday filing said Winston, along with Seyfarth Shaw, will also continue to represent NorthShore in a class action lawsuit filed by employees who accused the hospital system of discriminating against them by failing to grant them exemptions from its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

NorthShore, which denies the allegations, struck a proposed $10.3 million settlement with the employees on Friday. The deal now requires the federal court’s approval.

Dahlquist has worked at Winston & Strawn since graduating law school in 2001, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Apart from NorthShore, Dahlquist’s clients include Englewood Healthcare Foundation, a New Jersey hospital system that was blocked from merging with Hackensack Meridian Health earlier this year by the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The two abandoned their $439 million merger days after the ruling.

Dahlquist’s departure from Winston & Strawn comes as the Justice Department is beefing up its antitrust ranks by recruiting law firm partners.

The Justice Department’s antitrust case against Alphabet Inc’s Google over its search business is set for trial in late 2023, and scrutiny of major U.S. technology companies continues. Google has denied violating antitrust law.

The department heads to trial next week in Washington, D.C., in a pair of cases challenging proposed mergers in the publishing and healthcare industries.

Earlier this month, Bonny Sweeney, a co-leader of the antitrust practice at Hausfeld in San Francisco who has built cases against major U.S. tech companies, left the plaintiffs’ firm to join the Justice Department’s antitrust trial team.

Last month, Aaron Sheanin from Robins Kaplan jumped to the Justice Department as an antitrust trial attorney.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department and the head of its antitrust office in Chicago did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday on Dahlquist’s hire.

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David Thomas

Thomson Reuters

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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