Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Shearman Adds Five-Partner Antitrust Team in D.C., Including Former Trump Official

Shearman & Sterling announced this week that it is adding five antitrust lawyers as partners in its Washington, D.C. office, including former top officials from the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.

The partners will join from Hunton & Williams, and include David Higbee, who served as managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and vice chair of its global competition practice, as well as D. Bruce Hoffman, who headed the firm’s global competition practice and was previously deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission.

The other partners joining include Ryan Shores, a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Todd M. Stenerson and Djordje Petkoski.

They were not available for comment. Hunton & Williams has removed their bios from its website, and Shearman said the attorneys joined on June 16.

In an interview with Big Law Business, David Beveridge, managing partner of Shearman & Sterling, said the additions fit in with the firm’s goals to grow its oil and gas, as well as technology and media practices, as the group will bring clients in this area. Also, the group has expertise in merger review, as well as litigating cartel and price-fixing antitrust actions, and generally bolsters the firm’s strategic goal of boosting the number of lawyers it has in the U.S. relative to the rest of the world, he said.

“We’ve been looking for awhile to get additional antitrust strength and to get some more depth in our Washington, D.C. office,” Beveridge said.

In all, it brings Shearman’s antitrust team to 12 partners in the U.S., plus more in Brussels and Europe and other offices around the world.

All five lawyers join as partners, although Beveridge declined to say whether they’ll be equity or non-equity partners. Last September, Shearman created a new class of permanent nonequity partners, which Beveridge said gives it the flexibility to compensate lawyers based on the market they work in.

Higbee served on President Trump’s transition team, advising on Justice Department matters, and before that he served at the White House under President George W. Bush as special assistant to the president and associate director for Presidential Personnel, advising on appointments throughout the executive branch.

Adam Hakki, the firm’s global head of litigation, declined to comment on how antitrust enforcement would fare under the Trump Administration. “It’s early days still,” he said, adding that antitrust is a global practice and some of the partners joining are well equipped to work with clients around the world.

UPDATED: This post was updated to reflect that Shearman said the attorneys have started working at the firm.

Write to Big Law Business at biglawbusiness@bna.com.

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