Wilson Sonsini Adds Former FTC and DOJ Veterans to Antitrust Team as Partners | BCGSearch.com

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Wilson Sonsini Adds Former FTC and DOJ Veterans to Antitrust Team as Partners

Wilson Sonsini Adds Former FTC and DOJ Veterans to Antitrust Team as Partners
Wilson Sonsini
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that Maureen Ohlhausen and Taylor Owings have joined the firm as partners. Ohlhausen is based in the Washington, D.C., office. Owings, based initially in the Washington, D.C., office, intends to transition to the firm’s New York office. The addition of Ohlhausen and Owings—both of whom have held senior, high-level regulatory agency roles—represents a significant move by Wilson Sonsini to bolster its well-respected antitrust and competition practice.
“Our talented antitrust team is at the forefront of the most complex and impactful issues, reflecting the extent to which our clients are facing broad and intense regulatory scrutiny,” said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini. “In addition to their relevant private-sector experience, both Maureen and Taylor have held high-level roles within key regulatory and enforcement agencies, which will greatly benefit the firm’s clients, particularly in the current climate of heightened enforcement and oversight. Both have achieved broad recognition throughout the antitrust and legal communities, and I know I speak for everyone at our firm when I say we’re delighted to welcome them to Wilson Sonsini.”
After finishing law school and clerking at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Maureen Ohlhausen joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) General Counsel’s Office in 1997. She would go on to hold various positions within the FTC over the next 12 years. Between 1998 and 2001, Ohlhausen acted as an attorney advisor for former FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle, offering counsel on matters pertaining to competition and consumer protection. From 2004 to 2008, Ohlhausen served as Director of the Office of Policy Planning, where she led the FTC's Internet Access Task Force, and earlier as Deputy Director of the same office. The task force, under her guidance, produced an influential report analyzing competition and consumer protection legal issues in broadband and the internet. She also led the agency’s competition advocacy work, with a particular focus on e-commerce, which was relied on extensively by the Supreme Court in an influential Constitutional law decision on digital markets.
In 2012, Ohlhausen became a Commissioner at the FTC and later served as Acting Chairman from January 2017 until May 2018, directing all aspects of the agency’s antitrust work, including merger review, conduct enforcement, and all consumer protection enforcement, with an emphasis on privacy and technology issues. Under her leadership, the FTC won several influential merger challenges in court and reached a number of key digital privacy settlements. She also testified more than two dozen times before Congress, including before the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Antitrust Sub-Committee, as well as the Antitrust Modernization Commission. Her scholarship has been cited approvingly by the U.S. Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, she is the only FTC Commissioner to have received the Robert Pitofsky Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions to the FTC.
Following the end of her term at the FTC, and immediately prior to joining Wilson Sonsini, Ohlhausen was chair of the global antitrust and competition practice at Baker Botts, based in that firm’s Washington, D.C., office. She also headed the FTC practice group at a leading telecommunications law firm between 2009 and 2012.
Drawing on her substantial agency and private practice experience, Ohlhausen is known as a trusted, go-to legal advisor to clients that she represents in several areas, including merger review, government investigations, antitrust counseling, privacy, cybersecurity, consumer protection investigations, and litigation. She has established connections with key officials in the U.S. and abroad, and has led the U.S. delegation at international antitrust and data privacy meetings on many occasions. Throughout her career, she has played a pivotal role on both the national and global stage, providing legal counsel to clients in the technology, retail, telecommunications, social media, and life sciences sectors.
“Wilson Sonsini is renowned for its destination antitrust and competition practice, meeting the full spectrum of clients' needs,” Ohlhausen said. “The team, longstanding leaders in the antitrust and competition bars, has successfully handled—and is presently overseeing—some of the world's largest and most high-profile matters. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues across the firm to represent and further expand Wilson Sonsini’s innovative and impressive client base.” 
Ohlhausen received her J.D., with distinction, from the George Mason University School of Law. She received a B.A. from the University of Virginia, graduating with honors.
In her role as Counsel and Chief of Staff in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Taylor Owings was a key advisor to the Assistant Attorney General on the application of antitrust law to technology industries, including in the DOJ’s review of the business practices of market-leading online platforms and in the application of antitrust law to the exercise of intellectual property rights and standard-setting organizations. She investigated and litigated mergers and civil conduct, led the implementation of policy initiatives, and argued on behalf of the United States in federal court.
Upon leaving the DOJ in 2021, Owings—like Ohlhausen—joined Baker Botts, where she was a partner in that firm’s Washington, D.C., office.
At Wilson Sonsini, Owings will continue to represent clients in civil merger and non-merger matters both before U.S. agencies and in private litigation. She also plans to advise clients on the application of antitrust law to their business operations, with an emphasis on issues arising in technology-focused industries.
Owings is intimately familiar with all phases of merger review, drawing on her direct experience reviewing mergers at DOJ to counsel and represent clients before regulatory agencies. Specifically, her experience includes mergers involving vertical theories of harm, the acquisition of a nascent or potential competitor, and the implications of a merger on innovation and data accumulation.
Additionally, Owings’s antitrust and competition litigation experience includes developing trial and appellate strategies in high-profile disputes. She has argued matters before the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the First and Fourth Circuits. Earlier in her career, she clerked for the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for the Honorable Richard J. Leon on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“I have long been impressed by the breadth and depth of resources at Wilson Sonsini and its dedication to functioning as one firm, spanning all practices and regions, to guarantee clients access to the very best knowledge and service,” commented Owings. “This move allows Maureen and me to add value to the firm while simultaneously broadening our practice and advancing our clients’ business-critical objectives.”
Owings earned her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, Order of the Coif; an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, with merit; and an A.B. in economics from Harvard University, magna cum laude.
Wilson Sonsini’s elite antitrust and competition practice group represents clients in high-stakes antitrust litigation, mergers, and criminal and civil investigations, in addition to providing valuable counseling on business strategy. The practice was lauded as “perhaps the best antitrust and competition practice for high-tech matters in the world” by Global Competition Review, while Chambers USA characterized them as “a dominant firm for matters involving the hi-tech sphere, acting for many of the most prominent technology firms,” with a “deep and diverse bench of outstanding practitioners.”
“Maureen’s wealth of experience at the FTC, where she held the agency’s highest-ranking position, along with Taylor’s high-level exposure to significant antitrust matters at the DOJ—especially at the intersection of intellectual property and competition—make them a formidable team,” said Brent Snyder, the leader of Wilson Sonsini’s regulatory and compliance department. “I’m confident that they will be indispensable assets to our team and our firm’s clients. We are delighted that they are both joining Wilson Sonsini.”

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