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Freshfields Nabs Wilson Sonsini Antitrust Partner Ferris in DC

Sept. 12, 2022, 10:00 AM

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired Jamillia Ferris in Washington as the firm builds its antitrust practice.

Ferris, a former senior antitrust official at the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, joins from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati where she was a partner in the firm’s antitrust and competition practice.

Freshfields’ bench of long-standing practitioners, some of which have strong ties to the government both at the DOJ and FCC, along with its global footprint, made it an attractive opportunity, she said.

“A global platform was really just one that was too hard to pass up,” she said in an interview, “particularly as you’ve looked out into the future of where the action is going to be on antitrust.”

UK-founded Freshfields is among firms expanding antitrust as the Biden administration makes enforcement a top priority. The Justice Department is also ramping up hiring of antitrust trial lawyers, filling vacancies across the country.

In addition to Ferris, Freshfields has brought on former DOJ antitrust lawyers Eric Mahr, Julie Elmer and Andy Ewalt.

“We’re seeing more and more global deals and that clients need expertise across jurisdictions,” said Bruce McCulloch, U.S. head of antitrust, competition and trade at Freshfields.

Ferris, a partner in the firm’s US antitrust, competition and trade practice, represents companies in sectors including technology and semiconductors in matters before the Federal Trade Commission and DOJ.

While in private practice, she advised on the antitrust aspects of transactions including Credit Karma’s $8.1 billion sale to intuit, Bungie’s $3.6 billion sale to Sony and Mandiant in its proposed $5.4 billion acquisition by Google.

Prior to heading to Wilson Sonsini in 2015, she served in the office of general counsel at the FCC where, in 2014, she led the FCC’s review of AT&T Inc.’s proposed $49 billion acquisition of DIRECTV and was a member of the steering committee overseeing the FCC’s review of Comcast Corp.’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Ferris also served as chief of staff and counsel to the assistant attorney of the antitrust division.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com