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Davis Polk Lands Gibson Dunn Partner, Firm’s First 2020 Lateral

Aug. 5, 2020, 10:00 AM

Longtime Gibson Dunn & Crutcher antitrust lawyer D. Jarrett Arp is joining Davis Polk & Wardwell in Washington in a rare lateral hire by the Wall Street firm.

Arp, who will be part of Davis Polk’s antitrust and competition group, is the firm’s first lateral partner addition this year. Davis Polk, like many of its Wall Street counterparts, rarely dips into the lateral market.

Arp is a prominent cartel defense lawyer who joined Gibson Dunn as an associate in 1994 before making partner in 2002. In his 18 years as a partner at Gibson Dunn, he never looked for a new position or returned phone calls from other firms, he said.

“But, the chance to join such an esteemed and storied firm with so much obvious momentum was the opportunity of a career I couldn’t pass up,” Arp said of Davis Polk in an interview.

His practice focuses on antitrust and competition law counseling, investigations, and litigation involving major corporations, financial institutions, and individuals in the U.S. and abroad. He’s worked on more than 30 cartel investigations, in addition to antitrust-related grand jury investigations and numerous other civil antitrust lawsuits.

Arp played a key role in Gibson Dunn’s defense of UBS Group AG in the LIBOR and Foreign Exchange investigations in 2015 and has represented other U.S. and international companies like Akzo Nobel NV, Flexsys NV, and Martinair Holland NV, in a variety of civil antitrust lawsuits, including class actions involving allegations of price fixing and related claims.

He’s also defended Hudson News against claims of conspiracy to monopolize magazine wholesale markets and McDonald’s Corp. against claims of “bid rigging” under the Sherman Act. He also worked with American Airlines Inc. in a predatory pricing case brought by the Justice Department that was dismissed on summary judgment.

“Jarrett is a world class antitrust litigator,” said Davis Polk managing partner Neil Barr. ”He’s going to be a tremendous addition to our platform and we’re absolutely thrilled that he’s going to be joining us.”

Though the firm represents clients in the financial sector in the cartel enforcement space, it doesn’t have much of a broader practice than that, said Barr. Barr was elected as the firm’s managing partner in 2019 succeeding Thomas Reid, who now serves as chief legal officer at Comcast Corp.

“We were looking to build out our cartel enforcement capabilities and he’s the perfect person for that,” Barr said.

Arp said his practice fits at the intersection of antitrust work, white collar criminal defense, and civil litigation, which are also areas of strength for Davis Polk. Working at the nexus of those areas also requires a high degree of collaboration, which Arp said he has already experienced first hand at his new firm, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Arp said he’s met a number of the firm’s Washington partners individually on his front porch at his home in nearby Alexandria, Va.

“We had drinks together, but it was socially distanced,” he said. He’s jumped on Zoom calls with others and also made the trek up to New York to meet with other firm partners and leadership—outdoors, of course—including Barr.

Though Arp might be the only lateral partner hire made by Davis Polk this year, Barr said that the firm plans on growing, specifically in what it considers core practices like litigation and parts of its corporate practice.

“We’re in a disciplined growth mode and view this as an opportunity to continue our trajectory,” he said.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com

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