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Jeffrey (Jeff) D. Martino

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Jeff Martino brings an in-depth understanding of a wide variety of white collar and fraud related matters to his antitrust litigation and investigations practice. Jeff is co-lead of the Firm's Global Cartel Task Force and represents multinational corporations and their boards and executives in high-stakes criminal and civil investigations by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal and state agencies Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Jeff spent nearly two decades at the DOJ and his last 7 years as a senior leader in two different DOJ components. He has extensive experience as “first chair” on trials and investigations in the most complex areas of criminal antitrust. Jeff's work at the DOJ included providing technical assistance to competition agencies in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe and overseeing matters that included international corruption and antitrust cartel offenses that entangled the largest global banks and their key executives.

On 18 December 2023, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly issued their highly anticipated final version of the 2023 Merger Guidelines . The issuance of the Guidelines follows the agencies’ release of draft guidelines in July and the conclusion of a public notice-and-comment period. The Guidelines set out how the agencies assess whether mergers and acquisitions threaten anticompetitive harm in violation of US antitrust laws.

Most notably, the newly issued Guidelines retained the lower thresholds for establishing presumptions of anticompetitive harm — including if the merger gives the combined firm more than 30% market share. Additionally, the Guidelines outline a holistic approach for analyzing vertical mergers.

On 1 December 2023, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a Sherman Act conviction of a former executive of an aluminum products manufacturer for failure to state a per se antitrust offense. While DOJ is considering en banc review of this opinion, if upheld the decision could have lasting implications for how the DOJ proceeds with indictments involving parties that engage in dual distribution. We will continue to monitor for future developments in this case as it moves forward.

On 4 October 2023, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco of the U.S. Department of Justice announced a new DOJ-wide policy that seeks to provide greater certainty as to the potential benefits to acquirers that uncover criminal conduct at a target company. The DOJ’s Mergers & Acquisitions Safe Harbor Policy for voluntary self-disclosures provides greater certainty to acquirers who self-report within the safe harbor period, fully cooperate with the DOJ in its investigation, and engage in requisite, timely, and appropriate remediation, pay restitution, and disgorge any ill-gotten gains.

On 21 September 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it was suing US Anesthesia Partners, Inc. (USAP) and its private equity owner Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The lawsuit targets a common private equity strategy known as a “roll-up.” A roll-up merger typically occurs when a private equity company acquires several small companies in the same market and subsequently merges those companies.

A federal judge granted six individual defendants’ joint motion for judgment of acquittal in a criminal antitrust trial involving allegations that the defendants conspired to allocate the labor market for aerospace industry employees. The ruling was issued mid-trial before the jury was asked to deliberate. This ruling marks another loss for the Department of Justice in a series of no-poach and wage-fixing criminal prosecutions and is significant because the court held that the alleged no-poach agreement did not constitute a per se market allocation violation as a matter of law.

On 22 February 2023, the US Department of Justice announced a new voluntary self-disclosure policy for corporate criminal enforcement in all 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices across the country. This new voluntary self-disclosure policy is a response to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco’s 15 September 2022 Memorandum insisting all DOJ divisions develop a self-disclosure policy, to the extent one does not already exist. Other DOJ components, including the Criminal Division, have already taken steps to issue or update their own policies on this topic.

On 22 February 2023, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new voluntary self-disclosure policy for corporate criminal enforcement in all 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs) across the country.

This new voluntary self-disclosure policy is a response to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco’s 15 September 2022 Memorandum (“Monaco Memo”) insisting all DOJ divisions develop a self-disclosure policy, to the extent one does not already exist. Other DOJ components, including the Criminal Division, have already taken steps to issue or update their own policies on this topic.

On 3 February 2023, the US Department of Justice announced the withdrawal of three antitrust policy statements that allowed certain information exchanges between competitors in healthcare markets. The day before this announcement, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Doha Mekki of DOJ Antitrust Division warned that DOJ would reconsider these outdated policy statements in light of recent changes in the healthcare industry.

Now that sustainability is a board-level issue, companies are under immense pressure to ensure their supply chains are environmentally and ethically accountable. The motivation may come from internal business, consumers, government, shareholders—or all of them. There are targets, commitments, deadlines, and board pressure to match words with deeds.