George L. Paul

Partner, Washington, DC


“The firm combines expertise in merger filings and clearance from the FTC and DOJ, with strong capabilities in antitrust litigation, merger investigations, and defense proceedings. George Paul is the key name in the team, and is highly respected for his expertise in complex merger defense proceedings and litigation before federal agencies.”
The Legal 500 US 2021


George Paul is an antitrust lawyer who advises clients on a range of international competition issues, with a particular focus on merger clearances, cartel defense and litigation.

As reported by The Legal 500 US, clients said George's "'depth of experience, ability to make the complex simple and business-oriented and succinct approach' make him 'an in-house lawyer's dream.'" Further acclaimed as a "world-class" practitioner, George's reputation is based on his "impressive track record", spanning more than 20 years. He has played a key role in numerous high-profile cases, which have often involved multiple competition agencies across the globe. George provides clarity to clients in a complex area that requires highly detailed and technical knowledge, and where regulations change rapidly and can even conflict across jurisdictions.

Merger Clearances

George is regularly involved in antitrust counseling and litigation arising from US and cross-border mergers and joint ventures. He advises clients on merger control filings for cross-border transactions and coordinates their HSR and international filings efforts. George has handled complex antitrust issues across an array of industries, including retail/consumer goods, healthcare and medical devices, paper and pulp, petrochemicals, broadcasting and electronics. His work on complex, cutting edge matters has received Deal of the Year recognition by numerous publications, such as the Financial Times, the American Lawyer Legal Awards, The Deal and M&A Advisor.

George has particular experience advising clients on global transactions with multiple merger clearance requirements. He is co-editor of Worldwide Merger Notification Requirements, a comprehensive survey of merger notification and control laws across 217 jurisdictions, and regularly writes and speaks on antitrust and competition law matters.

Administrative/Trial Litigation, Anticompetitive Practices/Consumer Protection

George has represented clients before the competition agencies as plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts in the US. He has been involved in a number of US agency merger challenges, and has successfully defended clients in non-merger investigations related to alleged market allocation, consumer protection requirements and monopolization. George has represented overseas manufacturers against charges of an alleged global price-fixing cartel, and has also represented clients in numerous antitrust class action proceedings.


George regularly counsels companies and individuals on criminal antitrust matters before enforcement agencies around the world, including the US Department of Justice (DOJ), US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the EU, Australia, Japan and South Korea. He was counsel to Stolt-Nielsen in its landmark action against the DOJ, which revoked Stolt's amnesty and indicted the company and its senior executives. The case was the first time a court enforced an antitrust amnesty agreement.

Bars and Courts
New York State Bar
District of Columbia Bar
US Supreme Court
US Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Federal Circuits
US Courts of Appeals for the First and Third Circuits
US Court of International Trade
US District Court for the District of Columbia
Harvard Law School
Mississippi State University



DraftKings/Golden Nugget Online Gaming, 2021
Represented Golden Nugget Online Gaming in its US$1.56 billion sale to DraftKings.

Knighthead-led consortium/Hertz, 2021
Guided Hertz through its precedent-setting, immense, cross-border bankruptcy, including spin-offs and its acquisition in an expedited timeline; shortlisted by FT North America Innovative Lawyers Awards 2021 in the Rescue, Restructuring and Recovery category.

Anthem/Cigna Merger Litigation, 2021
Represented health insurance provider Anthem in its litigation with fellow insurer Cigna over an unsuccessful merger. The lawyers work on a temporary restraining order to keep the merger in place within 24 hours of Cigna’s filing for a termination of the deal and subsequent trial work in Delaware Chancery Court protected Anthem from immediately having to pay a $1.85 billion reverse termination fee. The work was shortlisted by FT North America Innovative Lawyers Awards 2021 in the Dispute Resolution category.

Sony Music Entertainment/Kobalt Music Group, 2021
Represented Kobalt Music Group Ltd., an independent music rights management and publishing company, on its US$430 million sale of certain subsidiaries to Sony Music Entertainment.

Exxon Mobil/Celanese, 2021  
Represented Exxon Mobil Corp. in its US$1.15 billion sale of its Santoprene TPV elastomers business to industrial chemical company Celanese Corp.

Smiths Group/ICU Medical, 2021
Represented Smiths Group plc in its US$2.35 billion sale of its Smiths Medical division to ICU Medical.

Anthem/HealthSun, 2017
Representation of Anthem, Inc. in its pending acquisition of HealthSun, an integrated Medicare Advantage health plan and healthcare delivery network.

United Arab/Hapag-Lloyd, 2017
Representation of United Arab Shipping Company Ltd. (UASC) on UASC's merger with Hapag-Lloyd AG for approximately US$12 billion creating the world's fifth biggest liner shipping company.

Haier/General Electric, 2016
Representation of Qingdao Haier, a Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer, which is 41 percent owned by the leading Chinese Haier Group Corp, on its US$5.4 billion acquisition of GE's appliance business. Named "Cross-border M&A Deal of the Year (Over $1B)" by M&A Advisor International Awards 2017.

Anthem/Cigna, 2015
Representation of Anthem, Inc. in its US$54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corporation. George has previously handled transactions for Anthem, including its acquisition of Simply Healthcare, a leading managed care provider for Medicaid and Medicare enrollees.

Zimmer Holdings/Biomet, 2015
Representation of  Zimmer Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of Biomet, Inc., a leading global device manufacturer, for a total of US$13.35 billion.

CVS Health/Omnicare, 2015
Representation of Omnicare, the US's leading provider of pharmacy services to long term care facilities, in its sale to CVS Health, for US$12.7 billion.

Shenzen Hepalink/Scientific Protein, 2014
George successfully secured early termination in the US and France for Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceuticals' acquisition of Scientific Protein Laboratories for US$337.5 million. This transaction is one of the most significant Chinese investments in the US healthcare industry, and is the first major Chinese investment in the US in the Heparin industry following the 2008 Heparin-from-China contamination scare.

Toyota Industries Corporation, 2013
Representation of Toyota Industries Corporation in its US$760 million acquisition of Cascade Corporations. The Toyota Industries acquisition was recognized by Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report as one of the most innovative US transactions in 2013.

Roust Trading Ltd./CEDC, 2013
Representation of Roust Trading Ltd. (including the required filings to the Polish, Russian and Ukrainian antimonopoly authorities), relating to its successful acquisition of CEDC. This transaction was awarded Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (over US$1 billion) at the M&A Advisor Distressed Investing Summit in Palm Beach, Florida.

Liberty Dialysis, 2012
Representation of Liberty Dialysis in its US$1.7 billion merger with Fresenius Medical Care. The acquisition was a finalist in the GCR 2012 Merger Control Matter of the Year – Americas.  

Governmental investigations and Civil Litigation:

Bank, 2014 - ongoing
Representation of a bank in connection with investigations and federal class actions into possible violations of federal and state antitrust and fraud laws as well as of the Commodities Exchange Act.

Manufacturer, 2007 - ongoing
Representation of a manufacturer in connection with antitrust investigations and federal class actions involving TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) products.

Manufacturer, 2008 - ongoing
Representation of a manufacturer in connection with antitrust investigations and federal class actions involving Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) products.

International Airline, 2008 - 2010
Representation of an international airline in connection with antitrust investigations and federal class actions involving air cargo shipping services.  

Speaking Engagements

"Current Developments in Antitrust – A Transatlantic Perspective on a Digitalized Economy," featuring senior DOJ and EC competition officials, University of North Carolina School of Law/ University of Tübingen Symposium, October 30, 2020 (Moderator)

Panel Discussion: Beware of Letting the Government Look under the Hood -- Mitigating the Risk of Follow-On Investigations in Merger Review, Apr 30, 2019, Driven, Inc.

Panel Discussion: Getting Global Deals Through in Increasingly Complex Times, Apr 25, 2019, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados, São Paulo, Brazil 

"Competition, Industrial Policy and Developing Countries" October 26, 2018: Antitrust and Developing and Emerging Economies, New York

"Merger Review Trends and Outlook for the Trump Administration", March 30, 2017: The Capitol Forum's 5th Annual Antitrust Thought Leaders Interview Series (Speaker)

Handling Government Investigations in Argentina, Europe & the USA, Apr 23, 2019, Bruchhou (Panelist)

"A Judge's Eye View on Antitrust: Mergers, Cartels, Remedies...", September 24, 2018: Concurrences "Where is Antitrust Policy Going" conference, Washington, DC (Panelist)

"Buyer beware, seller take care: Cartel issues in global M&A," March 28, 2017: Global Competition Review's Law Leaders Cartel Conference (Speaker)

"Antitrust Roundtable: Investigating, Defending and Settling Multijurisdictional Antitrust and Cartel Cases," Global Competition Review's GCR Live 3rd Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum, February 8, 2014 (Moderator)


"Mergers and economic development: What can developing countries expect?" Concurrences: Antitrust and developing and emerging economies, May 4, 2020

"Forced Separation: What Happens When DOJ Dissolves A Consummated Merger," Washington Legal Foundation: Legal Opinion Letter, vol. 23:2, February 28, 2014

"USA: Merger Control," Global Legal Insights, Global Legal Group (2011), 1st Ed. (with J. Mark Gidley)

Worldwide Merger Notification Requirements (with J. Mark Gidley), Aspen Publishing

Awards and Recognition

The Legal 500 USA
Described as a world-class antitrust lawyer