George L. Paul

Partner, Washington, DC

Biography

“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

Overview

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, "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" and noting clients say 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.

George 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 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.

Cartels

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
District of Columbia Bar
New York State Bar
US District Court for the District of Columbia
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of International Trade
US Supreme Court
Education
JD
Harvard Law School
BA
Mississippi State University
Languages
English

Experience

Representative matters include:

 

Mergers

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

Knighthead-led consortium/Hertz
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
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
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
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
Represented Smiths Group plc in its US$2.35 billion sale of its Smiths Medical division to ICU Medical.

Anthem
Representation of Anthem, Inc., one of the nation's largest health benefits companies, in:

  • its acquisition of InnovaCare Health, L.P.'s Puerto Rico-based subsidiaries, including MMM Holdings, LLC (MMM) and its Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, MMM Healthcare, LLC, as well as affiliated companies and Medicaid plan. MMM is Puerto Rico's largest MA plan and one of the fastest-growing vertically integrated healthcare organizations in the United States;
  • its acquisition of myNEXUS Inc., a post-acute benefits management company focused on delivering innovative home and community-based product offerings;
  • its acquisition of Beacon Health Options, the largest independently held behavioral health organization in the United States, from Bain Capital Private Equity;
  • its acquisition of Aspire Health, Inc., the nation's largest non-hospice, community-based palliative care provider;
  • its acquisition of America's 1st Choice, a privately-held for-profit Medicare Advantage organization that offers HMO products in Florida and South Carolina;
  • its acquisition of HealthSun, one of the fastest-growing integrated Medicare Advantage health plans and healthcare delivery networks, from Summit Partners;
  • its terminated US$54.2 billion agreement to acquire Cigna Corporation, a combination that garnered front-page coverage for more than two years and involved extensive coordination of a White & Case team of cross-practice lawyers in M&A, antitrust, litigation and bank finance;
  • its acquisition of Simply Healthcare Holdings, Inc., a leading managed care company for people enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs in the State of Florida; and
  • its sale of 1-800 CONTACTS, INC., a leading contact lens retailer, to Thomas H. Lee Partners; its related sale of 1-800 CONTACTS' glasses.com business to Luxottica; and its prior acquisition of 1-800 CONTACTS from Fenway Partners.
  • in its acquisition of HealthSun, an integrated Medicare Advantage health plan and healthcare delivery network.

United Arab/Hapag-Lloyd
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
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.

CVS Health/Omnicare
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
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.

 

Governmental Investigations and Civil Litigation

  • Supply Chain – representation of retailer in responding to FTC inquiries as part of a 6(b) study.
  • Price gouging – representation of isopropyl alcohol distributor in cooperating with various state and federal investigations on pricing policies.
  • Technology – representation of technology companies in civil conduct investigations in the United States, India, Mexico, and numerous other jurisdictions.
  • Technology – Epic Games v. Apple -- Filed 9th Circuit brief addressing key competition issues in two-sided transaction market.
  • Technology – NY v. Facebook – Filed DC Circuit brief addressing the broad consensus disfavoring a key theory underlying plaintiff's case—"unilateral refusal to deal" doctrine.
  • Finance -- 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.
  • Technology -- representation of a manufacturer in connection with antitrust investigations and federal class actions involving TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) products and Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) products.
Speaking Engagements

Civil-Merger Clearance

Panel Discussion: Antitrust and Tech: Impact on the Developing World, October 26, 2021, NYU/Concurrences 8th Antitrust in Developing and Emerging Economies

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

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

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

 

Cartels

"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)

"Handling Government Investigations in Argentina, Europe & the USA," Bruchou, April 23, 2019 (Panelist)

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

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

Publications

Civil-Merger Clearance

"Application of the Proper 'Outer Boundary' of Antitrust Liability for Alleged Refusals to Deal in New York v Facebook,"  Truth on the Market, April 15, 2022 (with Jaclyn Phillips and Andrew Black).

"FTC Announces Annual Changes to HSR Thresholds (2022)," White & Case, January 21, 2022 (with J. Mark Gidley, Rebecca Farrington, Martin Toto, Daniel Rosenthal, Heather Greenfield and Naari Ha)

"Shining a Light on the Massive Global Surge in Merger Control Filings," White & Case, December 27, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Katarzyna Czapracka, Thilo-Maximillian Wienke, Tamer Nagy, Daniel J. Rosenthal and Gabriela Baca)

The Digital Markets and Competition Enforcement Guide "Key Developments in the United States and Tech Merger," Global Competition Review, December 7, 2021, 1st Ed. (with Daniel Sokol, Gabriela Baca and Daniel Rosenthal)

"Everybody Needs Prior Approval! – The FTC Revives and Expands an Old Enforcement Tool over a Scathing Dissent," White & Case, November 10, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Rebecca Farrington, Anna Kertesz, Douglas M. Jasinski and Ashley Stoner)

"South America: Overview of merger regimes," White & Case, October 19, 2021 (with Jacquelyn MacLennan, Henri Capin-Gally, Antonio Cardenas and Joao Lacerda)

"Overview of global antitrust and merger regimes," White & Case, October 19, 2021 (with Jacquelyn MacLennan, Henri Capin-Gally and Antonio Cardenas)

"Federal Trade Commission's Pre-Consummation Warning Letters Signal New Risk of Closing After Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Waiting Period Expiration," White & Case, August 5, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Rebecca Farrington, Jaclyn Phillips and Chenyuan Fu)

Sweeping US Order on "Promoting Competition," White & Case, July 12, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Jack Pace, Kathryn Mims, Kristen O'Shaughnessy, Erin McNamee, Kevin Adam and Jaclyn Phillips)

"New York's Sweeping New Antitrust Bill—Requiring NY State Premerger Notification ($9.2BM Filing Threshold) and Prohibiting "Abuse of Dominance"—Inches Closer to Becoming Law," White & Case, June 11, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Rebecca Farrington, Martin Toto, Kathryn Mims, Michael Hamburger, Daniel Rosenthal, Adam Acosta and Jaclyn Phillips)

"Merging companies: Consider social factors in US antitrust clearance," White & Case, May 10, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Rebecca Farrington, Anna Kertesz, Kathryn Mims and Daniel Rosenthal)

"US antitrust spotlight on the pharmaceutical industry," White & Case, May 10, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Rebecca Farrington, Peter Carney, Kathryn Mims, Anna Kertesz, Daniel Rosenthal and Ashley Stoner)

"US antitrust policy: Revolution or evolution," White & Case, May 10, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Kathryn Mims and Jaclyn Phillips)

"Grants of early termination of HSR waiting period temporarily suspended by DOJ and FTC—merging parties should expect to wait the full 30 days until further announcement," White & Case, February 4, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, Rebecca Farrington, Daniel Rosenthal and Regina Loureiro)

"FTC Announces Annual Changes to HSR Thresholds (2021)," White & Case, February 1, 2021 (with J. Mark Gidley, George Paul, Rebecca Farrington, Martin Toto and Daniel Rosenthal)

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

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

"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, Aspen Publishing, (with J. Mark Gidley)

 

Cartels

"No-poach agreements on the European Commission dawn raid radar," White & Case, November 8, 2021 (with Dr. Tilman Kuhn, Strati Sakellariou-Witt, J. Mark Gidley, Kathryn Mims, Mark Powell Cristina Caroppo, Peter Citron)

Awards and Recognition

Legal 500 Leading Practitioner

Finalist, FT North America Innovative Lawyers Awards 2021 in Disputes Resolution and Rescue, Restructuring and Recovery categories for work for Anthem and Hertz.