Claudia Higgins joined Kaye Scholer following over two decades of distinguished service as an antitrust litigator with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). An antitrust partner in the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation department, Claudia represents Fortune 500 companies in significant antitrust matters, particularly high-profile mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as in private antitrust litigation and civil investigations by the FTC, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and numerous international regulatory agencies. Her experience in antitrust matters spans a diverse set of industries, including consumer goods, defense and aerospace, natural resources, technology, trade associations and health care.
As a member of the Antitrust practice, Claudia has been continuously recognized as a leading attorney by Chambers USA. Clients attest to her “extensive knowledge” of the regulatory agencies and comment that she “simply knows how to get a transaction passed through the FTC” (Chambers USA 2016), and is “always available, always responsive and really appreciates the client relationship” (Chambers USA 2015). In the 2013 publication, Chambers noted her highly influential work representing space robotics firm MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates before the DOJ’s antitrust division in an investigation into its acquisition of Loral’s satellite business. Furthermore, U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2016 ranked Kaye Scholer as “Tier 1” in antitrust law, with clients singling Claudia out for being “...particularly knowledgeable and helpful. She provides practical and insightful advice following her years of experience with the FTC.” Claudia is also recognized as a “Life Science Star” in Euromoney’s LMG Life Sciences Guide for 2014 as well as Best Lawyers in America 2016-2017 in the area of antitrust law. Most recently, she was selected by her peers and clients for inclusion in Benchmark Top 250 Women in Litigation. During her practice on behalf of the FTC, Claudia served as lead counsel in charge of some of the FTC’s most noteworthy merger transactions, particularly those establishing innovation theory in the context of pharmaceutical mergers, and she also led trial teams in several of the agency’s successful federal court injunction matters that blocked pending transactions. At the FTC, Claudia last held the title of Assistant Director for Regional Litigation with responsibility for the Commission’s regional office antitrust efforts throughout the US. The agency recognized her outstanding accomplishments with the FTC on numerous occasions, most notably honoring her with its Distinguished Service Award and its prestigious Paul Rand Dixon Award recognizing her leadership roles in merger enforcement.
Previously, Claudia served on the staff of the US Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (now the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs) where she worked on legislation related to Privacy and Regulatory Reform under Chairman Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT).
Claudia is a frequent author and speaker on antitrust and regulatory topics and participates regularly in conferences, programs and panels on issues of merger enforcement and trade regulation. Internationally, she has served as an instructor on behalf of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris and the US Agency for International Development and has advised competition authorities in Romania, Latvia, Korea, Japan, Brazil and numerous other countries. She has coordinated many investigations with the EU and its member nations.
Significant Private Practice Matters
- Lucasfilm Ltd. in antitrust investigation involving employment practices in United States v. Lucasfilm Ltd.
- Major railroad, serving as co-counsel, in several nationwide class action antitrust law suits against major US railroads alleging collusion to fix fuel surcharges on freight shipments in violation of the Sherman Act in Re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation.
- MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), a Canadian space robotics and satellite manufacturer, in connection with the US$1 billion acquisition of Loral’s satellite division. before the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.
- Novartis AG in the competition law issues associated with its US$1.5 billion acquisition of a competing dermatologics company, Fougera Holdings, Inc. Higgins represented Novartis before the Federal Trade Commission to obtain clearance for the acquisition.
- Reed Elsevier, parent of LexisNexis, in connection with its strategic acquisition of competing data analysis company, ChoicePoint.
- Obtained early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period for the largest consumer products company in a market to acquire a prominent competing product in the same market.
- Novartis International AG in connection with competition and regulatory approval aspects of its acquisition of Corthera, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company engaged in the research and development of Relaxin, for US$120 million, with Corthera’s shareholders being eligible for additional payments of up to US$500 million contingent upon successful development and commercial milestones, and assisted the company in obtaining early termination of Federal Trade Commission review of the transaction.
- W. Childs in connection with its sale of Meow Mix to Cypress Group, which required prior approval of the FTC.
- The Meow Mix Company in connection with its sale to Del Monte Foods, which required prior approval of the FTC.
- Trend-setting consumer-branded product, which was also the clear market leader, in a strategic acquisition involving a significant competing brand.
- J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in securing unanimous clearance from the FTC of its proposed merger with Brown & Williamson, which combined the second- and third-largest companies in the industry.
Select FTC Cases
While with the FTC, Claudia appeared as lead counsel for consent decrees involving many of today’s most prominent research-based pharmaceutical companies, the investigations for which invariably involved analysis of the patent rights of parties to the transaction, as well as complaints and information provided by competitors of the parties. Select FTC cases include:
- Ciba Geigy and Sandoz (now named Novartis)
- Glaxo and Wellcome (now part of GlaxoSmithKline)
- Upjohn and Pharmacia (now merged with Pfizer)
- American Home Products and American Cyanamid (now named Wyeth and merged with Pfizer)
- Hoechst and Rhone Poulenc; Hoechst and Marian Merrell Dow; Merieux and Connaught; Hoechst and BoehringerMannheim (now part of Sanofi)
- Merck and Medco (Medco has since left Merck and merged with Express Scripts)
- Rite Aid’s attempted transaction with Revco
- FTC v. Harbour Group (US District Court, D.D.C. 1990)
- FTC v. McCormick Spice Co. (US District Court, D.D.C. 1988)
- In Re Kellogg, et al. (FTC Docket No. 8883)
- Quoted, “FTC issues unusual Zillow/Trulia statement,” Global Competition Review, February 24, 2015
- “Antitrust Q&A: Kaye Scholer’s Claudia Higgins,” Global Competition Review, July 30, 2014.
- “Small Deals Can Have Big Antitrust Repercussions,” InsideCounsel, July 2, 2014.
- “Zillow and Trulia Juggle Antitrust Risks Raised by Proposed Acquisition,” with Philip Giordano, Kaye Scholer LLP M&A and Corporate Governance Newsletter, Summer 2014.
- “Antitrust Guidelines for Small Deals,” with Jennifer Patterson, Kaye Scholer LLP M&A and Corporate Governance Newsletter, Winter 2014.
- “6 Things To Know About AMR-US Airways Merger Challenge,” Law 360, September 17, 2013.
- “Q&A with Kaye Scholer’s Claudia Higgins,” Law360 interview, March 20, 2013.
- “DOJ Sends Caution Signal to Companies Engaged in Mergers,” Kaye Scholer LLP M&A and Corporate Governance Newsletter, Winter 2013.
- “Elections, Transitions, and Antitrust: What Can Companies Expect from US Antitrust Enforcement Between Now and Mid-2013?,” Kaye Scholer LLP M&A and Corporate Governance Newsletter, Spring 2012.
- “Significant Changes in U.S. Antitrust Enforcement Alter Merger Landscape,” Kaye Scholer LLP M&A and Corporate Governance Newsletter, Summer 2011.
- “DOJ Brings Rare Criminal Antitrust Charges for False HSR Documents,” Kaye Scholer LLP Antitrust Client Alert, August 18, 2011.
- “Invitations to Collude and the FTC’s U-Haul Case,” The Antitrust Counselor, June 2010.
- “Premerger Planning and Coordination — How to Avoid ‘Gun Jumping’ under U.S. Antitrust Law,” The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Merger Control 2008. A Practical Insight to Cross-Border Merger Control Issues, published by Global Legal Group Limited, London.
Representative Speaking Engagements
- Panelist, Antitrust update on recent FTC and DOJ enforcement activities, private antitrust litigation developments, and international developments, ABA Section of Antitrust Law - Corporate Counseling Committee (May 2013).
- “New U.S. Antitrust Leaders, New HSR Rules, A Single U.S. Merger Agency?” ABA 2011 Annual Meeting (August 2011).
- “In-house Counsel Antitrust Update,” ABA Section of Antitrust Law — Corporate Counseling Committee (July 2010).
- “Transportation and Antitrust Policy under the Obama Administration,” Association of Transportation Law Professionals 81st Annual Meeting (June 2010).
- “A Report from Washington — It’s About Change,” American Association of Corporate Counsel (October 2008).
- “Nuts and Bolts of Government Investigations,” Law Seminars International Pharmaceutical Antitrust Program (April 2008).
In The Market
- US News–Best Lawyers Recognizes 32 Kaye Scholer Practices and 41 Lawyers November 1, 2016 • Auszeichnungen
- Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Kaye Scholer Practices and Partners Nationwide October 24, 2016 • Auszeichnungen
- Three Kaye Scholer Partners Named Among Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women... June 29, 2016 • Auszeichnungen