Claudia Higgins is a nationally-recognized Partner in Kaye Scholer’s Complex Commercial Litigation department where she has advised numerous Fortune 500 companies in significant matters, particularly high-profile mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, while also representing clients in connection with civil investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and numerous international regulatory agencies. Her extensive experience in antitrust issues involves diverse industries, including consumer goods, defense and aerospace, natural resources, technology, and health care.
In addition to transactional and regulatory matters, Claudia is highly active in both antitrust counseling and litigation. She currently represents Norfolk Southern Corporation in an ongoing multidistrict class action litigation involving the U.S. freight railroads. She also counsels diverse corporate clients regarding distribution agreements and licensing, and advises companies in connection with complex patent-antitrust matters and antitrust compliance.
Claudia’s expertise has been further established while representing clients since joining Kaye Scholer, but originated from over two decades of distinguished service at the FTC where she last held the title of Assistant Director for Regional Litigation with responsibility for the Commission’s regional office antitrust efforts throughout the United States.
Claudia’s duties with the FTC included numerous investigations and potential litigations and she served as lead counsel in charge of some of the FTC’s most noteworthy merger transactions, many of which encompassed complex investigations, district court preliminary injunction preparation, evidentiary materials, subpoena drafting and enforcement, negotiations of discovery demands and modifications to subpoenas, drafting of district court complaints, and ultimately consent decrees issued by the FTC. Her representations included many of the FTC’s most successful challenges of various consumer products mergers in industries such as spices, over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceutical products and sophisticated amateur telescopes. She was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments with the FTC on numerous occasions, most notably receiving the agency’s Distinguished Service Award and its prestigious Paul Rand Dixon Award, relating to her leadership roles in merger enforcement.
As a member of the Antitrust practice, Claudia has been continuously recognized as a leading attorney by Chambers USA. In the 2012 publication, Chambers noted her highly influential work representing Lucasfilm Ltd. before the DOJ's antitrust division in an industry-wide investigation of employment practices.
Claudia is also a frequent author and speaker on antitrust and regulatory topics and has participated in numerous conferences, programs, and panels on issues of merger enforcement and trade regulation throughout her career. In addition, she has been sought out as an instructor on behalf of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris and the U.S. Agency for International Development. She has advised competition authorities in Romania, Latvia, Korea, Japan, Brazil and numerous other countries, and has coordinated investigations with the EU and its member nations.
- Advised Novartis AG with respect to the competition law issues associated with its $1.5 billion acquisition of a competing dermatologics company, Fougera Holdings, Inc., and represented the company before the Federal Trade Commission to obtain clearance for the acquisition.
- Represented Reed Elsevier, parent of LexisNexis, in connection with its acquisition of a 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.
- Represented Novartis in connection with its acquisition of Corthera, Inc.
- Represented the Meow Mix Company in connection with its sale to Del Monte Foods.
- Successfully represented the owner of a trend-setting consumer-branded product, which was also the clear market leader, in a strategic acquisition involving a significant competing brand.
- Represented R.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.
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 merger 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)
- Hoechst and Rhone Poulenc (now part of sanofi-aventis)
- Hoechst and Marian Merrell Dow (now part of sanofi-aventis)
- Merieux and Connaught (now part of sanofi-aventis)
- Hoechst and BoehringerMannheim (now part of sanofi-aventis)
- Merck and Medco
- Rite Aid’s attempted transaction with Revco