Robert Bell is a Partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Antitrust practice group. He has extensive experience in securing antitrust clearance for mergers and acquisitions from both the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Mr. Bell regularly advises clients on matters involving antitrust litigation and merger clearance, and provides antitrust counseling on issues ranging from competitor collaborations to vertical distribution arrangements. He has represented clients from a wide variety of sectors, including imaging, communications, defense, entertainment, manufacturing, mining, chemicals and transportation.
A former clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White, Mr. Bell received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and Articles Editor of the Stanford Journal of International Studies. He received his M.A. from the University of Cambridge, and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society.
Robert has been recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in the area of antitrust law in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2005–2012. Chambers USA cites “clients who applaud his ‘extraordinary, cutting-edge antitrust knowledge,’ and also his commitment to client service.” Additionally, he was recommended as one of the world’s leading competition/antitrust lawyers in the PLC Cross-border Competition Handbook 2006/07 and was selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, in the area of antitrust law for the 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions.
- Successfully represented Eastman Kodak Company in its acquisition of
Böwe Bell + Howell’s scanner business. The Department of Justice
allowed the transaction to proceed after an eight-month long
- Successfully represented a major wireless telephone company in a Department of Justice second request related to its $2.7 billion acquisition of a competing wireless carrier.
- Represented the whistleblower in a qui tam action alleging bid rigging on US AID-funded wastewater treatment projects in Egypt. The case, which was featured in a story by Kurt Eichenwald in The New York Times (April 13, 2001, p. C1), was the first time the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act have been used to expose a large multinational cartel. Following a seven-week jury trial, the jury awarded the government $104 million, the second-largest jury award in the history of the False Claims Act. United States ex rel Miller v. Holzmann, 563 F.Supp. 2d 54 (D.D.C. 2008).
- Represented a major European airline in negotiating a settlement with the plaintiff class in the air cargo price-fixing litigation pending in the Eastern District of New York.
- Successfully represented LSL Biotechnologies in its appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Deciding an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit held that under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, a challenged agreement between LSL and an Israeli company did not have the “direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable” effect on United States commerce required by the Act. United States v. LSL Biotechnologies, 379 F.3d 672 (9th Cir. 2004).
- Successfully represented Eastman Kodak in the sale of its Remote Sensing Systems business to ITT. Kodak manufactured precision optics used in satellites. Although the Department of Justice issued a second request, after a lengthy review by the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense, the transaction was allowed to go forward without any divestitures.
- Successfully represented United Artists in securing approval from the Antitrust Division for the acquisition of two competing movie theater chains to create the largest chain of movie theaters in the country. Mr. Bell and his colleagues persuaded the Division to clear the acquisitions with no divestitures, notwithstanding that the Division had challenged smaller movie theater acquisitions in the past and had required substantial divestitures in those cases.