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 private antitrust litigation and civil investigations by the FTC, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and international regulatory agencies. Her experience in antitrust spans a diverse set of industries, including health care, consumer goods, defense and aerospace, natural resources and technology.
As a member of the Antitrust practice, Claudia has been continuously recognized as a leading attorney by Chambers USA, where in the 2015 edition, clients comment that she is “always available, always responsive and really appreciates the client relationship.” 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 2013 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 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
- In Re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation (US District Court, D.D.C.). Co-counsel defending major railroad 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.
- MDA Acquisition of Space Systems/Loral. Represented Canadian space robotics and satellite manufacturer MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) before the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in connection with the $1 billion acquisition of Loral’s satellite division.
- Novartis Acquisition of Fougera Holdings, Inc. 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.
- United States v. Lucasfilm Ltd. (US District Court, D.D.C.). Represented Lucasfilm in antitrust investigation involving employment practices.
- Reed Elsevier Acquisition of ChoicePoint. Represented 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 Acquisition of Corthera, Inc. Advised Novartis International AG in connection with its acquisition of Corthera, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company engaged in the research and development of Relaxin, and obtaining early termination of the FTC's review of the transaction.
- J.W. Childs Sale of The Meow Mix Company to The Cypress Group. Represented J.W. Childs in connection with its sale of Meow Mix to Cypress Group, which required prior approval of the FTC.
- The Meow Mix Company Sale to Del Monte Foods. Represented The Meow Mix Company in connection with its sale to Del Monte Foods, which required prior approval of the FTC.
- 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.
- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Acquisition of Brown & Williamson. 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.
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)
- Corporate and Antitrust Alert: FTC Raises Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Filing Thresholds January 22, 2016
- GCR Highly Recommends Kaye Scholer Antitrust Practice January 14, 2016
- Benchmark Litigation 2016 Recognizes Kaye Scholer for Antitrust, Intellectual Property and Product Liability Work Nationwide October 29, 2015