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Economic Consulting - Competition Economists

The past year has been a busy one for competition economists across the world. Thanks to a continuation of the high levels of merger activity in the market, and the subsequent challenges and investigations that have been brought by both domestic and international competition authorities, competition economists remain an integral collection of experts that act for, and advise on, some of the largest merger cases worldwide. Respondents have also reported that antitrust litigation is now beginning to come to the fore in the market, particularly in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, with many companies in the US continuing to roll the dice and litigating against the government. The European market has seen significant legislative developments over the past year or so, with the UK implementing the Consumer Rights Act in October 2015 and the EU pushing through its Damages Directive that aims to come into force on 27 December 2016. In this chapter, 361 experts are identified at 149 firms across 30 countries worldwide in our most wide-ranging attempt to discover the leading economic consultants in relation to competition economics yet.

Most Highly Regarded Experts
Daniel Rubinfeld Compass Lexecon, San Francisco
Simon Bishop RBB Economics, Brussels
Carl Shapiro University of California at Berkeley – Haas School of Business, Berkeley
Steven Salop Charles River Associates, Washington, DC
Jorge Padilla Compass Lexecon, Madrid
Neil Dryden Compass Lexecon, London

Charles River Associates leads the way with 46 listings in its offices across Europe and North America. Eleven experts are selected from the firm’s distinguished Washington, DC office alone. Senior consultant Steven Salop, one of the most highly regarded individuals in this year’s research, is by all accounts “a leading light in the field”. A professor of economics and law at Georgetown University Law Centre, his consulting experience spans the entire range of antitrust issues but he has particular expertise in mergers, joint ventures and exclusionary content. Andrew Dick specialises in the analysis of the competitive effects of M&A and alleged collusion, as well as a variety of other business practices, and has appeared as an expert before the DOJ, FTC and various foreign competition authorities. He has also testified before the US district court on transactional and antitrust issues. According to one interviewee, Dick is “a joy to work with; he really goes the extra mile for his clients”. The “outstanding” Michelle Burtis is an expert in antitrust litigation, damages and intellectual property matters. One source praised her “cautious and diligent analytical approach” highlighting her “thorough preparation” as a reason for her success. Gregory Vistnes is “much in demand” by both private parties and the DOJ alike, with sources deeming him “exceptionally good”. In Boston, Michael Salinger is regularly consulted by private organisations and worldwide government authorities including the EPA, FTC and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and is held in the highest esteem by peers and clients alike. Robert Stillman in the firm’s Chicago office is “a highly rated specialist” in cases involving abuse of dominance, alleged collusion and the competitive effects of mergers. Monica Noether is a “veritable expert” in antitrust analysis and competitive issues relating to the health care industry. “She is a highly credible expert witness who works tirelessly to ensure that her analysis is airtight before trial,” one source noted. Elsewhere in North America, Toronto’s antitrust and competition economics practice leader Margaret Sanderson receives widespread acclaim for her “dynamism, flexibility and integrity”. Sanderson is a former head of the economics unit at the Canadian Competition Bureau and is “a go-to expert for cases before Canadian courts and regulatory authorities”. Ralph Winter is a “celebrated” senior consultant to CRA in Toronto as well as holding the Canada research chair in business economics and public policy in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. Peers regard him as “a masterful competition economist”.

The firm also has a very strong presence in Europe, with 11 leading economists featuring from the firm’s London office alone. Head of the European competition practice Cristina Caffarra is regarded as “first-rate” with considerable experience providing economic advice to both companies and the European commission on high-profile merger investigations. According to sources, she is “ a resolute expert witness with a truly formidable analytical mind and an impressive track record”. The “impressive” Matthew Bennett is an “adept expert” with significant expertise analysing the competitive effects of mergers at both the UK and European Commission level. William Bishop is a “seasoned veteran” in the competition economics arena who has over 26 years of experience advising companies on antitrust matters. He has served as an expert witness before the European Commission, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, the courts of several European countries and the Ways and Means Committee of the US House of Representatives. Raphaël De Coninck leads the firm’s Brussels office and is described by sources “top notch in all dimensions” and the “natural focal point” of the firm’s activities in Brussels. A former member of the chief economist team at the European commission, De Coninck has significant expertise in mergers, complex antitrust issues and cartel cases. Senior academic consultant to CRA Damien Neven is the professor of economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva and is “a distinguished player in the European competition arena” having been directly involved in a number of key policy and case developments. According to one source, “He is a titan in the field who has had a huge impact on modern competition economics.” The Brussels’ office newest member Lars Wiethaus is a “respected name on the European circuit” with a wealth of experience in the network industries and platform markets, telecommunications and energy sectors.

Compass Lexecon’s 36-strong contingent of nominees features an impressive US presence. The firm’s Oakland office is home to Daniel Rubinfeld, one of our most highly regarded individuals this year, who is deemed “an absolute star” by one respondent. Rubinfeld is the professor of economics emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley and the professor of law at NYU as well as a former deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust in the DOJ. He is “hugely respected in the international community”. In Chicago, Dennis Carlton is lauded as “one of the most influential modern competition economists in the US” who has also had the honour of serving as deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s antitrust division as well as serving as the sole economist on the Antitrust Modernisation Commission. Senior consultant Janusz Ordover is a “huge name” in the field who has acted as an expert witness in several high-profile class certification matters including Allied Orthopaedic Alliances v Tyco Health Group and Rodney v Northwest Airlines. One interviewee praised Ordover as “one of the driving forces in both US and European competition policy” and “an expert of the highest class – authoritative and amiable in equal degrees”. The “pre-eminent” Richard Gilbert is an internationally renowned competition economist who has testified in proceedings before state and federal courts, regulatory commissions, the Californian legislature and the US Congress. The “prominent” Robert Willig is “highly effective as an expert” according to one respondent, while another praised his “intimate knowledge of antitrust and regulatory policy” stemming from the leading role he played in developing the 1992 merger guidelines while serving as the deputy attorney general for economics in the antitrust division of the DOJ. In Washington, DC the “esteemed” Margaret Guerin-Calvert is held in high regard for her services as an expert witness. Her active practice focuses on testimony before federal and antitrust agencies as well as appearing in litigation. She is a “specialist” in the healthcare, financial services, airlines and CRS sectors. She is joined by the “fantastic” Jonathan Orszag who is celebrated as “one who has achieved so much in his career already”. In Boston, Mary Coleman is singled out for her impressive consulting practice focusing on the competitive analysis of M&A transactions and joint ventures, as well as antitrust litigation. Madrid-based Jorge Padilla heads Compass Lexecon Europe and is lauded in this year’s research appearing as one of the most highly regarded individuals internationally. Padilla is a distinguished expert having given oral or written testimony before the European Commission and the competition authorities and courts of several European countries in cartel, merger control and abuse of dominance cases. According to one respondent, he is “a wonderful economist who is certainly one of the most visible experts in Europe”. In London, Lorenzo Coppi receives praise for his “thoughtful, well-prepared and persuasive testimony”. He is highly experienced with over 15 years of experience in the application of economics to competition law cases and regulation. Head of the firm’s London office Justin Coombs is “a veteran expert” with considerable experience providing oral evidence at many UK Competition Commission and European Commission hearings and parliamentary select committees. Clients were effusive in their praise of Coombs, with one describing him as an “extremely astute and insightful economist”. He is joined by the “outstanding” Neil Dryden, Global Competition Review’s 2016 Economist of the Year, who is celebrated for his “ability to translate complex economic concepts into plain English in a powerful and cogent manner”.

NERA Economic Consulting performs strongly in our research this year with 15 outstanding experts recommended in the following pages. In Washington, DC Andrew Joskow is an “immensely talented” expert who is highly sought after for his expertise and testimony on competition and regulation in a wide spectrum of sectors. Christine Siegwarth Meyer is regarded as “an intellectual tour de force” who is celebrated for her “calm and collected manner on the stand”.  Academic affiliate Michael Baye is the Bert Elwert professor of business at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a former director of the Bureau of Economics at the FTC. Baye is an “intellectual of the highest order” and is commended by peers and clients alike for “his encyclopaedic knowledge of US competition policy”. Janusz Mrozek is “a shrewd expert with a fantastic analytical mind”. Sources highlighted that he is “incredibly knowledgeable” on the competitive effects of regulations, particularly in the telecommunications and IT sectors. Affiliated consultant Todd Morrison is “a distinguished expert with an impressive track record” providing expert witness testimony addressing the criminality of price fixing, bid rigging, customer allocation and other alleged anti-competitive or fraudulent behaviour. In the firm’s San Francisco office, Alan Cox is “a well-regarded expert known for his superb analytical mind and his ability to develop powerful arguments on his feet”. The “great” Lawrence Wu is “precise, efficient and commercially aware” and “is a real asset to his clients”. Los Angeles-based Thomas McCarthy chairs the firm’s healthcare practice and is “a proficient expert” specialising in competitive issues in the healthcare sector. Sources deem him “a tireless authority whose preparation is meticulous”. The firm’s New York office is home to Ramsey Shehadeh who chairs NERA’s antitrust practice. Shehadeh is much sought after, with sources claiming that he is renowned for presenting “intelligent and sophisticated analysis in an easily digestible manner”. Another respondent claimed that Shehadeh “is a notable big-hitter offering flawless analysis”. In White Plains, Lauren Stiroh is “a prolific expert” with almost 20 years of experience in the field of competition. She has provided over 50 written reports and testified in litigation proceedings and class actions before the FTC, DOJ and Canadian Competition Bureau. Sumanth Addanki is a talented expert who comes “highly recommended for providing comprehensive and comprehensive analysis of the competitive effects of mergers in a manner that loses none of its potency.” In Berlin, head of the firm’s European competition economics group Frank Maier-Rigaud is famed as “a leading light in the academic field” who is now beginning to turn his significant talents to expert work. In London, Grant Saggers receives widespread praise with one respondent commending his “strategic awareness and intellectual rigour”, with another pointing to his “eloquent manner” for the reason for his success as an expert witness.  Tokyo is home to the “exceptional” Hiroaki Ishigaki who is “known for his keen intellect and expertise analysing the competitive impacts of mergers”. In New Zealand, James Mellsop leads the firm’s New Zealand and Australian offices. According to one source, “Mellsop is a powerful and effective expert witness that understood and worked extremely well with the legal team”.

RBB Economics performs impressively in the research with 14 entries in this edition. The firm’s Brussels office is home to several leading experts, including one of the most highly regarded individuals in our research this year: co-founder Simon Bishop. He is celebrated and admired as “one of the leading competition economists of his generation”. According to one client, Bishop “lives and breathes economics” and “delivers his opinion with authority and conviction”. He is joined by Vitaly Pruzhansky, “a very knowledgeable and reliable expert with broad international experience” who is known for providing “thorough and economic analysis in a clear and precise manner”. Pruzhansky regularly advises clients and appears before competition authorities and courts in Russia and the CIS countries. Andrea Lofaro is “a dominant figure in the Brussels market” who is “simply terrific” when offering expert opinion on high-profile phase II merger regulation cases before the European commission. In London, the “pre-eminent” Derek Ridyard is singled out as a “prodigious and highly skilled expert” who has testified as an expert witness in a variety of arbitral proceedings and cases in London, Singapore, Dublin, Melbourne and Oslo. Adrian Majumdar has a “wealth of experience” stemming from over 20 years’ experience working on competition matters. One respondent noted “he is a go-to expert in the UK who literally wrote the competition act guidelines on market definition, the assessment of market power and the assessment of conduct”.

Berkeley Research Group is represented by 10 individuals. Co-founder and firm leader David Teece is an “internationally renowned authority” on industrial organisation, technological change and innovation relating to antitrust and competition policy. The “fantastic” David Scheffman has appeared before courts and the FTC as an expert witness for a number of high-profile clients including Whole Foods and Blue Cross Blue Shield and is “held in the highest esteem by the market”. Interviewees also laud Henry Kahwaty’s “superior analytical mind” and “highly professional service”. He has testified on cases before the FTC, Canadian Competition Tribunal and European Commission, as well as preparing extensive expert reports on competition in the banking industry for the Irish Competition authority.

At DC-based economic consulting firm Bates White, six experts are singled out for their impressive contributions to the market. Michael Whinston is a leading expert in the field who has provided testimony on a number of high-profile issues. In 2015 he was called to provide expert testimony on behalf of the DOJ in its successful challenge of the proposed General Electric and Electrolux transaction. Whinston is a prolific academic affiliated with MIT with one respondent claiming that “there really is no one better to consult as an expert.” He is joined by Joseph Farrell, a professor of economics at the University of California and former director of the Bureau of Economics at the FTC. He is “very learned and particularly impressive”. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Cory Capps is a veritable expert on issues relating to market power and competition in the healthcare sector and provided clients with “clear and persuasive” expert witness testimony in this area.

In Washington, DC economic consulting outfit Economists Incorporated is represented by six leading experts. The firm’s chairman Barry Harris is renowned as “a highly intelligent expert” with considerable experience acting across a broad range of sectors. Harris receives widespread acclaim as the founding father of the concept of critical loss which has been incorporated into the DOJ and FTC merger guidelines. According to sources, Philip Nelson is “blessed with a formidable analytical mind and confident manner during testimony”. The firm’s co-founder William Myslinski is “well known in the market” and has testified as an expert witness on a number of high profile cases involving mergers and acquisitions, vertical restraints, class certification and economic damages issues. One respondent commended his “clear and well-reasoned testimony”.

At Analysis Group, six impressive experts are recommended. Martha Samuelson is a veritable expert with significant insight into competition, finance and valuation. A former trial lawyer, clients were quick to praise her awareness of the litigation process. Respondents were effusive in their praise of the “simply fantastic” Keith Ugone. Ugone, a veteran of over 350 testimonies at trial or deposition, was cited as a top-drawer expert who really knows his craft.

Oxera is also home to six fantastic nominees. Leading the firm’s work in competition policy and litigation is the “excellent” Gunnar Niels. According to sources, Gunnar is “sharp, rigorous and compelling”. He consults on a number of issues relating to competition economics including mergers, agreements, damages and state-aid. However, he is particularly prominent as an expert witness in high profile abuse of dominance cases acting as a court-appointed expert as well as acting for private entities. In London, Helen Jenkins is “a well-respected expert known for her considerable insight into the economic principles that underpin competition legislation in the UK”. She has acted for clients across a broad range of industry sectors including the energy, pharmaceuticals, financial services and telecommunications and media sectors appearing as an expert witness before courts and competition authorities in the US, UK, Republic of Ireland, South Africa and Hong Kong. Pascale Déchamps leads the firm’s Brussels offering and is, according to respondents, “earning a name for herself on the back of her talents as an economist”.

Chicago-headquartered Navigant is home to seven experts in this chapter. Head of the firm’s antitrust and competition practice James Langenfeld is commended for his “wealth of expertise” and “longstanding credibility” in the field. He has provided expert testimony on a range of issues including monopolistic practices, price fixing, damages and the impact of regulatory impacts. In the firm’s Washington, DC office, Paul Godek has significant experience giving both oral and written testimony to competition authorities and federal agencies. According to one source, “he is able to convey complex issues with ease”. The “highly intelligent” Robert Kneuper is celebrated for the “superior level of service” he provides. Debra Aron is a “well-known name” in the competition sector and she provides “detailed analysis” and “pragmatic advice”. A further trio of names at the firm recently joined from MiCRA. Kenneth Baseman is “incredibly astute” and “really hones in on the important details” while David Eisenstadt is noted for his “deep understanding of the theory” and “practical advice”. Frederick Warren-Boulton is particularly well known for his work in the economics of vertical restraints and is considered a “market-leading expert”.

AlixPartners is well represented in this year’s edition, garnering four inclusions with three of these coming from the firm’s London office alone. The “fantastic” Mat Hughes is commended as a “proactive and user-friendly expert with a wealth of experience before the regulators”. Respondents praised Liam Colley who is considered “a real driving force there”. Rameet Sangha is recognised as a “top-drawer economist with an impressive breadth of knowledge and experience” by one source, with another praising “her confident and easy manner”. William Choi in San Francisco completes the firm’s contingent.

Three “outstanding” experts are recommended at economic consultancy E.CA economics. Rainer Nitsche is “a leading authority on the competitive issues surrounding mergers” and appears as an expert witness in cases before the European Commission and national competition authorities. One client credited Nitsche with providing “dynamic, bespoke advice”. Fellow managing director of the firm Hans Friederiszick receives widespread praise from clients and peers alike for his “seemingly boundless depth of expertise” and “the amazing clarity of his work”. Vincent Verouden is a celebrated economic consultant with “unparalleled insight into the competitive effects of state-aid control". Verouden is a former deputy chief economist at the European commission and therefore provides clients with an intimate and invaluable understanding of the methods and analyses used by the European commission.

FTI Consulting is represented by two exceptional experts. In London, Boaz Moselle is “a market-leading authority” with considerable expertise in energy markets including the utilities and natural gas sectors. One client was effusive in their praise of Moselle stating that “he stood head and shoulders above other experts that we have worked with” and is “truly in a league of his own”. According to respondents, Boston-based Scott Harvey provides client with “compelling analysis”. He specialises in the analysis of the competitive effects of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures in the oil and gas industry.

At the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley,  Carl Shapiro is regarded as a “definite inclusion” with one source describing him as “an immensely talented and accomplished economist whose composure, credibility and sophistication under pressure is truly admirable”.

Luisa Affuso at PwC comes “extremely well thought of” in the field for her “outstanding” expert witness testimony in a number of high-profile cases worldwide. She is “a calm, collected and persuasive authority who performs well under cross-examination”, one source said.

At his own firm, Lademann & Associates GmbH Economists and Competition Consultants, Rainer Lademann is perceived as “an eminent fixture in the market whose longevity and credibility add much weight to his testimony”. He is “a titan” in the German food retailing sector, acting on some of the largest merger cases in that arena.

At Accuracy, Niels Frank is “a first-rate economist” who specialises in the assessment of cartel damages and the effect of horizontal and non-horizontal mergers. One peer noted that he is “wonderfully intelligent and meticulous in his preparation”.

At Criterion Economics, founder and chairman Greg Sidak is a “go-to” on competition economic matters. He is praised for his “dedication to his work and for putting his clients’ best interests first”

One of three recommended at CEG, Nils von Hinten Reed provides expert advice in competition cases before the authorities and is known for being “versatile, thoughtful and truly excellent”.

At Alvarez & Marsal’s Munich office, head of forensic and dispute services Jochen Benz is deemed “a highly intelligent and convincing expert who translates difficult economic and statistical analysis into simple but compelling arguments”.

HoustonKemp Economists is represented by two “excellent” nominees. Founding partner Greg Houston is a “talented” expert widely acclaimed for providing “top-drawer, case-winning economic analysis” in court proceedings and regulatory tribunals. In Singapore, Carol Osborne is “held in high esteem” by peers and clients alike who praise her “undoubtable intelligence” and “analytical rigour”. 

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