Michael Fanelli

Michael J. Fanelli


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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5383



  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1995
    • with highest honors
    • George Washington University Law Review, Member
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., 1992

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Robert E. Payne, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 1995-1996

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

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Michael Fanelli helps the firm’s clients navigate the risks of global cartel and other civil antitrust and criminal investigations. The vast majority of the companies and individuals that he has defended have faced no adverse governmental actions. He delivers value by providing advice that enables the firm’s clients to understand their options and make the best choice in light of their legal risks and business interests.

Mr. Fanelli also defends clients in private class action cartel litigation and other civil antitrust litigation. He recently has achieved notable early dismissals of his clients in the sprawling In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80337 (2013) and with respect to novel resale price maintenance claims brought in federal court under New York's Donnelly Act. Worldhomecenter.com, Inc. v. KWC America, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104496 (2011).

Representative Matters

  • Represent a major airline in a putative class action alleging price fixing of transpacific fares and surcharges.
  • Represent automotive parts manufacturers in ongoing putative class action private actions.
  • Represented several manufacturers and individuals in investigations in the automotive parts industry. To date, these investigations have been formally closed or no actions have been taken against our clients.
  • Represented a major manufacturer of chemical additive products in a DOJ investigation with no action taken against our client.

Previous Experience

  • Mr. Fanelli previously served in the Federal Trade Commission’s Policy Planning Office, where he contributed to the drafting of the DOJ & FTC Competitor Collaboration Guidelines, advised on the antitrust treatment of joint ventures, and was involved in policy and investigatory matters.

Honors and Rankings

  • Legal 500 US, Antitrust - Cartel (2015) 
  • Society for American Archaeology, Presidential Recognition Award (2002)

Pro Bono

  • Representation of the Society for American Archaeology in litigation before the Eastern District of Oregon and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving a dispute over the right to study the remains of the so-called “Kennewick Man,” a skeleton found in the Pacific Northwest believed to be as much as 9,500 years old. Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit ruled that cultural affiliation could not be established between the remains and groups claiming them as their ancestor. The decision opened the door for study of the remains and the litigation has been the subject of numerous books and other publications.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Joint Conduct Committee, ABA Antitrust Section, Co-Chair (2013-present)
  • International Cartel Task Force, ABA Antitrust Section (2011-2012)
  • Competition Laws Outside the United States, Editorial Chair, ABA Antitrust Section (2008-2011)
  • Cartel and Criminal Practice Committee, ABA Antitrust Section, Vice-Chair (2010)
  • International Antitrust Committee, ABA Antitrust Section, Vice-Chair (2004-2010)
  • Competition Laws Outside the United States, Editorial Board (2003-2005)

Publications and Speeches

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