Jim O’Connell advises international and US clients on their critical antitrust matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing arrangements and other business practices, government investigations, and litigation. His clients and peers recommend him for his knowledge of antitrust law, as well as for his experience and his intimate understanding of the people and processes of the US antitrust enforcement agencies, to help them navigate the antitrust regulatory process successfully and efficiently. In connection with his merger practice, he also regularly helps clients assess their pre-merger notification obligations under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and foreign merger control regimes.
In a recent review of Covington’s antitrust team, Legal 500 described Mr. O’Connell as a “well-respected” practitioner who is “well connected with the DOJ” and recognized by clients for his ability to “quickly develop a high level of company-specific expertise.” Those clients have included companies in the energy and natural resources, manufacturing, life sciences, aerospace, chemicals, consumer goods, high-tech, on-line services, telecommunications, and media industries.
Mr. O’Connell joined Covington in 2009 after over five years of public service with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served in several leadership roles, including as Chief of Staff and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for international enforcement, appellate litigation, and policy matters. As Deputy AAG, he was responsible for the development of the Division’s major legislative and policy positions, such as those regarding intellectual property and the enforcement of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. He was also responsible for managing the Division’s relations with its counterparts around the world and in that capacity worked frequently with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition and the enforcement agencies of countries such as China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Brazil, and the UK. This extensive international enforcement experience enables him to provide his clients highly informed assessments of their US and non-US antitrust risks. Prior to his government service, Mr. O’Connell practiced antitrust law at an international New York-based firm.
A frequent speaker and writer on antitrust law and policy issues, Mr. O’Connell chairs the editorial board of Antitrust, the magazine of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and the Antitrust Modernization Commission.