Jim O’Connell advises clients on their critical antitrust matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other transactions; licensing arrangements and other business practices; government investigations; and litigation. In connection with his merger practice, he also regularly helps clients assess and comply with their obligations under the HSR Act and comparable merger control regimes around the world.
Clients and peers recommend Mr. O’Connell for his knowledge of antitrust law and his ability to provide expert and practical guidance. He is also recommended for his detailed understanding of the people and processes of the U.S. antitrust enforcement agencies, which he applies to help his clients navigate their most critical antitrust challenges successfully and efficiently. Legal 500 has described him 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.”
Mr. O’Connell has represented clients in a broad range of industries and sectors, including leading companies in the e-commerce, pharmaceutical, medical device, financial services, telecommunications, electronics, cable, broadcast, alcoholic beverages, consumer products, industrial products and heavy manufacturing, energy and natural resources, steel, aerospace, defense, chemicals, gaming, and software industries.
Mr. O’Connell joined Covington 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 Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Staff. As Deputy AAG, he had responsibility for the Division’s appellate program and for the development of its major legislative and policy positions, such as those regarding intellectual property and the enforcement of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. His duties also included managing the Division’s relations with its enforcement counterparts around the world, including those in the European Union, China, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. This extensive international enforcement experience enables him to provide his clients highly informed and practical assessments of their U.S. and non-U.S. 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 has also been a leader in the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association for many years, serving in such positions as Chair of the editorial board of Antitrust, the Section’s magazine, and as Co-Chair of the Section’s Federal Civil Enforcement Section. He has also testified before the U.S. Congress and the Antitrust Modernization Commission, and he serves as a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network, which brings together competition enforcement authorities, academics, and leading practitioners from around the world to foster the development of best practices and encourage convergence on matters of antitrust policy.