After two years as chief trial counsel for the Federal Trade Commission, J. Robert "Robby" Robertson has joined Hogan Lovells as a partner.
The move is something of a surprise. In 2005, after a prior stint at the FTC, Robertson rejoined Kirkland and Ellis. He began his legal career there as an associate in 1990, and made partner there in 1996.
"I am excited to become a part of one of the largest global antitrust and competition practices in the world," Robertson said in a statement. "Hogan Lovells provides me with the ideal opportunity to use the experience I have gained at the FTC, along with my considerable trial experience from private practice, to build on strong corporate, IP, and international platforms."
Hogan boasts a sizeable antitrust practice, with 45 partners and 130 antitrust lawyers in more than 15 offices. The group is co-headed by Janet McDavid and Susan Bright.
In a statement, McDavid and Bright called Robertson "one of only a handful of lawyers who can lead antitrust litigation for any client, whether it involves defending a merger or practice against an agency challenge or defending a client in private litigation."
At the FTC, Robertson's experience included serving as lead trial counsel in the agency's monopolization and unfair competition case against Intel Corp. which settled in August 2010.
He also led the litigation team in FTC v. CCC Holdings, Inc., winning a preliminary injunction in March 2009 halting the $1.4 billion merger between CCC and with Mitchell International Inc. The parties subsequently abandoned the merger.
From July 2002 through January 2004, Robertson was the senior litigation Counsel for the Bureau of Competition, serving as lead trial counsel in the Chicago Bridge & Iron case, a challenge to a consummated merger. After a three month trial, the judge ordered a full divestiture of the acquired company. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision.
From October 2004 through January 2005, Robertson was the FTC's lead trial counsel in Union Oil Co. of California, a standard-setting case based on Unocal's alleged monopolization of the technology market for summertime, reformulated gasoline in California.
Robertson spent 10 years as a Marine Corps officer prior to earning his JD from the Law School at the University of Chicago.