Arnold & Porter partner William Baer is President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division.
Obama on Friday formally announced he was sending Baer’s nomination to the U.S. Senate.
Leading antitrust lawyers in Washington considered Baer a top contender to replace Sharis Pozen, the acting assistant attorney general for the division. Pozen is leaving the post in April.
Baer, who leads Arnold & Porter’s antitrust practice, declined to comment this morning. He is widely regarded as one of the top antitrust lawyers in the country.
Pozen is a former Hogan & Lovells partner who joined the Justice Department in 2009. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. named her the acting head of the antitrust division after Christine Varney left the post in August to join Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Baer, if confirmed, would join DOJ on the heels of the antitrust division’s successful effort to stop the $39 billion merger between AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA.
A team from Arnold & Porter, including Richard Rosen and Donna Patterson, defended AT&T in the litigation in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, with Crowell & Moring, also represented the telecommunications company.