Seasoned antitrust litigator David Gelfand, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, is joining the Justice Department's Antitrust Division as deputy assistant attorney general for litigation.
He'll have his hands full - the division on August 13 filed suit to block the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Lawyers for the airlines - an all-star cast including O'Melveny & Myer partner Richard Parker; Dechert partner Paul Denis and Jones Days partner Joe Sims - have vowed to take the matter to trial. (The airlines yesterday asked for a November 12 trial date.)
Gelfand, who starts his new job on August 26, will work under Antitrust Division head William Baer, a former partner at Arnold & Porter, and will be responsible for overseeing the division's litigation efforts.
According to DOJ, he'll also work "hand in hand" with Director of Litigation Mark Ryan, a former partner at Mayer Brown who joined the division in January of 2012.
In private practice, Gelfand represented clients including KME, Henkel, ArcelorMittal, sanofi-aventis and Whirlpool in antitrust litigation in the U.S. and Europe, according to Cleary's website.
“David is an exceptionally talented and dedicated lawyer with a broad set of skills," said Cleary managing partner Mark Leddy, another titan of the antitrust bar. "He will be a tremendous resource to the U.S. Department of Justice. We will miss him greatly, but we also share in his excitement for this opportunity to perform an important public service."