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FTC Competition Chief Joins Cleary Gottlieb’s Antitrust Team

 |  March 3, 2020

Bruce Hoffman, who left Shearman & Sterling three years ago to become director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, has joined Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton as a partner in the firm’s Washington, DC, office.

“We are delighted to welcome Bruce to our firm,” said Cleary Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang. “Cleary’s renowned antitrust team has been succeeding for our clients on the most high-profile and complex antitrust matters in the world for decades. Bruce’s arrival adds strength to strength – he has an impeccable track record of leadership and success, and was until recently one of the world’s top antitrust enforcers. Bruce will complement the already formidable depth and breadth in our market-leading global practice.”

Bruce is one of the leading antitrust lawyers in the United States. He has an impressive resume of success in both the public and private sectors and, during his time leading the Bureau of Competition, was at the forefront of today’s most significant global competition issues,” said Cleary partner George Cary, former Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “Bruce will be a wonderful addition to our exceptionally skilled global antitrust team and will allow us to continue to provide the highest-quality advice to our clients.”

During his tenure, the agency challenged 42 proposed mergers, including 20 transactions that were abandoned or restructured, either as a result of an investigation or after the agency initiated litigation. Under Bruce’s guidance, the FTC successfully litigated nine trials, which included securing a nearly half-billion dollar judgment against Abbvie, winning a monopolization suit against Qualcomm, reaching a settlement in the groundbreaking Actavis reverse payment litigation, and achieving a victory before the Eighth Circuit in the challenge to Sanford’s acquisition of the Mid Dakota Clinic.

In early 2019, Bruce also led the creation of the Bureau of Competition’s Technology Task Force, now known as the Technology Enforcement Division, to help monitor competition in the constantly evolving U.S. technology sector, investigate potential anticompetitive practices, and take enforcement actions as necessary.

“My time at the Federal Trade Commission was invaluable, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside a talented and dedicated team of professionals in the Bureau of Competition and throughout the agency,” said Bruce. “I’m proud of the work we did and our achievements. Now, I’m looking forward to bringing my recent agency experience to Cleary’s outstanding antitrust practice and working with this distinguished team on the most challenging and important antitrust matters in the U.S. and around the world.”

Before taking the FTC role in 2017, Bruce spent 20 years in private practice, including as the head of the global competition practice for a major international law firm. Bruce also previously served in other senior leadership roles with the FTC Bureau of Competition, including as Deputy Director of the Bureau and as Associate Director for Regional Litigation. He received a J.D. from the University of Florida, College of Law and a B.A. from Penn State University.