Boies Schiller antitrust veteran jumps to FTC as senior trial counsel

  • Abby Dennis had lead role on Boies Schiller team suing Google
  • She was formerly hiring partner in firm's Washington, D.C., office

(Reuters) - A longtime antitrust lawyer at Boies Schiller Flexner in Washington, D.C., has left the firm to join the Federal Trade Commission, expanding the agency's litigation ranks and adding to a wave of partner defections from the law firm since last year.

Abby Dennis, a Boies Schiller lawyer for 12 years and a partner since 2016, joined the FTC earlier this month as a senior trial counsel, according to notices filed in court on Wednesday. Her arrival at the agency comes amid a surge in proposed corporate transactions and as antitrust regulators have vowed to ramp up enforcement activity.

Dennis is departing a lead role on the Boies Schiller team representing publishers suing Google Inc for alleged anticompetitive advertising-related practices. In a filing in the case, Boies Schiller partner Philip Korologos said the firm will remain interim co-lead counsel for the publisher class in the multidistrict litigation in Manhattan federal district court. Google has denied violating antitrust law.

Dennis, whose antitrust clients have included United HealthCare Services and Delta Air Lines, did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Wednesday. A spokesperson for FTC also did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Boies Schiller managing partners called Dennis' departure "bittersweet news for the firm," according to an internal email viewed by Reuters. "Abby has made significant contributions to many of the firm's high-profile antitrust cases in particular," the message said.

Dennis joined the FTC competition bureau's litigation group, led by chief trial counsel Jennifer Milici, another former Boies Schiller lawyer who joined the agency in 2014.

The FTC's most recent budget request sought additional resources for the competition bureau's litigation divisions given "the high level of merger activity and litigation volume."

Major U.S. law firms in recent months have moved to grow their antitrust benches to meet demand sparked by the Biden administration's enforcement agenda.

Founded in 1997 by famed trial lawyer David Boies, Boies Schiller has lost at least 60 partners since the start of 2020. Last week, Natasha Harrison, a managing partner of the firm based in London, said she will depart to start a boutique.

Boies Schiller recently opened an office in Milan, Itay, that was billed as the hub of the firm's European operations.

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