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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

The following is an excerpt from Practice Perspectives: Vault's Guide to Legal Practice Areas.

Jamillia is based in Freshfields’ Washington, DC office and represents industry-leading companies before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on merger matters and civil conduct investigations, as well as provides antitrust counsel on a wide range of business practices.

Jamillia served in various leadership positions and has overseen mergers at both the Antitrust Division of the DOJ and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 2014, she was hired to lead the FCC's review of AT&T's proposed $49 billion acquisition of DIRECTV. In this role, Jamillia directed all aspects of the FCC’s investigation. She was also a member of the steering committee overseeing the FCC's review of Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. While at the DOJ, Jamillia served as chief of staff and counsel to the assistant attorney general of the Antitrust Division.

As a leader in her field, Jamillia is consistently recognized for her work by Chambers, Global Competition Review, and Who’s Who Legal, among others. She is regularly asked to present to global audiences on the state of antitrust law; and after having held numerous leadership positions in the American Bar Association, Jamillia currently serves on the Council of the Antitrust Section of the ABA.

In addition to her antitrust practice, Jamillia is on the board of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, which provides comprehensive legal services to victims of domestic violence, as well as on the Advisory Council of Lemonada Media.

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

I lead the U.S. Antitrust, Competition,and Trade practice at Freshfields and primarily focus on representing companies in front of the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of Justice. This includes merger and conduct investigations at both agencies.

What types of clients do you represent?

I am fortunate to represent clients across a range of sectors, but most of my day-to-day work has been for tech and biotech clients. 

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Most of my work centers around M&A transactions that are investigated by the U.S. antitrust agencies.  

I also represent companies that are being investigated by the antitrust agencies. Recent work includes advising:

  • Coupa on its pending $8 billion sale to Thoma Bravo
  • Credit Karma in its sale to Intuit
  • Bungie in its sale to Sony
  • Zynga in its sale to Take Two
  • Lumentum in its acquisitions of NeoPhotonics and Oclaro
  • DeepMap in its sale to Nvidia
  • MaxLinear in its proposed acquisition of Silicon Motion
  • Mandiant in its proposed acquisition by Google 

How did you choose this practice area?

After clerking, I started my legal career at a large international law firm with a wide range of practices, which allowed me to try different areas before settling into antitrust and, at the time, consumer protection and privacy. 

In fact, my early years were spent more on privacy because at the time, that was a new area of practice. However, after being asked to join the Antitrust Division by a partner whom I worked for, my practice became more concentrated on competition issues. 

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

My day is varied between engagement with clients, the antitrust agencies, and colleagues. For example, already today I had a call with my M&A partner to discuss the antitrust issues in a potential merger transaction, talked to the government about the status of their review of a different merger transaction, and worked with others on the antitrust team on a submission to the government.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

Like most areas of law, antitrust requires strong analytics and writing skills. Of course, if it fits into your law school schedule, taking a few antitrust courses is a good idea, especially to figure out whether it is an area that is of interest to you. 

Another way to explore antitrust as a practice area is to join the very active Antitrust Section of the ABA which allows law students to join for free. 

What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?

It is a high-stakes practice that can go to the heart of a company’s economic viability, and therefore, requires the highest level of performance.  

What do you like best about your practice area? 

Antitrust offers lawyers the opportunity to touch many other aspects of legal practice including corporate, litigation, and government advocacy.

What are some typical career paths for lawyers in this practice area?  

There are many career paths for people who start out and want to stay in antitrust, including law firms, government opportunities, and, increasingly, in-house positions.  But I have also seen associates easily transition from antitrust to other areas of law either in the government or in-house.

Given the breadth of Antitrust, what must attorneys do to be successful in the practice?  

Be curious and versatile.