Christine Varney, the top antitrust official in the US Department of Justice, is stepping down later this summer to join Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a blue-chip New York- based law firm.
The law firm says that Ms. Varney will advise Cravath’s clients on merger-and-acquisition issues related to antitrust regulation.
Shortly after she was appointed in April 2009, Varney got rid of Bush-era guidelines that made it more difficult to challenge anticompetitive behaviour by corporations, according to the Wall Street Journal. She established new rules in their place—rules that she will now help clients navigate as a Cravath attorney.
Main Justice, a legal blog, reports that Varney cannot represent clients before antitrust regulators for a certain period after leaving government service. Thus, her role will at the firm will initially be limited to “counseling” clients, rather than representing them outright.
In October, Varney hired a former Cravath partner, Katherine B. Forrest, to be her deputy at the Justice Department, after Forrest had helped win Justice’s approval for the merger between United and Continental Airlines.
This is the first time Cravath has hired a partner from outside the firm since 2007.
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