Niall E. Lynch

  • Partner
  • 505 Montgomery Street
  • Suite 2000
  • San Francisco, CA 94111-6538
  • USA
  • T +1.415.395.8162


Niall E. Lynch represents leading US and global companies in United States Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal antitrust investigations and follow-on litigation.

Mr. Lynch helps clients successfully navigate the unique intricacies of DOJ antitrust investigations, drawing on 15 years of experience as a former prosecutor in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. His distinctive experience in international antitrust and competition matters includes cartels, civil conduct, and criminal investigations, as well as follow-on class action litigation.

Notably, Mr. Lynch has represented multinationals and their managers in criminal and administrative price-fixing investigations in Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His experience spans a variety of industries, including semiconductors, information technology, electronics, chemicals, oil and gas, consumer food products, government contracts, and media.

Mr. Lynch handles every stage of criminal antitrust investigations, including: negotiating compliance with DOJ grand jury subpoenas quickly and efficiently; resolving DOJ investigations with no enforcement action; securing favorable terms in plea agreements; and achieving winning results at trial.

Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Lynch served as Assistant Chief in the DOJ’s San Francisco Field Office. He led several of the Division’s most significant criminal prosecutions, including the liquid crystal display (LCD) and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) grand jury investigations, which resulted in US$1.6 billion in criminal fines and dozens of individual prosecutions. He also prosecuted numerous cases in the General Crimes Section while serving as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Mr. Lynch tried several jury trials and received numerous awards during his tenure at the DOJ, including the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, the second-highest award for DOJ employee performance. Mr. Lynch has repeatedly earned recognition as one of the world's foremost competition practitioners, including by The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists every year since 2013. He is one of seven lawyers in California to be named a 2019 Thought Leader by the publication. Mr. Lynch currently ranks in Chambers USA as Band 1 for Nationwide Antitrust Cartels. In 2020, Mr. Lynch was recognized by The Legal 500 US as a Hall of Fame lawyer for his Antitrust: Cartel work.

Mr. Lynch is a member of the American Bar Association Antitrust Section’s International Cartel Task Force, and previously chaired the Executive Committee of the California State Bar’s Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section. He also previously served as Local Chair of Latham & Watkins’ San Francisco Litigation & Trial Department.


Mr. Lynch's experience includes representing:

  • One of the world’s largest advertising holding companies in connection with an ongoing US Department of Justice (DOJ) grand jury investigation for bid rigging
  • The largest consumer tuna producer in the United States in connection with an ongoing DOJ grand jury investigation for price fixing
  • A major financial services institution in a market manipulation investigation by the DOJ and CFTC, which was successfully resolved without charges filed  
  • Several Japanese automotive parts manufacturers and executives in criminal price-fixing investigations by the DOJ, Antitrust Division, none of which have resulted in criminal charges
  • A major US consumer products manufacturer in a price fixing suit filed by the Federal Trade Commission
  • One of the largest propane suppliers in the United States sued in 38 class action lawsuits by direct and indirect purchaser plaintiffs - In re: Pre-Filled Propane Tank Antitrust Litigation
  • Several Fortune 500 companies in internal investigations relating to potential antitrust violations
  • The president of a major energy company and the CEO of software company in criminal price-fixing investigations by the DOJ, Antitrust Division and both executives were cleared of all charges

Thought Leadership

  • Cartel Leniency in the United States: An Overview -  December 01, 2019
  • Key Aspects Of DOJ's Government Procurement Antitrust Initiative -  November 21, 2019
  • New DOJ Guidance Increases Benefits for Robust Antitrust Compliance Programs — What Companies Need to Know -  July 15, 2019
  • The Department of Justice Will Criminally Prosecute Employee No-Poaching and Wage-Fixing Agreements -  October 31, 2016
  • Compliance: How to Receive Sentencing Credit from the DOJ's Antitrust Division -  April 01, 2016
  • 10 Tips for Responding to an Antitrust Grand Jury Subpoena -  March 14, 2016
  • Identifying Key Trends in Criminal Antitrust Enforcement -  February 25, 2013
  • En Banc Seventh Circuit Determines FTAIA is Not Jurisdictional and Broadly Construes “Direct” Effects -  July 18, 2012
  • How ACPERA Has Affected Criminal Cartel Enforcement -  August 11, 2011
  • Life After ACPERA: GAO Reports on the 2004 Reform’s Effect on Criminal Cartel Enforcement -  August 8, 2011
  • Antitrust Agencies Up Scrutiny of Banking Industry -  July 01, 2011
  • Conviction of Extradited Exec Affirmed -  June 9, 2011
  • Antitrust Agencies Around the World are Increasing Scrutiny of the Banking and Financial Industries -  May 24, 2011


  • The Automotive Cartel Investigation: The First Lessons for the Future -  May 29, 2012
  • Disclosure and Discovery: The Cost of Applying for Leniency -  May 29, 2012
  • New Issues in Cartel Enforcement -  November 9, 2011
  • United States Antitrust Law, Policies & Procedures -  September 19, 2011
  • US Antitrust Issues: Trends in Cartel Enforcement -  June 20, 2011
  • US Antitrust Issues: 2011 Trends -  June 17, 2011
  • Immunity in Criminal Cartel Investigations: A US Perspective -  June 2011
  • 10 Practical Lessons From Pending Cases: The Moving Targets in Cartel Practice -  April 27, 2011

“An antitrust expert and a tremendous litigator who is very strategic”

Chambers USA 2019
Bar Qualification
  • California
  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1991
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1986
  • Energy & Infrastructure
  • Automotive
  • Antitrust & Competition
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations