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Press Release

Former Director of the FTC Bureau of Competition Joins Latham & Watkins

March 1, 2021
Ian Conner, also previously a Trial Attorney with the DOJ, expands the firm’s bench of elite antitrust talent with government experience.

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that Ian Conner, former Director of the Bureau of Competition at the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as a partner in the Litigation & Trial Department and as a member of the Antitrust & Competition Practice. Conner brings a wealth of experience in merger control and civil litigation honed from his time leading the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, serving as a Trial Attorney in the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as a decade he spent in private practice.

Amanda Reeves, Global Chair of the Antitrust & Competition Practice noted, “The last few years have seen a notable uptick in activity among competition agencies around the world, and Latham is armed with a highly experienced team to navigate this new antitrust era. Among our many differentiators both as a firm and as a practice, our ability to deploy the right team with the exact set of capabilities and experience anywhere in the world is an incredible boon for our clients.”

At Latham, Conner will apply his unique skillset and knowledge base to advise multinational companies on a wide variety of antitrust issues, particularly with regard to merger control and conduct investigations. He is experienced in the pharmaceutical, technology, oil and gas, retail services, telecommunications, transportation, and healthcare industries. “Bringing Ian onboard further enhances our elite team and enables us to apply up-to-date enforcement thinking gained directly in the field to the complex global challenges our clients face today, as well as to help companies see around corners. He’s a wonderful addition and we’re thrilled to continue to invest and extend our top global capabilities in antitrust,” Reeves added.

Most recently, Conner served in the Bureau of Competition at the FTC, joining in 2017 as Deputy Director before rising to Director in 2019. There he oversaw nearly 300 lawyers and staff in bringing merger and civil non-merger enforcement matters during the most active enforcement fiscal year since 2000. When the pandemic began in March 2020, he was tasked with running the Bureau remotely. Prior to joining the FTC, Conner spent a decade in private practice. He began his career as a Trial Attorney in the Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture Section of the DOJ Antitrust Division, which he joined through the Attorney General’s Honors Program.

Daniel Lennon, Managing Partner of Latham’s Washington, D.C. office, noted, “We are thrilled to welcome Ian to the firm, where his experience working at the FTC and the DOJ will enrich the multidimensional legal roadmaps we create for our clients, particularly as the US regulatory environment continues to evolve rapidly.”

Conner’s arrival expands Latham’s deep and still growing bench of seasoned antitrust litigators who have served in enforcement agencies around the world. In the US, Alan Devlin and Amanda Reeves served at the FTC as attorney advisors to Maureen Olhausen and Tom Rosch respectively, with Alan serving as Acting Deputy Director of the agency’s Bureau of Competition before joining Latham, while Lawrence Buterman, Niall Lynch, Elizabeth Prewitt, and Daniel Wall previously served in the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. Alumni of the European Union’s European Commission include Lars Kjølbye and Elisabetta Righini. From the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority Latham brought aboard Gregory Bonné, David Little, and Jonathan Parker. Additionally, Hui Xu brings clients experience from his time at the China Chamber of Commerce under the Ministry of Commerce of China.

“Antitrust issues are typically make-or-break issues for companies, and in an increasingly regulatory-focused environment, Latham has all the ingredients to develop and sustain a successful partnership between client and counsel – a broad and seamless platform, renowned antitrust practitioners, and a global footprint,” Conner said. “The synergies between Latham and my experience at the federal US enforcement agencies mean I will be able to create new opportunities and develop innovative legal approaches to address clients’ stickiest antitrust issues. I’m also looking forward to integrating into the firm’s team-based culture and tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit for which Latham is famous.”

During his time at the DOJ, Conner served as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office. He has held various leadership positions within the ABA Section of Antitrust Law, including as the Vice Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Committee (2017-2019), Vice Chair of the Civil Practice and Procedure Committee (2014-2017), and Founder and Co-Chair of the Agriculture & Food Committee (2010-2012).

Conner received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University and his JD from William & Mary's Marshall Wythe School of Law, where he also served as an adjunct professor from 2008 to 2010.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins delivers innovative solutions to complex legal and business challenges around the world. From a global platform, our lawyers advise clients on market-shaping transactions, high-stakes litigation and trials, and sophisticated regulatory matters. Latham is one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono services, steadfastly supports initiatives designed to advance diversity within the firm and the legal profession, and is committed to exploring and promoting environmental sustainability.

Notes to Editors

1 Latham & Watkins operates worldwide as a limited liability partnership organized under the laws of the State of Delaware (USA) with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in France, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, and the United Kingdom and as an affiliated partnership conducting the practice in Japan. Latham & Watkins operates in South Korea as a Foreign Legal Consultant Office. Latham & Watkins works in cooperation with the Law Firm of Salman M. Al-Sudairi, a limited liability company, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.