Boom Times for Lawyers as Washington Pursues Big Tech

The tech corporations are additionally bringing antitrust consultants in home. Amazon, Facebook and Google every have dozens of in-house attorneys. In January 2020, Amazon employed a former F.T.C. lawyer, Amy Posner. In April 2020, Facebook employed quite a few government officers, beginning with one other longtime Federal Trade Commission lawyer within the competitors bureau.

“What’s striking is the number of people going to work directly for tech companies from the agencies,” stated William Kovacic, a former chairman of the F.T.C. “That reflects a real change.”

The alternatives to work for tech purchasers, or the tech corporations themselves, drew a giant viewers at a current mock trial held by the American Bar Association. The workshop centered on a fictional massive search engine referred to as Knowsmore, which was being sued by a smaller search engine that needed to cost for extra privateness options. The occasion was one of many best-attended workshops placed on by the A.B.A. over the previous few years, stated David Reichenberg, a lawyer at Cozen O’Connor and the affiliation’s litigation committee co-chair.

“Every year there is more and more interest among the members to learn more about tech and antitrust,” he stated.

There can be extra work for attorneys who wish to tackle the massive corporations, or symbolize the government itself. Two legislation corporations reached an settlement final 12 months to symbolize the State of Texas in its lawsuit towards Google. And final month, one other agency joined with the legal professional common within the District of Columbia to sue Amazon.

But most of the largest and most prestigious corporations are working for the Silicon Valley giants.

Jonathan Kanter, a longtime antitrust lawyer who has been rumored as a potential nominee to steer the Justice Department’s antitrust division, constructed his profession largely round working for the rivals of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. His shopper checklist included each massive corporations like Microsoft and News Corporation and smaller corporations like Yelp and Spotify.

In 2016, he moved to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a distinguished company litigation agency. But final 12 months, Mr. Kanter’s work criticizing Big Tech began to current conflicts with other components of the agency’s sprawling portfolio, stated two people with data of the matter. Specifically, his follow was at odds with work being achieved by Bill Isaacson and Karen Dunn, two attorneys the agency had simply employed who’re identified to symbolize Apple and Amazon, stated one other particular person with data of the state of affairs.

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