Charles F. (Rick) Rule
Charles (Rick) Rule, the head of the firm's Antitrust Group, the Managing Partner of the Washington office, and a member of the firm's Management Committee, focuses his practice on providing U.S. and international antitrust advice to major corporations in connection with "bet your company" matters, particularly high-profile mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. He also represents corporate clients in connection with civil and grand jury investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the European Commission and in private and governmental litigation both at the trial and appellate levels.
Recognized as one of the world's leading antitrust lawyers, Rick is named in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers For Business, The Legal 500 US, The Best Lawyers in America, Global Competition Review, The Legal Times, Law Dragon 500, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the East, The Washingtonian and Who's Who in American Law. Rick was also named a top legal innovator by the 2011 Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers Report.
Among his principal clients are Microsoft Corporation; ExxonMobil; US Airways Inc.; Celanese Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Morgan Stanley; Financial Security Assurance; the National Basketball Association; Bacardi & Company Ltd.; Eli Lilly & Company, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
Rick was a key member of the team that negotiated on behalf of Microsoft a conclusion to the historic antitrust lawsuit that the Justice Department and a number of states pursued against the company. He also was involved in the antitrust clearance of some of the highest-profile mergers in recent years, including advising NYNEX in its merger with Bell Atlantic (now known as Verizon Communications), serving as Exxon Corporation's lead counsel in its successful merger with Mobil Oil Corporation (now known as Exxon Mobil Corporation), representing MGM-Mirage in its acquisition of Mandalay Bay, and representing Delta and Pine Land in its acquisition by Monsanto.
Rick has represented numerous corporations and individuals in connection with civil and criminal grand jury investigations by the Department of Justice and other enforcement agencies involving allegations of price-fixing, market allocation, bid-rigging, and other criminal conduct on a national or global scale. Utilizing his former government experience, Rick advises clients in effective strategies in protecting their interests throughout the investigation process. Rick has also handled major civil and criminal litigation and argued numerous times in court on behalf of clients such as Microsoft, US Airways, a television network and its affiliates, and the Pasha Group. While in government, he argued on behalf of the United States in several appeals and before the U.S. Supreme Court in Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 (1986).
He began his career as William Baxter's special assistant in the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. He served as acting head of the Division for part of 1985 and was permanently appointed to the position in late 1986, becoming the youngest person ever to be confirmed as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. In 1988, in recognition of his exemplary performance, he received the Edmund J. Randolph Award from the Justice Department. Following his departure from the Justice Department in 1989, Rick was a partner and head of the antitrust practice at a leading Washington, D.C. law firm, and subsequently became the head of the global antitrust practice of another major New York firm.
Rick is a frequent author and lecturer on antitrust and regulatory topics, and he has participated in numerous conferences, workshops, and programs on issues of merger enforcement and trade regulation. As regular counsel to clients with an interest in the technology sector, Rick has recently authored a number of articles on the Federal Trade Commission's investigation into Google, including articles in U.S. News & World Report and The American Lawyer. Rick also has served as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at American University's Washington College of Law. He was the inaugural chair of the Corporations, Securities and Antitrust Practice Group of the Federalist Society and served as Chair of the Economics Committee of the American Bar Association's Antitrust Section. He is a member of the advisory board of BNA's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report, the Washington Legal Foundation, and the Landmark Legal Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Children's Law Center and previously has served on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School.
Rick received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Daniel M. Friedman of the former U.S. Court of Claims (now the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit). He is admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia.
Recent representations include:
- Celanese Corporation in connection with various acquisitions and divestitures.
- Eli Lilly & Company on multiple matters.
- Exxon Corporation in its successful merger with Mobil Oil Corporation.
- Microsoft Corporation in its purchase from AOL of more than 800 patents and related patent applications as well as a non-exclusive license to AOL's retained patent portfolio for $1.1 billion.
- Microsoft Corporation in its assignment of a significant portion of the IP assets it is purchasing from AOL for $1.1 billion to Facebook Inc. for $550 million.
- Microsoft Corporation in connection with its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, the company's largest acquisition to date, which was recognized as 2012 Merger Control Matter of the Year - Europe by Global Competition Review.
- Microsoft Corporation in connection with its partnership agreement with Yahoo! Inc. under which Microsoft's new Bing search engine would run on multiple Yahoo! Sites, and Yahoo! would handle sales of premium search advertising for both companies.
- Microsoft Corporation in connection with the sale of its online advertising agency Razorfish to Publicis Groupe for $530 million and Microsoft's 5-year strategic alliance agreement with Publicis Groupe.
- Microsoft Corporation as lead antitrust counsel in a number of recent transactions, including Microsoft's $44.6 billion proposed acquisition of Yahoo! Inc..
- Northrop Grumman in its acquisition of Newport News.
- US Airways in its high-profile merger with American Airlines
- US Airways in its 2009 agreement with Delta Air Lines to swap slots at New York LaGuardia and Reagan National airports.
- US Airways in its efforts to acquire Delta out of bankruptcy.
- US Airways in its merger with America West Airways.
- Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. in the successful dismissal of claims filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida relating to the lawfulness of Bacardi's decision to terminate certain distribution relationships in particular states. Defended Bacardi and Brown-Forman in a related lawsuit in federal court in the District of Minnesota alleging Bacardi and Brown-Forman engaged in a joint refusal to deal by virtue of the two companies' decisions to terminate certain distribution relationships.
- The Fair Isaac Corporation as lead antitrust counsel in an action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, and their joint venture VantageScore.
- Financial Security Assurance, Inc. and Financial Security Assurance Holdings, Ltd. in multidistrict class action litigation alleging antitrust violations in the municipal derivatives industry.
- Morgan Stanley in antitrust class action relating to auction rate securities.
- US Airways in a federal civil antitrust lawsuit against Sabre Holdings Corp., to halt anticompetitive and anti-consumer practices, including engaging in a pattern of exclusionary conduct to shut out competition, protect its monopoly pricing power, and maintain its technologically-obsolete business model.