Wesley R. Powell is a partner in the Litigation Department and a member of the Antitrust Practice Group of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. Mr. Powell’s practice focuses on complex civil antitrust and securities litigation and legal issues impacting the financial services industry. His antitrust experience includes litigations, mergers, investigations and counseling clients, and he regularly appears in federal court and before the antitrust enforcement agencies in connection with those matters. He also counsels clients on payments industry regulation in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, Mr. Powell’s practice includes global regulatory advocacy and counseling on competition, trade regulation and other commercial matters.
Chambers USA (2007-2014) ranks Mr. Powell among the leading individuals practicing Antitrust Law in New York. He is also recognized in The Legal 500 United States: Volume III Litigation and New York Super Lawyers (2010).
Selected Professional and Business Activities
Mr. Powell is a member of the New York State Bar Association (Antitrust Section Executive Committee), and the American Bar Association (Antitrust Section).
Mr. Powell has served as lead pro bono counsel in a habeas corpus action by a group of detainees challenging detention at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Prior to joining Willkie, Mr. Powell was a partner at Hunton & Williams and was also previously with Clifford Chance.
Selected Significant Matters
- Defended MasterCard against price-fixing, tying, and exclusive dealing class-action claims and related state and federal regulatory proceedings (see In Re Swipe Fee Litigation, American Lawyer "Big Suits" column, 10/2012). Representing MasterCard in appeals and related follow-on litigation.
- Currently representing a private equity firm in an antitrust challenge to alleged joint bidding for acquisition of public companies
- Recently advised financial trading firm on antitrust issues in United Healthcare Services/Psychiatric Solutions merger
- Represented major broker-dealer in an antitrust challenge to alleged trading practices on the New York Stock Exchange
- Represented defense contractor against exclusive dealing and related antitrust claims brought by competitor
- Represented MasterCard in In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation
- Represented MasterCard in governance, boycott and tying investigations brought by the Department of Justice
- Represented a seed manufacturer in Genetically Modified Seeds Antitrust Litigation, which resulted in denial of class action status to a group of farmers alleging price fixing in the genetically modified seeds industry
Financial Services Regulation
- Currently advises firm client on payments industry regulatory matters globally
- Represented Mexican Bankers' Association in connection with payments industry regulatory matters in Mexico
Securities and other Litigation
- Represented a publicly traded investment management company in connection with regulatory investigations concerning alleged market timing in mutual funds and related multidistrict civil litigation
- Represented an investment management firm in an action challenging suitability of the firm's investments for a pension fund
- Represented a former senior executive of a mutual fund distribution company in an action by the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning alleged mutual fund market timing activity
- Represented major financial institution as first lien secured creditor and true party in interest in adversary proceeding in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to enjoin termination of debtor’s most critical contract; obtained permanent injunction and declaratory relief
Selected Publications and Lectures
- "Supreme Court Extends ‘Rigorous Analysis’ Standard for Class Actions to Damages Claims in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend," WFG Client Memorandum, April 10, 2013
- "US Anti-Trust Laws: Reach Expanded?" CNBC-India television interview (aired August 10, 2012) and published on MoneyControl.com (August 13, 2012) (Click here to view interview)
- "Following Wal-Mart v. Dukes, District Court in Ninth Circuit Requires ‘Rigorous Analysis’ in Antitrust Class Certification Decisions," 9 THE ANTITRUST PRAC. 11 (2012)
- "The Roberts Court on Antitrust," The Corporate Counselor, Volume 22, Number 6 (November 2007, co-author)
- "Antitrust Disputes Nixed: SEC Governs IPO Underwritings," New York Law Journal (August 23, 2007, co-author)
- "Considering Credit Suisse," The Daily Deal (July 9, 2007, co-author)
- "Abbott Laboratories v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.,"Sherman Section One Newsletter (American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law) (Winter 2007, co-author)
- "Settlement Class Certification: Application of a More Flexible Certification Standard Since Amchem," 4 The Antitrust Prac. 6 (July 2006, co-author)
- "Update on Patent Settlement Cases," Sherman Section One Newsletter (American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law) (Spring 2006, author)
- "Be Careful What You Waive: Giving Up Attorney-Client and Work-Product Privileged Material To Investigators Could Affect Private Litigation Later," Daily Journal Securities Law Update (April 28, 2004 co-author)
- "Publication of Non-Profit Media Watch-Dog Group Deemed Commercial Speech," Libel Defense Resource Center Libel Letter (August 2001, co-author)
- "Publishing Without Borders: Internet Jurisdictional Issues," Practicing Law Institute (May 2001, co-author)
- "Defining Commercial Speech: The Search for Clarity in a Clash of Values," Libel Defense Resource Center Bulletin (April 2001, co-author)
- "Libel Defense Resource Center 50-State Survey" (Media, Privacy and Related Law), Second Circuit Chapter (2001-2002, co-author)
- Panelist, "Back To The Future: Revisiting Class Certification in In re: Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation Under The Standards Enunciated in In re: Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation" (NYSBA, Antitrust Section, Annual Meeting, January 2012)
- "Defending (and not defending) the Defense of Marriage Act" (May 24, 2011, sponsored by LeGaL and New York County Lawyers’ Association)
- Co-chair, Panel on "International Cartel Enforcement in the Digital Age: Collection and Use of Evidence Beyond Borders" (NYSBA, Antitrust Section, Annual Meeting, January 2011)
- Moderator, Panel on "Privilege in the Age of Globalization," (NYSBA, Antitrust Section, Annual Meeting, January 2009)