Michael Cohen

Partner at
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

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Admitted Jurisdictions

District of Columbia, Virginia

Practice Areas


Michael began his career as an Assistant Special Prosecutor investigating and prosecuting organized crime involvement with the failure of local financial institutions in the early 1990s. After his government service, Michael joined the historic Washington, D.C. antitrust firm Howrey & Simon, where in 1996 he became one of the youngest partners in that unique firm’s history. In 2003, Michael joined Heller Ehrman as a partner in Washington, D.C., where he helped develop and grow the firm’s federal government antitrust merger defense practice. When Heller Ehrman ceased operations in 2008, Michael joined Paul Hastings as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office, where he founded, built and chaired that highly regarded firm’s international competition practice group for seven years. In 2015, Michael joined Sheppard Mullin’s storied antitrust practice, to put his twenty-five years experience to work complementing the firm’s longstanding antitrust litigation group, helping to bridge government antitrust enforcement in Washington, D.C. to the firm’s strengths in Brussels, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Throughout his private practice career, Michael has practiced all dimensions of competition law, defending multinational clients without borders across continents in business conduct and merger clearance investigations across intercontinental markets. He is among a short list of lawyers who have successfully defended multiple mergers through trial and appeal in the United States, including serving as co-lead counsel to Western Refining in its $1.4 billion acquisition of Giant Industries, which proceeded from complaint through trial in twenty-one days and through appeal in less than fourteen days. Michael was also a core partner on the trial team that successfully defended the H.J. Heinz Company’s acquisition of BeechNut’s baby food business in the federal trial court, until reversed on appeal – a case and decision that has been widely assessed and discussed since.

His practice includes concentrated experience representing clients in high tech, software, oil and gas, heavy manufacturing, food processing, broadcast, digital media, and healthcare industries. In addition, he has pioneered a novel trade regulation practice area bridging environmental organizations and stakeholders with industry in sustainability joint ventures. Chambers USA noted that “he is a well-regarded antitrust practitioner who is credited by clients for being ‘very thoughtful and willing to bounce ideas around.’"

Michael currently hosts the VoiceAmerica network International Crossroads segment of On the Law, a syndicated radio broadcast reaching more than 1,100 stations across the world (including more than 300 across the United States). Listeners can stream, download or subscribe to Michael’s International Crossroads show here.

Michael also hosts the Sheppard Mullin monthly Breakfast with Europe webcast. Listeners can stream, download and subscribe to Breakfast with Europe here.

In addition, Michael serves as a Professor teaching Constitutional Law, Business Organizations, and the Heisler Advocacy Clinic at the Monterey College of Law.

Practice Areas

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

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