The following is an excerpt from Practice Perspectives: Vault's Guide to Legal Practice Areas.
Maggie D’Amico, Partner—Litigation
Margaret (“Maggie”) Segall D’Amico is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation department and a member of the firm’s Antitrust practice. She focuses on transactional matters, antitrust regulatory review, government investigations, and general antitrust counseling. Maggie has advised a wide variety of clients in diverse industries, including aerospace and aviation, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, consumer products, media, manufacturing, and technology.
Maggie received her A.B. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 2003 and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2008.
In 2018, Maggie was included on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List,” was named a “Rising Star” by Law360, and was recognized at Euromoney’s Americas Rising Star Awards.
Maggie, a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, resides in New York City with her husband and two sons.
Describe your practice area and what it entails.
My practice focuses on transactional matters, antitrust regulatory approval, and government investigations, as well as general antitrust counseling. I advise on and navigate my clients through the many different stages of transactions and the related regulatory processes that are often heavily scrutinized, including negotiating antitrust-related provisions of the transaction agreement, managing DOJ and FTC investigations and strategy, overseeing international filings, negotiating potential remedies, and serving on trial teams, should the transaction face a government challenge.
What types of clients do you represent?
My clients represent a wide diversity of industries, including aerospace and aviation, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, consumer products, media, manufacturing, and technology. I recently advised Time Warner Inc. on regulatory clearance issues in connection with its $109 billion sale to AT&T, including winning the lawsuit filed by the DOJ seeking to block the merger, which culminated in a six-week trial. My other clients have included AerCap Holdings, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brunswick Corporation, Delta Air Lines, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Grupo Modelo, and Mylan.
What types of cases/deals do you work on?
My representation of ABI in its acquisition of SABMiller captures many of the different types of work I’m able to do in my practice. I managed the DOJ review of the transaction, including overseeing the analysis and production of more than 1 million documents; responded to extensive data requests; and defended a variety of ABI witnesses in related investigational hearings. Similarly, I also managed the day to day of the DOJ review and the international filings for Time Warner and was also a part of the trial team representing Time Warner in its acquisition by AT&T, the first fully litigated vertical merger in 40 years.
How did you choose this practice area?
I first joined Cravath as an associate in the general litigation practice, and I did not envision myself doing competition work—honestly, it wasn’t really on my radar. But while I was going through Cravath’s rotational system, I had the chance to work with Christine Varney, the head of our Antitrust practice. Having her as a teacher and mentor really drew me to antitrust work, and I now cannot imagine doing anything else.
What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?
Because my practice involves many different types of work—general transactional and antitrust counseling, handling regulatory clearance issues and government review processes, overseeing foreign filings, representing witnesses in investigations, and acting as trial counsel—no two days are exactly alike. The trajectory any day or week will take depends almost entirely on my caseload, but generally involves discussions and correspondence with both clients and government agencies regarding ongoing transactions and working internally, both with my corporate counterparts and managing my own team on the day-to-day aspects of our caseload.
What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?
Certainly a background in both antitrust law and the fundamental economic concepts in antitrust theory is very helpful in grasping the dynamics of this area of law, but perhaps equally important is weaving theory together with real-world context. It is crucial to develop the skills to really learn about an industry and understand what your client does and what their goals are, both overall and in the context of a particular transaction. Keeping up with business and trade publications in order to understand how the economics of antitrust play out in varying ways across industries also is very beneficial.
What is the most challenging aspect of practicing in this area?
The most challenging aspect is often also the most exciting, since a broad antitrust practice requires work across industries and throughout the many stages of a deal cycle. To manage this dynamic effectively, it is crucial to be adaptable and to be able to work on many tasks that differ in their scale and scope simultaneously.
What do you like best about your practice area?
Antitrust is constantly evolving, which affords me the opportunity to learn new approaches and practice creative problem solving, all while handling some of the most pressing challenges that major companies are facing today. I am fortunate to work with a wide variety of clients and companies representing so many diverse industries—the work is never the same or cookie-cutter, which means we are always innovating in order to best serve our clients.
How do you see this practice area evolving in the future?
Over the next decade, I think antitrust regulators will continue to be creative in anticipating how competition will be affected by the rapid pace of technological change, among other changing market dynamics. Regulators are likely to continue applying increased scrutiny to transactions, which means that those of us who advise companies trying to do transformative deals need to make sure our clients understand all the different ways they could be opening themselves up to increased risk in this environment.
What kinds of experience can summer associates gain in this practice area at your firm?
Our summer associates are promised extensive, real-world practice experience—we treat summer associates as if they are first years. During the summer I spent at Cravath, for example, I attended depositions, an arbitration, and several other client-facing meetings alongside partners. It is central to our training culture to be immersed in substantive responsibility on day one, and this is made possible by the emphasis we place upon mentorship, both formal and informal.