Michael P.A. Cohen is a partner with the Antitrust and International Competition Practice Group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. 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, computer system, oil and gas, heavy manufacturing, food processing, beverage, 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 well known for trying high-stakes merger cases as well as other civil and criminal antitrust litigation. He has a strong and varied client base including publishing, technology and healthcare companies. Clients describe him as ‘a wonderful partner.’”
From 2015-2017, Michael hosted 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 currently hosts the Sheppard Mullin podcast Nota Bene, a weekly series covering the cutting-edge and ever-changing legal issues affecting multinationals doing business without borders. Listeners can subscribe, download and listen to all podcasts here.
He previously hosted the Sheppard Mullin monthly Breakfast with Europe webcast, which can be found here. In addition, Michael serves as a Professor teaching Constitutional Law, Business Organizations, and the Heisler Advocacy Clinic at the Monterey College of Law.
- Defending Reynolds and Reynolds Company in connection with federal antitrust multi-district litigation, In Re: Dealer Management Systems Antitrust Litigation, MDL 2817 (N.D. Ill.).
- Obtained merger clearance for WellStar Health System’s $575 million acquisition of five metro Atlanta hospitals from Texas-based Tenet Healthcare. The merger stands among the largest hospital transactions for 2016 in the United States by number of facilities.
- Defending the chief executive of a major consumer facing branded manufacturer in a United States Department of Justice criminal price fixing investigation.
- Obtained merger clearance for Gannett’s $2.2 Billion acquisition of Belo Corporation’s multi-state radio and television broadcast media stations.
- Defended the H.J. Heinz Company’s acquisition of BeechNut’s baby food business successfully through trial, reversed on appeal in a decision widely discussed and analyzed contemporaneously and since.
- Successfully defended the StarKist Dolphin Safe Policy in federal district court jury trial of Mexican tuna fleet commercial breach and interference claims.
- J.D., Washington and Lee University – School of Law, 1990, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Lead Articles Editor, Washington & Lee Law Review
- B.A., Virginia Tech, 1987
- District of Columbia
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
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