Helped lead FTC investigations of major mergers & acquisitions and consumer protection matters
New York, NY (March 19, 2012) – In a noteworthy addition to its competition and consumer protection practices, Venable LLP announced that Leonard L. Gordon, the Federal Trade Commission’s Northeast Regional Director, has joined the firm as a partner in both in its advertising and marketing and antitrust practices.
Mr. Gordon has served in the FTC’s New York-based Northeast office for the past seven years, the last four as Regional Director. He managed two dozen enforcement attorneys, investigators and professional staff handling both antitrust and consumer protection matters. He was responsible for case selection and management, working with both the Bureau of Competition and the Bureau of Consumer Protection, as well as with law enforcement groups.
During his tenure, the Northeast office investigated numerous hospital mergers, a massive health insurance fraud scheme and also the $760 million merger of an institutional pharmacy business.
The major antitrust cases he worked on include:
- A challenge to Dun & Bradstreet’s acquisition of Quality Education Data that was resolved by consent decree after litigation was commenced;
- Nufarm’s acquisition in the herbicide industry; Mr. Gordon worked with a joint team of US, Canadian and UK competition authorities to ensure divestment of holdings;
- Cardinal Health’s radio pharmacy acquisition, which resulted in a consent decree;
- An acquisition by Lubrizol in the lubricants industry, which resulted in a divestiture;
- Providence Health’s acquisition of two leading cardiology practices in Spokane, Washington, which were ultimately abandoned to avoid antitrust concerns;
- Rite Aid – Jean Coutu (“Eckerd”) merger, ultimately requiring the divestiture of stores.
In the consumer protection arena, he litigated or directed the following cases:
- A litigated cease-and-desist against Daniel Chapter One, a seller of supplements that purported to treat and cure cancer;
- Home Assure, a mortgage foreclosure rescue company, and its principals, resulting in a $2.3 million settlement;
- A $2.25 million judgment against debt collector Academy, the largest judgment at the time in a debt collection case;
- Comcast for Do Not Call violations, resulting in a $900,000 civil penalty;
- Bronson Partners, sellers of weight loss products, resulting in a $1.94 million judgment;
- Classic Closeouts, an electronic merchant for unauthorized billing, leading to criminal charges filed against the company’s founder;
- Preferred Platinum Services Network, a seller of work at home opportunities, which led to the principal pleading guilty to criminal charges.
“As Director of the FTC’s important Northeast Region, Len Gordon has been at the center of federal consumer protection and antitrust enforcement in one of the most active regions for the last seven years,” said Jeffrey Knowles, who chairs Venable’s Advertising, Marketing and New Media practice.
“Len has handled multiple investigations and enforcement actions focusing on how marketers advertise their goods and services,” Mr. Knowles added. “He is an exceptionally talented litigator with tremendous experience in consumer protection and competition matters. Len is an outstanding addition to Venable’s advertising and antitrust practices.”
Venable boasts one of the nation’s preeminent advertising law practices. US News & World Report named Venable the 2011-2012 Advertising “Law Firm of the Year.” The firm also won the Chambers USA Award for Excellence for the advertising category for two years straight, singled out as a “one-stop shop” for its strength in transactional, regulatory and litigation work. Legal 500 named Venable a “Top-Tier Firm” for advertising and marketing. Venable’s Privacy and Data Security practice has also been ranked first tier by both Chambers USA and Legal 500.
“The FTC is one of two federal antitrust law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and as such plays a critical role in antitrust enforcement, including examining mergers and acquisitions,” said partner Lisa Jose Fales, who heads Venable’s antitrust practice and regularly handles investigations brought by the FTC and the DOJ. “Len Gordon has been involved in significant FTC merger investigations over the last seven years, especially several in the healthcare field. We are excited that he is joining our practice.”
Venable has a noteworthy antitrust bench including William Coston, who was a member of the appellate section of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and who has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. This past December, the firm added Robert Davis, who served in FTC for 10 years, most recently as Attorney-Advisor to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. Ms. Fales, who represents large healthcare, consumer products and pharmaceutical clients, has consistently been recognized among the nation’s leading healthcare antitrust lawyers.
“Venable’s recognized eminence in advertising law and its growing antitrust profile made the firm a natural fit for me,” Mr. Gordon, said. “This is an opportunity for me to join a vibrant consumer protection practice while helping to grow an impressive and emerging antitrust platform,” said Mr. Gordon.
Mr. Gordon received his J.D. with honors from George Washington University Law School (1988) and his B.A. from the George Washington University (1985).
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