Leonard L. Gordon

Partner
Gordon Leonard

Len Gordon, co-chair of Venable’s Advertising and Marketing Group, is a skilled litigator who leverages his significant experience working for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help protect his clients’ interests and guide their business activity. Len regularly represents companies and individuals in investigations and litigation with the FTC, state attorneys general, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Len also represents clients in business-to-business and class action litigation involving both consumer protection and antitrust issues. He also counsels clients on antitrust, advertising, and marketing compliance issues.

During his time with the FTC, most recently as the regional director for the Northeast Regional Office in New York City, Len managed case selection and supervision of all attorneys, investigators, and support personnel. He served as the liaison to the Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Consumer Protection, and other law enforcement and community groups.

Experience

Government Experience

  • Assistant Regional Director, Northeast Regional Office, Federal Trade Commission
  • Regional Director, Northeast Regional Office, Federal Trade Commission
  • Senior Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
  • Senior Attorney, Northeast Regional Office, Federal Trade Commission

Representative Matters

Matters at Venable

  • Defending payment processor in litigation brought by the FTC seeking to hold the processor liable for all of the alleged illegal conduct of two of its merchant customers
  • Filed amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court for the Electronic Transactions Association regarding the FTC's ability to obtain joint and several liability against a payment processor
  • Defended publicly traded payment processing company in CFPB investigation; obtained dismissal of claims based on CFPB's misconduct during discovery
  • Represented multiple manufacturers of dietary supplements in FTC investigations into their advertising; several closed without agency action
  • Represented several payment processors in FTC investigations into whether the processors should be held liable for their roles in processing credit card payments for entities that were sued by the FTC; closed without agency action
  • Represented multiple entities in the coaching and mentoring industry, in FTC investigations into their advertising and marketing; several closed without agency action
  • Numerous successful representations in state attorney general and FTC investigations involving advertising and negative option marketing
  • Handled multiple FTC investigations involving advertising and marketing issues in the dietary supplement industry
  • Resolved FTC investigations involving "green claims"
  • Handled multiple representations involving privacy and data security investigations
  • Currently representing Perdue in litigation involving alleged price fixing by poultry companies. Multiple cases brought by broiler chicken purchasers consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois (In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation)
  • Currently representing Perdue in cases involving alleged agreement by poultry companies on grower compensation. Cases brought by putative class of growers in the Eastern District of Oklahoma (In re Broiler Chicken Grower Litigation)
  • Advised numerous trade associations and standard-setting organizations on antitrust and consumer protection issues

Matters while at the FTC

Antitrust
  • In Re Omnicare, managed a challenge to a $760 million merger in an institutional pharmacy business; resulted in a consent decree after litigation began
  • Directed the review and analysis of more than a dozen hospital mergers
  • In Re Dun & Bradstreet, managed and served as lead counsel in a challenge to an acquisition in the educational marketing data industry; obtained a consent decree providing for divestitures after several months of administrative litigation
  • In Re Nufarm, managed a challenge to an acquisition in the herbicide industry that resulted in a consent decree providing for divestitures; worked with Canadian and UK competition authorities in obtaining relief
  • In Re Cardinal Health, managed a challenge to an acquisition in the radiopharmacy industry that resulted in a consent decree that provided for divestitures
  • In Re Lubrizol, managed and led a challenge to an acquisition in the lubricants industry that resulted in a consent decree that provided for divestitures
  • In Re Providence Health, managed an investigation into the hospital system’s acquisition of the two leading cardiology practices in Spokane, Washington; transaction ultimately was abandoned after concerns were expressed
  • In Re Puerto Rico Association of Endodontists, served as lead attorney in an investigation into price fixing and boycotting; investigation led to the entry of a consent decree
  • In Re Rite Aid, served as one of the key members of the team investigating the Rite Aid-Jean Coutu “Eckerd” merger that resulted in a consent decree requiring the divestiture of stores
  • In Re Colegio De Optómetras, served as one of the key members of the team that investigated the Colegio de Optómetras for price fixing; investigation that resulted in the entry of a consent decree
Consumer protection
  • In Re Daniel Chapter One, managed and served as lead trial counsel; argued commission appeal of case against a seller of supplements that purported to treat and cure cancer; obtained cease and desist order from administrative law judge (ALJ), affirmed by the commission and the DC Circuit
  • Managed a case against Home Assure, a mortgage foreclosure rescue company, and its principals. Matter settled for $2.3 million, representing full consumer redress
  • Managed a case against Academy, a debt collector. Matter settled for $2.25 million judgment – at  the time, it was the highest in a debt collection case
  • Managed a case against Comcast for Do Not Call violations related to entity-specific violations; matter settled for $900,000 civil penalty
  • Managed case against Bronson Partner, sellers of weight loss products; obtained summary judgment on liability and court entered a $1.94 million judgment after evidentiary hearing on monetary relief; Second Circuit affirmed
  • Managed a case against Classic Closeouts, an electronic merchant for unauthorized billing; the matter settled, and the principal was charged criminally based on the investigation
  • Managed a case against Preferred Platinum Services Network, a seller of work-at-home opportunities. Matter settled, and principal was charged with and pleaded guilty to criminal charges based on the investigation

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. with honors George Washington University Law School 1988
  • B.A. George Washington University 1985

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognition
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  • Chambers USA, Nationwide, Recognized Practitioner for Advertising: Transactional & Regulatory, 2019
  • Recognized in Legal 500, Technology: Data Protection and Privacy, 2013
  • Recognized in Legal 500, Marketing and Advertising, 2012