Federal Trade Commission Chairman William E. Kovacic announced today that William Blumenthal, the agency’s General Counsel for almost four years, will leave the agency to return to private law practice.
“Bill set the highest possible standards for public service and the practice of law,” Chairman Kovacic said. “Within the FTC, he was a brilliant counselor. His advice routinely displayed a singular mastery of both technical issues and broader policy considerations. Outside the agency, at home and abroad, Bill applied an enviable mix of knowledge and wisdom to especially difficult questions. In doing so, he was an ideal representative for the FTC. In the development of competition policy in numerous countries, most notably in China, the United States played an extraordinarily constructive role because Bill was a frequent participant in the U.S. delegation. In the years ahead, Bill’s thoughtful approach will provide an enduring, valuable model for FTC officials and for the larger community of competition law and consumer protection authorities.”
Blumenthal, who joined the Commission in February 2005, will join Clifford Chance US LLP as a partner in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice and chairman of its U.S. antitrust group.
As the Commission’s chief legal officer and adviser, the General Counsel represents the agency in court and provides legal counsel to the Commission and its bureaus and offices. Blumenthal oversaw the FTC’s role in developing and presenting the federal government’s position, typically as amicus briefs, in several matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, including cases concerning patent tying, predatory buying, price discrimination, resale price maintenance, and patent settlements involving reverse payments. He also oversaw more than two dozen appellate cases, including antitrust matters involving corporate mergers, horizontal conspiracy, and monopolization, and consumer protection matters involving unauthorized telephone billing, third-party debt collection, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the adverse action notice requirement for users of consumer reports.
Blumenthal also acted for the Commission in formulating the agency’s position in several intellectual property cases. In addition, he played a significant role in influencing international competition policy, including discussing a new anti-monopoly law with officials in China. He also discussed competition law with officials in India, Japan, and Korea, as well as competition and consumer protection matters with the European Commission.
Before joining the Commission as General Counsel, Blumenthal spent 10 years with King & Spalding LLP as a partner in the firm’s antitrust and trade regulation practice. He served as the International Officer of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section, and he was a member of the Competition Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Business and Industry Advisory Committee, the International Chamber of Commerce’s Commission on Competition, and the Antitrust Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Blumenthal also served as a U.S. Private Sector Advisor to the Notification and Procedures Subgroup of the Working Group on Mergers for the International Competition Network.
Blumenthal graduated from Harvard Law School and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics from Brown University.