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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is making a push into antitrust, and into the nation’s capital. Susan Creighton, a former partner who has spent the last five years at the Federal Trade Commission, was slated to return to the firm this spring. She’s the third big-name antitrust partner Wilson has hired in the past year. “There is more and more antitrust in our client base,” explains John Roos, the firm’s CEO. “Susan being one of the top antitrust lawyers in the country … it made complete sense to bring her in.” The Silicon Valley � based firm is known for its representation of tech companies. Last September, Wilson brought on Jonathan Jacobson and Charles Biggio, two antitrust partners from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Biggio served as the acting deputy assistant attorney general for merger enforcement at the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division. Wilson also plans to open an office in D.C. later this year. The firm has an office in Reston, Virginia, but says it will move the 30 lawyers from there into a new space in Washington. Roos says the firm doesn’t have a specific date for the move. Creighton, who joined Wilson out of Stanford Law School after clerking for U.S. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, is known for helping spark the government’s attack on Microsoft Corporation in the 1990s. She penned the famous white paper, commissioned by Wilson client Netscape Communications, that was widely seen as a blueprint for the Justice Department’s antitrust action against Microsoft. While Creighton says that not all of her clients still exist as independent companies, she hopes to renew some old relationships and attract new clients to Wilson. Creighton notes that she’s one of several senior antitrust officials to return to private practice in the last year. Bernard Nigro, a deputy director in the FTC’s competition bureau, joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher, while R. Hewitt Pate, a former assistant AG at justice, and D. Bruce Hoffman, a deputy director at the FTC’s competition bureau, joined Hunton & Williams. Former Wilson partner Gary Reback, now of counsel at Carr & Ferrell, calls Creighton “terrifically talented.” Still, he wonders whether there’s as great a demand for antitrust counsel since the Bush administration has been less aggressive in opposing mergers. Recruiter Greg Malin, who helped facilitate Creighton’s hire at Wilson, agrees that there may not be a run on antitrust lawyers right now. Still, Malin says, “the best people are at a premium.”

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