An accomplished and longtime Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom antitrust partner in New York, James Keyte, is heading to The Brattle Group, where he will aim to expand and ensure quality in the economic consulting outfit’s antitrust offerings.
Keyte’s move, set to take effect in January, will put him in the role of global director of development at Brattle, an economic consulting and expert witness business with focuses in antitrust, securities and market manipulation issues, among other areas. The new position will directly involve Keyte in “marketing, training, and quality review across all of Brattle’s competition and antitrust engagements both in the U.S. and globally,” the company said in a statement.
“James will draw on his deep experience and insights to help us provide a level of quality and service that our competitors simply cannot match,” Brattle president Alexis Maniatis said.
Keyte spent more than 20 years as a partner in Skadden’s antitrust group, where his practice involved a mix of counseling, litigation and transactional work. Among other matters, Keyte has had a leading role in representing various professional sports leagues, including the National Hockey League, in antitrust matters. In the transactional realm he served as antitrust counsel for The Coca-Cola Co. in a $4.1 billion acquisition in 2007 of Vitaminwater maker Glaceau, and in an $11 billion merger deal struck in 2013 between AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc.
“I’m extremely happy at Skadden and love my practice, but this just became something that came up that I found extremely interesting and attractive in the later part of my career,” Keyte, a Law Journal columnist, said in an interview.
He added that he has long been drawn to the more academic side of antitrust issues—he’s been an adjunct professor at Fordham Law and, for the past three years, director of the Fordham Competition Law Institute. He also said he has thoroughly enjoyed working with economic experts as part of his law practice.
“I’ve always had a strong academic interest in antitrust and expert testimony in particular, and have always loved working with the economists on a variety of antitrust topics,” he said. “So I saw this as an opposition to take a much deeper dive into that kind of work across more subject areas and globally, which should be very satisfying.”
At Brattle, he’ll carve out a new role as a liaison between the company’s economic experts and its clients in the law firm world, he added.
“I’ll be involved in the projects from the beginning to the end in an oversight role, focusing very much on execution and bridging the gap between what can be extremely complex economics and what an agency, judge or jury needs to understand,” he said.
Over the years as a practicing lawyer, Keyte has also worked to become a thought-leader in the antitrust realm. His planned move to Brattle elicited praise from other influential figures in the antitrust realm, including former Federal Trade Commission Chairman William Kovacic and Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel McFadden, who also works for Brattle.
“Economic analyses in the antitrust context are extremely complex, and translating the information in a simple, straightforward way is key,” McFadden said in a statement. “James has spent years in the courtroom and he has the perfect mix of skills for this role.”
Said Kovacic: “The law firms that deal with Brattle should be thrilled, as James has a unique ability to translate complex antitrust economics into understandable prose.”