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Two deputy assistant attorney general slots filled

Published on June 30, 2017 in Issue 920

Don Kempf, a veteran antitrust and corporate lawyer who began his career in 1965 at Kirkland & Ellis, has been tapped as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s antitrust division. He will oversee litigation matters, the agency confirmed.

Bryson Bachman, who had been deputy associate attorney general since January, has been named a deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division. Earlier in his career, Bachman did a stint as an agency trial lawyer.

In addition, Marvin Price, a longtime antitrust division lawyer, is temporarily overseeing the criminal program after the departure of Brent Snyder, who had been deputy assistant attorney general for criminal enforcement (see FTC:WATCH, No. 918, June 2, 2017).

The changes come even as Makan Delrahim, who was nominated in March to head the antitrust division, still awaits a Senate confirmation vote. Delrahim worked with Kempf on the Antitrust Modernization Commission.

Kempf’s many years at Kirkland & Ellis included serving on its management committee from 1981 to 1998. After retiring as a senior partner, Kempf moved to Morgan Stanley, taking on the role of chief legal officer. He stayed there until 2005. More recently, he’s worked as an adjunct law professor at the University of Colorado Law School and as a private practitioner.

A Justice Department spokesperson said that Kempf’s “extraordinary and unmatched decades of experience bringing antitrust cases to trial will be an asset to the antitrust division’s litigation teams.”

Bachman, a former Sidley Austin associate who went on to act as chief counsel to Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican and chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, was praised by a DOJ spokesperson as “a talented antitrust lawyer with broad investigative and trial experience.”

Price has served in the antitrust division for more than 30 years. He has been division director of criminal enforcement since 2012. Before that, Price led the Chicago Office from 1999 until 2012. He was assistant chief from 1989 to 1999. Over those years, he “has proven himself to be an effective criminal antitrust enforcer,” the DOJ spokesperson said.