The Work

July 5, 2011 7:41 PM

Report: Google Hires Three Am Law 100 Lobbying Firms Ahead of FTC Probe

Posted by Brian Baxter

UPDATE: 7/29/11, 11:15 a.m. South Carolina's Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has also signed on Google as a lobbying client, according to sibling publication The National Law Journal.

Three Am Law 100 firms have been hired by Google as the company seeks to head off a looming antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

According to news reports published Friday, Google has hired 12 lobbying firms to defend the company amid various state and federal antitrust probes. Among those firms were Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & FeldBingham McCutchen, and Holland & Knight.

Senate lobbying records show that Google retained Holland & Knight on June 21. Public policy and regulation practice head Richard Gold, public policy partners Kathryn Lehman and David Whitestone, and senior policy adviser John Buscher are leading a Washington, D.C.-based team from the firm representing the search giant.

A Bingham spokeswoman declined to comment or provide the names of the lawyers from the firm who are representing Google. An Akin Gump spokeswoman referred questions to Google global communications and public affairs manager Mistique Cano, who was out of the office and unavailable for comment on Tuesday. 

Google's chief legal officer is David Drummond, a former partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati who joined the company full-time in 2002, four years after he was introduced to the Silicon Valley startup. Google's general counsel is Kent Walker. In May, sibling publication Corporate Counsel named Google's legal department the best in the business.

Other lobbying firms retained by Google to help ward off the FTC include Capitol Legislative Strategies, The Chesapeake Group, Crossroad Strategies, The First Group, Gephardt Group, The Normandy Group, Prime Policy, and The Raben Group, according to Bloomberg.

The Am Law Daily reported last week on which firms Google might retain to bolster its antitrust litigation bench in the face of any formal FTC investigation. Wilson Sonsini and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton were two of the Am Law 100 favorites, given their previous work for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, while Reuters reported that former Hogan & Hartson partner-turned-antitrust consultant Jeffrey Blattner had already been hired for his counsel.

In an editorial for sibling publication The National Law Journal this week, Duane Morris antitrust partner Glenn Manishin argues against the need for any antitrust prosecution of Google.

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