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Brian J. Smith

Associate
+1.312.807.4202
Fax +1.312.345.9974

Brian J. Smith is an associate in the Chicago office and a member of the firm’s antitrust, competition & trade regulation practice group. He focuses his practice on complex civil and criminal litigation, government enforcement, and white collar criminal defense, particularly in the areas of antitrust, cartel, and trade regulation.

Mr. Smith defends clients in federal and state courts, principally in matters involving the Department of Justice and federal antitrust class actions, against allegations of price-fixing, market allocation, bid-rigging, and customer allocation. He also has experience in conducting internal investigations for major domestic and international corporations in response to Department of Justice and state attorneys general investigations and grand jury subpoenas premised on the same conduct. In this role, he has participated in the preparation of investigation reports, the interviewing of senior executives, and the management of complex international electronic-discovery collection, review, and production. 

Mr. Smith’s pro bono experience includes representing minors in guardian ad litem proceedings and petitioners before the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission; drafting legal white papers on foreign evidentiary laws to aid a nonprofit’s lobbying against human trafficking; representing a foreign national in an immigration appeal before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals; and representing individuals as part of the firm’s Cyber Civil Rights Project.

The K&L Gates antitrust and competition group has been recognized by Chambers USA for Antitrust in Illinois (2020), by US News-Best Lawyers: First- Tier Antitrust Law (2017-2020) and as the “Cartel & Trade Regulation Law Firm of the Year in Illinois” by the international review and assessment programs of both Corporate INTL Magazine and Global Law Experts (2016).

Professional Background

Mr. Smith was a summer associate at K&L Gates in 2014. While attending Northwestern University School of Law, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Ann C. Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and as a legal extern for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois. At Northwestern Law, Mr. Smith was an Articles Editor on the Executive Board of the Northwestern University Law Review, and was a senior law student in the Supreme Court Clinic, for which he drafted certiorari petitions and merits briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court. Also during law school, Mr. Smith clerked for a Chicago-based litigation boutique and interned at a legal aid non-profit, Lawyers for the Creative Arts.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Smith taught English literature and composition at a secondary school in New England.

Achievements

  • Raoul Berger Prize (awarded for best senior research paper of graduating class) – Northwestern Law
  • Senior Research Honors – Northwestern Law
  • Public Service Award – Northwestern Law
  • CALI Awards (Legal Writing) (Patents)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
  • Hemingway Society

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “An Investigation of Modern Love,” The Durrell School, Corfu, Greece
  • Guest Lecturer, “Hemingway’s First Thirty Years,” Dartmouth College
  • Representing a poultry processor and distributor in response to a grand jury subpoena from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division concerning alleged cartel conduct in the poultry product market.
  • Representing a global generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in nationwide multidistrict antitrust class action brought by various purchasers alleging an industry-wide cartel involving price-fixing and customer allocation agreements and conspiracies.
  • Represented U.S. wireless carrier in pre-merger antitrust compliance.
  • Representing a U.S. railway component manufacturer in nationwide antitrust class action brought by employees alleging anticompetitive “no-poach”/“no-hire” agreements in railway employee labor markets.
  • Representing a Japanese electronic components manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary in nationwide multidistrict antitrust class action brought by various purchasers alleging a global price-fixing cartel.
  • Representing large university medical provider in response to a third-party subpoena seeking production of data and documents in antitrust civil action alleging anticompetitive schemes to suppress competition from biosimilar pharmaceuticals.
  • Representing a global generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in response to grand jury and investigatory subpoenas from the Department of Justice and state attorneys general concerning the price-fixing and customer allocation of generic drugs.
  • Advised indoor air quality companies in relation to potential anticompetitive conduct by industry standard setting organizations.
  • Represented an individual in response to a grand jury subpoena from the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, concerning anticompetitive “no-poach” agreements in the health care industry.
  • Represented a Japanese auto-parts manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary in nationwide antitrust class action brought by various purchasers alleging a global price-fixing cartel.
  • Represented a Japanese electronic components manufacturer in Department of Justice investigation and criminal prosecution.
  • Advised health care providers in various antitrust regulatory matters and private disputes.
  • Represent U.S. and international companies and executive officers from the United States and foreign companies in criminal antitrust and cartel matters. Recent engagements have involved automotive parts, electronic components, and generic pharmaceuticals.
  • Represent U.S. and international companies in complex multidistrict antitrust class actions and direct actions. Recent engagements have involved the railway, automotive parts, electronic components, and pharmaceutical industries.