Counseling & Compliance

Counseling & Compliance

To assess, manage and minimize antitrust law exposure in a rapidly changing environment, clients look to our team for effective compliance programs and sophisticated antitrust counseling.

The Shearman & Sterling antitrust team works with many of our clients to achieve their business goals while reducing the risk of breaching antitrust laws both by designing and implementing customized compliance programs and providing day-to-day antitrust advice.


In today’s environment, legal and regulatory compliance is a top priority.

Because of the team’s experience in the field, clients often call upon our lawyers to devise and deliver effective compliance programs, addressing both lawyers and operational executives. While many of the core principles of antitrust law apply similarly to all clients, the team takes pains to customize its programs to the specific issues arising in the client’s business and industry, considering the risk profile of that industry.

During the last year alone, the team has been engaged to develop and present compliance programs to companies in the media, hospitality, agricultural, financial services, steel, paper and packaging, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, specialty chemicals, electronics, aviation and maritime sectors. Our lawyers have also assisted clients in setting up individually customized “dawn raid” rapid reaction plans in the event of unannounced investigations by the US Department of Justice, other federal authorities or the European Commission.

The team helps design and implement compliance programs each year for a wide variety of EU, US and Asian clients covering both sides of the Atlantic, including one-off or recurring (e.g., yearly) programs. Because of the confidential nature of these programs, we cannot disclose specific details.


Cost-effective antitrust counseling makes business sense—to achieve business goals while mitigating potential antitrust exposure and avoiding the cost and distraction of regulatory investigations and antitrust litigation. Today, the stakes have never been higher—ever-increasing fines, treble damages in civil actions and in the case of hard-core cartel activity, increasing jail time for executives based in and outside of the US. Getting the right advice on a timely basis can be critical.

To assess, manage and minimize antitrust law exposure in a rapidly changing environment, clients look to our team for sophisticated antitrust counseling. The team provides business-friendly advice in real time, with lawyers who demonstrate a breadth and depth of experience necessary to handle complex questions on a cost-effective basis. In some cases, we counsel clients regularly across the full range of their businesses; in other cases, we advise clients on specific issues or on an as-needed basis.

Featured Counseling Experience

  • Information exchanges among competitors
  • Conduct in trade associations and joint ventures
  • Strategies that may disadvantage rivals where standards for leading firms may be unclear
  • Discrimination in pricing and promotions
  • Minimum advertised price policies in diverse industries under a wide variety of circumstances
  • Complex joint venture structure and integration issues
  • Exclusivity, loyalty discounts and other incentives to increase share
  • Interlocking directorates
  • Compatibility of distribution agreements and other types of reseller arrangements
  • Management of Internet distribution
  • Antitrust/IP issues—exploiting IP in an antitrust-compliant manner
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