William J. Baer, JD ’75, joined the Obama administration in January after confirmation of his appointment to the U.S. Department of Justice as assistant attorney general for the antitrust division.
“Bill is a highly skilled and well-respected antitrust lawyer who understands the importance of promoting competition in order for consumers to reap the benefits of lower prices and better quality products and services,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press release. “I have no doubt that he will lead the antitrust division effectively in its vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws.”
An expert in antitrust and consumer protection issues, Baer has built a career straddling legal practice and government service—one complementing the other. Since 2000, Baer has been a partner and head of Arnold & Porter LLP’s antitrust practice group in Washington, D.C., where his practice included providing counsel on a broad range of antitrust and consumer protection issues, including international cartel investigations and merger and acquisition reviews in the United States and the European Commission. He also served as a partner at the firm from 1983 to 1995 and as an associate from 1980 to 1983. From April 1995 to October 1999, Baer was the director of the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). And from 1975 to 1980, he served in other positions at the FTC, including assistant general counsel for legislation and congressional relations, assistant to Chairman Michael Pertschuk, and as a trial attorney and assistant to the director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. He has lectured in the United States and around the world on various antitrust and consumer protection issues and is a member of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section.