Neely B. Agin

Head of Antitrust, United States
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Neely B. Agin

Neely B. Agin



Neely Agin focuses her practice on antitrust and competition matters, guiding companies through merger review and clearance processes and developing creative strategies for clients contemplating M&A transactions to reduce their antitrust risk. She provides counseling and compliance training on a wide variety of antitrust issues, with particularly significant experience advising companies in the retail, energy and healthcare sectors.

Neely has steered hundreds of transactions through the US and global merger-control review process and regularly represents clients in merger and other antitrust investigations conducted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general (AGs), as well as in Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) matters.

With decades of experience, Neely counsels clients on a variety of antitrust issues, including contracting practices, distribution restrictions, the formation and operation of joint ventures, trade association activities, information exchanges, and pricing practices. She also advises clients in developing, implementing, and enforcing global antitrust compliance programs.

Professional experience

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JD, magna cum laude, Case Western Reserve School of Law, 1997

BA, Emory University, 1994

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Maryland State Bar
  • Led the global antitrust defense of an engineering solutions company’s US$3.3b acquisition of a hydraulics business.  The 21-month-long antitrust clearance process included merger investigations conducted by the DOJ, European Commission, and competition authorities in seven other countries around the world.  Successfully negotiated several complex settlements that involved divestitures of manufacturing plants and parts of certain product lines and models owned by both parties.
  • Together with a broad team, represented one of New Jersey's leading hospitals and healthcare networks in FTC’s challenge to its proposed merger with another healthcare network, including a multi-week preliminary injunction hearing in federal district court and subsequent appeal before the Third Circuit.
  • Represented a leading consumer products company in obtaining unconditional approval from the DOJ for its acquisition of a potential competitor after defending a Second Request.
  • Negotiated a favorable remedy for a leading natural food processor in its acquisition by a new competitor after defending a DOJ Second Request.
  • Advised a leader in the dealer-to-dealer wholesale vehicle industry on all antitrust aspects of its acquisitions of two online wholesale vehicle platforms.
  • Advised leading home improvement retailer as a third-party in several DOJ and FTC merger challenges, including the DOJ’s challenge to ASSA ABLOY AB’s acquisition of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.
  • Represented national retailer in FTC investigation of its US$1.4b acquisition by a competing national retailer
  • Defended a national retailer in FTC investigation of certain agreements by the company and its competitors, ultimately negotiating a favorable, no-penalty FTC settlement.
  • Advised leading provider of wound care products in developing US pricing policy and strategy.
  • Defended investigation by DOJ and Texas AG challenging a hospital system’s payer contracting practices as monopolistic, anticompetitive conduct, resulting in a favorable settlement with no fines.
  • Defended wholesale and retail energy provider in an FTC investigation of its acquisition of its largest retail energy marketing competitor, avoiding a Second Request.
  • Represented numerous healthcare systems throughout the United States in acquisitions and divestitures of competing hospitals, successfully defending FTC and state AG investigations.
  • Advised a leading agricultural commodity trading firm on antitrust aspects of a proposed joint venture with a leading competitor.
  • Successfully defended a DOJ investigation of a chemical and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer’s sale of plant to a competitor that resulted in merger-to-monopoly, avoiding a Second Request.
  • DCA Live, Emerging Women Leaders in Private Practice, 2019
  • The Legal 500 US, Antitrust: Merger Control, 2015, 2017 and 2019; Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Actions, 2016
  • “FTC Seeks to Put Private Equity Roll-Up Strategies to Sleep With its Case Against U.S. Anesthesia Partners,” AHLA Antitrust Practice Group Bulletin, November 29, 2023
  • “Getting the Deal Through Competition Compliance,” Lexology, USA chapter, 5th, 6th and 7th editions, 2021, 2022, and 2023
  • “Jeld-Wen: Opening the Door to Private Merger Challenges,” The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the California Lawyers Association, Fall 2021
  • “The Jeld-Wen Legacy,” Global Competition Review, March 24, 2021
  • “United States Antitrust Overview,” The Mergers & Acquisitions Review, 14th edition, January 2021
  • “United States Antitrust Overview,” The Mergers & Acquisitions Review, 13th edition, September 2019
  • “Ohio v. American Express: Anti-Steering Rules May Guide Application of the Rule of Reason,” The Antitrust Source, February 2018
  • “US Chapter,” Getting the Deal Through: Pharmaceutical Antitrust, 2015-2017
  • The Antitrust Review of the Americas, Global Competition Review, 2016
  • “US Chapter,” International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Global Merger Control Review, 2015 
  • “Deal Uncertainty, New Challenges and Divergence in Mergers,” speaker, GCR Live: Women in Antitrust, November 2023
  • “Just a Healthy Little Competition – Regulatory Trends Affecting M&A,” panelist, 2023 Garrett Institute, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, October 2023
  • “Inspiring Down & Managing Up,” panelist, Women, Influence, & Power in Law (WIPL) Conference, October 2023
  • “The DOJ and FTC’s Proposed Changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act: What They Mean for M&A,” panelist, USC Gould School of Law Center for Transnational Law & Business Virtual Panel, September 2023
  • “Antitrust and Competition Issues in the Pharma Industry,” speaker, American Health Law Annual Meeting, June 2022
  • “Practical Considerations in a New Antitrust World: Agency Process Changes and their Implications,” panelist, American Health Law Association Health Transactions Conference, April 27, 2022
  • “Invitation-Only CCO and GC Summit,” panelist, Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress, April 2021
  • “Collaboration Risks,” panelist, GCR Interactive: Women in Antitrust, November 2020
  • “The Rising Tide of Antitrust Litigations and Lawsuits Against Apple: App Developers May See a Wave of Changes,” panelist, Webinar Presentation to the Association of Corporate Counsel, October 2020
  • “Invitation-Only CCO and GC Summit,” panelist, Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress, August 2020
  • Bloomberg Radio’s Bloomberg Law, Interview regarding Impact on Deal-Making of FTC’s Decision to Halt HSR filings, March 2020
  • “Competition and Consumer Policy in the Green Economy,” panelist, ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, March 29, 2017
  • “Minimizing antitrust risk throughout the deal process: tips for corporate counsel,” webinar presentation to Association of Corporate Counsel, May 2015
  • “Healthcare M&A Legal and Financial Issues,” co-presenter, ABA Business Law Section Webinar, May 7, 2014
  • “Antitrust Enforcement of Healthcare Mergers: Recent Cases and Trends,” co-presenter, ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, April 4, 2013
  • “Antitrust Constraints on Terminal Mergers, Acquisitions and Ownership,” Independent Liquid Terminals Association International Operating Conference, Houston, Texas, June 12, 2007
  • Strategic Advisory Council Member and Director of the Washington, DC chapter of The Cure Starts Now Cancer Research Foundation
  • Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section Books and Treatises Committee
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow


FTC adopts near-total noncompete ban

Publication | April 23, 2024

Global antitrust and competition trends

Publication | April 03, 2024