Christine A. Varney
Christine A. Varney is a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and serves as the Chair of the Firm’s Antitrust practice. Ms. Varney has been widely recognized as one of the leading antitrust lawyers in the United States in both private practice and in government service, and she is the only person to have served as both the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust and as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. Ms. Varney formulates global antitrust strategy for clients in connection with joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and other business transactions, including advising on business conduct or potential investments to ensure compliance with antitrust laws, securing antitrust regulatory approvals, and handling internal or governmental investigations into anti-competitive behavior. Her clients span diverse industries, including transportation, telecommunications, cable, technology, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and financial services.
From 2009 until 2011, Ms. Varney served as Assistant Attorney General and headed the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. In that role she oversaw all aspects of the Division’s operations, including merger review, criminal and civil litigation and investigations and coordination with competition regulators outside the United States.
From 1994 through 1997, Ms. Varney served as a Commissioner of the FTC. While at the FTC, she played a leading role on a broad range of competition law issues, and she is widely credited with pioneering the application of innovation market theory analysis to information technology and biotechnology transactions.
Prior to becoming FTC Commissioner, Ms. Varney served as Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Cabinet in the Clinton Administration.
From 1997 when she left the FTC until her appointment as Assistant Attorney General in 2009, Ms. Varney was in private practice, representing major corporations before the DOJ and the FTC and advising her clients on a wide variety of legal and business issues.
In 2014, Ms. Varney was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Global Competition Review. She has also been named one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal. Ms. Varney has been recognized as a leader in antitrust law by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Benchmark Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, PLC Which Lawyer?, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and Lawdragon's list of 500 Leading Lawyers in America. She is often asked to speak publicly on the topics of Antitrust, International Competition, Mergers and Government Investigations.
Ms. Varney currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History and the Boards of Directors of the American Constitution Society, the Brennan Center for Justice, The Legal Aid Society and ID3, a digital research and educational nonprofit. She is also a member of the International Bar Association.
Ms. Varney was born in Washington, D.C. She received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany in 1977, an M.P.A. from Syracuse University in 1982 and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1986.