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Robert Zastrow is a senior advisory counsel in the Boston and New York offices. He is an antitrust lawyer whose practice includes advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, providing counseling on non-merger matters, and representing clients before the federal antitrust agencies. He has extensive experience in a range of industries, particularly telecommunications, and the high-tech sector.
A 1974 graduate of Yale College and a 1977 graduate of Harvard Law School, Robert Zastrow has spent 36 years in both civil and criminal antitrust litigation representing plaintiffs and defendants, as both a prosecutor and defense counsel, working on seminal cases of the moment. He created the virtual law firm concept, implemented it at GeyerGorey and continues to drive his firm to achieve unparalleled efficiencies and results.
- Verizon Communications
1996 – 2011
Assistant General Counsel – Antitrust
- Mr. Zastrow was the lead District Court in house attorney for cases that transformed antitrust law, including Trinko (which sharply limited a monopolist’s duty to deal with competitors under Section Two) and Twombly (holding that a pleading must disclose a set of facts and a theory that made economic sense). He also litigated many private cases, including as a plaintiff, a case against Lucent for monopolizing the market for telecommunications switch software, and as a defendant, many pre-Twombly cases where competing carriers alleged that Verizon had not properly opened its networks to them. In one such case brought by Covad Communications against Verizon and another incumbent carrier, the other carrier reportedly paid in excess of $300 million, while Covad’s case against Verizon was dismissed. He is familiar with every aspect of trial and trial preparation, from experts to jury consultants.
- After Twombly and Trinko reduced Verizon’s antitrust caseload substantially, Mr. Zastrow shifted his focus to business counseling. He participated in the creation of a venture of carriers to use mobile phones as a payment vehicle (Project Isis). He counseled Verizon on its pricing and product bundling strategies. He created training programs and trained at least 30,000 executives in antitrust compliance.
- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
1982 – 1994 and 1977 – 1980
Co-Head of Environmental Group
- Mr. Zastrow founded the firm’s environmental litigation practice, as part of the firm’s environmental law and land use group, and within a year, was lead attorney on a case involving the shipment of toxic waste from the US to the UK. The case became an international incident with considerable press coverage in the UK. His land use practice brought him to the Second Circuit on a number of occasions.
- His antitrust experience included representing companies in criminal antitrust cases (e.g. paint brushes, wiring devices and metal drums), as well as counseling a variety of industrial and consumer products manufacturers. The wiring device case was the first felony prosecution under the Sherman Act.
- His international experience included spending considerable time in Japan as counsel to Fuji Photo Film Ltd in a major patent case, as well as helping to lead the search for money stolen by former President for Life Jean-Claude Duvalier from the Haitian people. The effort was largely successful and over $70 million was recovered. As chair of the firm’s Pro Bono committee, he directed efforts in El Salvador to rescue religious people and bring them to safety and asylum.
- US Department of Justice
1994 – 1996 and 1980-1982
Antitrust Division Assistant Chief, Civil Task Force
- In his first tour of duty, Mr. Zastrow was a trial attorney in what would ultimately become the National Criminal Enforcement Section. He tried two antitrust cases to a jury and conducted many grand jury proceedings. He also helped bring the Reagan Administration’s first challenge to a merger (Heileman/Schlitz).
- In his second tour, he became assistant chief of the Civil Task Force, after the Division consolidated substantially all of its civil non merger litigation into that unit except for the Microsoft investigations. However, as part of a dual assignment, he also led the investigation into Microsoft’s software licensing practices which led to the first Microsoft case. He led the Ticketmaster investigation and gained much knowledge of the entertainment and ticketing industries. He led the investigation of the nation’s auto dealers which resulted in a decree banning certain collusive activities. He helped start the investigation of the credit card industry.
- Harvard Law School, 1977, JD, cum laude
- Yale College, 1974, BA, magna cum laude
- While in school, he was the principal researcher for Ronald Steel’s Walter Lippmann and the American Century, winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle award.
Lecture and Other Activities
Mr. Zastrow has lectured at many bar association functions, primarily on antitrust trial strategy, and was a faculty member at the ALI ABA course, Trying and Winning an Antitrust Case, for ten years. He was also the principal researcher for Ronald Steel’s Walter Lippmann and the American Century, winner of the National Book Critic’s Circle Award.
- New York, 1978 (and various Federal trial and appellate courts).
- Massachusetts 2012.