Rachel S. Brass is a partner in the San Francisco office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department. Ms. Brass’s practice focuses on domestic and international antitrust and competition law and appellate litigation.
Her experience includes international cartel matters, mergers and acquisitions, grand jury investigations, and other antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, United States Department of Justice, European Commission, Canadian Competition Bureau, Korean Fair Trade Commission, Japan Fair Trade Commission and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, as well as litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Ms. Brass has represented clients in a number of industries, including semiconductors, disk drives, communications, display panels, and other high technology, auto parts, package delivery, transportation, agriculture, and retail, among others.
Ms. Brass has played a substantial role in a wide range of successful federal appellate representations. Representative matters include persuading the United States Supreme Court to reverse the certification of the largest class action brought under Title VII, persuading the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to review the certification of a class of employees asserting “suitable seating” claims under the California Private Attorney General Act, persuading the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to vacate the certification of the largest class action brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act on interlocutory review, obtaining clarification of the standards for the business necessity defense and vacatur of a district court’s adverse post-trial rulings under the Americans with Disabilities Act from the en banc Ninth Circuit, convincing the Ninth Circuit to affirm dismissal or summary judgment in multiple antitrust cases, and sustaining a favorable district court ruling rejecting plaintiffs’ counsel’s claim for attorneys’ fees.
Ms. Brass is Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Antitrust Section. She is a member of the Boards for the Western Center on Law & Poverty and the Northern California Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Antitrust Report. Ms. Brass is listed in Best Lawyers 2013 in Litigation-Antitrust and as a Super Lawyer in Antitrust for Northern California.
Ms. Brass received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 2001. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, a member of the Order of the Coif, and recipient of the Ralph M. McCareins Antitrust Prize. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Brass served as a law clerk for the Honorable James M. Rosenbaum, United States District Court, District of Minnesota. Ms. Brass graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Ms. Brass is admitted to practice in the State of California. She is a member of the firm’s Bay Area Diversity Committee.
Representative Antitrust Matters
- Auto Parts Investigations. Ms. Brass represents makers of auto parts in ongoing investigations and litigation. Ms. Brass also represented an executive in the DOJ’s wire harness investigation.
- LCD Antitrust Litigation and Investigations. Ms. Brass is defending Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. in direct and indirect purchaser class actions, opt-out actions, and governmental investigations in at least eight jurisdictions arising out of allegations of an international price fixing cartel in the TFT-LCD flat panel display industry.
- CRT Antitrust Litigation and Investigations. Ms. Brass is defending Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. in direct and indirect purchaser class actions, opt-out actions, and governmental investigations arising out of allegations of an international price fixing cartel in the cathode ray tube industry.
- Hawaii/Guam Ocean Shipping Antitrust Litigation and Investigations. Ms. Brass successfully defended Matson Navigation in putative class actions alleging antitrust violations in the ocean shipping industry. The district court granted a motion to dismiss in favor of our client and the Ninth Circuit affirmed that decision on appeal.
- Gerlinger v. Amazon.com. Ms. Brass defended Amazon.com in a putative class action that challenged the agreement by which Amazon.com hosted the web site of Borders.com. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of our client and the Ninth Circuit affirmed that judgment on appeal.
- Seagate-Maxtor Merger. Ms. Brass represented Seagate Technology before the Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission, and, with local counsel, before other competition authorities in connection with the acquisition of Maxtor. We successfully obtained antitrust clearance in all relevant jurisdictions, notwithstanding significant market concentration in certain segments.
- Dynamic Random Access Memory Litigation and Investigations. Ms. Brass represented Micron Technology, the second largest manufacturer of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), in a number of matters related to allegations of a worldwide price fixing cartel. This includes representing Micron in various criminal and civil investigations involving the same allegations. Gibson Dunn also represents Micron in numerous class actions in federal and state courts on behalf of direct and indirect purchasers, and litigation and investigations by 41 State Attorneys General.
- Cadence Design Systems-Versity Merger. Ms. Brass represented Cadence Design Systems before the Federal Trade Commission and, with local counsel, before other competition authorities, in connection with the acquisition of Verisity, Inc. We successfully obtained antitrust clearance in all relevant jurisdictions, notwithstanding a combined share of more than 60% in certain segments.
- Precision Associates, Inc. v. Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd. Ms. Brass represents "K" Line Logistics, Ltd., in the Precision Associates putative antitrust class action in the Eastern District of New York as well as the related Department of Justice grand jury investigation. The plaintiffs alleged price fixing and other antitrust violations against "K" Line and other freight forwarders.
- Ongoing Antitrust Compliance and Compliance Training. Ms. Brass is currently representing clients in ongoing antitrust compliance matters, as well as proposed mergers, joint ventures, joint buying, and other domestic and international competition law counseling matters.