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Michael N. Sohn

Michael Sohn, a former General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission, is a member of Davis Polk’s Litigation Department, based in our Washington DC office. His practice focuses on the antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions, as well as government and private antitrust litigation and investigations. He  is widely recognized for his involvement in sensitive and complex antitrust matters, particularly with regard to facilitating innovative agreements between companies and reviewing government authorities.

Mr. Sohn has represented clients such as BATS Global Markets, Comcast, Emerson, GE, Merck, Shire, Smith & Nephew, Palm, and PricewaterhouseCoopers in merger investigations and litigation before the FTC and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

Mr. Sohn joined Davis Polk from a major Washington law firm where he led the antitrust practice for many years.

Work Highlights

Recent Representations
  • Crestview Partners, LP before the FTC in connection with the sale of its portfolio company, Symbion Holdings Corporation, to Surgery Center Holdings, Inc, another entity which owns ambulatory surgery centers
  • Shire plc in connection with its $54.8 billion merger with AbbVie Inc.
  • Smith & Nephew plc in connection with its $1.7 billion acquisition of ArthroCare Corp.
  • AstraZeneca on the U.S. antitrust aspects of the $119 billion acquisition proposal by Pfizer
  • Shire plc in connection with its $4.2 billion acquisition of Viropharma Inc.
  • BATS Global Markets in obtaining U.S. antitrust clearance for its merger with Direct Edge
  • CVS Caremark in connection with its successful $1.25 billion acquisition of the Medicare prescription drug business of Universal American
  • Forest Laboratories, Inc. in connection with its $1.2 billion acquisition of Clinical Data, Inc.
  • Comcast in connection with the NBCUniversal joint venture
  • Palm in connection with its sale to Hewlett Packard
  • Equinix in its acquisition of Switch and Data
  • Emerson Electric in the sale of its motor division
Before joining Davis Polk, Mr. Sohn’s significant representations included:
  • Successful settlement in the FTC’s 1998 monopolization suit against Intel
  • Approved $27.2 billion acquisition of Guidant by Boston Scientific
  • Approved $60 billion acquisition of Aventis by Sanofi


Mr. Sohn is listed as a leading lawyer in several legal industry publications, including:

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business where he is recognized as a “deeply experienced lawyer and valuable source of guidance to clients.”
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business where he is recognized for having a “wealth of experience in the antitrust field, and a towering reputation amongst his peers”
  • The Legal 500 U.S. where he is recognized for being “very client focused,” providing “workable answers and solutions” and “tak[ing] a very balanced approach”
  • Practical Law Company’s Which lawyer?
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in America

Mr. Sohn was named “Lawyer of the Year” in Washington DC Administrative/Regulatory Law and Washington DC Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions by 2012 Best Lawyers.

He is a member of Davis Polk’s Antitrust Group, which was named “Law Firm of the Year” in Antitrust Law by U.S. News - Best Lawyers Best Law Firms 2013 and a “Competition Group of the Year” by Law360 2012 and 2014.

Of Note

Speaking Engagements
  • “Pricing of Differentiated Products in the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines: Some Unanswered Questions,” Fordham Competition Law Institute Annual Conference (2010)
  • “Non-Horizontal Mergers: The U.S. Approach,” GCR Merger Control Conference (2010)

Professional History

  • Counsel, Davis Polk, 2010-present


  • 901 15th Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20005
    P: 202-962-7145
    F: 202-962-7088
  • 450 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY10017
    P: 212-450-4202
    F: 212-701-5202

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • State of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia


  • B.A., History, Columbia College, 1960
  • LL.B., Harvard Law School, 1963
    • cum laude