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Sheila R. Adams James


Sheila R. Adams James

Antitrust & Competition
New York

Represents clients in a variety of civil litigation and government investigations, with a focus on antitrust matters.

Sheila represents clients in a variety of civil litigation and government investigations, and her practice focuses on antitrust investigations and litigation and the antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Her clients have included firms in the media and entertainment, technology, pharmaceutical, financial services and manufacturing industries, as well as individual corporate directors.

In 2019, Sheila received a National Bar Association “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” award, as well as one of the association’s five individual “40 Under 40” awards for Excellence in Leadership. She is Co-Chair of the ABA Antitrust Law Section’s Spring Meeting and a member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Law School Association.

Experience highlights

Antitrust Litigation and Investigations
  • A major technology company in parallel antitrust investigations by the FTC, DOJ and a coalition of state attorneys general 
  • A manufacturer in one of the world’s largest antitrust class action matters, involving allegations of price-fixing in the global market for LCD panels in actions brought by hardware manufacturers, retailers, consumers and state attorneys general
  • Comcast and NBCUniversal in winning dismissal of a suit challenging NBC’s decision not to renew its affiliation agreement with a local broadcaster in Boston
  • Benchmark-rate antitrust litigation matters for major financial institutions, including suits alleging conspiracies to manipulate the ISDAfix rate and Canadian Dealer Offered Rate (CDOR)
Other Civil Litigation and Investigations
  • The board of directors of a bankrupt alternative energy company in connection with its reorganization and defense of numerous securities litigation, federal whistleblower and creditor claims
  • Morgan Stanley in securities litigation related to residential mortgage-backed securities, including a False Claims Act and securities litigation brought by the California Attorney General related to investments made by California state pension funds 
  • Underwriters of the Wanda Sports IPO in securities class action litigation arising out of the IPO
  • IBM in connection with wide-ranging FCPA investigations by the DOJ and the SEC
  • A financial institution in connection with an investigation by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program
Pro Bono
  • Successful clemency petition for an individual whose life sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama
  • Argued and won Fourth Amendment search case before Second Judicial Department – Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.  People v. Delroy Francis, 24 N.Y.3d 615 (2014)
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Benchmark Litigation – United States and New York, Future Star; “40 & Under List – Northeast”

Ron Brown Scholar Program – Emerging Leadership Award, 2023

Lawyers of Color – “Wonderful Women,” 2023

Lawdragon 500 X – “The Next Generation,” 2023 

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity – Fellow, 2021

National Bar Association – “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates,” 2019

National Bar Association – “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates, Excellence in Leadership,” 2019

Brooklyn Bar Association – Champion of Justice Award, 2017

J.D., Columbia Law School
  • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Outstanding Clinical Student Award
  • Editor in Chief, Columbia Journal of Race and Law
B.A., Sociology, Harvard University
Law Clerk, Hon. Carl E. Stewart, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2012-2013
Law Clerk, Hon. Raymond A. Jackson, U.S. District Court, E.D. Virginia, 2011-2012
Professional history
  • Davis Polk since 2013
Qualifications and admissions
  • State of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, C.D. Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
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