David Wales is recognized as a leading antitrust lawyer and has over 25 years of experience in both private and public sectors. His practice focuses on providing antitrust advice to U.S. and international clients in a wide range of industries on all aspects of antitrust, including mergers and acquisitions, alliances, criminal grand jury investigations, dominant firm conduct, distribution arrangements, licensing and competitor collaborations.


Mr. Wales has the distinctive experience of serving as a senior official in both U.S. antitrust agencies. Most recently, he served as acting director of the Bureau of Competition (2008-09) during a three-year tenure at the Federal Trade Commission, where he oversaw all of the agency’s antitrust enforcement activity, including in the health care, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, technology, chemical, defense, retail and consumer product industries. He also served as counsel to the assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (2001-03), where he was part of the small front-office team managing all of the agency’s merger and conduct matters, including in the software, steel, defense, industrial, financial, agriculture, telecom, media, transportation and energy industries.

Mr. Wales’ numerous antitrust representations for clients in M&A transactions include:

  • CommScope in its $7.4 billion acquisition of ARRIS International plc;
  • Performance Food Group in its successful $2 billion acquisition of Reinhart Foodservice;
  • Newell Brands’ sale of The United States Playing Card Company to Cartamundi Group;
  • Wesco Aircraft in its $1.9 billion merger with Platinum Equity affiliate Pattonair;
  • Dassault Systèmes in its $5.8 billion acquisition of Medidata Solutions, Inc.;
  • Roper Technologies, Inc. in the $365 million acquisition of EPSi from Allscripts by its affiliate Strata Decision Technology;
  • Wells Fargo Bank in connection with the pending carve-out sale of its Institutional Retirement & Trust business to an affiliate of Principal Financial Group;
  • The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company in connection with subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening’s $450 million purchase of Sunlight Supply, Inc.; and
  • TravelCenters of America’s $330 million sale of its Minit Mart convenience store business to EG Group.

Mr. Wales’ experience prior to joining Skadden includes advising:

  • HeidelbergCement’s $4 billion acquisition of Italcementi;
  • Carlyle Group’s sale of its Landmark Aviation affiliate for $2 billion to BBA/Signature Aviation;
  • Newell Brands' $15 billion acquisition of Jarden;
  • GE’s $3.4 billion sale of its water business to Suez as part of its merger with Baker Hughes;
  • P&G’s sale of its beauty and cosmetics business to Coty for $12.5 billion;
  • SiriusXM’s investment in Pandora;
  • Parker-Hannifin’s $4.5 billion acquisition of CLARCOR; and
  • ABB’s $3.9 billion acquisition of Thomas & Betts.

In addition to transactional matters, Mr. Wales represents clients in antitrust litigation, cartels and other types of government investigations, including representations for Deutsche Bank, Boeing, John Deere, Cardinal Health, Parker Hannifin and others.

Mr. Wales regularly speaks and writes on antitrust issues and has held various leadership positions in the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section. Recognized as a leading antitrust practitioner, he is consistently ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America, The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists and Best Lawyers.



  • J.D., Syracuse University, 1995 (magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Syracuse Law Review)
  • B.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1992


  • New York
  • District of Columbia

Government Service

Acting Director, Bureau of Competition, 2008-09; Deputy Director, 2006-08, Federal Trade Commission

Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, 2001-03, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

David P. Wales