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. Mr. Wales also is co-chair of the Antitrust Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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

  • CommScope in its $7.4 billion acquisition of ARRIS International plc;
  • Sabre Corporation in the Justice Department’s challenge of its proposed acquisition of FareLogix;
  • one of the world’s largest technology companies subject to the FTC’s 6(b) investigation of nonreportable deals over the past decade;
  • Performance Food Group in its successful $2 billion acquisition of Reinhart Foodservice;
  • Nasdaq in the sale of its U.S. fixed income business to Tradeweb Markets;
  • 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 in the $365 million acquisition of EPSi from Allscripts by its affiliate Strata Decision Technology;
  • StandardAero’s $230 million acquisition of Global Engine Services business from Signature Aviation;
  • Wells Fargo in connection with the pending carve-out sale of its Institutional Retirement & Trust business to Principal Financial Group;
  • The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company in connection with subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening’s $450 million purchase of Sunlight Supply; 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;
  • 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;
  • Parker-Hannifin’s $4.5 billion acquisition of CLARCOR;
  • ABB’s $3.9 billion acquisition of Thomas & Betts; and
  • Sun Country Airlines in its sale to Apollo Global Management.

In addition to transactional matters, Mr. Wales represents clients in antitrust litigation, cartels and other types of government investigations, including representations for one of the world’s largest technology companies, Boeing, John Deere, Cardinal Health 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. He has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Competition and was named a 2022 and 2023 Global Elite Thought Leader by the publication. Mr. Wales is also consistently ranked as a leading antitrust practitioner in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America 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

Partner, Antitrust/Competition