Bill Baer is joining the Brookings Institution as a visiting fellow in Governance Studies, where he will focus on antitrust and competition policy. Bill has served as a leader in U.S. federal antitrust enforcement for over four decades, most notably as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice from 2013 to 2016 and as Director of the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission from 1995 to 1999.
During his tenure as Assistant Attorney General, the Antitrust Division achieved numerous successes in civil and criminal enforcement. As Acting Associate Attorney General from 2016 to 2017, Bill oversaw the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Tax, and Environment and Natural Resources Divisions and led efforts to hold financial institutions accountable in the residential mortgage-backed securities crisis, securing record penalties and consumer redress.
Bill also worked at the Federal Trade Commission from 1975 to 1980 as Attorney Advisor to the Chairman and Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Congressional Relations. In addition to his public service, Bill headed the antitrust practice at Arnold & Porter, representing a broad range of companies in U.S. and international cartel investigations, antitrust litigation, and mergers and acquisition reviews by antitrust enforcers, including the DOJ, FTC, state attorneys general, and the European Commission.
Bill was twice named by Global Competition Review as the best competition lawyer in the world; honored by Best Lawyers as the best antitrust lawyer in Washington in 2010 and 2012; and named by The National Law Journal as one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.” In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission honored him with the Miles W. Kirkpatrick Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, the American Antitrust Institute presented him with the Alfred E. Kahn Award for Antitrust Achievement.
Bill received his JD in 1975 from Stanford Law School, where he served as Senior Article Editor of The Stanford Law Review, and his BA in 1972 from Lawrence University, which recently awarded him its Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.