Antitrust Unit Gets New Litigator as Airlines Case Begins

A Washington lawyer with experience in major antitrust cases has been named head of litigation for the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division after the government sued to block the merger of AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc.

David Gelfand, a partner at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP in Washington, recently represented clients including Henkel AG, ArcelorMittal SA and Sanofi in antitrust litigation, according to the firm’s website.

Gelfand also represented Google Inc. before regulators in its acquisitions of AdMob Inc. and DoubleClick Inc. and was involved in transactions including Hertz Global Holdings Inc.’s purchase of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., and Molson Coors Brewing Co.s merger with SABMiller Plc, according to the firm.

Gelfand, 54, will replace Joseph Wayland, who stepped down in November after two years at the division. Wayland led the department’s successful litigation to stop AT&T Inc.’s takeover of T-Mobile US Inc. and H&R Block Inc.’s attempt to buy a smaller competitor, acting as the lead courtroom lawyer for the government in both cases.