Charles T. Compton

Charles T. (Chris) Compton retired as a partner from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in 2012.

During his tenure, Chris was a litigator who founded and played a leadership role in the firm's antitrust practice, focusing on merger regulatory and intellectual property issues. He oversaw the antitrust regulatory work in more than 900 mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures—many of which involved formal investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the European Commission, and other international competition agencies. The firm's record of success, including Hewlett Packard's $18.7 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer in 2002, has been unparalleled: No Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati transaction has ever been blocked due to an antitrust challenge by the Department of Justice or Federal Trade Commission. Early in his career, Chris served as a litigator on the watershed IBM antitrust cases.

In addition to a wide range of complex business and intellectual property litigation, including Lotus v. Borland and securities class actions, Chris handled antitrust suits involving alleged price discrimination, refusals to deal, distributor terminations, group boycotts, monopolies, state law Cartwright Act claims, grand jury investigations, and price fixing. Chris wrote the firm's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Primer for attorneys and clients, and regularly counseled many of its private and public clients on antitrust and intellectual property issues arising in the course of marketing, distribution, pricing, and standard-setting activities.

Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers in 2004-2011, Chris also was cited in the 2003-2011 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, commended as "a great lawyer" and for his ability to "establish an immediate rapport, trust, and confidence, in a nonadversarial way." Chris consistently was listed in Best Lawyers in America. He also was listed as one of the "Top-Ranking Competition Lawyers in Europe and Northern America" in the Practical Law Company's Global Competition Handbook, earned a "highly recommended" listing in the PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook (2007-2011), and was cited in Legal Media Group's Euromoney Guide to World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers and Practical Law Company's Cross-Border Competition Handbook (2010).

Chris co-edited the ABA's 2010 publication, "Competition as Public Policy," and has written extensively over the years for publications such as the Antitrust Law Journal, the Antitrust Report, Corporate Counsel Outlook, and the International Business Lawyer. He currently teaches antitrust at both UC Hastings and the Santa Clara University School of Law, has lectured at the University of California's Boalt Hall School of Law, and taught trial advocacy at UC Hastings. He is a regular speaker at American Bar Association and International Bar Association events in the United States and Europe. Chris also served as a military judge in the Air Force JAG Corps.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Antitrust
Law School New York University School of Law (J.D.)
Education U.S. Air Force Academy (B.S., 1965)
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association
Most recent firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
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