Photo of Christopher E. Ondeck

Chris Ondeck is head of the Washington, DC office and co-chair of the Firm’s Antitrust Group. Chris is one of the most highly rated antitrust trial lawyers in the United States. In 2023, he won the largest antitrust jury trial of the year, and one of the largest in history, by defending Sanderson Farms as the sole non-settling defendant where the direct purchaser plaintiffs alleged $7 billion in damages. The significance of the trial victory was widely reported by Reuters, Bloomberg Law, Law360, and other publications, calling it a “blockbuster case.” Law360 noted that Chris “blasted” the plaintiffs’ assertions at trial and called it one of the biggest trial decisions of the year. Chris and his team were named Litigators of the Week by the American Lawyer. Benchmark Litigation also shortlisted Chris for antitrust litigator of the year in 2023.

Chris is a go-to litigator for clients in high-profile antitrust matters, including AARP, Amtrak, AT&T, Butterball, Cardinal Health, Continental Resources, Daybreak Foods, Discovery, DuPont, Ocean Spray, SpaceX, Sunkist, Wayne Sanderson Farms, Welch’s, and Weyerhaeuser. He also has 30-years’ expertise with the Capper-Volstead Act’s application and interpretation for agricultural cooperatives, and serves as outside counsel to a large number of industry groups, including trade associations and cooperatives.

Chris has been recognized as a leading antitrust practitioner by Chambers, noting that clients describe him as "our primary thought partner - he's very good at explaining the complex issues and making them easy to understand" and praising "his strong advocacy skills"; by The National Law Review as a “Go To Thought Leader”; by Acritas as a “Star” for multiple years; by Benchmark Litigation as a National Litigation Star; and by The Legal 500 United States for Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Actions.

When an enforcement action for a violation of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act is announced, chances are the matter has already come to a close – by the time the action becomes public, the agency and the parties usually have agreed upon financial penalties and other sanctions to be levied. But that is not the case for ValueAct Capital and its affiliated investment funds. After the Department of Justice filed a complaint against ValueAct on April 4, the company did not take the allegations lying down. Instead, it vowed to vigorously defend its position.