John Schmidtlein has represented clients in complex civil and criminal matters for over twenty years, including numerous trials.

Mr. Schmidtlein is Co-Chair of Williams & Connolly’s Antitrust practice group and focuses his practice on civil and criminal antitrust litigation and government investigations. He has represented clients in antitrust investigations brought by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and numerous State Attorneys General. He has represented clients in a variety of civil antitrust suits (both as plaintiffs and defendants), and also corporations and individual executives in criminal grand jury investigations. He has been lead counsel in numerous antitrust class action lawsuits in federal and state courts throughout the United States.

Mr. Schmidtlein recently received recognition by both The American Lawyer and Global Competition Review for his successful representation of Google in connection with the FTC’s highly publicized investigation into online search and search advertising. He also represented Archer Daniels Midland Company in the criminal and civil proceedings that were the subject of the motion picture The Informant, and a group of States in the remedy proceedings in the landmark antitrust litigation against Microsoft Corporation. He has been recognized by a number of legal publications, including Chambers USA and Super Lawyers, for his antitrust litigation work, and has spoken at numerous antitrust conferences. He is a past Vice Chair of the ABA Antitrust Section’s Civil Practice and Procedure Committee and has taught as an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University Law School.

Mr. Schmidtlein is a native of Washington, D.C. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Georgetown Law Review. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable J. Frederick Motz of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He joined Williams & Connolly in 1993 and was elected partner in December 2000. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Rhonda and their two daughters.

Representative Experience

  • Represented pharmaceutical manufacturer in first class action antitrust trial involving claims for pay-for-delay after Supreme Court’s decision in FTC v. Actavis
  • Represented nationwide telecommunications company in class action antitrust litigation involving price fixing claims in text messaging industry
  • Represented auto parts manufacturer in criminal and civil class action antitrust proceedings involving price fixing and bid rigging claims
  • Represented agricultural food processor in criminal and civil class action antitrust proceedings involving price fixing claims
  • Represented software manufacturer in antitrust trial involving claims of monopolization
  • Represented pharmaceutical manufacturer in multi-state proceedings regarding Average Wholesale Price (AWP), including trial involving claims brought by Kentucky State Attorney General
  • Represented dairy cooperative in antitrust class action involving various claims regarding raw milk pricing
  • Represented multi-national corporations as opt-out plaintiffs in price fixing cases involving bulk vitamins
  • Represented major motion picture studios in antitrust litigation and government investigations regarding motion picture distribution practices
  • Represented pharmaceutical benefits manager in class action antitrust litigation involving claims for price fixing and unreasonable restraints of trade
  • Represented individual executives in numerous federal criminal antitrust investigations, including investigations by the Department of Justice of the auto parts, vehicle carrier, refrigerant compressors, DRAM, air cargo, rubber chemicals, government contracts, and graphite electrodes industries




Antitrust: Cartel, Chambers Global, 2023

Antitrust: Cartel (Nationwide), Chambers USA, 2021-2023

Antitrust: Litigation Specialists (D.C.), Chambers USA, 2019-2023

“500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon, 2023

Recognized among Washingtonian’s “500 Most Influential People,” Antitrust, 2023

Recognized among Washingtonian’s “250 Most Influential People,” Antitrust, 2021-2022

Recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America ® for Litigation - Antitrust, 2020-2021

“Litigator of the Week,” Global Competition Review, 2015

“Litigator of the Week,” American Lawyer, 2013


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