Brad Weber is the Co-Leader of Locke Lord LLP's Antitrust Practice Group, working in both the Dallas and Washington, D.C. offices. He also is the current Chair of the Antitrust & Business Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, a former Director on the Board of the State Bar of Texas, and a Past President of the Dallas Bar Association.
Brad has developed a full-service antitrust practice with an emphasis on litigation, government investigations, and antitrust compliance. His recent litigation cases have involved clients from a wide range of industries, including building products, energy, chemicals, financial services, medical devices, travel services, telecommunications, and agriculture. He also has extensive experience representing clients in class actions and multidistrict litigation.
Brad’s litigation skills have been recognized by virtually every prestigious legal-rating service. He was honored in 2015 by The National Law Journal as one of the twenty-five “Trailblazers” in the United States for M&A and Antitrust Law, and he is recognized as a “Band 2” rated lawyer for Antitrust Law in Texas by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, published by London-based Chambers and Partners. Brad also has been listed repeatedly in The Best Lawyers in America for Antitrust Law and in Super Lawyers magazine as a “Texas Super Lawyer” for Antitrust Litigation. In addition, for more than 16 years, he has had the highest possible Peer and Judicial rating, AV Preeminent, by Martindale-Hubbell for legal ability and ethical standards. Brad is “the antitrust guru,” according to one client interviewed by Chambers, who added: “if we have a complex antitrust issue we go to him.” Other antitrust clients interviewed by Chambers described Brad as a talented attorney who is “excellent from a technical perspective,” “very, very professional and thorough,” and “proactive, knowledgeable, and an excellent communicator,” with another client noting that “he put a lot of research into our case and did an impressive job.”
In addition to his litigation practice, Brad frequently represents clients in government antitrust investigations, enforcement actions, and merger reviews with the Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and numerous state antitrust enforcement agencies. He also advises clients on the antitrust implications of proposed transactions and other business activities, including compliance and reporting under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and provides consultation, analysis, and advice regarding the antitrust laws as they relate to various business relationships and trade association activities. A client represented by Brad in a government investigation told Chambers that he “works magic” with antitrust regulators.
Brad speaks and writes frequently on antitrust law enforcement, practice, policy, and compliance. He is a frequent guest lecturer on antitrust and trade regulation at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. He also has been a regular speaker at the State Bar of Texas’ Federal Court Practice seminars, where his topics have included Dispositive Motions and Trial Procedure. Companies and other groups frequently request him to present antitrust compliance training programs to their officers, in-house counsel, and other employees.
Brad is a leader in local, state, and national bar associations, including his service as the President of the Dallas Bar Association in 2015. He also serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Dallas Bar Foundation, and previously served as Chair of the DBA’s Board of Directors in 2011, Chair of the DBA’s Finance Committee from 2008 to 2013, and President of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers in 1998. On the state level, Brad is a former Director on the Board of the State Bar of Texas, and he is the current Chair of the SBOT Antitrust & Business Litigation Section. He also was Co-Chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Antitrust Litigation Committee from 2008 to 2011.
- In re Domestic Drywall Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2437: Lead counsel for one of the defendants in class action and “opt-out” price-fixing cases against the leading manufacturers of drywall in the U.S. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants have violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by conspiring to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize prices for gypsum drywall. This multidistrict litigation matter was consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- In re Liquid Aluminum Sulfate Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2687: Was lead counsel for a chemical company and one its senior executives who were named as defendants in various cases involving claims of alleged price fixing and bid rigging for the sale of liquid aluminum sulfate (alum), which is used by municipalities and industrial manufacturers for the purification of water. The federal multidistrict litigation matter was consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, and related state court actions involving False Claim Act statutes are pending in Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia. Our clients were dismissed from each of the cases after we filed motions to dismiss.
- In re Online Travel Company (OTC)/Hotel Booking Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2405: Represented two affiliated online travel company defendants in a class action price-fixing case against all of the major online travel reservation companies and most of the major hotel chains. The plaintiffs were consumers who booked hotel rooms using online travel reservation services. They alleged that the defendants violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by entering into a conspiracy to fix the rates for hotel rooms that are booked using online travel reservation websites. In 2014, the district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint and later entered a Final Judgment dismissing the case. This multidistrict litigation matter was consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Market Index Manipulation Cases
- In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antirust Litigation, MDL No. 1566: Lead counsel for two affiliated national gas company defendants in MDL class action antitrust cases arising out of the energy crisis of 2000-2001. The plaintiffs, who purchased natural gas in unregulated retail transactions, allege that our clients and the other defendants conspired to manipulate the natural gas market by knowingly delivering false transaction reports to publishers of natural gas index prices, which allegedly violated various state antitrust laws. The district court granted the defendants’ summary judgment motion based on a preemption defense, but the U.S. Supreme Court, in Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 1591 (2015), reversed the district court’s summary judgment and held that the Natural Gas Act does not preempt the state antitrust claims. As a result of this decision, the cases were remanded back to the district court for further pretrial proceedings. The MDL matter was consolidated in the District of Nevada.
- Retractable Technologies, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co.: Represented the plaintiff in an antitrust case against the nation’s dominant maker and seller of disposable syringes, IV catheters, and other needle products. Our client alleged that the defendant engaged in a combination of exclusionary conduct, including deception, loyalty contracts, patent infringement, and unfair competition to suppress competition and foreclose our client’s access to the relevant healthcare markets. In 2013, a jury found for our client on Section 2 attempted monopolization claims and awarded damages exceeding $113 million (prior to trebling). Based on the jury's verdict, the district court entered a Final Judgment for our client for over $340 million, plus attorneys’ fees, and injunctive relief. The Fifth Circuit later issued an opinion reversing the antitrust judgment but affirming liability on the false advertising claims. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Market Allocation Cases
- Love Terminal Partners v. City of Dallas, Texas: Represented the nation's largest airline in an antitrust action that was brought by the leaseholders of land at Love Field airport in Dallas. The plaintiffs claimed that American Airlines and Southwest Airlines conspired to divide the market for flights to and from North Texas, thus allowing them to preserve their dominant market shares at DFW Airport and Love Field. The action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and was dismissed by the plaintiffs following an appeal to the Fifth Circuit.
- Wheeler v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation: Represented plaintiff chicken farmers in a market allocation, "no poaching," and price-fixing case against Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and Tyson Foods. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by conspiring to allocate markets and lower prices paid for the services of chicken farmers in certain parts of the southern U.S. In a related suit, the plaintiffs alleged that Pilgrim’s Pride violated the Packers and Stockyards Act because its founder and Chairman operated his own chicken farm under a more lucrative arrangement than the ones extended to other farmers. The cases were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and were settled on confidential terms following an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Group Boycott Cases
- American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics, Inc. v. The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals: Represented the plaintiff in an antitrust action against a trade association and several of its officers, directors, and members. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants conspired in an illegal group boycott and the arbitrary enforcement of subjective, self-enacted industry standards within the permanent cosmetic industry. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and was settled on confidential terms after the district court denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss.
Information Exchange Cases
- In re Compensation of Managerial, Professional, and Technical (MPT) Employees Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1471: Represented one of the nation's largest oil companies in a class action wage-fixing case against all of the major U.S. oil companies. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by exchanging confidential employee compensation information in furtherance of a conspiracy to reduce competition and suppress salaries for oil company employees. The defendants successfully defeated class certification, and following two appeals to the Third Circuit, the case was settled. This multidistrict litigation matter was consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Criminal Antitrust Investigations
- Gypsum Drywall Criminal Investigation: Represented a large U.S. drywall manufacturer in connection with a federal grand jury antitrust investigation that was conducted by the DOJ Antitrust Division. The investigation focused on price increases in the drywall industry during 2012 and 2013. The Grand Jury considering the evidence was in the Western District of North Carolina. We were informed in 2018 that the investigation as to our client has been closed.
- Water Treatment Chemicals Criminal Investigation: Represented a U.S. chemical company in connection with a federal grand jury antitrust investigation being conducted by the DOJ Antitrust Division. The investigation focused on competitors that sell water treatment chemicals to municipalities and industrial users such as paper mills, and whether those competitors had engaged in price fixing, bid rigging, and/or customer allocation agreements. The Grand Jury considering the evidence was in the District of New Jersey. We were informed in 2019 that the investigation as to our client has been closed.
Civil Antitrust Investigations
- ARMA Information Exchange Investigation. Represented a manufacturer of asphalt roofing shingles in a civil investigation by the FTC involving an exchange of product shipping information among members of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA). Our client was served with a CID in the investigation, and following negotiations with the FTC the investigation was closed in 2019.
- TrueCar Group Boycott Investigation: Represented a client that owns a group of Lexus automobile dealerships. The client was targeted in an investigation by the FTC regarding a possible concerted refusal to deal with a company that operates an online information platform for matching potential automobile purchasers with automobile sellers. The client was served with a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) in the investigation in May 2014 and responded by producing a large volume of documents. After protracted negotiations with the FTC, we were informed in June 2015 that the investigation directed at our client has been closed.
- Oil Industry Group Benchmarking Investigation: Represented one of the nation’s largest energy companies in a six-year investigation by the FTC involving employee compensation “benchmarking” and information exchanges among the major U.S. oil companies. After several meetings and negotiations between the FTC and counsel for the oil companies, the investigation was officially closed by the FTC without bringing an action against any of the oil companies.
- Partner, Locke Lord LLP
- Co-Leader, Antitrust Practice Group, Locke Lord LLP
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Ranked in Band 2 for Antitrust Law in Texas by Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2014-2020)
- Named a “Best Lawyer” for Antitrust Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2015-2020)
- Named a “Texas Super Lawyer” for Antitrust Litigation, Super Lawyers magazine (2012-2019)
- Selected as an “Antitrust Trailblazer” for M&A and Antitrust Law, The National Law Journal (2015)
- Named a “Best Lawyer in Dallas” for Business/Commercial Litigation, D Magazine (2016)
- Peer and Judicial Rating of “AV Preeminent” for Legal Ability and Ethical Standards, Martindale-Hubbell® (2002-2018)
- American Bar Association, Member
- Antitrust Section, Member
- Litigation Section, Member
- Antitrust Litigation Committee, Co-Chair (2008-2011)
- State Bar of Texas, Member
- Board of Directors, Director (2016-2019)
- Antitrust & Business Litigation Section, Chair (2019)
- Litigation Section, Member
- Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section, Member
- Texas Young Lawyers Association, Director (1995-1999)
- Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
- Dallas Bar Association, Member
- President (2015)
- Board of Directors, Chair (2011)
- Finance Committee, Chair (2008-2013)
- Equal Access to Justice Campaign, Co-Chair (2011-2012)
- Morris Harrell Professionalism Committee, Co-Chair (2010)
- Judiciary Committee, Co-Chair (2009)
- Antitrust & Trade Regulation Section, Council (2011-2018)
- Business Litigation Section, Member
- Energy Law Section, Member
- Dallas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
- Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, President (1998)
- Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation, Life Founding Fellow
- Institute for Energy Law, Oil & Gas Committee, Advisory Board Member
- Dallas Talented and Gifted Magnet High School, High School Mock Trial Team Coach (2007-2011)