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Alden L. Atkins

Alden L. Atkins Partner, Commercial & Business Litigation

Alden’s legal career of more than 30 years has ranged from orchestrating multijurisdictional, multinational litigation to some of the most significant multidistrict class actions, and to high-profile cases like the Whitewater investigation. Amounts at stake frequently involve hundreds of millions of dollars or more, and often the cases raise “bet the company” issues. Alden has argued appeals, tried cases, and had evidentiary hearings in federal and state courts across the country. He has decades’ of experience in appearing before domestic and international arbitral tribunals, and ‘stands out for his vast knowledge of commercial and investment arbitration’ (Legal 500 U.S. 2018).

Alden’s principal area of practice is complex commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on antitrust, class actions, contractual disputes, False Claims Act, government investigations, product liability, and international litigation and arbitration. He has represented clients across a spectrum of industries, including airlines, auto parts, banking and finance, communications, computers, energy, LNG, government contracting, polymers, and transportation. Many of his cases have raised highly complex technical matters involving scientific, accounting, or financial issues. Alden is a frequent speaker on international arbitration and antitrust, and he has published several articles in those fields. He has also devoted significant time to pro bono civil rights litigation.

Experience Highlights

  • Successfully represented an airline in In re Delta/AirTran Baggage Fee Antitrust Litigation, an MDL putative class action alleging price-fixing of checked baggage fees, where plaintiffs seek more than $1 billion in damages before trebling; won summary judgment in the District Court, and the Court of Appeals summarily affirmed two days after oral argument
  • Currently representing an airline in In re Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation, an MDL putative class action alleging that the major airlines conspired to restrict domestic capacity, as well as parallel federal and state investigations and litigation in Canada
  • Currently representing an auto parts manufacturer in In re Automotive Part Antitrust Litigation, a massive series of MDL putative class actions alleging price-fixing for auto parts
  • Currently representing a manufacturer of chemicals used to manufacture urethane in In re Diisocyanates Antitrust Litigation, an MDL antitrust putative class action
  • Successfully represented a financial services firm in In re Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation, an antitrust MDL putative class action and series of opt-out lawsuits alleging bid-rigging in the municipal derivatives industry
  • Currently representing a wood pellet manufacturer in an arbitration where it terminated a major contractor constructing a new plant for safety reasons
  • Successfully pursued breach of contract claims against a U.S. government prime contractor, a provider of integrated logistics, in an AAA-sponsored international arbitration resulting in recovery of $35 million (net) for the client; this matter was followed by another arbitration in which the client pursued breach damages for a subsequent contract period; recovered, via settlement, another $55 million (net) for client, after succeeding on a motion for summary judgment before the AAA tribunal
  • Won an $80 million (net) arbitration award in Brazil on behalf of an energy company involving a power plant development project, and achieved a successful resolution after seeking to enforce the award in the U.S.

International Arbitration & Litigation

  • Successfully represented an international energy company in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising from an LNG joint venture with claims of breach of contract, self-dealing, fiduciary duties, and derivative claims arising under the laws of multiple countries
  • Represented an international energy company in an ICDR arbitration concerning the right to certain cargoes of LNG
  • Currently representing a government contractor in several disputes with the prime contractor concerning the construction of ships for the U.S. Navy
  • Advised a U.S. government contractor in litigation pending in the courts of Taiwan
  • Successfully represented a U.S. company in a $1.5 billion arbitration arising out of a power plant project in Brazil
  • Successfully represented an energy company in a dispute involving an LNG project in Chile
  • Successfully represented a bus company in arbitration and litigation with its partner under a pooling agreement approved by the Surface Transportation Board
  • Successfully represented a Brazilian petroleum consulting firm in a dispute with a UK company involving services performed in Namibia
  • Achieved successful contractual resolution for a complex, multinational case involving assignment of fiduciary duties for a joint venture in Trinidad and Tobago

Antitrust

  • Successfully represented an airline in connection with litigation and regulatory proceedings to obtain landing rights at slot-constrained airports
  • Advised an airline in connection with a variety of antitrust issues, including antitrust litigation concerning credit card fees and global distribution systems
  • Assisted in the preparation of an amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of a trade association in a case challenging credit card rules under the antitrust laws
  • Successfully represented an airline in a high-profile antitrust case alleging that an agreement among airlines to restrict the size of carry-on bags violated antitrust laws
  • Successfully represented a grocery store chain in a merger challenge brought by the Department of Justice

False Claims Act

  • Successfully represented a contractor in a qui tam lawsuit arising from vehicle maintenance in the Iraq War, which established a leading precedent under the False Claims Act
  • Successfully represented a contractor in a qui tam lawsuit alleging improper charges for dining facilities in the Iraq War
  • Represented government contractors in multiple False Claims Act cases and investigations involving a variety of services and materials provided to the Department of Defense

Commercial Litigation

  • Representing a pipeline in a dispute concerning costs of environmental remediation
  • Successfully represented a U.S. company in a $250 million lawsuit brought by a Middle Eastern subcontractor asserting claims for breach of contract
  • Successfully represented a U.S. company in a $45 million lawsuit brought by a European company asserting claims for breach of contract and quasi contract under the laws of Dubai, Kuwait, Iraq, and Texas
  • Successfully represented a U.S. company in a $30 million lawsuit brought by a Middle Eastern company alleging contract, quasi contract, and fraud claims
  • Part of a team that successfully represented a polymer manufacturer in a $1.3 billion product liability arbitration to allocate payments due under a nationwide settlement
  • Successfully represented a polymer manufacturer in a series of lawsuits ranging in amount from $10 million to $50 million in the courts of Georgia, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, and California
  • Successfully represented a polymer manufacturer in a $200 million putative class action in the Virgin Islands

White Collar Criminal Defense

  • Successfully represented central figures in the Whitewater investigation and related matters in connection with investigations by the Independent Counsel, the FDIC, the RTC, the FDIC Inspector General, the RTC Inspector General, the House Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Senate Select Whitewater Committee


Contact Details

Washington

T +1.202.639.6613
F +1.202.879.8813
aatkins@velaw.com
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037
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Alden's Practices

  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1984 (Order of the Coif)
  • University of Virginia, B.A. with high honors, 1981 (Phi Beta Kappa; Raven Society)
  • Admitted to practice: New York; District of Columbia; Virginia; United States Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits; U.S. Court of Federal Claims; and numerous Federal District Courts
  • Legal 500 U.S., Antitrust: Civil Litigation and Class Actions, 2016−2018; Antitrust – Cartel, 2018; Dispute Resolution, 2018
  • Selected to the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2013−2018
  • Latin Lawyer 250, 2012−2018
  • BTI Client Services All Star, 2017
  • International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (Law Business Research, Ltd.), 2012
  • Who’s Who of International Oil & Gas Lawyers (Law Business Research, Ltd.), 2011
  • Global Arbitration Review's GAR 100, “Partner to Know,” 2010
  • Fellow: Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member: Antitrust and International Law Sections, American Bar Association; International Law Association
  • Advisory Board Member: Institute for Transnational Arbitration
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Damages in International Arbitration 
  • Member:  International Panel of Arbitrators for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution 
  • Member: Energy Panel of arbitrators for the International Institute for Conflict Resolution and Prevention (CPR)
  • Member: Panel of arbitrators of the FGV Chamber of Arbitration in Brazil
  • Judge: Oral argument and brief writing program, University of Virginia School of Law