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Alden L. Atkins
Alden L. Atkins
Partner — Commercial & Business Litigation
Partner — Commercial & Business Litigation

Alden L. Atkins

Alden L. Atkins
Washington

2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037

start quote symbolThe key to successfully representing a client in a dispute is to thoroughly understand my client’s business. That way, I can understand my client’s goals and needs, and what motivates the actions of people and companies. That helps me better formulate a strategy to achieve my client’s goals, develop themes and arguments for our case, and effectively examine and cross-examine witnesses. By deeply understanding the underlying business, industry and technical matters, I know when an opponent’s arguments or a witness’s testimony just don’t make sense.end quote symbol
Alden L. Atkins

Alden’s three-decade legal career as a trial lawyer focuses mainly on antitrust litigation—often class actions—and arbitrations, many of which are international. No matter the type of case, most of his matters involve enormous stakes where the future of a company is on the line. Under this pressure, Alden is meticulous at parsing the most complicated facts to create compelling and often novel arguments. In fact, one of Alden’s most well-known engagements was successfully representing a key player in the Whitewater investigation. He has tried cases in federal and state courts and arbitrations around the world.

Alden has represented clients across a spectrum of industries, including airlines, auto parts, banking and finance, chemicals, communications, computers and technology, energy, LNG, government contracting, polymers, railroads and other forms of transportation. Many of his arbitration cases involve disputes arising in joint ventures to build substantial infrastructure projects like power plants or liquefied natural gas facilities, and he ‘stands out for his vast knowledge of commercial and investment arbitration’ (Legal 500 U.S. 2018). He was also recognized as a Client Service All Star (BTI 2017).  In addition, Alden teaches a course on damages in international arbitration at the American University Washington College of Law.

In addition to his primary practices of antitrust and arbitration, Alden has handled other complex commercial litigation ranging from contractual disputes to False Claims Act cases to government investigations. His cases regularly raise highly complicated technical matters involving scientific, accounting or financial issues.

Experience Highlights

  • Currently representing several large shippers, and appointed as one of plaintiffs’ liaison counsel, in re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation (No. II), an MDL alleging that major railroads conspired to adopt fuel surcharges

  • 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; recovered substantial statutory costs from the plaintiffs at the conclusion of the case

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Represented international energy company in UNCITRAL arbitration arising from 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Represented an wood chip manufacturer in an arbitrated construction dispute raising issues concerning safety, completion of work and delays

  • Represented 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

  • 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

  • Represented government contractors in Inspector General and DOJ investigations

  • Represented the captain of an oil tanker supporting the military who was accused of theft of government property

Credentials

  • 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)
  • Legal 500 U.S., Antitrust: Civil Litigation and Class Actions, 2016−2020; Antitrust: Cartel, 2018; Dispute Resolution, 2018−2019
  • Selected to the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2013−2020
  • Latin Lawyer 250 (Law Business Research, Ltd.), 2012−2018 and 2020
  • 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
  • Legal 500 Latin America, International Arbitration, 2019
  • Adjunct Professor, American University Washington College of Law
  • 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
  • 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
  • numerous Federal District Courts
  • “Aviation Focus: Algorithmic Pricing and Recent Enforcements,” 2019 Antitrust Texas Summit, September 24, 2019 (panelist)
  • “What You Don’t Know About Competition Law Can Hurt You: An Update on Key Antitrust Issues,” V&E Houston Office, December 5, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Class Actions, Parallel Conduct Cases and General Trends,” V&E Client Presentation, June 4, 2016 (co-presenter)
  • “Supreme Court Rebukes Oklahoma Supreme Court for Failing to Enforce Arbitration Agreement,” V&E’s Arbitration Update E-communication, December 10, 2012
  • “Credit Card Fees and Practices Face Antitrust Scrutiny,” Antitrust News & Notes, December 2012 (co-author)
  • “Supreme Court to Decide Important Class Certification Issue Regarding Class-Wide Damages Evidence,” Antitrust News & Notes, July 2012 (co-author)
  • “U.S. Supreme Court to Dive Deeply Into Antitrust: Granting Certiorari in Two Antitrust Cases,” V&E Antitrust Updates E-communication, June 27, 2012 (co-author)
  • “Long-Term Contracts in Developing Countries Are at Risk of Being Set Aside Due to Financial Hardship,” V&E’s International Construction Newsletter, Fall 2011
  • “New York Courts Make It Easier to Seize Assets to Satisfy an Award,” IBA Arbitration News, Vol 16 No 2, September 2011
  • “International Arbitration in Project Finance Transactions,” International Commercial Arbitration:  21st Century Perspectives (LexisNexis) (forthcoming)
  • “Overseas Investors Beware: Hardship May Upset Pacts,” Law360, September 2010 (co-author)