Andrew Cook

Of Counsel

Washington, D.C. Office


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Andy excels at solving complex problems for his clients using a variety of effective strategies. As former Deputy Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin, Andy Cook has extensive experience representing businesses before state Attorneys General involving investigations and lawsuits. His strong relationships with Attorneys General and their senior staff frequently facilitate the successful resolution of client issues through diplomacy and negotiations. When litigation becomes necessary, Andy effectively advocates for clients throughout the litigation process. 

Andy combines his legal expertise in numerous areas of law covered by state Attorneys General, an understanding of how state AG offices operate, and vast knowledge of legal and regulatory issues facing his clients. This substantive and comprehensive legal approach is crucial to effectively representing clients before state Attorneys General.  Andy also has substantial experience drafting and enacting complex civil liability reforms before state legislatures to successfully address client goals.

Andy’s main practice focuses on advising Fortune 500 companies before state Attorneys General in the areas of antitrust, consumer protection, False Claims Act, environmental law, and cybersecurity and data privacy. Andy, in collaboration with a team of attorneys, successfully navigated a client through antitrust regulatory review by state Attorneys General in one of the nation’s largest mergers of two major telecommunication companies. Andy also worked with a team of lawyers representing a large corporation involving the multistate opioids litigation brought by state Attorneys General.

Andy gained valuable experience serving as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin where he was the second in command of the 700-plus state agency. In his role as Deputy Attorney General, Andy oversaw the day-to-day operations at the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ); directed the State’s litigation strategy; negotiated, reviewed, and approved all settlements; drafted and reviewed attorney general opinions; managed the agency’s budget; oversaw civil and criminal investigations handled by DOJ; and managed DOJ’s legislative agenda.

Andy played college hockey and remains active by running, cross country skiing, and playing golf. On the weekends, Andy and his wife enjoy watching their kids’ sporting events, including soccer, baseball, gymnastics, and track. In his rare spare time, Andy reads history books.

 

Posts by: Andrew Cook

State Attorneys General Ramping up Merger Enforcement

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Last month, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a law repealing a provision of the Colorado Antitrust Act that prohibited challenging a merger under state law where the federal antitrust agencies did not also challenge the merger. This action is another sign that state Attorneys General are prepared to more aggressively enforce state antitrust laws, increasing the likelihood of divergent federal and state merger enforcement priorities and outcomes.

There are two complementary merger enforcement regimes. The federal regime, enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the state regime which the state Attorneys General enforce. The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act’s pre-merger notification and waiting period requirements apply to the federal merger enforcement regime but do not apply to a state merger challenge. Generally, states may investigate a merger at any time, even after it has been consummated.

Historically, federal and state antitrust authorities have taken a cooperative approach to merger enforcement, working together to investigate and litigate proposed mergers. Playing more of a supporting role, the states typically deferred to the federal agencies’ enforcement decisions. For example, the DOJ and various states jointly investigated and successfully litigated the Anthem/Cigna merger. More recently, however, federal and state merger enforcement has diverged, most notably when several states filed an action challenging the T-Mobile/Sprint merger before the DOJ had completed its investigation. Anecdotally, line attorneys in state antitrust units have reported rising tensions with DOJ.

This recent divergence has been driven in part by a perception among many state AGs that DOJ and FTC have been under-enforcing federal antitrust law, particularly in the high-tech sector. Colorado and other states that have a record of more aggressive antitrust enforcement include New York, California, Texas and Washington. They and other states may be more willing to fill the void when they believe federal agencies have failed to act.

Given the increasing independence and assertiveness of state Attorneys General, merging parties cannot ignore their concerns. The strategic and practical considerations of state antitrust review should be on every checklist for a merger or major acquisition.