Sean Royall

Sean Royall

Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Sean Royall serves as the firm’s Global Practice Head for Antitrust and Consumer Protection. He has spent his entire career handling complex litigation matters and government investigations and is among the country’s most experienced and highly regarded antitrust lawyers. He focuses broadly on antitrust and consumer protection litigation, government investigations, and counseling, and is a highly experienced courtroom litigator with a stellar track record for winning high-stakes cases. Sean is equally effective navigating complex government investigations and advising clients on the details of a wide range of strategic antitrust and consumer protection issues.

Sean previously served at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. His antitrust career, both in government and private practice, has included work on many major mergers and acquisitions, as well as lead roles in complex litigation matters that often intersect with other areas of law, including patent law, various federal regulatory regimes, consumer protection, and privacy. Sean has deep experience representing clients across a range of industries, including biopharma, healthcare, e-commerce, telecom, financial services, energy, transportation, software, and semiconductors. In addition to his work on U.S. antitrust and consumer protection matters, Sean has worked and advised on many similar cases and investigations in Europe and other parts of the world.

While in government, Sean was the lead trial lawyer in the FTC’s landmark monopolization suit against computer chip maker Rambus Inc., a novel case that established new legal standards applicable to patent disclosure within industry standard-setting consortiums. More recently, Sean played an important role on the trial team for AT&T in the company’s victory over the Department of Justice’s antitrust challenge to AT&T’s US$85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. In addition to his trial experience, Sean has successfully argued appeals in courts around the country.

Sean also has a nationally prominent reputation for his work in the consumer protection area, where he has particularly deep experience handling FTC investigations and associated litigation focused on advertising, marketing, privacy, and data security issues. In 2018-19, for example, Sean served as lead counsel for Facebook in connection with the FTC’s extensive privacy-related investigation and subsequent settlement. He brings to this area of his practice deep knowledge of applicable law and agency practice, as well as the skills of an accomplished litigator. 

For well more than a decade, Sean has been given a Band 1 ranking by Chambers USA (2007-2023), which has described him as “top of the field,” “a star in the antitrust world both in counseling and litigation,” and an “extremely talented lawyer and exceptional litigator.”

Sean’s other recognitions include being ranked in Chambers Global for Antitrust – USA (2020-2023); endorsed as “Highly Recommended (Texas)” by Global Competition Review (2022); named a “Litigation Star” for Intellectual Property, Competition/Antitrust, Appellate, and Commercial work by Benchmark Litigation (2023). He is named in Who’s Who Legal in Competition (2021); The Best Lawyers in America as “Antitrust Lawyer of the Year” (2015, 2018); and The Best Lawyers in America as “Litigation: Antitrust Lawyer of the Year” (2019). He has also been named to the “All-Star List” by BTI Services (2017) and deemed a “National Antitrust MVP” by Law360 (2015); a “Mergers and Acquisitions and Antitrust Trailblazer” by National Law Journal (2015); and a “Life Sciences Star” in Antitrust (2022) and Competition and Antitrust (2018–2019) by LMG Life Sciences. Sean was also named one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Litigators in America” in 2022.


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Deep Dive Episode 109 – Regulating by Consent Agreement: Examining FTC’s YouTube Settlement and Beyond

Deep Dive Episode 109 – Regulating by Consent Agreement: Examining FTC’s YouTube Settlement and Beyond

Executive Branch Review Week Teleforum

On September 4, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission announced sweeping regulatory changes to the operation...