Sophia A. VandergriftSpecial Counsel
Ms. Vandergrift joined the Firm in 2019 after seven years in the Mergers IV Division of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition. During her time at the FTC, she served as the lead attorney on a variety of high-profile merger investigations; liaised with state Attorneys General; drafted key investigatory and litigation documents, including Second Requests and recommendation memoranda; developed expert and rebuttal reports; conducted investigational hearings and depositions; questioned expert and fact witnesses at deposition and trial; and negotiated complex divestitures.
Her experience includes serving in senior roles on a range of FTC investigations and litigations, including serving as the lead attorney for the FTC on US Foods’ recent acquisition, with divestitures, of Services Group of America. As a core member of the investigation and trial teams for Sysco’s $8.2 billion acquisition of US Foods, Ms. Vandergrift was the FTC’s primary liaison with over 20 state Attorneys General. She also was a core member of the trial teams for Advocate Health Care’s abandoned merger with North Shore University HealthSystem and Wilhelmsen’s abandoned $400 million acquisition of Drew Marine. Her additional notable public matters include Republic National Distributing Company’s terminated merger with Breakthru Beverage Group and Capella Healthcare’s terminated merger with Mercy Hot Springs.
During her time in government, Ms. Vandergrift also served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the General Crimes Division.
Ms. Vandergrift twice was honored with the FTC’s Janet D. Steiger Award for her contributions to the Sysco/US Foods and Advocate/North Shore litigations and she regularly speaks and publishes on important antitrust issues. She was named a 2020 Americas “Rising Star” in Antitrust and Competition by Euromoney Legal Media Group.
- “Geographic Market Definition in Urban Hospital Mergers: Lessons from the Advocate-North Shore Litigation” – The Antitrust Source, 2017 (with Steven Tenn)
- “Effective Presentation of Expert Testimony for the Government in a Merger Litigation” – Antitrust Magazine, 2016 (with Stephen Mohr)
- “The GE/Honeywell Saga? A Comparative Approach Between U.S. and EU Merger Control Proceedings Almost 15 Years After” – 35 European Competition Law Review, 2014 (with Josselin Lucas)
- The Antitrust Division’s Stay Practice in Civil Litigation Paralleling Criminal Investigations is Good Policy” – Antitrust Magazine, 2013 (with Lee Berger)
- “Kimbrough, Spears, and Categorical Rejection: The Latest Additions to the Family of Federal Sentencing Policy Cases” – 88 Washington University Law Review 475, 2010