Steve Bomse, Senior Counsel in Orrick’s San Francisco office, is a member of the firm’s Antitrust and Competition Group. He is widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading antitrust lawyers, having tried cases throughout the United States involving multibillion-dollar claims while also maintaining a significant appellate practice, including his successful representation of Weyerhaeuser Company in a major Section 2 case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Bomse also represents clients from around the world in other types of complex commercial litigation, both at the trial and appellate level.
In recent years, Mr. Bomse has focused his practice to a significant extent on cartel cases, including in particular companies, such as Sony, located in various countries in Asia. He has been involved in most of the major recent international cartel cases involving electronic products, such as DRAM, SRAM and LCD representing companies from Japan, Taiwan and China.
The following is a sample of Mr. Bomse’s notable antitrust cases:
- VISA U.S.A. Mr. Bomse has tried several cases for VISA U.S.A., which he defended as co-lead counsel in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division in New York. He also was lead counsel for VISA in the so-called “Credit/Debit Tying Cases,” which at the time were the largest private treble damage actions in U.S. antitrust history.
- Leading Chinese vitamin C manufacturer. Mr. Bomse recently represented a leading Chinese vitamin C manufacturer, Aland Nutraceutical (previously Jiangshu Jiangshan Pharmaceuticals), in the first antitrust case to be filed against China-based companies.
- Sony Corporation and Sony Electronics. Mr. Bomse was counsel to various Sony entities in connection with the so-called SRAM cases and related government investigations at the federal and state level. More recently, he has been representing several Sony entities in the LCD price-fixing cases in which the Sony companeis are plaintiffs seeking treble damages.
- GTE Sylvania. Mr. Bomse and his partner Larry Popofsky were counsel for GTE Sylvania in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of GTE Sylvania v. Continental T.V., 433 U.S. 36 (1977), which is widely credited with changing the direction of American antitrust law both in the area of vertical restraints and, more generally, by re-orienting U.S. competition policy in favor of its current economic-based approach to the analysis of competition issues.
- Weyerhaeuser Company. Mr. Bomse successfully served as appellate counsel for Weyerhaeuser in a Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court proceeding which extended the objective Brooke Group predatory pricing standard to “buy-side” cases.
Among the many other companies for whom Mr. Bomse has handled significant antitrust matters are: 3M, Coca-Cola, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sara Lee Corporation, Levi Strauss & Co., American Home Foods, UBS AG and Miller Brewing.
While the primary focus of Mr. Bomse’s practice has been, and remains antitrust, he also has had an active trial and appellate practice outside the competition area. In addition to several cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, he has argued appeals in seven separate federal circuits and has tried cases in a number of different federal districts.
Among the many non-antitrust cases handled by Mr. Bomse are the following:
- State of Alaska. Mr. Bomse represented the State of Alaska in a multibillion-dollar action challenging the validity of the Alaska statehood compact and its allocation of mineral rights.
- Hoffmann-LaRoche. Mr. Bomse represented Hoffmann LaRoche in highly publicized trade secret case involving claim by the University of California that Roche and Genentech “stole” a “cell line” used to clone the alpha interferon gene.
- DHL Corporation. Mr. Bomse was appointed by the Saipan courts to represent the estate of one of the founders of DHL Corporation in international arbitration involving the estate’s ownership interest in DHL.
- Seafirst Bank. Mr. Bomse represented Seafirst in several lawsuits arising out of its failure as a result of investments involving the notorious Penn Square Bank, including litigation against former top management and a successful trial of a US$110 million claim against Seafirst’s D&O insurer.
- DFS Group. Mr. Bomse represented DFS, the world’s largest “duty free” retailer (and the largest retailer in Hawaii) in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Honolulu “anti-peddling” ordinance.
- Pennzoil Company. Mr. Bomse represented Pennzoil in various matters related to its multibillion-dollar investment in Chevron, including litigation claiming that Pennzoil intended to seek to acquire Chevron through a hostile takeover.
- Republic of the Philippines. For nearly two decades, Mr. Bomse has represented the Republic of the Philippines as U.S. counsel and advisor in its efforts to recover Marcos assets throughout the world. In this role, he has handled numerous appeals successfully for the government, including most recently a case in the U.S. Supreme Court applying the indispensable party rule to require dismissal of claims against nations that choose to invoke their sovereign immunity in interpleader actions.
Before joining Orrick, Mr. Bomse was a shareholder at Heller Ehrman LLP where he served for many years as a member of its Management and Policy Committee, and headed up both the Litigation Department and the firm’s Global Competition Practice. In 1988, Mr. Bomse was on leave as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School.