Antitrust Law Daily Brent Snyder departs Antitrust Division
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Brent Snyder departs Antitrust Division

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

After nearly 14 years at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Brent Snyder is moving on. Today marks Snyder’s last day as deputy assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program.

No word yet on who will take over for Snyder. A permanent replacement could be on hold until a new assistant attorney general is sworn in for the Antitrust Division. Makan Delrahim, President Trump's nominee to head the agency, is awaiting Senate approval. His nomination was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 19 to 1 on June 8.

It’s possible that Delrahim could be confirmed before Congress' July 4 recess; however, his nomination process has been met with some stops and starts, since Trump announced his pick for antitrust chief on March 28.

Snyder himself briefly took the helm of the Antitrust Division as acting assistant attorney general after the inauguration of President Trump. Snyder returned to his prior role, focusing on criminal enforcement, when Andrew C. Finch was named to that role on April 10. Finch is expected to remain at the Antitrust Division if Delrahim is confirmed. Finch will serve as principal deputy assistant attorney general.

Snyder began his career at the Justice Department as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco field office. He later worked in the National Criminal Enforcement Section. He was promoted to deputy assistant attorney general for criminal enforcement in November 2013.

In the Antitrust Division’s Spring 2014 Update, Snyder’s accomplishments as a trial attorney were highlighted. It was noted that he had played a key role in some of the agency’s most important investigations and trials. Among other highlights, he served as co-lead in a price fixing action against liquid crystal display producer AU Optronics Corporation, which resulted in multiple corporate and individual convictions and a record-tying $500 million corporate fine.

Over the years, Snyder has received numerous awards while at the Justice Department. He received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the Council of Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency Award of Excellence, and the Antitrust Division Award of Distinction. In 2013, California Lawyer magazine named him a California attorney of the year.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Snyder was in private practice at Perkins Coie LLP in Seattle and Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP in Los Angeles.

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