Gordon Schnell

Gordon Schnell

New York Office
T: 212.350.2735
F: 212.350.2701

gschnell@constantinecannon.com
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Gordon Schnell has been a partner of Constantine Cannon since 1999, focusing on antitrust and fraud. He practices before all levels of federal court and regularly represents clients on antitrust and fraud matters before the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and other federal and state enforcement agencies. Mr. Schnell litigates and counsels clients on a vast range of antitrust and other complex commercial litigation issues. He also represents whistleblowers under the False Claims Act, Dodd-Frank and the vast array of other whistleblower laws.

Mr. Schnell graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1991 as a Stone Scholar, and from Tufts University in 1986, summa cum laude, with a degree in electrical engineering and physics. He also attended the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship. Mr. Schnell is a two-time recipient of the N. Hobbs Knight Prize Scholarship in Physics, is listed in the International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers, and has been selected repeatedly to the Thomson Reuters listing of New York Super Lawyers.

Mr. Schnell writes and speaks extensively on antitrust and fraud issues and has been featured in the Global Competition Review, European Competition Law Review, Competition Policy International, National Law Journal, and New York Law Journal, among other legal and industry publications. He is routinely interviewed and quoted in major business publications across the country, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, Bloomberg, USA Today, Newsweek and NPR. Prior to joining Constantine Cannon, Mr. Schnell was associated with the law firm of Coudert Brothers. Prior to law school, he worked briefly as an electrical engineer for Westinghouse.

Notable Recent Representations: 

  • US ex rel. v. Merck — Mr. Schnell currently represents two virologists formerly employed at Merck who have brought a qui tam action under the False Claims Act, alleging Merck has defrauded the government through (i) Merck’s ongoing failure to disclose and efforts to conceal the alleged significantly diminished efficacy of its mumps vaccine, and (ii) Merck’s continued sale to the government of a vaccine that it allegedly falsely represents as having an efficacy rate significantly higher than it actually is.  Mr. Schnell defeated Merck’s motion to dismiss and the case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  See 2014 WL 4407969.
  • US ex rel. v. Rose Cancer Center — Mr. Schnell represented Kristi Beeson who reported Medicare fraud violations at her former employer Rose Cancer Center in Mississippi.   Ms. Beeson, who was a laboratory technician for the clinic, brought a qui tam action under the False Claims Act against the clinic alleging, among other things, unqualified technicians performing bone marrow biopsies, diluting chemotherapy drugs, and doctoring patient records to conceal the clinic’s fraudulent Medicare billings.  The physician who owned and ran the practice, Dr. Meera Sachdeva, pleaded guilty to various Medicare fraud violations, forfeited $5.7 million, and is now serving a 20 year prison sentence for her crimes.
  • Sealed Whistleblower Matters — Mr. Schnell is currently handling or investigating (or has recently done so) numerous whistleblower matters under the False Claims Act and SEC/CFTC whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act involving one or more of the following subject areas: Commodities/Securities Manipulation; Failure to Comply With Government Requirements/Standards; False Government Certifications; Financial Services Fraud; Government Contracting Fraud; Government Grant Fraud; Government Overcharges; Illegal Kickbacks; Illegal Upcoding; Medicare/Medicaid Fraud; Medicare Part C Fraud; Monopolization; Price-Fixing, Securities Fraud; Selling Defective Products; and Providing Unqualified, Unnecessary Healthcare Services.
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. et al. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc. and MasterCard Int’l Inc.  Mr. Schnell represented Wal-Mart, Sears, Safeway and a class of roughly 5 million U.S. merchants in this antitrust class action against Visa and MasterCard.  After the plaintiffs won summary judgment on a majority of the claims in this action, the parties settled with the plaintiffs recovering $3.05 billion and injunctive relief valued by the court at tens of billions of dollars more.  This landmark victory remains one of the largest antitrust settlements in U.S. history.  See 297 F. Supp. 2d 503, aff’d 396 F.3d 96.
  • Supreme Fuels v. IOTC.  Mr. Schnell represented Supreme Fuels, a multinational government/military supply contractor, in an antitrust/RICO action relating to the company’s loss of a $1 billion contract to supply fuel to the U.S. troops in Iraq.  The case was settled shortly after Mr. Schnell defeated the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case.  See 2009 WL 5128504.
  • Kearse v. Kaplan, Inc.  Mr. Schnell represented Kaplan in a proposed class action alleging a per se illegal market allocation agreement between Kaplan and BAR/BRI involving their respective LSAT and bar review prep courses.  Mr. Schnell successfully dismissed the action on the pleadings.  See 692 F. Supp. 2d 398.
  • Cherny v. Emigrant Bank.  Mr. Schnell represented Emigrant Bank in a proposed class action challenging certain conduct relating to the bank’s online banking practices.  Mr. Schnell successfully dismissed the action on the pleadings.  See 604 F. Supp. 2d 605.
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance et al. v. Service Corp. Int’l. et al.  Mr. Schnell represented a consumer rights group and individual consumers in a price-fixing/group boycott challenge against the three largest funeral home chains and largest casket maker in the U.S.  Mr. Schnell successfully argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals to reverse the district court’s dismissal of this action.  See 695 F.3d 330.
  • Kesmai Corp., et al. v. America Online, Inc. et al.  Mr. Schnell represented The News Corporation subsidiary Kesmai Corporation in this antitrust and fraud action against the former America Online.  This case settled on the eve of trial after Mr. Schnell defeated America Online’s motion to dismiss the case on summary judgment.
  • Dolan et al. v. Fidelity National Titles Ins. Co.  Mr. Schnell represented numerous consumers in this price-fixing challenge to the collective setting of New York title insurance rates by the country’s four largest title insurance companies.  Subsequent to the filing of the complaint and its front page coverage in the Wall Street Journal, more than 75 “copycat” actions were filed in numerous jurisdictions throughout the country.

Practice Groups

Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • New York

Publications

New FBI Whistleblower Protections Could Not Have Come At A Better Time(with Phillip Brown) Forbes (June13, 2017)
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Why you should care about National Whistleblower Appreciation Day The Hill, (August 22, 2016)
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Anatomy of an IRS Phone Scam (with Sarah Poppy Alexander) Think Advisor, (July 6, 2016)
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Trump University: A Foreboding US News and World Report, (April 28, 2016)
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New Clarity On FCA Public Disclosure Bar For Whistleblowers Law360, (March 30, 2016)
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Maybe Too Big To Jail, But Never Too Small Huffington Post, (March 7, 2016)
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Yes, We Need Whistleblower Rewards The FCPA Blog, (December 3, 2015)
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DOJ Scores Big With Record-breaking Alstom FCPA Sentence -- Who's Next On the DOJ'S FCPA Hit List? (with Eric R. Havian) Offshore Alert, (November 16, 2015)
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Deflategate's Ultimate Lesson: The NFL Needs a Whistleblower Program (with Tim McCormack) Huffington Post, (October 14, 2015)
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Moving Beyond the "Ag" In "Ag-Gag -- the Next Wave of Anti-Whistleblower Legislation? (with Molly Knobler) Huffington Post, (August 7, 2015)
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The hypocrisy of big-time college sports (with David Scupp) CNN, (April 1, 2014)
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Why Whistleblowers Like Edward Snowden Will Keep Running to the Press Business Insider, (Dec. 24, 2013)
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Bring In the Whistleblowers and Pay Them - the Next Logical Step In Advancing Antitrust Enforcement Competition Policy International, (November 2013)
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How to Prevent the Next Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden Roll Call, (June 27, 2013)
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Ag-Gag Laws Seek to Put Factory Farms Off-Limits to Whistleblowers The Hill, (May 9, 2013)
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Rutgers Scandal Just the Latest Example of the Need for Whistleblower Reform in College Sports College Sports Business News, (April 9, 2013)
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Some Greater Clarity on the FCPA's Reach Over Foreign Nationals Thompson Reuters , (April 2, 2013)
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Deterring Financial Crime -- Reconciling and Improving Upon the Diverging Approaches of U.S. Antitrust and Financial Regulation Competition Policy International, (March 2013)
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Lesson Learned from the Petraeus Affair - Intelligence Agents Need Whistleblower Protections Too The Hill, (November 27, 2012)
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NFL Falls Short In Protecting Its Bountygate Whistlebower Sports Business Journal, (November 5, 2012)
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Two U.S. Courts Offer Conflicting Guidance On Protections for Internal Reporting Thompson Reuters, (September 26, 2012)
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Dodd-Frank Provisions Cause Whistleblower Dilemma American Banker, (September 11, 2012)
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The Age of the Whistleblower — A Time of Greater Incentives, Protections and Appreciation for the Corporate Snitch Law 360, (September 6, 2012)
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Expanding Protections for Antitrust Whistleblowers — A Good Start But Not Nearly Enough The Hill, (August 6, 2012)
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How To Catch A Thief — Corporate Leniency And The Irrepressible Challenge Of Cartel Detection; Finding A Better Way Competition Policy International, (September 2011)
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We've been here before, and football on Sundays survived (with David Scupp) Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, (May 9-15, 2011 )
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The Real March Madness: The Failed BCS Championship and Why the Antitrust Laws Are Not the Answer (with David Scupp) Competition Law 360, (March 17, 2011 )
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Antitrust laws do not provide answer to reforming BCS (with David Scupp) Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, (August 23-29, 2010 )
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A Call to Albany: It's Time to Amend the Donnelly Act (with Sam Rikkers) New York Law Journal, (November 12, 2008)
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Exporting U.S. Competition Law Global Competition Review, April 2008, at pp.35-36
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RPM - What's all The Ruckus About? (with Jean Kim) Competition Law 360, February 6, 2008
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'Twombly' Pleading Standard: Good Idea, Bad Execution New York Law Journal, December 5, 2007
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Class Action Madness in Europe -- a Call for a More Balanced Debate European Competition Law Review, November 2007, at 617-19.
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Pfizer's Cholesterol Gambit: Dodging the Antitrust Laws? (with Michelle Peters) The New York Law Journal , Oct. 12, 2005, at 4 & 6.
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Exclusive Dealing The National Law Journal, Sept. 5, 2005, at 16.
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Patents and the Presumption of Market Power: the Latest Twist in Tying Law Andrews Antitrust Litigation Reporter, July 2005, at 15. Also published in Andrews Patent Litigation Reporter, July 2005, at 11; Andrews Software Law Bulletin, August 2005, at 8; and Andrews Computer and Internet Litigation Reporter, July 26, 2005, at 9.
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Exclusivity: The Right and Wrong Chain Store Age Magazine, June 2005, at 102.
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Repairing the Failed Debit Card Market: Lessons from an Historically Inventionist Federal Reserve and the Recent Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation 2 N.Y.U. J. of L. & Bus. 147, 2005.
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Will Your Merger Pass Regulatory Muster The Corporate Board, July/August 2004, at 18-22
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The Great Canadian Debit Debate Credit Card Management, May 2004, at 12
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Muzzling Telemarketers The National Law Journal, December 8, 2003, st 35
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An Antitrust Challenge to the National Resident Matching Program The New York Law Journal, August 2, 2002, at 4.
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"Cooperation Agreements" with Departing Employees: An Easy Way To Avoid a Whole Lot of Trouble In-House Practice & Management, July 2002.
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Iffy Prognosis For Intern Suit The National Law Journal, June 24, 2002, at A12.
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4(c) or Not 4(c): That Is the HSR Question New York Law Journal, March 28, 2002, at 5.
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Cooperation Agreements Legal Times, March 18, 2002, at 32.
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4(c) Disclosure: Don't Hold Anything Back The National Law Journal, February 4, 2002, at A24.
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The "Pull and Trigger:" A Simple Way to Side-Step The Dreaded HSR Second Request Andrew's Antitrust Litigation Reporter, December 2001, at 11.
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Antitrust Walk-Away Provisions The National Law Journal, December 10, 2001, at A19.
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The Do's and Don'ts of Premerger Coordination Between Buyers and Sellers Altman Weil In-House Practice & Management, November 2001, at 10-11.
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E-Payment Network Directors Risk Antitrust Scrutiny American Banker, September 7, 2001, at 6.
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The Merger Review Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Federal Merger Review American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, 1995 (contributing author)

SPEECHES/PRESENTATIONS

August 27, 2015 Whistleblowing in Antitrust: Prospects and Pitfalls American Bar Association presentation. Click here for audio recording.

June 14, 2013 Presentation at American Bar Association Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Committee meeting on recent developments in whistleblower legislation and litigation.
November 29, 2012
Presentation at American Bar Association Corporate Counseling Committee meeting on the current state of whistleblower legislation and antitrust enforcement.

November 17, 2011 Improving the Mighty BCS - But Not Through Antitrust: Presentation at Thomas Jefferson Law School's Center for Sports Law and Policy Conference on the BCS and the Future of Big-Time College Football, San Diego, CA. Click here for more.

May 7, 2008 European Commission "White Paper" On Private Antitrust Litigation Reform In The UK And Europe: Presentation at Centaur Conference, London, England.

April 24, 2007 The Case For And Against Antitrust Class Actions: Presentation at IBC Advanced EC Competition Law Conference, London, England.

June 5, 2006 The Extraterritorial Limits Of United States Competition Law: Presentation at International Law Association's Biennial Conference, Toronto, Canada.

March 3, 2005 Debit In The United States -- Where It's Going And From Where It Came: Presentation at IC Card World 2005, Tokyo, Japan.

April 15, 2004 The Future Of Debit In The Aftermath Of The Merchant Litigation Against Visa And Mastercard: Presentation to the PULSE EFT Board of Directors, St. Louis, Missouri.

June 26, 2002 An Overview Of The U.S. Merger Review Process: Presentation to invited guests at Constantine and Partners, New York, New York.

June 5, 2002 Antitrust Flash Points In The Consumer Products Industry: Presentation to Consumer Products Group at Deutsche Bank, New York, New York.

May 7, 2002 Antitrust Guidelines For Meetings Of Competitors: Presentation to JSTOR (The Scholarly Journal Archive) Annual Publishers Meeting, New York, New York.

May 2, 2002 The U.S. Merger Review Process -- What It Takes To Get It Done Quickly, Cheaply, And Effectively: Presentation to Westchester/Fairfield County Association of Corporate Counsel, Greenwich, Connecticut.

July 18, 2001 Antitrust Guidelines For Joint Venture Participation: Presentation to STAR EFT Network Advisory Board, Memphis, Tennessee.


The London office of Constantine Cannon is a separate and independent limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (with registered number OC376384) with a registered office at 1 Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7DX. Constantine Cannon LLP in London is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The professional rules applicable to the firm are available at the SRA website at www.sra.org.uk/rules.