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Press Release

Attorney General Eric Holder Welcomes Assistant Attorneys Generalfor Antitrust, Civil and Criminal Divisions

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Christine A. Varney, Tony West, Lanny A. Breuer, Confirmed by U.S. Senate as Assistant Attorneys General

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today welcomed the confirmation of three Assistant Attorneys General to the Department of Justice for the Antitrust, Civil and Criminal Divisions. Christine A. Varney of the Antitrust Division, Tony West of the Civil Division, and Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division were confirmed today by the U.S. Senate.

"These exceptional individuals will help lead the Department with dedication, sound judgment and integrity, whether it’s aggressively enforcing the antitrust laws, overseeing civil enforcement in the Department’s largest litigation division, or combating traditional crimes such as financial fraud or drug trafficking," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "I look forward to working with them to advance the interests of justice on behalf of the American people."

The mission of the Antitrust Division is to enforce the nation’s antitrust laws to protect and promote competition. In a competitive marketplace, U.S. consumers benefit from lower prices, better quality goods and services, and greater innovation.

Since 1997, Varney was a partner at Hogan & Hartson’s Washington, D.C. office heading up the firm’s Internet Practice Group. She was an associate at that firm from 1990 to 1992. Varney’s practice included providing advice and counsel on antitrust, regulatory, consumer protection, privacy and intellectual property in various industries, including technology, media, airlines and health care. She has also provided her expertise to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on international competition issues. She had rejoined Hogan & Hartson in 1997 after serving five years in the government.

From 1994 to 1997, Varney served as a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) working on a wide variety of technology-related issues including innovation markets, vertical theory and privacy issues in the information age. Prior to becoming an FTC Commissioner, Varney was Secretary to the Cabinet in the Clinton Administration.

She is a member of several committees of the American Bar Association including the Antitrust Section and served as Chair of the Committee on Election Law. She has lectured in the United States and abroad and has published articles on a variety of issues, including the computer industry, media, and privacy and data security.

Varney received her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1986. She received her M.P.A. from Syracuse University in 1978, and her B.A. from The State University of New York, University at Albany in 1977.

The Civil Division, which functions as the government’s law firm, represents the United States, its departments and agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet officers and other federal employees. It is the Department’s largest litigation division.

Before coming to the Department, West was a litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. His trial practice included representing individuals and companies in civil and criminal matters.

West previously served as state Special Assistant Attorney General, an appointee of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. In that capacity, he advised the California Attorney General on various matters including high-tech crime, identity theft, the Microsoft antitrust litigation, police officer training, civil rights and police misconduct.

From 1994 to 1999, West served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. From 1993 through 1994, he served as a Special Assistant in the Department under the direction of Deputy Attorneys General Philip Heymann and Jamie Gorelick, as well as Attorney General Janet Reno. West worked on the development of national crime policy, including the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill.

West graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1987, where he served as publisher of the Harvard Political Review, and received his law degree, in 1992, from Stanford Law School, where he was elected President of the Stanford Law Review.

The Criminal Division’s more than 700 attorneys and support personnel develop, enforce and supervise the application of all federal criminal laws, except those specifically assigned to other divisions.

Before coming to the Department, Breuer was a partner at Covington & Burling LLP’s Washington, D.C. office, where he co-chaired the firm’s white collar defense and investigations practice group and served as vice-chair of the pro bono committee. Breuer first joined the firm in 1989, where he specialized in white collar criminal and complex civil litigation, internal corporate investigations, congressional investigations, antitrust cartel proceedings and other matters involving high-profile legal and political risks.

From 1997 to 1999, Breuer served as special counsel to former President William J. Clinton. Earlier in his career, Breuer was an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan from 1985 to 1989, where he prosecuted various criminal cases including murder, gang violence, armed robbery, child abuse, burglary, white collar crime and larceny. Breuer has been recognized as a leading litigator by numerous publications, and he is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Breuer received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 1980. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1985, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar .

Updated October 22, 2014

Consumer Protection
Press Release Number: 09-370