Joseph Wayland, the Justice Department’s Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, said in a newspaper interview that he is leaving the department on Nov. 16.
Wayland has not indicated what his next career move will be, but sources told the Wall Street Journal that he will likely return to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. He said he has been commuting from New York to Washington, D.C., for more than two years and it is time for him to move on. He said he wanted to wait until after the election to announce his intention to depart.
“It’s time for me to go,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “I’ve been serving on borrowed time for some time.”
Wayland came to the department in September 2010 as the division’s First Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Litigation. In that position, he helped the division in its first successful trial in almost 10 years. The litigation team blocked H&R Block Inc. from acquiring TaxAct last year. He also helped the department secure a victory in blocking AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA. AT&T announced last December it was dropping its $39 billion bid to purchase T-Mobile.
“I think they were significant both for the division and for the development of antitrust jurisprudence,” Wayland said of those cases Wednesday.
William Baer has been nominated to fill the Antitrust Division chief position, but the Arnold & Porter LLP parnter is still awaiting Senate confirmation. The Wall Street Journal speculated that possible candidates for the job on an interim basis are Leslie Overton and Renata Hesse, both Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals.