Sean Royall


Sean Royall is a partner in Kirkland’s Dallas and Washington, D.C., offices and focuses on antitrust and consumer protection from both the litigation and government investigations perspectives.

Sean previously served in a high-level position at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as the Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, where he played a prominent role in shaping and overseeing the agency’s antitrust enforcement agenda. In that capacity, Sean supervised the FTC’s investigations of many major mergers and acquisitions and also served as lead trial counsel in a landmark patent-related monopolization suit the FTC brought against computer chip designer Rambus Inc. Since leaving the government and returning to private practice in 2003, in addition to his decades of distinction as a nationally prominent antitrust attorney, Sean has become one of the leading lawyers in the country handling complex consumer protection matters involving marketing and advertising practices, privacy, and data security, often in relation to investigations and enforcement actions brought by the FTC and state attorneys general.

Signaling the breadth and scope of his practice, Sean recently served as lead counsel for Facebook in connection with the FTC’s extensive investigation of Facebook’s privacy-related practices (a publicly announced settlement of this matter is presently pending judicial approval) and in 2018, representing AT&T, was a member of the trial team that successfully defended the company’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner against the Department of Justice’s lawsuit challenging that transaction. In addition to his trial-level litigation work, Sean has handled and argued multiple appeals in circuit courts around the country.

Drawing upon his decades of experience in antitrust, consumer protection, federal court litigation, and government investigations, Sean regularly counsels clients on a wide range of strategic and compliance-related issues, including mergers, joint ventures, pricing and distribution practices, strategic patent and intellectual property issues, advertising, marketing and e-commerce strategies, data security, and privacy compliance. Sean is also a frequent author on cutting-edge legal issues arising in the highly dynamic areas in which he practices.

Sean has been ranked Band 1 in Antitrust by Chambers USA for nearly two decades. He has also received multiple “Lawyer of the Year” distinctions from The Best Lawyers in America, and has been included by Law360 on a select list of national Antitrust “MVPs,” among other distinctions.