Wrede H. Smith, III Partner

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Wrede has a wide-ranging antitrust practice, spanning merger clearance, civil litigation, criminal investigations, and antitrust counseling. He represents clients with consumer protection issues before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in private litigation, and on counseling matters.

Wrede works with companies in all stages of merger clearance: crafting antitrust provisions in purchase agreements, filing Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Notification and Report Forms, advocating before government agencies across the globe, and when necessary, engaging in merger litigation.

Wrede’s litigation and investigations practice involves defending clients against allegations of price fixing, bid rigging, monopolization, and other antitrust claims. His consumer protection experience includes compliance with the FTC’s “Made in USA” rule and other matters under Section 5 of the FTC Act and other FTC statutes. 

Wrede is a fifth-generation owner of a family business and brings a unique perspective to counseling closely-held and family-owned businesses on antitrust, consumer protection, and other issues. 

Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Wrede practiced antitrust law at a Washington, DC law firm and was a trial attorney in the Defense, Aerospace, and Industrials section of DOJ’s Antitrust Division, where he investigated and analyzed mergers and acquisitions in a wide variety of industries, including telecommunications, banking, aeronautics, defense, and mining. During his time at the DOJ, he played an integral role in the investigation into Comcast Corporation’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Inc.


  • Represented a publicly traded technology company in DOJ merger clearance investigation into its sale to competitor.
  • Represented a private equity firm in the FTC’s investigation into $425 million sale of portfolio company to competitor.
  • Represented consumer products company subject to FTC investigation into “Made in USA” marketing; investigation closed without formal enforcement action or penalties.
  • Represented an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation in connection with its sale. The transaction was reviewed and approved by antitrust enforcers in the U.S., EU, and almost 30 other jurisdictions. DOJ’s investigation led to what DOJ characterized at the time as “the largest negotiated merger divestiture ever required by the United States.”
  • Represented a third-party and key witness in DOJ’s first-ever arbitration hearing to challenge a proposed merger.
  • Represented a Korean fuel refiner in DOJ criminal and civil antitrust and False Claims Action investigation and subsequent plea agreement and settlement.
  • Represented a pharmaceuticals company in federal and state class action and non-class action litigation alleging antitrust and marketing-related claims regarding its leading product.
  • Represented an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation in connection with the proposed sale of a subsidiary, including in DOJ initiated litigation to block the transaction.
  • Drafted antitrust compliance program for rapidly expanding healthcare company.
  • Counseled clients across many industries on antitrust implications of major corporate transaction, including Hart-Scott-Rodino notification in the U.S. and coordinating pre-merger filings in other jurisdictions.
  • Represent various pro bono clients in antitrust matters before the FTC, landlord-tenant matters, and immigration matters.