Chris Lau and Joe Podwol Join Cornerstone Research


New hires from Federal Trade Commission and Antitrust Division of U.S. Department of Justice bring valuable antitrust, competition, and mergers experience.

Washington—Cornerstone Research, a leading provider of economic and financial consulting and expert testimony, announced today that Christopher Lau and Joseph Podwol have joined the firm as senior economists based in the Washington, DC, office.

At the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Dr. Lau served as lead economist on many merger investigations in a variety of industries, including hospitals, medical devices, retail, and distribution. On behalf of the FTC, he served as an expert witness in a hospital merger. Dr. Lau was also involved in the US Foods/SGA investigation and served on the FTC’s litigation team in the challenges of Staples/Office Depot (2015) and Otto Bock/Freedom Innovations.

“While at the FTC, I worked with Cornerstone Research on multiple occasions and was always impressed by the firm’s high-quality work, efficiency, integrity, and ingenuity,” noted Dr. Lau. “I am delighted to join the team now, and excited to apply my experience as an agency economist to address client challenges at all stages of the merger review process.”

Chris and Joe bring deep and wide-ranging experience from long tenure at the two key U.S. antitrust agencies.

—Kostis Hatzitaskos, Cohead, Antitrust and Competition Practice

Dr. Podwol served for a decade as an economist at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In that role, he led investigations into mergers and other competition issues in the airline, dairy, healthcare, pay television, and steel manufacturing industries. Dr. Podwol worked on various high-profile matters at the DOJ, including the American Airlines/JetBlue Northeast Alliance, CVS/Aetna, and DFA/Dean. He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, as well as the Victor Kramer Fellow at Harvard Law School.

“I am thrilled to join Cornerstone Research’s team of top-notch economists. The U.S. antitrust agencies and merging parties regularly retain the firm’s experts, a clear reflection of its outstanding work,” said Dr. Podwol. “I look forward to collaborating with clients and my new colleagues as we tackle issues posed by the ever-evolving antitrust enforcement landscape.”

With experience that spans many industries, Chris and Joe bring additional depth to our antitrust and competition practice and to our firm’s presence in Washington, DC.

—Rahul Guha, CEO

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Chris and Joe to Cornerstone Research. They bring deep and wide-ranging experience from long tenure at the two key U.S. antitrust agencies,” said Kostis Hatzitaskos, a vice president at the firm and cohead of the antitrust and competition practice. “They expand the consulting capabilities we provide to our clients, and will also serve as experts in the mergers, merger investigations, and related litigation on which we consult.”

“Chris’s and Joe’s work at the FTC and DOJ, together with their considerable economic expertise, provide insight and well-rounded perspectives on mergers and other antitrust matters,” said Cornerstone Research CEO Rahul Guha. “With experience that spans many industries, their knowledge brings additional depth to our antitrust and competition practice and to our firm’s presence in Washington, DC.”

Dr. Lau earned a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Northwestern University. Dr. Podwol holds a B.S. in economics and mathematics from Bradley University and a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

  • San Francisco

Christopher V. Lau

Senior Economist

  • Washington

Joseph Podwol

Senior Economist


Elisabeth Gaubinger
Cornerstone Research