GCR 100 - 12th Edition

Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider

27 January 2012

United States: Government Antitrust

Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider partner and Who’s Who Legal nominee John DeQ Briggs was one of the first, and most senior, defections from Howrey when he left for Axinn in 2008.

Since then, Briggs and antitrust co-head John Harkrider have built a formidable and multifaceted DC practice that, while lean, finds itself on deals much larger firms would covet. “We can handle any transaction,” Briggs says of the firm’s capabilities. “There’s nothing we can’t do.”

The Axinn team in DC has expanded considerably since Briggs joined the practice - they are currently in the process of moving to a larger office - and the team plans to add more antitrust firepower in this year, including former FTC official Morris Bloom. The team has an antitrust docket overflowing with major deals, including advising on Google’s proposed purchase of Motorola Mobility and Omnicare in its hostile offer for PharMerica, which is currently under second request review. The team also advised Tyson Foods in its merger with George’s, and then the Axinn team successfully defended George’s against the DoJ’s lawsuit challenging the deal. Other clients include SunGard, Affinia, Wix, Tomkins and United Health Care. In all, the team is currently handling clients involved in four second-request reviews by the antitrust agencies.

United States: New York

Who’s Who Legal nominee John Harkrider says 2011 has been “the best year we’ve ever had” at the New York headquarters of Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider. Over the years, antitrust practice co-chair Harkrider and name partner Stephen Axinn have built a boutique capable of handling the most contentious and complex matters without a corporate practice to lean on.

There’s no better example of that ability than the firm’s representation of Google in its now-cleared deal with airfare search software company ITA. The team also advises Red Hat in what Harkrider says is a growing interest in open-source software patent issues. The team has also advised UFC in an investigation by the FTC, HIP Foundation and Group Health in a substantial market definition merger case that reached the Second Circuit court of appeals, and Omnicare in anther Second Circuit case alleging a conspiracy to lower the cost of drug reimbursements.

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