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.
AVH advises clients regarding the antitrust implications of all types of business combinations, including mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. AVH has earned an unsurpassed reputation for its ability to obtain antitrust clearance for some of the most challenging mergers and acquisitions in recent years, including representing: Google in its $700 million acquisition of ITA as well as in its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility; Omnicare in its proposed acquisition of PharMerica and its successful acquisition of NeighborCare; Tyson in its sale of assets to George’s, Bemis in its acquisition of Alcan’s packaging assets; SunGard in its $1.7 billion sale of Higher Education to Datatel; and Thermo Fisher Scientific in its $2.1 billion acquisition of Dionex.
The firm also has significant experience litigating combinations challenged by antitrust agencies, including Tyson’s sale of assets to George’s, GHI in the City of New York’s challenge to the merger of GHI and HIP and SunGard’s acquisition of Comdisco.
The firm has significant experience in defending private treble damage actions under Section 1 and Section 2 of the Sherman, including cases brought as class actions and individual corporate plaintiffs. Similarly, the firm has experience representing foreign and domestic entities in criminal antitrust investigations and related proceedings.
The firm also has special and substantial experience advising clients on the dynamic intersection between antitrust and intellectual property law, including Hatch-Waxman litigation, patent pooling and standards-setting issues.
In addition to the companies mentioned above, AVH currently represents Airbus SAS, Ball Corporation, EmblemHealth, Hexcel, Independence Blue Cross, MasterCard, Take-Two Interactive Software, United Technologies Corporation and Wix filtration LLC, among others.
New York, NY
114 West 47th Street
NY, NY 10036
John D. Harkrider – (212) 728 2210
90 State House Square
Hartford, CT 06103-3704
Mark D. Alexander – (860) 275-8130
950 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
John DeQ. Briggs – (202) 721-5400
Michael L. Keeley – (202) 721-5414