United States: New York
At Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider, antitrust practice co-chair John 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. The addition of Morris Bloom, who joined the practice after 27 years at the FTC in January, was a valuable boost for the practice.
Harkrider says 2012 has been “the best year ever” for the firm. The practice was doubly successful at the GCR Awards: Harkrider was named “Lawyer of the Year” while the firm won “Merger Control Matter of the Year” for its work on Google’s acquisition of airfare search software company ITA Software. The firm was also appointed by Google to work on its acquisition of Motorola and in connection with the FTC’s ongoing investigation of standard essential patents.
The Axinn team also advises Red Hat in what Harkrider says is a growing interest in open-source software patent issues. The firm this year guided auto parts markers Affinia Group and WIX Filters towards a settlement ending four-and-a-half year private litigation. Axinn is also representing engineering company Tomkin in its battle with the European Commission and defending Takeda Pharmaceuticals against monopolisation claims.
United State: Government Antitrust
Who’s Who Legal nominee John DeQ Briggs leads the DC office of the rising star Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider. A skilled litigator who can handle the gamut of antitrust issues, Briggs has taken the lead for the firm’s growing cartel practice over the past two years or so. This year he is joined by former FTC official Morris Bloom, who joined the Axinn team as counsel. This year the firm also moved to a far larger DC office, allowing the boutique to grow when opportunity arises.
Google remains a headline client, with the firm helping to guide it through its closed purchase of Motorola Mobility and the FTC’s ensuing investigation of its enforcement of standard-essential patents – although that work has been primarily handled out of the New York office. Briggs has a full docket of his own, advising Tomkins in the appeal of an EU cartel fine, and Independence Blue Cross in a multi-district antitrust class action. Fellow DC partner Michael Keeley is advising Takeda Pharmaceuticals in a monopolisation case against Tyco Healthcare. While the firm is involved in several government investigations that remain confidential, they include clients in the health-care, high-tech and consumer goods sectors.
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider is a boutique law firm composed of a select group of the finest lawyers from the best firms dedicated to three practice areas: antitrust, intellectual property and litigation. Unencumbered by the characteristics of larger firms, Axinn has proved to be agile, efficient, responsive, and deeply involved in its clients’ issues. Notwithstanding its size (almost 60 lawyers), Axinn is called upon to handle clients’ largest and most strategically critical matters.
Axinn has worked on many of the most significant antitrust matters in the last year. Founding partner and antitrust practice co-chair John Harkrider won Lawyer of the Year - Worldwide and also was co-lead counsel on Merger Control Matter of the Year - Americas.
Partner and antitrust practice co-chair 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 Harkrider have built a formidable and multifaceted practice that finds itself on deals much larger firms would covet.
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