United States: New York
The only antitrust boutique in our New York rankings, AXINN VELTROP & HARKRIDER remains a go-to firm for some of the most significant US antitrust matters, including the defence of its long-time client Google. Partners John Harkrider and DC-based Michael Keeley lead the firm’s New York competition team, which includes almost 30 attorneys.
Axinn remains Google’s go-to counsel for matters related to its advertising business, and it currently represents the platform in investigations by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Texas attorney general. But preparing Google for the most high-profile US antitrust probe in two decades remains just a part of its work. Harkrider and Keeley led for Thermo Fisher Scientific on its attempted $12.5 billion purchase of molecular diagnostics company QIAGEN. The merger received a second request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in April 2020 before the parties abandoned the deal after QIAGEN failed to secure enough shareholder support to proceed. Working alongside partners Nicholas Gaglio and Peter Herrick, Harkrider advised Stone Point Capital on its acquisition of Coventry Workers’ Comp Services from CVS Health, securing the green light from the Antitrust Division.
Gaglio and Herrick also advised Centerbridge’s KIK Custom Products on the sale of its personal care business to Voyant Beauty. Partner Lisl Dunlop is leading for Tufts Health Plan in its proposed tie-up with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care following a second request from the DOJ. In the Auto Parts multi-district litigation, Axinn helped the Nishikawa Group resolve claims it fixed prices for body-sealing products and also secured a dismissal for Friedrich Boysen GmbH related to automotive exhaust products.
United States: Washington, DC
Practice co-chair Michael Keeley heads the DC office at antitrust and intellectual property boutique AXINN VELTROP & HARKRIDER. Following the addition of former deputy assistant attorney general Leslie Overton in August 2019, the firm has continued to beef up its partnership. In March 2020, Axinn recruited Qualcomm in-house antitrust counsel Koren Wong-Ervin, who previously served as FTC counsel for intellectual property and international antitrust and was also an attorney adviser to Commissioner Joshua Wright during his time at the agency. The firm’s DC operation now features nine partners, three counsel and 25 associates who focus on antitrust.
Wong-Ervin and Overton are counsel to Google in pending investigations into the company’s advertising business. DC partners Rachel Adcox and Tiffany Rider are leading the defence for Tyson Foods in class action litigation alleging industry-wide conspiracies to raise the prices of broiler chickens, pork, turkey and beef. Adcox and Keeley are also guiding the defence of pharmaceutical company Alvogen in states’ multi-district litigation against generic drug manufacturers. Alvogen was brought into the case in late 2019 and is accused of conspiring to raise prices of generic medications through the allocation of markets. Partner Jeny Maier has taken the lead on Axinn’s representation of solar energy provider Sunrun in its $3.2 billion acquisition of Vivint Solar.
Axinn combines the skills, experience and dedication of the world's largest firms with the focus, responsiveness, efficiency and attention to client needs of the best boutiques. The firm was established in the late 1990s by lawyers from premier Wall Street firms with a common vision: provide the highest level of service and strategic acumen in antitrust, intellectual property and high-stakes litigation. Axinn’s lawyers have served as lead or co-lead counsel on nearly half a trillion dollars in transactions and, in the last 10 years alone, have handled more than 250 litigations.
High-stakes M&A experience
Axinn's M&A practice is led by some of the nation's most experienced and respected antitrust lawyers. The firm's track record of obtaining global clearance of combinations of significant rivals has built Axinn's reputation as a "go-to" firm for strategic mergers and acquisitions. Axinn combines its extensive experience before numerous antitrust agencies (eg, DOJ, FTC, EC, MOFCOM, CADE, JFTC, KFTC and TTFC) with its ability to develop and present sophisticated econometric arguments, in order to obtain clearance of mergers and acquisitions that at first blush seem to raise insurmountable difficulties.
High-stakes litigation experience
Axinn's antitrust litigation practice is defined by its deep experience and by the sophisticated yet practical approach it has applied to a wide variety of major cases. Its lawyers have handled all types of antitrust claims and have litigated in numerous industries, including: aerospace; automotive parts; avionics; biotechnology; cable television; chemicals; data storage; distilled spirits; earth-moving equipment; entertainment; factory automation; health care; manufacturing; pharmaceuticals; plastics; power tools; and telecommunications.
High-stakes government investigation experience
In an aggressive enforcement landscape, a company’s choice of cartel counsel is critical. Its lawyers must not only be trusted advisors and advocates, but global strategists, skilled negotiators and experienced litigators. Axinn bring all of these skills to the table. Its lawyers have worked on the two largest price-fixing investigations of the last decade, and have represented companies and individuals in criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice, the Canadian Competition Bureau, the European Commission and other worldwide authorities. Axinn takes an integrated approach and handles all aspects of the representation, including compliance programmes, internal investigations, government investigations, criminal proceedings and civil litigation. The firm recognises that success requires a clear understanding of its clients’ goals and values, and of the unique challenges posed by every investigation. It uses this understanding to provide real strategic options rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Axinn provides trusted guidance on antitrust issues that are central to its clients’ strategic goals as well as those that arise in their daily business. In particular, the firm has deep experience advising clients on issues arising at the intersection of the antitrust and intellectual property laws, including standard-setting and FRAND issues. The firm also is often called upon to conduct internal investigations or to develop and implement antitrust compliance programmes.