United States: New York
Led by John D Harkrider, a Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominee alongside fellow name partner Stephen M Axinn, the AXINN VELTROP & HARKRIDER team punches significantly above its weight as a highly regarded boutique with no corporate department – it is brought onto deals just for antitrust work. The Ball Corporation tapped partners Harkrider, Nick Gaglio and Mark Alexander to coordinate globally for its proposed US$6.7 billion purchase of rival can maker Rexam. Brazil’s competition authority has raised concerns, the FTC and DG Comp are investigating in depth, and filings also have been made to Russian, Turkish, Mexican and Serbian competition authorities. Axinn, Gaglio, Daniel Bitton and Russell Steinthal counselled private equity group HIG Capital’s subsidiary Caraustar in acquiring The Newark Group, which received a second request but was ultimately cleared without a remedy. Other merger matters included SunGard’s sale to US$9 billion sale to Fidelity National Information Services, and Thermo Fisher Scientific’s US$300 million acquisition of Advanced Scientifics.
United States: Washington, DC
Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider’s DC antitrust practice chair John Briggs and partner Michael Keeley win plaudits as “excellent lawyers” who have doubled the number of partners since the last Washington bar survey with the addition of Richard Dagen from the FTC and Rachel Adcox from the DoJ. Axinn attorneys and their rivals both say the firm has built a strong practice despite the lack of a corporate practice to feed deals and clients, or perhaps because of that lack and the corresponding absence of conflicts. The firm’s eponymous co-founder John Harkrider is based in New York and appears on most deals that involve his DC colleagues, including the US$13 billion tie-up of Thermo Fisher and Life Technologies and US$415 million Cegedim/IMS Health merger.
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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