John DeQ. Briggs has long been regarded as one of the most accomplished competition lawyers of his generation. For over 35 years, Mr. Briggs has been the antitrust and litigation counsel of choice for major companies in the United States and abroad. Mr. Briggs is currently Co-Chair of Axinn’s Antitrust Group and Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, DC office, where his practice is focused on antitrust and other complex civil litigation. Prior to joining Axinn, Mr. Briggs served for more than 10 years as the Chair of the antitrust practice for Howrey LLP, during that time the largest private antitrust practice in the world. Mr. Briggs is also a past Chair of the American Bar Association’s nine thousand member Section of Antitrust Law.
- Mr. Briggs has served as an expert witness on US antitrust law at the behest of companies and law firms in proceedings around the world, including Australia, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Mr. Briggs has represented one or both merging parties in fully litigated successful merger cases against both the FTC and the DOJ and was engaged as Special Trial Counsel by the Comptroller of the Currency to defend at trial a bank merger approved by the Comptroller yet challenged by the DOJ.
- Mr. Briggs has been lead counsel for antitrust non-merger and other complex business disputes in the federal or state courts of more than twenty states, and has been lead counsel on appellate matters in the Supreme Court and in the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits.
- Mr. Briggs has been recognized by his peers and by numerous publications as at the top of his field. For example: he is a repeat recipient of BTI Client Services “All Star” Award based on nominations by Fortune 1000 Chief Legal Officers for “client focus, delivery of results, and exceptional understanding of clients’ business; the Global Competition Review featured him as one of a small number of antitrust lawyers enjoying “A Decade at the Top” and otherwise has characterized him as a "Great Courtroom Lawyer”; he has been recognized for a decade as a “Washington, DC Superlawyer”; has been named among the “Best lawyers in America” each year since at least 2005; and is highly rated by numerous other rating publications in the United States and Europe.
- American Bar Association, Antitrust Law Section: Chairman (1995-1996); Program Officer (1993-1994); Secretary (1991-1992); Chairman of Editorial Board of Antitrust Law Developments (1984-1989)
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Bureau of National Affairs’ Antitrust and Trade Regulation Report (1994-present)
- Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
- Member of the Advisory Board of Law360 since late 2010
- Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia: Board of Trustees (1996-2010)
Representative Matters as Lead Counsel: 2001-2015
Affinia Group and its affiliate Wix Filtration in a multidistrict price fixing class actions in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in transactional matters.
Checkpoint Systems in vacating an $80 million adverse antitrust jury verdict procured by a rival and in defending that outcome on appeal to the third circuit.
Confidential Chinese and Japanese clients in connection with US antitrust matters, criminal and civil.
Dana Corporation in a variety of matters, including: (1) its successful antitrust defense to the hostile cash tender offer mounted by ArvinMeritor; (2) a series of veil piercing and contract litigations arising out of the company’s ownership of a long-defunct producer of asbestos products, and (3) the successful defense of a RICO class action case.
Harris Holdings plc in litigation brought against it and affiliates by the FTC and certain States.
Hexcel in its defense of a large contract claim by Hercules in the New York Supreme Court and in its pursuit of a price fixing claim against BP in California federal court, among other matters.
Independence Blue Cross in connection with an ongoing multidistrict class action pending in Birmingham, Alabama; in its defense of a claim for monopolization and monopolization brought by a local hospital; and in connection with transactional matters.
Louisiana Health Services Inc. in the defense and mediated settlement of a claim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act brought by a consortium of HCA-owned hospitals in Louisiana.
Medco in connection with a confidential class arbitration matter as well as other matters.
Merck in connection with the defense of antitrust claims made against it by plaintiffs claiming to have been injured by the company’s assertion of legitimate patent rights and in related counseling matters.
Tomkins plc in the defense of a price discrimination case in federal court in New York brought by nearly one hundred plaintiffs and in a cartel proceeding in Europe and associated appeals to the general Court and the European Court of Justice.
Rockwell Automation in a cluster of nine interrelated patent/antitrust cases.
Rockwell Collins in connection with the defense of a monopolization claim brought against it by an avionics rival and defending the favorable judgment in the federal court of appeals.
Rockwell International in its opposition before the European Commission to the combination of GE and Honeywell.
Quantum in connection with complex private litigations and class actions against itarising out of certain IP licensing programs as well as in its acquisition of Certance and others.
Tomkins plc in the defense of a price discrimination case in federal court in New York brought by nearly one hundred plaintiffs and in a cartel proceeding in Europe and associated appeals to the General Court and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Representative Matters as Lead Counsel: 1991-2000
Ameristeel, Cargill and some nineteen other steel companies in the prosecution and settlement of a treble damage price fixing case brought against the members of a worldwide cartel of producers of graphite electrodes, achieving settlements in the area of two hundred million dollars.
Dana Corporation in several litigated matters, including: (1) a substantial veil piercing case brought by the creditors of an insolvent captive reinsurance subsidiary; (2) the successful pursuit of a RICO and contract claim against a health insurance company; and (3) multiple litigations involving the alleged liability of Dana (as shareholder) to building owners and certain individuals arising out of the production and sale of asbestos products by a long-defunct and dissolved former subsidiary of the company.
Gates Corporation in its defense of antitrust counterclaims brought by Bando in response to a suit for patent infringement.
Rockwell International in many litigated matters including: (1) a veil piercing case brought by the creditors of the company’s captive Bermudian reinsurance subsidiary; (2) a successful patent misuse defense against Motorola’s multi-billion dollar patent claims, and (3) litigation under the Cartwright Act.
Prudential Reinsurance Co. in Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. California, 509 U.S. 764 (1993), the leading case dealing with the limitations of the boycott exception to the insurance immunity provided under the McCarran-Ferguson Act as well as the extraterritorial reach of the Sherman Act. Acted as lead counsel in the district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as well.
Uniroyal-Goodrich Tire Co. in private antitrust litigation as well as in various transactions, including the sale of the enterprise to Michelin.
Representative Matters as Lead/Trial Counsel: 1973-1990
Black & Decker in the successful litigated defense of the DOJ challenge to the company’s acquisition of McCulloch, and in a variety of other matters.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Manufacturers’ Association as amici curiae in the Supreme Court in Copperweld v. Independence Tube Corporation, 467 U.S. 752 (1984).
Caterpillar in Merican, Inc. v. Caterpillar Tractor Co. (1983) (a leading third circuit case on the standing of certain indirect purchasers to sue indirect suppliers for damages under the Sherman Act) and in a number of dealer termination proceedings.
Crompton Corporation (and its predecessor Uniroyal Chemical Company) in connection with various matters.
Dana Corporation in a wide variety of litigated matters, government investigations and transactions.
Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) in Louisiana litigation brought against an entire industry by Schwegmann Bros. Giant Super Markets (as to DISCUS, the court found the council’s attempts to influence public officials exempt from antitrust laws under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine).
McCulloch Corporation in California antitrust litigation brought under federal and state antitrust statutes
Monroe Auto Equipment Company in the fully litigated merger litigation instituted by the FTC against Monroe and the purchaser of its shares, Tenneco, Inc.
Uniroyal, Inc. in various litigations and also in connection with transactional matters.
Special trial counsel for The U.S. Comptroller of the Currency in the successful defense of a fully litigated bank merger approved by the Comptroller and opposed by the Department of Justice.
“Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” recognized John Briggs as a leading attorney in Antitrust
“The Best of the Best” and a Washington, DC Super Lawyer (2004-2016)
“Best Lawyers in America” each year since 2005
An article by John Briggs and co-author, Donald I. Baker was nominated and short-listed for the Academic Articles category, General Antitrust section. “Rethinking US Antitrust Policy and Administration: Joining the Rest of the World in the 21st Century” is published in "William E. Kovacic - An Antitrust Tribute, Vol. II" by the Institute of Competition Law, October 2014.
Featured by Global Competition Review as one of a small number of antitrust lawyers enjoying “A Decade at the Top” (August 2007)
Repeat recipient of BTI Client Services “All Star” Award based on repeat nominations by Fortune 1000 Chief Legal Officers for “client focus, delivery of results, and exceptional understanding of clients’ business (2005-2007)
- Axinn Attorneys Named in Super Lawyers® 2016
- Six Axinn Partners Named to the 2017 List of Best Lawyers in America
- Eight Axinn Partners Recognized by Chambers USA
- Three Axinn Antitrust Partners Included in “Who’s Who in Legal”
- Axinn Partners Named to the 2016 List of Best Lawyers in America
- Axinn Attorneys Named in Super Lawyers® 2015
- Six Axinn Partners Ranked by Chambers USA
- John Briggs Wins 2015 Antitrust Writing Award
- Matt Becker, Jim Veltrop, John Briggs, Steve Axinn and Fran Morrison Named to the List of 2015 Best Lawyers in America
- Axinn Attorneys Named in Super Lawyers® 2014
- John Harkrider and John Briggs Recognized at 2014 Antitrust Writing Awards
- GCR 100 Ranks Axinn as "Highly Recommended"
- Axinn Earns Tier 1 in "Best Law Firms"
- Tomkins PLC Win in the European Court of Justice
- GCR Rates Axinn's Antitrust Practice as "Highly Recommended"
- Axinn's Antitrust Practice "Highly Recommended" in Global Competition Review Survey
- Axinn Partners Named to Super Lawyers Business Edition 2011
- Axinn Partner Selected to The Best Lawyers in America 2012
- Axinn Partner Named to DC Super Lawyers 2011
- Axinn's Antitrust Practice "Highly Recommended" in Global Competition Review Survey
- The International Legal Alliance Recognizes Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP as One of the Top Antitrust Firms in the U.S.
- Axinn Recognized Among the Best Antitrust Practices in NY by Global Competition Review Magazine
- Axinn Attorney Named Washington D.C. Super Lawyer 2010
- Axinn Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition - January/February 2010
- Axinn Attorney Named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer 2009
- View More ›
Articles & Newsletters
- Amazon Japan Raided By Antitrust Watchdog, August 8, 2016
- FTC Drops West Virginia Hospital Merger Challenge, Global Competition Review, July 8, 2016
- U.S. Lawsuit Against Activist ValueAct Puts Mutual Funds on Alert, Reuters, April 12, 2016
- ChemChina Nears Deal to Buy Syngenta, The Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2016
- GE-Electrolux Merger Failure Offers Cautionary Tale, Law360, December 7, 2015
- Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Extraterritoriality and Comity, Fall 2015
- U.S. Antitrust Enforcers Could Undo Valeant Lens Monopoly - Lawyers, Daily Mail, October 29, 2015
- 2nd Circ. To Weigh Chinese Gov't Role In Vitamin C Appeal, Law360, January 28, 2015
- Schrödinger’s Cat and Extraterritoriality, Antitrust Magazine, Fall 2014
- 7th Circ.'s Motorola Case May Hinder DOJ's Foreign Reach, Law360, November 10, 2014
- Dollar Tree May Beat Hostile Bid on Antitrust Review, Law360, September 10, 2014
- Competition Cases To Watch As 2014 Rolls On, Law360, August 12, 2014
Eurotunnel and the Short Sea Battle Between the French and the English: A U.S. Perspective, Revue Concurrences N° 1-2014, Art. N° 62589 (Feb. 2014) (with Daniel K. Oakes).
- Rethinking U.S. Antitrust Policy and Administration: Joining the Rest of the World in the 21st Century, Liber Americorum, "William E. Kovacic - An Antitrust Tribute, Vol. II" by the Institute of Competition Law (with Donald I. Baker).
- The Supreme Court's 21st Century Section 2 Jurisprudence: Penelope or Thermopylae? 11 Sedona Conf. J. 137 (2010) (with Daniel Matheson).
- In Reversal, DOJ now Targeting Monopolization – Antitrust Division disavows Bush policies, plans to enforce §2 of the Sherman Act rigorously, The National Law Journal (November 2, 2009).
- Developments in the Law: The Presumption of Shareholder Liability and the Implications for Shareholders in Private Damages Actions, Global Competition Litigation Review (Issue 4, 2009) (with Sarah Jordan).
- EU and U.S. “Competing” via their Competition Regimes, European Affairs (2009).
- Intellectual Property and Antitrust: Two Scorpions in a Bottle, The Sedona Conference Journal (Volume 10, Fall 2009).
- The Incredible Shrinking Scale and Scope of American Antitrust 1976-2007, presented to the Sedona Conference, October 26-27, 2007.
- Presumed Guilty: Shareholder Liability for A Subsidiary’s Infringements of Article 81 EC Treaty, 8 Bus, Law Int’l (2007) (with Sarah Jordan), also available sub. nom. Présumé Coupable: Responsibilité de l’actionnaire pour les infractions commises par une filiale à l’Article 81 du Traité Instituant Le Communauté Européenne.
- The Unsettled and Unsettling Nature of U.S. Competition Law Governing Single Firm Conduct, presented to The Sedona Conference, October 27, 2006.
- Unilateral Conduct by “Dominant” Firms in the US: Principles and Practicalities, 2005 Competition Law Invitational Forum, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada 2005 (with Barbara O. Bruckmann).
- The Strange State of American Law Relating to Unilateral Conduct by “Dominant” Firms, Presented before The Conference of the International Bar Association, Auckland, New Zealand, October 27, 2004 (with Barbara O. Bruckmann).
- Foreign Purchasers Limited in Mounting Antitrust Suits in U.S. Courts, But Door not Closed all the Way, The Daily Deal, July (2004).
- Trends in Private Antitrust Enforcement: The Monopolist Next Door, The Antitrust Review of The Americas 2003 (with James Kress).
- Live and Let Die, 10 George Mason L. Rev. 3 (April, 2002) (with Howard Rosenblatt).
- A Bundle of Trouble: The Aftermath of GE/Honeywell, Antitrust Magazine, Fall, 2001 (with Howard Rosenblatt).
- Transatlantic Antitrust: Convergence or Divergence, Roundtable Discussion, Antitrust Magazine, Fall, 2001 (with Francisco-Enrique Gonzalez-Diaz, Bruce Korgut, and Carl Shapiro).
- GE-Honeywell: Chill or Challenge for Global Cooperation? Antitrust Report, September, 2001 (with James F. Rill).
- Single Firm Conduct and Developments in Private Antitrust Litigation, The Antitrust Review of the Americas (November, 2000) (with Margaret Zwisler).
- Antitrust 2001,Co-Chair (with William P. Barr) of a two day program on antitrust sponsored by Fulcrum, Inc and featuring the leading five officials from both the FTC and the DOJ (September 28-29, 2000).
- The FTC on an Antitrust Tear, The Corporate Legal Times, Special Supplement on Litigation and Technology (June, 2000) (with Scott Flick).
Speaking Engagements & Seminars
Seminars & Classes
- Antitrust Update: A Review of the 2005-06 Supreme Court Antirust Cases, presented to the Corporate Counsel Institute at Georgetown University (2006).
- Megatrends in Antitrust, 2000, address sponsored by the Legal Department of Rockwell International Corporation (Milwaukee, October 2000).
- Vertical Restraints: Significant Development In Law and Enforcement, delivered at Conference on Antitrust 1997, A Briefing for Corporate Counsel, Oct. 1996.
- What Institutional Processes Will Help the FTC to Attain Its Goals?, Delivered at the Federal Trade Commission’s Investigative Hearings on the Changing Nature of Competition in a Global and Innovation-Driven Age, December 14, 1995.
- Market Definition, Market Power and Entry in Light of Global Competition, Delivered at the Federal Trade Commission’s Investigative Hearings on the Changing Nature of Competition in a Global and Innovation-Driven Age, October 18, 1995.
- The Fifth Strand of Antitrust, Delivered at Business Development Associations Antitrust 1995 Conference, March 14-15, 1995.
- The Developing Role of Antitrust As A Means of Ensuring Access For U.S. Exporters To Int'l Markets, Delivered at Business Development Assocs. Antitrust 1995 conference, March 14-15, 1995.
- When, How and Why A Trade Association Might Wish To Seek DOJ & FTC Advice & Clearance: The Age of Business Review Letters and Advisory Opinions, Delivered at DC Bar Ass'n Annual Seminar on Antitrust and Trade Associations, Feb. 22, 1995.
- JD – Georgetown University
- AB – Harvard College
- US Supreme Court
- US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- US District Court for the District of Columbia
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- US District Court for the Central District of California
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- District of Columbia
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals
A highly experienced antitrust lawyer who is described by sources as "very articulate" and "incredibly smart."
– Chambers USA
Featured by GCR as one of a small number of antitrust lawyers enjoying “A Decade at the Top”
Recipient of BTI Client Services “All Star” Award based on repeat nominations by Fortune 1000 Chief Legal Officers for “client focus, delivery of results, and exceptional understanding of clients’ business”