Stephen M. Axinn
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"A highly respected senior figure in the New York antitrust world, with over 50 years in the field. He undertakes the gamut of antitrust work."--Chambers USA/2014

 "A real intellectual" who is "very much a force" as a litigator--Chambers USA/2013 

Stephen M. Axinn is the firm's senior partner. Over the course of his career spanning more than 50 years, he has represented many of this country's leading corporate and individual clients in a wide variety of precedent-setting cases in trial and appellate courts throughout the nation. He also has counseled clients as to the antitrust aspects of many of the most significant merger and acquisition transactions in the past thirty years. Mr. Axinn is also an experienced antitrust criminal defense attorney.

For many years prior to forming Axinn, Mr. Axinn headed the antitrust and trade regulation department at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He is the author of a number of scholarly articles on antitrust subjects. He is coauthor of the definitive treatise on the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act published by Law Journal Seminars Press.

Mr. Axinn represents Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. in its acquisition of Easton Baseball/Softball. Recently, he represented CircuLite Inc. in the sale of its business to HeartWare.  He served as lead counsel to Bemis Company in connection with its acquisition of the assets of Rio Tinto's Alcan Packaging Food Americas' division. He successfully argued and won affirmance in 2011 in the Second Circuit of the summary judgment in favor of the health insurer, GHI in connection with its merger with HIP to create EmblemHealth.  In 2009, he was lead counsel to Ball Corp. in its acquisition of certain Anheuser Busch Inbev aluminum can manufacturing assets. Other clients have included MasterCard International, McKesson Corp., Zuffa, LLC, (“Ultimate Fighting Championship”) and Hollywood Media. In 2006, Mr. Axinn represented BellSouth in the merger with AT&T. In 2005, he successfully represented GameStop in its acquisition of Electronics Boutique and Movie Gallery in its acquisition of Hollywood Video. In 2004, Mr. Axinn successfully defended Albert Einstein College of Medicine in securing dismissal of a major national class action complaint against it in Federal Court in Washington, DC. Mr. Axinn was lead trial counsel for SunGard in the landmark case of United States v. SunGard (Comdisco) (D.D.C. 2001) in which the Court held, after trial, that the Government had failed in its effort to block the SunGard-Comdisco acquisition. In 1999-2000, Mr. Axinn was retained as lead counsel to the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with the investigation and successful challenge of the proposed merger of MCI-WorldCom and Sprint.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Axinn successfully represented the supermarket industry in the defense of the Beef Antitrust Multi-district Litigation at both the district court level and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He represented the GAF Corporation in its monopolization case against Eastman Kodak, both in the district court and the Second Circuit. He was also Texaco's trial and appellate counsel in its successful defense against Pennzoil in connection with the acquisition of Getty Oil, both in the lower court and on appeal to the Tenth Circuit. In 1996, Mr. Axinn successfully represented Harcourt Brace at the post-trial and appellate stage in its Ninth Circuit victory in a monopolization case brought by a bar review competitor. He has also successfully argued on behalf of The Stanley Works in a patent and trade secret case in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in 1996.

Mr. Axinn has been an adjunct professor of law at both NYU and Columbia Law Schools and has frequently lectured on antitrust and litigation issues for PLI and other continuing legal education organizations. He has also served as an advisor to the United States Sentencing Commission. He was the monthly antitrust columnist for the New York Law Journal for ten years. He regularly appears on CNN and other television programs to discuss antitrust matters.

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