Stephen Axinn is a prominent figure in the US antitrust scene who comes highly recommended for his leading work on merger proceedings and investigations.
In 2015, Mr Axinn represented Caraustar and its parent, HIG Capital, in the successful acquisition of Newark Paperboard. He has also represented Bauer Performance Sports Ltd in its acquisition of Easton Baseball/Softball. He was retained by CircuLite Inc in its acquisition of 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 favour 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 aluminium 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) (DDC 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 US Department of Justice in connection with the investigation and successful challenge of the proposed merger of MCI-WorldCom and Sprint.
Mr Axinn has published “Globalization and Antitrust: The Last 40 Years” (Fordham Corp Law Institute, 2014); “Towards Neutral Principles of Antitrust Enforcement” (Fordham Corp Law Institute, 2007); “Milton Handler Annual Antitrust Review 2002: In Search of Congruence Between Legislative Purpose and Administrative Policy” (Columbia Business Law Review, 431, 2003); and “Merger Review and Litigation Involving the Acquisition of Bankrupt Companies” (Antitrust, summer 2002, a publication of the ABA section of antitrust law).
Mr Axinn graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in 1959 and his LLB in 1962 from Columbia Law School. He has served as an adjunct at both NYU Law School and at Columbia Law School.
Mr Axinn has served on the ABA antitrust section council (1984–1985); as chair of the committee on section 7 of the Clayton Act (1980–1983); as a member of the New York State Bar Association’s antitrust section (1982–1985); as chair of the Practising Law Institute (1991); and as co-chair of White-Collar Crime and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.