New York - July 9, 2012 – Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP (“AVH”), one of the country’s leading antitrust, IP and litigation law firms, today announced that Donald W. Hawthorne has joined the firm as a partner in the Litigation and Regulatory Group, and will chair the firm’s practice in the areas of Structured Finance, Derivatives and Mortgage Crisis Litigation. He will be working from the firm’s New York office. Mr. Hawthorne joins AVH from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Mr. Hawthorne has been involved in some of the most significant litigation to emerge from the recent credit crisis. He currently represents a financial guarantee insurer in a case involving billions of dollars in residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) that is among the most advanced of any case against a major mortgage originator, and has generated rulings with broad significance for RMBS litigation. He has been centrally involved in disputes concerning put-back clauses, trustee obligations, underwriting standards, and related legal issues characteristic of RMBS litigation.
Mr. Hawthorne also has handled matters relating to auction rate securities (“ARS”) arising from the credit crisis, including successfully defending a major investment bank in cases raising claims of antitrust conspiracy and securities fraud. He will draw on AVH’s complex financial litigation capabilities to offer resources to plaintiffs and defendants dealing with the consequences of the mortgage and credit crises of recent years.
Mr. Hawthorne also brings to AVH his wide-ranging experience in litigation concerning financial services industries and complex financial products. He has handled many matters arising under federal and state securities laws for insurers, private equity firms, investment banks and other private and public companies, including claims relating to complex financial products and market activity, such as financial guarantee insurance and mutual fund market timing. He has wide experience in litigation arising from changes in corporate control, including shareholder derivative actions, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, purchase price adjustment litigation, appraisal proceedings and short swing profit claims, and he regularly litigates in Delaware Chancery Court.
Mr. Hawthorne also has broad experience in antitrust litigation and counseling, complementing AVH’s leading, Chambers-recognized practice. He has successfully represented investment banks and insurers in claims of bid rigging and horizontal collusion, defended claims of tying and vertical conspiracy, and represented individuals in DOJ criminal antitrust investigations. He also has provided antitrust counseling to clients in billion dollar mergers, and in standard setting, licensing and patent pooling arrangements regarding intellectual property.
Mr. Hawthorne has particular experience in coordinating international and multi-jurisdictional litigation, having represented parties with claims or actions pending in jurisdictions as diverse as China, India, Russia, South America, many European nations and offshore jurisdictions.
Mr. Hawthorne served as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he taught courses on the regulation of electronic media covering legal issues concerning broadcast and cable media, the Internet and telephony. He also has written and spoken extensively on antitrust topics and legal issues relating to the financial services industry.
“I am excited to join my new colleagues at Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider,” said Mr. Hawthorne. “The firm has a well-earned reputation for delivering results on behalf of its clients through the skill, determination and tenacity of its lawyers. I welcome the opportunity to work beside some of the best-known lawyers in their fields.”
“Don is a highly regarded commercial and antitrust litigator,” said Managing Partner Jim Veltrop. “We are delighted to have him. His skills and knowledge in the areas of financial services litigation, antitrust and international disputes mesh well with the types of complex matters for which our firm is a recognized leader.”
Mr. Hawthorne received his J.D. in 1991 from Yale Law School, his D.Phil. in 1985 from Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and his B.A. in 1982 from Princeton.