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Longtime FTC Veteran Richard Dagen Joins Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Firm Also Promotes Daniel Bitton to Partner in Antitrust Practice
And Stacie Ropka Promoted to Counsel in IP Practice

Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP (Axinn) announced today that Richard Dagen, former Assistant Director and Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, has joined the firm’s Antitrust Group in Washington, DC as a partner. The firm also announced two promotions: Daniel Bitton of its New York office has been promoted to partner, and Stacie Ropka has been promoted to counsel at its Hartford, CT office. The moves were effective January 1, 2014.

During his long tenure at the FTC, Rick served in key roles (e.g., manager, lead counsel) in both federal and administrative trials and investigations involving some of the most important FTC merger and non-merger cases of the past twenty plus years, such as Toys "R" Us, Three Tenors, Heinz, Rambus, Abbott Labs,Unocal, Intel, Dell, Whole Foods, Wright Medical, and most recently, North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners. His varying responsibilities included all aspects of trying cases through to verdict and on appeal (including victories in the DC, Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Circuits).

Rick's managerial responsibilities included advising the Bureau and the Commission on case merits, litigation risks and remedies. He has reviewed business conduct and proposed mergers in a broad range of industries, including technology, energy, food, entertainment, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and health care. Rick has been particularly active in matters involving the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust, including the Commission’s first forays into the non-disclosure of patents in standard setting (e.g., Dell, Rambus, Unocal) and Hatch-Waxman/reverse payment cases (Hoechst-Andrx).

He has also been an Adjunct Professor at Boston University School of Law teaching Antitrust, Intellectual Property and High Tech with Professor Joseph Brodley.

Prior to joining the FTC in 1990, Rick was a litigation associate in administrative law, antitrust and general litigation at Sidley & Austin in Washington, DC. Before that he served as counsel to the chairman and vice chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission. He earned his J.D. at Emory University School of Law in 1983, where he was part of the Law and Economics Center, and holds a Master of Philosophy from Yale University’s Department of Economics.

“It’s a rare opportunity to add an attorney with such a wealth of experience in the full range of competition law,” said John Harkrider, Co-chair of the Antitrust Group and a founding partner at the firm. “Rick represents a tremendous resource for our clients and we’re very happy to have him on board.”

Daniel Bitton has an extensive background in antitrust litigation, government investigations and mergers and acquisitions in a variety of industries, from biotech, life sciences and high tech to pharmaceuticals, cable and telecommunications. He has represented, for example, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. before the FTC in its $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies Corp., and advised Google Inc. in the $2.35 billion sale of its Motorola Home division to Arris Group Inc.

Daniel has received high praise from clients who refer to him as “one of the most talented antitrust lawyers I know” and “an absolute pleasure to work with.” Clients also have recognized and noted Daniel’s “incredible work ethic,” and “dedication, intensity and competence.”

“Daniel has demonstrated his acumen in both litigation and counseling roles, and has proven himself on high-stakes matters for high-profile clients,” says Harkrider. “We congratulate him on his partnership at our firm.”

Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Daniel served as an advisor to the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority and the Netherlands Competition Authority in The Hague. In that capacity he provided counsel on matters involving bid-rigging and monopolization, as well as regulatory disputes involving fixed and mobile interconnection rates, cable-access and local loop unbundling. He earned his LL.M. from New York University (NYU) School of Law in 2004 and his M.A. in Netherlands Law from Free University in 2001.

With a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology, Stacie Ropka focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation, due diligence and client counseling, with an emphasis on the life sciences, including biologics, pharmaceuticals and reconstructive biomaterials.

“Stacie is a vital part of our IP practice,” said Chad Landmon, Chair of Axinn’s Intellectual Property Group. “Her hands-on experience in the rapidly growing field of biologics, coupled with her in-depth legal knowledge is a great asset for our clients.”

Since joining the firm in 2007, Stacie has provided IP counseling and due diligence for life science companies and has served on the trial team for several patent lawsuits involving major pharmaceutical companies. She has also provided extensive counseling for product development efforts relating to biologics and reconstructive biomaterials, including products that utilize adult stem cells.

Prior to earning her law degree, Stacie was a faculty member at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. She also served as a research scientist in neurology, virology and immunology, both at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL and SUNY Upstate Medical University. She earned her J.D. at Syracuse University College of Law in 2005 and her Ph.D. at SUNY Upstate Medical University in 1999.

About Axinn:

Axinn combines the skills, experience and dedication of the world’s largest firms with the focus, responsiveness, efficiency and attention to client needs of the best boutiques. The firm was established in the late 1990s by lawyers from premier Wall Street firms with a common vision and has been joined by lawyers from the best firms and law schools who share that vision. Axinn is devoted to providing the highest conceivable quality of service in three practice areas: antitrust, intellectual property and high-stakes litigation. Axinn achieves that goal with world-class skills and deep trial experience. Time and again, major companies have turned to Axinn for their biggest deals and cases, often on the eve of trial.

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