Areas of Practice
  • Boston College Law School, J.D., 1997, Executive editor, Boston College International and Comparative Law Review
  • Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, M.A.L.D., 1997
  • George Washington University, B.A., cum laude, 1993
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • New York

John J. Kavanagh

Of Counsel
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6256
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

John J. Kavanagh is of counsel in Steptoe's Washington office.  He focuses on complex litigation including antitrust and securities matters as well as on insurance coverage and reinsurance disputes.  He also has experience in government investigations and criminal defense matters.

Complex Litigation
Mr. Kavanagh has litigated numerous cases involving contract disputes, fraud, unfair trade practices, RICO, antitrust, and trade secret matters pending in courts and arbitral panels around the country.  He also has experience litigating class actions involving antitrust, securities, and toxic tort matters.  Mr. Kavanagh has been active in representing individuals in SEC investigations and white-collar criminal defense matters involving securities fraud and antitrust conspiracies.

Insurance Coverage and Reinsurance Disputes
Mr. Kavanagh has extensive experience litigating insurance coverage disputes involving property and liability policies as well as fidelity bonds.  He has litigated matters on behalf of insurers in the United States and overseas arising from defective products, property damage, environmental damage, and business interruption claims.

Mr. Kavanagh has represented clients in large reinsurance disputes before international arbitral panels regarding a variety of issues including automatic and facultative placements, the follow the fortunes doctrine, the duty of utmost good faith, alternative risk transfer and rescission.  He has substantial experience working with expert witnesses regarding damages, due diligence and treaty issues.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Kavanagh served for three years as an attorney with the US Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps.  In this position, he defended claims against the US government under the Federal Tort Claims Act.  As a criminal defense attorney, he represented naval personnel before courts-martial in the Norfolk, Virginia, area.

Mr. Kavanagh previously worked as a Secretary of Defense Honors Legal Intern in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel—International Affairs and Intelligence.  He has also worked as a special assistant to the Assistant US Trade Representative for Japan and China, and as a Honors Intern with the Federal Bureau of Investigation—National Security Division.

Representative Matters

  • 337-TA-1002 Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Products (2016), USITC Inv. No. 337-TA-1002. Counsel for respondent Shougang Corporation in action brought by US Steel Corporation alleging that Chinese steel companies violated US antitrust laws, misappropriated trade secrets and violated the Lanham Act.
  • Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., et al. v. Southeast Milk, Inc., et al., Case No. 3:15-cv-01143 (M.D. Fla.).  Counsel for defendant National Milk Producers Federation in antitrust lawsuit involving direct purchasers of dairy products.
  • Gordon et al. v. Amadeus IT Group, S.A., et al., 1:15-cv-05457 (S.D.N.Y).  Counsel for defendant Amadeus in antitrust class action involving global distribution systems for airline tickets.
  • Waste Commanders v. BFI Waste Services et al., 5:14-CV-0938 (W.D. La).  Counsel for defendant Republic Services in case filed in Louisiana alleging violations of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and breach of contract.  
  • Edwards, et al. v. National Milk Producers Federation, et al., Case No. 4:11-cv-4766 (N.D. Cal.).  Counsel for defendant National Milk Producers Federation in class action antitrust lawsuits involving indirect purchasers of dairy products.
  • First Impressions Salon, Inc. v. National Milk Producers Federation et al., 3:13-cv-00454 (S.D. Ill.).  Counsel for defendant National Milk Producers Federation in class action antitrust lawsuits involving direct purchasers of dairy products.
  • Crestron Electronics, Inc. v. Cyber Sound & Security LLC, 2:11-cv-03492 (D. NJ).  Counsel for plaintiff in breach of contract, trade secret, Lanham Act, and antitrust litigation relating to electronic automation and control products.
  • Savant Systems, LLC v. Crestron Electronics, Inc., 10-cv-11622 (D. Mass.).  Counsel for defendant in antitrust litigation relating to electronic automation and control products.

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

  • Patriot Debates: Experts Debate the USA PATRIOT Act
    2005, American Bar Association
  • Attempting to Run Before Learning to Walk: Problems of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy; 20 Boston College International & Comparative Law Review 353 (1997)
  • US War Powers and the United Nations Security Council, 20 Boston College International & Comparative Law Review 159 (1997)