W. Stephen Cannon

Washington, D.C., Office
T: 202.204.3502
F: 202.204.3501

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Steve Cannon is Chairman of Constantine Cannon LLP and the Managing Partner of Constantine Cannons Washington, DC, office.

Prior to joining the firm on February 1, 2005, Steve served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Circuit City Stores, Inc., a Fortune 200 retailer of consumer electronics with approximately $10 billion in annual sales. As Circuit Citys chief legal and public policy officer, Steve was responsible for the management of all legal and policy issues including corporate governance, SEC/FCC/FTC regulatory matters, antitrust, consumer credit, mergers and acquisitions/divestitures, litigation, employment, intellectual property as well as government affairs. As corporate secretary, Steve was responsible for the coordination of all Circuit City Board of Directors meetings and related activities. He was a member of the Circuit City Executive Committee and reported directly to the Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to joining Circuit City in 1994, Steve was a partner in the Washington, D.C., firm of Wunder, Diefenderfer, Ryan, Cannon & Thelen, where he concentrated his practice in antitrust, trade regulation and administrative law involving both litigation and regulatory matters as well as legislative advocacy. In particular, Steve focused his practice in the telecommunications, pharmaceutical and retail industries.

Before joining Wunder, Diefenderfer in 1986, Steve spent 10 years in government service in Washington, D.C. After a clerkship with the South Carolina Supreme Court, Steve received an appointment under the U. S. Justice Departments Honors Law Graduate Program and served as a trial lawyer in the Antitrust Division from 1977 to 1981.

In 1981, Steve was appointed Chief Antitrust Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Serving in this position from 1981–1984 (97th and 98th Congresses), Steve had overall staff responsibility for all antitrust legislation, as well as Department of Justice Antitrust Division oversight. As Chief Antitrust Counsel, he coordinated preparation of antitrust legislation including hearings, committee mark-ups and floor debates. Antitrust legislation enacted by the Congress during Steves tenure included:

  • The Antitrust Reciprocity Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-393)
  • The National Cooperative Research Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-462)
  • The Local Government Antitrust Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-544)

In 1985, Steve returned to the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department as Deputy Assistant Attorney General. As a political appointee, he was responsible for coordinating the Reagan Administrations policy positions on antitrust matters, including all antitrust legislation. Steve was also responsible for all Antitrust Division appellate matters and, in this capacity, argued before the United States Supreme Court as amicus curiæ on behalf of the United States in 324 Liquor Corp. v. Duffy, 107 SCT 720 (1987).

Over the course of his career, Steve has served in numerous professional, civic and business organizations. Most recently, Steve was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Frist to serve on the Antitrust Modernization Commission. Composed of 12 appointees, the Commission is charged with examining the broad scope of the nations antitrust laws and determining what, if any, changes might be appropriate and beneficial to our 21st century economy.

Steve has also served in various capacities in the ABA’s Section of Antitrust Law, including Chairman of the Legislation Committee as well as a three-year term on the Section Council.

In addition to these bar activities, Steve serves on the Board of Directors of the U. S. Chamber Litigation Center.  From 2009-2014, he also served on the Board of Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX), where he was a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees, and served as Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee.

A native of South Carolina, Steve received both his undergraduate and law degree from the University of South Carolina. Steve is married to Barbara Gordon and they have two daughters, Katy and Caroline.

Practice Groups


February 9, 2011 Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon participated on a panel of the 2011 Hospitality Law Conference concerning recent legal and regulatory developments affecting the relationship between merchants and payment card networks. He co-authored a paper, Electronic Payments 2011: The Winds of Change / A Call to Action, as his submission for that conference.
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April 22, 2010 Chairman of Constantine Cannon Stephen Cannon participated in a panel discussion at the 2010 Spring Meeting of the American Bar Associations' Antitrust Section that addressed "Insurance and Other New Antitrust Targets: The Politics and Legislative Process of Antitrust Exemptions and Immunities." He presented a paper Assessing the Need for Antitrust Immunity For Collective Merchant Negotiations With Electronic Payment Systems.
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February 4, 2010 Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon participated on a panel of the 2010 Hospitality Law Conference concerning the relationship between hosptility merchants and the payment card industy, focusing on the costs and potential legal liabilities of merchant acceptance of payment cards. He co-authored a paper, The U.S. Payment Card Industry: Select Challenges and Issues From a Hospitality Industry Perspective, as his submission for that conference.
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December 2009 Chairman of Constantine Cannon Steve Cannon co-authored an article on the payment card industry's enforcment of data security standards, "The Currency of Progress?" Visa and MasterCard Arrogate Governmental Powers in the Name of Card System Security. The article appeared in the December 2009 issue of HospitalityLawyer.com's PCI Compliance Newsletter.
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The London office of Constantine Cannon is a separate and independent limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (with registered number OC376384) with a registered office at 1 Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7DX. Constantine Cannon LLP in London is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The word "partner" denotes a member of Constantine Cannon LLP, or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications. The professional rules applicable to the firm are available at the SRA website at www.sra.org.uk/rules.