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Betting on Brussels: Sheppard Mullin takes Hogan Lovells partner in competition law play

US firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has taken competition lawyer Jacques Derenne from Hogan Lovells’ Brussels office to launch an EU competition and regulatory practice in Belgium’s capital.

Derenne, who was the head of antitrust, competition and economic regulation practice at Hogan Lovells’ Brussels office will lead the practice which will also employ Mayer Brown partner Robert Klotz and two counsel.

He has been involved in cases such as the Chronopost litigation (on behalf of DHL, Fedex, UFEX) on the notion of cross-subsidies and the role of national courts in state aid issues and the landmark Alstom restructuring aid case. Derenne also teaches competition law at the University of Liège and the Brussels School of Competition. Klotz, who is recommended by the Legal 500 for competition law, concentrates on all aspects of EU and German competition and regulatory law.

Former in house counsel for Fusion Energy Chris Guirado also joins, along with Yaniss Aiche who is also a former Hogan Lovells staffer.

Guirado has a broad legal and business background in the energy, transport and construction sectors while Aiche brings public policy experience gained in the government, private and non-profit sectors across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Sheppard Mullin chairman Guy Halgren said: ‘With Jacques, Robert, Oliver and other new partners soon to be announced, we have brought together a superb team of EU competition and regulatory lawyers to offer our growing international client base a practice with an extraordinary depth of experience and breadth of qualifications.’

The firm’s antitrust and competition practice group leader Gary Halling added: ‘This high-calibre group with complementary areas of specialty and European qualifications adds major depth to our existing team which has handled some of the most complex US antitrust cases.’

Sheppard Mullin’s play for more competition work in Brussels follows the launch of its antitrust practice in London. It hired Simmons & Simmons partner Oliver Heinisch to head the practice.