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CC, Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird all strengthen European antitrust practices

Clifford Chance (CC), Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird have all bolstered their European antitrust practices with key appointments. 

CC has added to its Paris antitrust team with the hire of David Tayar as a partner, who joins from Wilkie Farr & Gallagher’s Paris team, where he has worked for 11 years. 

Tayar, who spent six years as an associate at Freshfields, is a specialist in handling merger control investigations on behalf of European and French antitrust agencies.

CC’s global antitrust head Thomas Vinje described Tayar as having an ‘outstanding reputation’ and the hire would satisfy the firm’s clients’ ‘needs and expectations.’

In Brussels, Bird & Bird has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer competition and EU law specialist Hein Hobbelen as a partner. He will divide his time between the firm’s offices in Brussels and The Hague. Hobbelen is experienced in EU competition law and TMT regulation. Hein Hobbelen spent nearly 14 years at Freshfields.

Anne Federle, head of Bird & Bird in Brussels, told Legal Business that Hobbelen will devote 50% of his time to both offices but that this could change over time.

Federle stated that Hobbelen’s hire came after a drive to find a ‘Brussels-based competition lawyer with a strong media background’, to complement Bird & Bird’s particular focus on technology and media. Federle confirmed that Hobbelen will bring a number of clients with him to the firm.

Hogan Lovells also strengthened its Brussels office with the appointment of partner Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte, from Crowell & Moring.

Ugarte’s expertise spans a range of sectors, although she has a particular focus on consumer goods and financial services. Ugarte has experience advising clients during merger transactions and antitrust investigations.

Matthew Levitt, managing partner of Hogan Lovells’ Brussels office, described Ugarte as ‘exactly the kind of international antitrust lawyer that we look for.’

Suyong Kim, Hogan Lovells’ global antitrust head, added that ‘Brussels has always been a home for the firm, and it is also the home of EU and antitrust law. Her addition will enable us to continue growing our competition law practice in Brussels and globally.’