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Competing moves: Mayer Brown hires BLP’s competition head as CMA recruits from Freshfields

Mayer Brown has hired Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) head of EU and competition, David Harrison, ten years after he joined the firm from Allen & Overy (A&O) to help start the stand-alone group. Meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer City antitrust partner Andrea Gomes da Silva is leaving the firm after 14 years to join the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Gomes da Silva will join the CMA as its senior legal director in July 2015. Having been seconded to the UK’s Office of Fair Trading, she was part of the team that set up the body in 2013/14 and led on creating guidance for business regarding its new legal powers. She was also part of Freshfields’ Brazil strategy group.

Gomes da Silva became a partner in Freshfields’ global antitrust, competition and trade group in 2008, after serving as an associate for seven years from 2001. Before this, she was an assistant at Slaughter and May for two years, having trained there from 1997 to 1999. At the CMA, she will report into general counsel Sarah Cardell.

Meanwhile, Mayer Brown has bolstered its antitrust and competition practice in London, hiring BLP’s head of EU and competition, David Harrison. He will co-lead the European antitrust and competition team at Mayer Brown, alongside Brussels-based Jens Peter Schmidt, as the firm aims to grow its antirust offering across Europe. Harrison will also become one of the group leaders of the wider global antitrust practice.

He had been a partner and head of BLP’s EU and competition team since 2005, after he was hired in to establish BLP’s antitrust offering as a stand-alone competition practice from A&O – Andrew Hockley has already been appointed to take over as head of the group at BLP from tomorrow (1 May). At A&O he had been a partner from 1998-2005 and spent ten years in the firm’s Brussels office.

Mayer Brown disputes leader David Allen said: ‘David is a considerably accomplished and experienced competition lawyer and his arrival will strengthen our ability to provide clients will the very best legal advice in this area. His appointment also signals an important step in our long term plans to further integrate our antitrust and competition capabilities across Europe.’