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EY Law recruits competition chief from CC to spearhead state aid, antitrust and trade practice

Big Four accountant EY continues to enhance its international legal offering and has recruited Clifford Chance’s (CC) competition-focused counsel Steven Verschuur to lead its EU State aid, competition and trade law practice.

Verschuur has served as head of competition at CC’s Amsterdam practice for the last three years, where he split his time between the Dutch city and Brussels. Also a former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lawyer, he specialises in EU State aid, competition, trade law and merger control.

EY said there is an ‘increasing demand for strategic legal advice on the State aid aspects of tax structures and rulings’ and Verschuur, who will be based in Brussels, is ‘well-placed to meet clients’ needs working in close collaboration with EY’s international tax teams.’

EY global law leader Cornelius Grossmann added: ‘We are delighted that Steven has joined EY. His extensive experience in State aid, competition and trade law will be a great asset to our practice. Bringing in the right talent is central to our success, and to building a quality service offering in a multidisciplinary environment. We welcome Steven at an exciting time, as we continue to hone and expand our global practice.’

Verschuur’s departure follows that of Oliver Bretz, CC’s former global head of antitrust, who left after 15 years at the Magic Circle firm to launch a competition boutique in January.

EY has made good on its continued efforts to enhance its presence in the legal market, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. In April it announced an alliance with South Korean firm Apex Legal as part of a greater agenda to build a 200-strong team of lawyers spanning key commercial centres throughout Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, CC’s Amsterdam office also saw the departure of finance counsel Robert Masman, who left to join Hogan Lovells and makes partner in the process. Masman specialises in asset based and structured finance and will work closely with banking partner Wouter Jongen who was recruited in 2014.

Sharon Lewis, global head of Hogan Lovells’ finance practice, said: ‘Building our on the ground presence in Amsterdam is an important priority for our global finance practice as the Netherlands is such a key jurisdiction for cross-border banking and debt capital markets.’