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Freshfields makes key competition hire as Clifford Chance City partner to relocate to lead Hong Kong practice

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired Clifford Chance’s Alastair Mordaunt to become the new competition head of its Hong Kong practice.

Mordaunt joined Clifford Chance in 2011 as a partner and has been based in the London office, but the new role will see him relocate from the City to lead Freshfields Asia’ competition team.

Before Clifford Chance, Mordaunt spent five years at the UK’s Office of Fair Trading, most recently as director of a competition enforcement team and director of the mergers group before that.

Mordaunt returns to Freshfields where he previously was a solicitor for eight years from 1999 during which he worked in the London, Brussels and Washington DC office.

Asia managing partner Robert Ashworth said: ‘Alastair’s background as a regulator combined with our distinctive competition litigation expertise in Hong Kong will provide a compelling offering to local and international clients doing business in Hong Kong, where enforcement will take place largely through a contentious tribunal system.’

‘In terms of the global regulatory environment in competition and antitrust, Hong Kong is a very exciting place to be,’ Mordaunt said. ‘Very rarely do companies have to come to grips with an entirely new regime in such a sophisticated market. In that sense, the Hong Kong competition regime poses some unique challenges for companies doing business in the jurisdiction.’

The hire comes weeks after Freshfields hired Kirkland & Ellis’ capital markets partner Andrew Hagan in London who will join the Magic Circle firm in April.