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Norton Rose antitrust partner to join new competition authority as body unveils second wave of directors

As the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) pulls together the second wave of its senior leadership team one of the names that stands out is Michael Grenfell, who is joining the new body as a senior sectoral director from Norton Rose Fulbright, where he has specialised in competition for 25 years, including heading the group between 2002-2011.

Grenfell, who is a leading name in competition circles and co-author of Coleman and Grenfell on the Competition Act, becomes one of five appointments to the new markets and mergers directorate of the CMA, which brings together the Competition Commission (CC) and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

In his new role Grenfell will work closely with regulatory bodies including Ofwat, Ofgem and Ofcom to help promote competition in those sectors and across areas including rail, gas and air.

He told Legal Business: ‘Norton Rose is a fabulous firm and it has a great anti-trust and competition practice with some very good people and I will be very sorry to leave but it is a huge opportunity to play a part in the formation and enforcement of competition law and policy by the CMA and I am looking forward to this new challenge.’

Also appointed to the markets and mergers directorate is Nelson Jung, who becomes the CMA’s director of mergers and who currently holds the same role at the OFT, having previously served as director of competition enforcement. He joined the OFT in 2010 from Clifford Chance, where he was a competition associate.

Other lawyers in this latest round of appointments include the CC’s deputy chief legal adviser and head of international Carole Begent, who joins the CMA as senior legal director for markets and mergers; director of competition enforcement and head of the OFT’s enforcement academy Claudia Berg, who joined the OFT from Linklaters and will hold the same role at the CMA; OFT legal director and project director Jason Freeman, who joins as director for consumer law; CC legal director Simon Jones who joins as director for litigation; and CC chief legal adviser Roland Green, who joins as deputy general counsel and senior legal director for policy, precedent and procedure.

In September the CMA announced that Sarah Cardell had been appointed as its general counsel. Cardell, a former Slaughter and May partner, joins from Ofgem where she was partner for legal markets.

Cardell joins new CMA executive director, Sonya Branch, who moves across from her role as the executive director at the OFT, where she has been since 2007 having left HER role as corporate partner at Clifford Chance.

Norton Rose’s global head of antitrust and competition, Martin Coleman, said: ‘This is a great move for Michael. The transition of private practice lawyers into government and regulatory roles (and vice versa) is a good thing for both regulators and the business community and in this case Michael will bring over 20 years of excellent experience at Norton Rose Fulbright to his new role. We wish him all the best in his new job.’

The CMA appointments in full:

Senior Director, Consumer Enforcement – Nisha Arora is currently Senior Director in the OFT’s Services, Infrastructure & Public Markets Group, in which she previously served as a Director. Prior to joining OFT in 2011, Nisha served as a senior legal adviser in the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, and the Cabinet Office. She trained as a solicitor with Denton Hall.

Senior Director, Cartels & Criminal Group – Stephen Blake is currently Senior Director in OFT’s Cartels & Criminal Enforcement Group, in which he previously served as Director of Cartels. Stephen has held a number of positions in the OFT since joining in 1998 as a competition lawyer, including a secondment to the European Commission’s cartels unit. Prior to this Stephen practised as a solicitor in the City.

Senior Director, Anti-Trust – Ann Pope has been Senior Director in OFT’s Services, Infrastructure & Public Markets Group since July 2012. Having trained as an economist, she has over 20 years experience in the OFT and has held a number of senior positions since 2006. Over the last few years Ann has specialised in running CA98 investigations.

Senior Director, Markets – Daniel Gordon is currently Chief Economist at the CC. He joined the CC from Ofcom, where he was Director of Competition Policy. Prior to that, Daniel was at the OFT, where he first led the Market Studies Programme, before becoming Senior Director with responsibility for infrastructure markets. His early career was with the Treasury and the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Senior Director, Sectoral Regulation – Dr Michael Grenfell joins the CMA from Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, where he has specialised in competition law for 25 years, including for the past 15 years as a Partner and a period as Head of the firm’s London Competition Group. Michael has also been an active member of the Competition Law Committee of the City of London Law Society and chaired its Working Group on the UK competition law reforms currently being implemented.

Director, Mergers – Nelson Jung is currently Director and Head of Mergers in the OFT, having previously served as Director of Competition Enforcement. Prior to joining OFT in 2010, Nelson worked at Clifford Chance, where he served as a senior associate specialising in mergers and other competition cases.

Group Director, Markets & Delivery – Rachel Merelie has been Senior Director, Inquiries at the CC since 2007, having previously served as an Inquiry Director. In her earlier career, Rachel managed business planning and strategy for Ernst & Young and the transition to Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, worked for Gemini Consulting as a management consultant and held a variety of roles in the electricity industry.

Senior Director, Mergers – Sheldon Mills is currently the OFT’s Senior Director of Policy and Procedural Adjudicator having formerly served as Director of Mergers for three years. Sheldon is a qualified solicitor and served as a senior associate in King and Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin and associate in Jones Day in his earlier career.

Senior Legal Director, Markets & Mergers – Carole Begent is currently Deputy Chief Legal Adviser and Head of International at the CC, where she has served as a legal adviser since 2000. Carole previously held legal advisory and policy roles at the sectoral regulators ORR and Ofwat, having trained as a solicitor at Beechcroft Stanley.

Senior Legal Director, Enforcement – Claudia Berg is currently Director of Competition Enforcement and Head of the OFT’s Enforcement Academy. Prior to joining OFT in 2010, Claudia spent 8 years in the competition practice of Linklaters. Her early legal training was with prominent law firms in Germany and Brussels.

Director, Consumer Law – Jason Freeman is currently Legal Director and Project Director at the OFT, where he has served in a number of roles since 2005. Jason has a particular specialism in UK consumer law. He joined the OFT following practice at the Bar.

Deputy General Counsel and Senior Legal Director, Policy, Precedent & Procedure – Roland Green has been Chief Legal Adviser at the CC since 2010. Previously Roland held a variety of senior legal roles in BERR, DECC, DTI and the Home Office. While at DTI he specialised in competition law, and was instrumental in the development of the Enterprise Act 2002.

Director, Litigation – Simon Jones has been a Legal Director at the CC since 2008 having joined the CC in 2001. He has advised on a wide range of merger, market and regulatory inquiries and has led the CC’s defence in numerous actions in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal. Before joining the CC he ran a public law, commercial and regulatory litigation practice at Treasury Solicitors, having first trained as a solicitor with Slaughter & May.

Economics Director, Markets & Mergers – Kate Collyer has been Director of Economic Analysis at the CC since 2012, having rejoined the CC after 4 years as Director of Economics at the Cooperation and Competition Panel of the Department of Health. Kate’s early career was as an economic consultant with Lexecon Ltd.

Senior Director, Research, Intelligence & Advocacy – John Kirkpatrick is currently Director of Policy and CMA Transition Lead at the CC. John has served as an Inquiry director at the CC and Director of Studies & Policy at the Audit Commission. His early career was with McKinsey & Co and the Department for Education and Employment.

Group Director, Remedies, Business & Financial Analysis – David Roberts is currently Chief Financial & Business Adviser and Head of Remedies at the CC, which he joined in 2002 from J Sainsbury, where his roles included Director of Corporate Finance and Group Treasurer. He previously worked for BP and qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells.

Economics Director, Enforcement – Chris Walters is Chief Economist at the OFT, where he has held a number of senior economist positions since 2007, joining from the CC. In his early career Chris was an academic and economic consultant.