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Quinn Emanuel in talks to take on Shearman’s Brussels partnership

Disputes leader Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is in talks to hire a team from Shearman & Sterling’s Brussels arm, including office head Stephen Mavroghenis and competition partner Trevor Soames.

A total of five partners are negotiating with Quinn, constituting the entirety of Shearman’s Brussels partner ranks. With Mavroghenis leading the discussions, the other partners involved are Soames, Geert Goeteyn, Miguel Rato and Matthew Readings. Goeteyn and Readings are based in Shearman’s London and Brussels offices. It is expected that associates may follow the team to Quinn.

Soames, who specialises in merger control, monopolies, state aid and cartel investigations, joined Shearman in 2009 from the Brussels arm of the now-defunct Howrey, taking a team of four partners and 13 associates with him.

The Brussels office had previously proved to be a headache for Shearman, when earlier in 2009 it was left without a partner locally after antitrust lawyers Annette Schild and Silvio Cappellari departed for Arnold & Porter. News of the current Quinn talks were first reported on Rollonfriday.

Should the team sign on the dotted line, it will serve as a major boost to Quinn’s Brussels offering, which was launched in 2014. Despite by its expansive standards seeing a poor financial year globally in 2015, with revenue down 6% to $1.042bn and profit per equity partner falling 10% to $4.42m, Quinn continues its strategy of expansion via laterals.

Quinn bolstered its antitrust capabilities in London this year, having hired DLA Piper UK competition head Kate Vernon in March. Other laterals included Herbert Smith Freehills’ James Bremen as its chair of the construction practice and Clyde & Co litigator Paul Friedman as part of a bid to expand its Israel practice.