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Quinn Emanuel makes key competition move with DLA Piper practice head hire

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has added a second partner to its competition practice with the appointment of DLA Piper UK competition head Kate Vernon (pictured).

Promoted to head of competition for the UK at DLA more than two years ago, Vernon is the second partner to join Quinn’s City competition practice after Boris Bronfentrinker was hired from claimant firm Hausfeld & Co to launch the practice in October 2014.

Antitrust is a key component of Quinn’s US practice and the latest hire cements its strategy of developing a European competition practice following the opening of its Brussel office. The firm hired Of Counsel Nicola Chesaites in the middle of last year as it continues to build its offering.

Vernon has represented clients in both follow-on and standalone competition claims in the English High Court and acted on appeals from and judicial reviews of decisions of competition and regulatory authorities in London and Luxembourg.

At DLA Vernon acted for sports bodies including the Premier League and the British Horseracing Authority on broadcasting investigations and litigation in the UK and Europe together with providing strategic competition law advice on their sporting and commercial operations. The Legal 500 cites Vernon as ‘a strong pillar’ of DLA’s practice. Vernon will be replaced by Sam Szlezinger who becomes DLA’s UK competition head, having joined the firm in March 2015 from Dentons where he had practiced for more than 20 years. 

The co-managing partner of Quinn’s London office, Richard East said: ‘The practice in London has grown quickly and Kate will only add to the cases we can take on for clients on both sides of the “v”. I see this as an important step in our goal to become one of the leading competition litigation firms in the London market.’

The hire follows the addition of litigator Paul Friedman to the firm’s London office, who will split his time between the City and Israel as the firm looks to expand its Middle East practice. Friedman was appointed in February from Clyde & Co.