Legal Business Blogs

US moves: Freshfields hires DoJ heavyweight while White & Case opens Houston office

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has enhanced its US antitrust bench with the hire of veteran Eric Mahr from the Department of Justice (DoJ), while White & Case has established its seventh American office in Houston.

Mahr, who joins Freshfields after serving as director of the well-respected antitrust division at the DoJ, has multiple decades’ worth of experience in antitrust litigation, including cartel follow-on litigation and merger disputes.

Prior to his tenure with the DoJ, Mahr spent 16 years in the antitrust practice of WilmerHale, during which he spent a significant amount of time based in Brussels doing merger review and cartel work before the European Commission. Mahr will be based in Freshfields’ Washington DC office.

US regional managing partner Peter Lyons commented: ‘When it comes to US antitrust litigators, there’s quite simply nobody else who offers the track record that Eric has, and nobody else who can offer our clients in the US and around the world as deep a level of hands-on knowledge.’

Mahr added: ‘Throughout my career, my two greatest interests – international antitrust and US litigation – have always been in some tension with one another; Freshfields provides the unique opportunity to finally bring them together.’

Elsewhere in the US, White & Case (W&C) has launched a four-partner oil and gas office in Houston. Three of the new Houston partners, James Cuclis, Christopher Richardson and Charlie Ofner, have joined W&C from rival firms while the fourth, Saul Daniel, has relocated to the new outpost.

Cuclis joins from US firm Vinson & Elkins and will lead the new office. Richardson and Ofner both arrive from local Houston outfit Andrews Kurth Kenyon, while Daniel will relocate from W&C’s London office.

Philip Stopford, co-head of W&C’s oil and gas group, described Houston as ‘the global capital of the oil and gas industry, with more than 5,000 energy firms doing business in the metropolitan region.’

Dave Koschik, head of W&C’s US growth team, said the firm’s goal is to have at least 15 partners and 50 total lawyers in Houston across the core transactional practices of corporate, finance and projects.