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‘World-class competition office’: Quinn returns to Shearman in Brussels for double hire

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan announced today (19 May) that it has hired Shearman & Sterling’s global antitrust head and managing partner of its Brussels office, Stephen Mavroghenis, as well as competition partner Miguel Rato  – after first approaching the team last autumn.

Mavroghenis and Rato will join Trevor Soames, formerly part of the same team, who joined Quinn last December. As reported in September 2016, Quinn approached Shearman’s Brussels team and when Soames joined, Mavroghenis and Rato were believed to be staying put.

The latest hires, which Legal Business understands also includes six associates, leaves Shearman with one partner based permanently in Brussels, Geert Goeteyn. Matthew Readings, who will take over as global head of antitrust and Brussels managing partner, will split his time between Brussels and London, as will partner James Webber.

The Brussels office has previously been a headache for Shearman. In 2009 it was left without a partner locally after antitrust lawyers Annette Schild and Silvio Cappellari departed for Arnold & Porter.

The hires double the partner count to four in Quinn’s Brussels office, which was launched in 2014. Mavroghenis’ practice includes merger control, monopolisation, government investigations and EU litigation. Rato advises clients on contentious and non-contentious EU competition law issues, with a particular focus on complex unilateral conduct matters, transactions and IP licensing in hi-tech industries.

Quinn managing partner John Quinn said: ‘One of the major goals of our European plan has been to build a world-class competition office in Brussels. With the arrival of Stephen and Miguel closely on the heels of their colleague Trevor Soames we have achieved that goal.’

A spokesperson for Shearman said: ‘The firm has a strong antitrust capability in Europe and is recognised for its deep EU competition law expertise. Combined with our wider global antitrust practice, we remain well positioned to continue to serve our clients. We also continue to be committed to our Brussels office and will be announcing additional resources for that office soon.’