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Clifford Chance has raided Linklaters to strengthen its European competition practice as it prepares for its three-way merger in January.
Senior associate Judy Mackenzie Stuart joins the firm from Linklaters' Brussels office as business manager to work on integrating the European practice.
Other arrivals from Linklaters are Michael Bryceland, also a senior associate, and assistant Oliver Bretz, who join the competition practice in the London office.
Chris Bright, head of competition at Clifford Chance, says the appointments are the first of many, due to client demand for services after the firm merges with Rogers & Wells and Punder Volhard Weber & Axster in January.
Rogers & Wells has a powerful antitrust practice headed by top-paid partners Steve Newborn and Kevin Arquit both of whom earn about $2m (u1.2m).
Bright says: "On the client side there is a very high level of interest in the ability to provide a one-stop shop service in antitrust across Europe and the US.
"You have one point of entry instead of having to manage US, French law firms and the rest of it."
Bright, who also moved from Linklaters to Clifford Chance in February, says it is unusual for so many assistants to move from one magic circle firm to another.
"It doesn't happen that often," he says. "They are people who probably wanted to carry on working with me and saw the opportunities at Clifford Chance and decided to come."
Miguel Odriozola also joins the competition practice in Madrid from US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's Brussels office.