Freshfields appoints new ACT co-head

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed another former Brussels chief as co-head of its antitrust, competition and trade (ACT) practice.

Brussels-based competition chief David Broomhall took over on Friday (1 November) to lead the group with current co-head Martin Klusmann. He succeeds John Davies, who has stepped down from the role to work full time as a partner at the end of his term.

Broomhall has spent the last eight years at the helm of the competition practice in Brussels where he was also office chief – a role he will now hand over to fellow competition partner Thomas Janssens.

He has that in common with former ACT head John Davies, who set up the Brussels office in 1989 and managed it for ten years. Davies took up the ACT reins with Düsseldorf-based Klusmann three years ago, when global chief David Aitman stood down from the role (7 September 2010).

Freshfields’ ACT team is one of the most highly regarded in the magic circle and carries significant weight within the firm. It has traditionally bought big clients to the firm like BAA, led by Aitman, demonstrating an ability to set the agenda within the firm rather than act as a corporate offshoot (12 April 2010)

Aitman, who will succeed Ted Burke as global managing partner, was also co-head of the global ACT practice before stepping down in 2010 and taking up a place on the Partnership Council (30 September 2013).

The firm has recently bolstered the competition practice with the hires of Mary Lehner in its Washington DC office and Ninette Dodoo in Beijing.