Freshfields launches China competition practice

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will launch a dedicated competition offering in mainland China for the first time by parachuting in a London-based partner and by promoting a senior associate to counsel.

As part of the magic circle firm’s focus on Beijing, London-based competition partner Alex Potter will relocate for a year. The move coincides with new antitrust laws that come into effect next August.

Potter comented: “Up until now, competition law in China has really just focused on merger control. With the new anti-monopoly laws coming into effect, clients will really need more substantive advice because they’ll have to start thinking about compliance.

“The Chinese authorities have drawn inspiration from various regulators
around the world to formulate the new laws, notably from the European
Commission. So it made sense for someone with direct experience of working
with the Commission to go over.”

Potter and Hong Kong-based competition partner Connie Carnabuci will spearhead the competition team in China. Carnabuci will remain in Hong Kong, however. She also has a broader practice, heading up TMT in the region.

Meanwhile, senior competition associate Michael Han has been promoted to counsel. Han, who is dual-qualified in the US and China, is also moving back to Beijing after spending time in the firm’s Washington, DC office.