Freshfields scoops OFT director

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has continued its trend of hiring lawyers from regulators with the appointment of the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) senior director Simon Priddis.

As first reported on www. thelawyer.com (12 October), Priddis will join Freshfields’ competition practice as a partner in January 2007.

The practice has a good track record of hiring former regulators. In 2003 it hired the OFT’s former director of enforcement Margaret Bloom as a senior consultant.

In the US, Freshfields has also hired Terry Calvani, former commissioner of the US Federal Trade Commission, and MJ Moltenbrey from the antitrust division of the Department of Justice.

Confederation of British Industry competition panel chair Rufus Ogilvie Smals said: “The cross-fertilisation resulting from the revolving door between private practice and the regulators is good for the profession.”

Priddis’s time at the OFT included a term as head of mergers, during which he handled Safeway’s takeover of WM Morrison and the failed bids for the London Stock Exchange.