Howrey Simon Arnold & White has taken on Julian Joshua, the former head of the European Commission (EC) cartels unit, for its new Brussels office. Joshua, who joins as a partner from the Brussels office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, is central to Howrey's plans for a long-awaited Brussels opening. Howrey's first Brussels hire was Trevor Soames, who was poached from Norton Rose last October. But Soames has been unable to join his new firm because Norton Rose has enforced his gardening leave, which will run until June. However, Howrey is in negotiations with Norton Rose to allow him to start in April. Howrey wants to translate its standalone US competition practice to Brussels, a model that is largely untested in Europe. Howrey managing partner Bob Ruyak told The Lawyer: "Our strategy in Brussels is to start out with a fully-fledged EU competition office. We're looking not just at a merger practice, but also at an investigative team. By 1 September, we want to have five or six partners in there, plus seven or eight associates and four economists." Soames will be joined by Geert Goeteyn, a former senior associate in the Norton Rose Brussels team. Goeteyn, who will join Howrey as a partner, is also on gardening leave, but the firm hopes to get him released early. Ruyak said that he was also close to signing two further partners from the competition teams of US and UK law firms, plus a third who is currently an EU government official. Howrey's efforts have been hampered by delays in bringing Soames on board, but the capture of Joshua suggests that the firm is planning a serious assault on the Brussels competition market. Joshua, who formed the EC's crack cartel unit, is highly regarded by Brussels lawyers, his appointment ranking alongside Wilmer Cutler & Pickering's recent recruitment of the former head of the EU Competition Directorate, Professor Claus-Dieter Ehlerman. Nils von Hinten-Reed, formerly at consultancy London Economics, will join the Brussels office of Howrey's affiliated economics firm Capital Group. Howrey places a significant emphasis on its economics service, which is headed up by former Federal Trade Commission chairman Jim Miller.