Howrey relaunches in City with antitrust drive

US firm Howrey is shaking up its London office, as the firm seeks to raise its profile in the City.

The firm is ramping up its London antitrust practice, transferring key partners from Brussels to its UK base as part of a wider restructuring.

European antitrust head and co-managing partner for Brussels Trevor Soames said: “There has been no significant new entry into the London antitrust practice in years. We are proud to be a maverick and be the first new entrant in a while. We will make more hires at senior level. [Senior antitrust partner] Tom McQuail and I want to shake up the London antitrust market.”

Soames and fellow senior antitrust partner Geert Goeteyn will split their time between Brussels and London for a short period to oversee the expansion. Meanwhile, McQuail will transfer permanently.

Howrey has also hired Collette Rawnsley, the senior legal secretary at the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

The firm has witnessed some recent departures in London. Last week arbitration and litigation partners Peter Fitzpatrick and George Maling quit for Nabarro.

Soames will also be busy overseeing Howrey’s integration with Spanish firm Martinez Lage, leading up to the full merger in January next year. He said that Martinez Lage approached him with a business plan to merge and that Howrey would consider similar offers.

“With a law firm of that quality that was interested in us we would, of course, be very interested – even if at the time we had no specific plans for Spain,” said Soames.