Shearman & Sterling has hired five partners and around a dozen associates from Howrey’s Brussels office, including former head Trevor Soames.
The partners also include Stephen Mavroghenis, the English-qualified lawyer who took over from Soames as managing partner of Howrey’s Brussels office last month (20 January 2011).
The three other Howrey partners joining Shearman are Götz Drauz, Geert Goeteyn and Miguel Rato. All five are expected to join Shearman next week.
Themove significantly expands Shearman’s European and global antitrust practice. Currently the US firm has just one full-time partner in its Brussels competition practice. One Shearman insider admitted the firm’s EU competition capabilities until now had been “undersized”.
The arrival of the Howrey lawyers will strengthen the US firm’s capabilities significantly in M&A-related antitrust matters and cartel work in particular.
“We’re delighted to welcome these highly regarded antitrust lawyers to the firm,” said Rohan Weerasinghe, Shearman’s senior partner. “These partners come to our firm with an outstanding reputation and a track record of first-rate client service.”
Creighton Condon, Shearman’s European managing partner, said the hires reflected the firm’s continued commitment to expanding and integrating its European service offering.
“We’re now even better positioned to counsel clients across the Continent,” Condon added.
The hires are also the latest development in the rapidly unfolding story of former US giant Howrey. In recent weeks a succession of partners have left the firm, with a deadline set for offers made by US rival Winston & Strawn set to expire imminently (15 February 2011).