McDermott Will & Emery is launching an assault on European competition work with a possible expansion into Brussels.
For the first time, the firm is sending one of its leading US partners into the London office. Antitrust partner Scott Megregian is moving from the firm's Washington DC office to the UK to spearhead a growth in the competition practice. The firm has been looking to hire high-profile competition lawyers in Europe without success, and it is hoped that putting Megregian on the ground here will break the deadlock. McDermotts is also now looking at building the practice into Brussels. London senior partner William Charnley said: "It's our intention to have a strong and vibrant antitrust practice in Europe, and in that respect we'd obviously look at having lawyers in appropriate jurisdictions in Europe. That undoubtedly at some stage means we'll look at Brussels." Megregian's practice has revolved around defending mergers and acquisitions before the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and the European Commission. For the last few years he has been spending a third of his time in Europe, so the move was a logical step. Ray Jacobson, head of McDermotts' antitrust practice in Washington, said: "We're looking to expand the competition practice, and he and I and William have been spending time interviewing people for many months. Having Scott there will make it a lot easier." The firm's antitrust work includes acting for clients such as German giant RWE and international clients that include Diageo and Lockheed Martin.