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Nicola Northway joins Trowers & Hamlins as a partner - the first specialist competition and regulatory expert in the nine-partner corporate practice.
She has specialised in competition law for more than 11 years and has been a senior associate at A&O for two years.
Before that she was in-house at British Gas as its competition lawyer.
She says: "I have been involved in large mergers in a number of sectors and been giving general competition advice, mainly in the mergers and acquisitions and in compliance. I have made this move because Trowers is a good firm to work for, it is very dynamic and it's a good opportunity for me to develop my practice."
Northway refuses to name clients or comment on whether they will follow her to her new post, but says she hopes they will.
While at Allen & Overy, she was a leading member of the team that worked on the merger between travel agents Thomas Cook and Carlson last March. She dealt with the competition consent issues.
Senior partner at Trowers & Hamlins John Clark says: "With the Competition Act coming into force on 1 March, Nicola will strengthen the corporate team at this key time."
Northway says: "My first priority is getting to know Trowers and its clients and then to establish the competition practice here.
"There is ongoing competition advice for clients here and I am going to look after that."