DLA’s London competition head leaves for Quinn Emanuel

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has grown its competition practice after picking up DLA Piper’s London competition head Kate Vernon.

Vernon has worked at DLA for the last 13 years and became London head of EU and competition in 2013.

She specialises in cases involving Competition & Market Authority and European Commission complaints and enforcement investigations. Vernon also advises on behavioural aspects of competition law, compliance and general commercial advice.

Former Dentons competition head Sam Szlezinger will take over as DLA’s competition head after joining the firm last year.

Quinn Emanuel managing partner John Quinn said: “EU antitrust litigation has become a growing part of our global competition practice. We expect that growth to accelerate, driven by the recent introduction of a class action regime in the UK last year and the damages directive that must be implemented by the member states by December 2016.”

London co-managing partner Richard East added that hiring Vernon would help the firm take on clients on both sides of the “v”. Speaking to The Lawyer in November East made it clear he wanted the firm’s competition practice to represent both claimants and defendants.

This is the second major partner hire Quinn Emanuel has carried out across its London competition practice. In 2014 the firm hired Boris Bronfentrinker as head of the EU and competition litigation practice in the UK from Hausfeld & Co. Before working at Hausfeld Bronfentrinker spent seven years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.