Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has added a new antitrust partner to its Washington DC office from the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Eric Mahr will become the fifth partner in the antitrust team in the city after a two-year career in the DoJ’s antitrust division, where he was director of litigation.

Prior to moving into government, Mahr was a partner at WilmerHale for nearly 16 years working in both the Washington DC and Brussels offices.

He started off his legal career at the DoJ, where he was a trial lawyer.

At Freshfields, Mahr will represent clients in litigation that arises from regulatory and merger investigations.

Mahr said: “Throughout my career, my two greatest interests – international antitrust and US litigation – have always been in some tension with one another; Freshfields provides the unique opportunity finally to bring them together.”

“I have admired the Freshfields competition practice since my four years based in Brussels and I am honoured to have the opportunity to join this extraordinary team.”

The magic circle firm’s US regional managing partner Peter Lyons added: “When it comes to US antitrust litigators, there’s quite simply nobody else who offers the track record that Eric has, and nobody else who can offer our clients in the US and around the world as deep a level of hands-on knowledge.”

Freshfields already has four partners working in Washington DC on antitrust matters: Thomas Ensign, Mary Lehner, Bruce McCulloch and Paul Yde. There are an addtional 12 fee-earners.

The firm was also joined by DoJ federal prosecutor Dan Braun in Washington DC in 2016, who became a partner in its white-collar group.

In the last year, Freshfields has made several hires to its US offices including a bankruptcy team from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and Paul Weiss Wharton Rifkind & Garrison lawyer Menachem Kaplan who joined as its first intellectual property partner in New York.