Howrey boosts Brussels as another senior partner quits Freshfields

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has lost its former Brussels managing partner Michael Schutte to Howrey.

Schutte, who will join Howrey in early October, is one of 30 Freshfields partners to take advantage of favourable pension terms offered by the firm before it reforms its pension scheme.

Trevor Soames, managing partner of Howrey in Brussels, said: “I know him to be one of the best and toughest competition lawyers in Europe. We will have one of the largest groups of German partners in Brussels and intend to develop our German practice very rapidly.”

As first reported by The Lawyer (10 April), Freshfields radically overhauled its partners’ pension scheme, with some accepting that they may receive as little as 60-65 per cent of their entitlement. However, partners aged 50 or above had until 31 July to exercise the option to retire from the partnership with effect from 31 October, locking in their entitlement to the firm’s old pension scheme.

Schutte will join former Freshfields’ partner Marc Reyson. Other notable lawyers on the Howrey team include Martina Maier, former co-head of the worldwide EU and competition law practice group at Haarmann Hemmmelrath, and Gotz Drauz, former deputy director-general of the European Commission’s Directorate for Competition (DG Comp), who joined Howrey in May.