Firms ramp up Brussels regulatory teams

A range of firms have boosted their Brussels offices with new hires.

Lovells has taken on European Commission lawyer Rainer Wessely as a senior associate in its competition and EU practice.

International firm Beiten Burkhardt has bolstered its state aid and antitrust practice with the hire of a lawyer from Belgian boutique firm Kemmler Rapp Böhlke, while Swedish firm Vinge has hired a competition associate from Cleary ­Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as a local partner.

Lovells’ Wessely had been a member of the European Commission’s cartel directorate since 2004 and is experienced in drafting statements of objections and fining decisions.

Rainer Bierwagen joins Beiten Burkhardt after 14 years at Kemmler Rapp. Beiten’s Brussels managing partner Carl Wetter said that because Bierwagen was an academic with a doctorate in civil law, he will ­provide a good mix of ­theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

The hires come after ­Herbert Smith’s Benelux alliance partner Stibbe hired Linklaters Brussels partner Thierry Denayer as head of tax (The Lawyer, 9 March).

Denayer had been a ­Linklaters partner since 2002, when the magic circle firm merged with local firm De Bandt van Hecke & Lagae.