Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has pulled off a major coup with the hire of a trio of antitrust partners from Shearman & Sterling.

Shearman’s global head of antitrust Steven Sunshine last night (2 March) quit the firm alongside two junior partners, Jess Biggio and David Wales.

Sunshine and Wales will work out of Cadwalader’s Washington DC office while Biggio joins the New York office. They started at Cadwalader today.

Sunshine, who last year counselled De Beers in its settlement with the US Department of Justice, will lead Cadwalader’s newly created antitrust practice. The team has experience in contentious antitrust as well as merger work and criminal antitrust.

The hires represent Cadwalader’s first major foray into the antitrust arena. The move is designed to bolster the firm’s corporate and litigation practices.

Cadwalader’s corporate department was the envy of the New York market earlier this year when it secured the instruction to advise Proctor & Gamble on its merger with Gillette.

The hires also represent a boost for Cadwalader’s litigation practice, already recognised for its securities, white collar and insurance litigation capability.