McDermott loses two partners as 2Birds swoops

McDermott Will & Emery has lost the head of its Brussels office after Bird & Bird poached a two-­partner competition team from the US firm.

José Rivas, who was head of the Brussels competition team, as well as managing partner of McDermott’s Brussels office, has joined Bird & Bird’s competition group along with EU law partner Morten Nissen.

McDermott has been hit with a string of defections in Europe, with Munich-based corporate partner Stephan Brandes, who joined McDermott from Shearman & Sterling at the end of last year, set to join Shearman legacy firm Schilling Zutt & Anschütz.

Other exits include London corporate chief William Charnley to Mayer Brown and IP head Larry Cohen to Latham & Watkins.

McDermott has been left with six partners and six associates in Brussels. Phillip Bentley QC, EU ­regulatory ;partner ;at McDermott in Brussels, said a replacement managing partner would be named on 5 August.

“We continue to have a strong office here,” added Bentley. “We have major clients in areas such as transport and energy. The management in the States is ­committed to Brussels.”