A&O turns to Visa Europe GC for Brussels antitrust hire

Allen & Overy (A&O) has turned to an in-house lawyer again for a senior hire, taking on Visa Europe general counsel and executive vice president Vanessa Turner as an antitrust partner in Brussels.

Turner, a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from 2000 to 2008, joined the European Commission as an assistant to the competition commissioner in 2008 (13 March 2008) and, in 2010, became a special adviser for EU affairs at the US Federal Trade Commission.

Later that year she joined Visa Europe in the senior in-house position overseeing legal matters for the region.

Her start date at A&O is unconfirmed, as are details of her replacement at Visa Europe.

Her recruitment by A&O follows the firm’s recent hire of Goldman Sachs in-house lawyer Denise Gibson, a former A&O senior associate, into its City banking team as a partner (11 June 2013).

Earlier this year the firm hired Fried Frank competition partner Alasdair Balfour in London (20 May 2013), while antitrust partner Simon Pritchard exited the City base to join Linklaters.

A&O also moved to expand its antitrust capabilities in Washington DC last year by hiring US Justice Department director of criminal enforcement for its antitrust division, John Terzaken, as a partner and head of its cartel defence practice in the country.

A&O Brussels antitrust head Dirk Arts said in a statement: “Vanessa will boost the capacity of our Brussels team, as part of our global network, to coordinate and handle issues relating to multi-jurisdictional transactions and cartel investigations.”

Visa Europe CEO Peter Ayliffe said in a statement: ”We wish Vanessa every success in her new role as a partner in the competition law practice of Allen & Overy. During the two years that Vanessa has been at Visa Europe, she has made a significant contribution to our business and I am therefore delighted that she will continue to lead our competition law work as part of her new role. We are sorry that she is leaving Visa Europe, but congratulate her on this great opportunity to return to her heartland in antitrust law.”