Clifford Chance brings in OFT enforcement head

Clifford Chance has boosted its City antitrust practice with the hire of Office of Fair Trading (OFT) competition enforcement head Alastair Mordaunt as a partner.

A former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer senior associate, Mordaunt left the magic circle firm in 2007 to become director of mergers at the watchdog. He has led on several notable investigatons including on mergers between Lloyds and HBOS and Co-op and Somerfield supermarkets.

Clifford Chance London competition head Alex Nourry said in a statement that Mordaunt’s recruitment was “a tremendous opportunity”.

“His mix of private and public sector experience will be a real benefit for our clients, especially given the major reforms to the competition regime being contemplated in the UK and the ever expanding international cooperation between antitrust authorities,” added Nourry.

A number of lawyers have been exiting the OFT in recent months as the Government plans to merge the watchdog with the Competition Commission to create the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Last year, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton hired OFT deputy director of competition Paul Gilbert as a partner in its London competition team (14 December 2010).