Clifford Chance names joint competition heads

Clifford Chance has shaken up its global competition group following this summer’s departure of practice head Simon Baxter by creating dual leadership positions.

Oliver Bretz will become managing partner of the global practice while Brussels-based Thomas Vinje will take on the new title of chair of the group.

Baxter, who acted for Kraft on the competition aspects of its £11.4bn acquisition of Cadbury earlier this year, left the magic circle firm to join Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & From in June (14 June 2010).

Bretz, who was recently named the firm’s head of public policy in the EU, will focus on the delivery of the group’s global growth strategy. Vinje, meanwhile, will concentrate on overall strategy for the group as well as high-level leadership.

Bretz said: “I anticipate there’ll be plenty of synergies between my public policy and antitrust roles, which will directly benefit our clients and which will also help me to ensure we’re making the right connections internally and externally, particularly in Europe.”

The pair are expected to work closely with newly elected Brussels managing partner Tony Reeves.

Reeves added: “This is an exciting step for our antitrust group.  I’m very much looking forward to working with Thomas, Oliver and the rest of our team, to bring clients the most comprehensive international antitrust advice in the legal sector.”