Milbank hires veteran Freshfields competition partner

A Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer competition partner who has been with the firm for more than 30 years has left to join Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.

Nicholas Spearing was a partner in Freshfields’ antitrust, competition and trade group in London and has left to join Milbank’s London office. Spearing joined Freshfields in 1978 and made partner in 1984.

Spearing has helped companies like E.ON and PepsiCo get merger clearance, working cases at UK and European Commission level, and has also advised the Bank of England on consolidation in the banking sector.

Spearing is understood to be Milbank’s first competition partner in London. The US firm came close to securing the services of SJ Berwin’s EU and competition head Stephen Kon in 2011, but Kon was persuaded to stay after handing in his resignation (14 July 2011). Kon has since become senior partner at SJ Berwin.

A spokesperson for Freshfields said: “We’re grateful to Nick for his longstanding and significant contribution to the firm, where he has many good friends. We wish him well as he embarks on this new challenge.”

Earlier this year, Freshfields hired a partner from Milbank in Tokyo (12 April 2012).