Wilson Sonsini launches in Brussels with Hunton raid

Hunton & Williams has lost a team of lawyers headed by its Brussels managing partner to technology powerhouse Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, as the West Coast firm opens its first office in Europe.

The office will be led by Michael Rosenthal, along with fellow Hunton & Williams partner Paul McGeown. Götz Drauz, formerly deputy director-general for competition at the European Commission, also joins Wilson Sonsini after spending six months at Shearman & Sterling. Drauz was hired from defunct firm Howrey in February 2011.

A counsel and three associates will bulk up the new office, which is expected to open in October.

As first reported by The Lawyer (12 September 2011) Wilson Sonsini is among a number of US firms seeking to boost their competition profile in Brussels.

Wilson Sonsini chairman Larry Sonsini said in a statement: “In recent years, the European Commission has become an increasingly important forum for our clients when it comes to antitrust review, particularly concerning mergers and acquisitions and global cartel investigations. Opening an office in Brussels, the seat of the European Commission, is a natural evolution of our mission to serve our clients as they seek to grow and compete on a global basis, and we are excited by the opportunities that it represents.”