OFT beefs up team with CC’s Branch

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken on a Clifford Chance competition partner as one of its new senior hires this year.

Sonya Branch, who became a partner last year, will join the regulator as a senior director reporting to executive director Sean Williams.

Branch featured in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 earlier this year, the compendium of up-and-coming lawyers. While still an associate at Clifford Chance, Branch wrote the firm’s Financial Services Antitrust Bulletin, which encouraged Barclays to invite the magic circle firm to pitch for the retail banking sector inquiry by the European Commission, an instruction which Clifford Chance scored.

Branch will join Heather Clayton, currently at the Financial Ombudsman Service, and Cavendish Elithorn, who is being promoted from within the OFT, as a senior director. All three will concentrate on market-facing projects work, said the regulator.

The OFT’s chief executive John Fingleton said: “I am enormously pleased to welcome Cavendish, Heather and Sonya to the OFT’s senior leadership team. They bring a great range and depth of relevant experience and expertise, both in the area of consumer and competition policy and in management leadership.”