Dechert boosted its antitrust and competition practices in Brussels, hiring a four-lawyer team away from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
The team is led by Alec Burnside and includes Anne MacGregor, Marjolein De Backer and Adam Kidane. Burnside has been a managing partner of Cadwalader’s offices in Brussels since May 2011.
In August, Cadwalader lost four antitrust partners in Washington, D.C. whose clients included Microsoft and Cigna, to Paul, Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Cadwalader also recently shuttered its offices in Hong Kong and Beijing and is left with six attorneys in Brussels after the departure of its four antitrust and competition lawyers.
Dechert’s move boosts it presence in Europe, with 14 attorneys now in its Brussels office. The firm has more than 900 lawyers in 27 offices worldwide, including branches in Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Paris and London.
Brussels is similar to Washington, D.C., in that it is where the European Commission’s antitrust enforcement agency is located, according to Michael Weiner, co-leader of Dechert’s antitrust and competition practice group.
Prior to joining Cadwalader in 2011, Burnside led Linklaters’ global antitrust practice from its offices in Brussels for 24 years.
Burnside has represented Aer Lingus against acquisition efforts by Ryanair and advised British American Tobacco, Deutsche Post DHL, and Microsoft on acquisition issues. He also has worked on the mergers creating BAE Systems, BHP Billiton and GlaxoSmithKline.
MacGregor joins Dechert as a national partner, having worked at Cadwalader since August 2011. Prior to that, she worked with Baker & McKenzie’s European and competition law practice in Brussels.
Beth Huffman, a spokesperson for Dechert in Philadelphia, told Big Law Business that the firm has been “very busy” with recent expansion efforts. Dechert has acquired a corporate team from Cadwalader’s Hong Kong offices just a few days ago and has hired several lawyers in London and Dubai within the last few weeks, she said.