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17 February 2020

Freshfields bolsters European litigation arm with Brussels team hire from White & Case

Partner and two associates join UK magic circle firm's 800-lawyer disputes practice

Freshfields bolsters European litigation capability with Brussels team hire from White & Case

Brussels' business district: Freshfields has also made significant litigation-related hires recently in Paris and New York Shutterstock

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has boosted its European litigation practice with the hire of a three-lawyer team from White & Case in Belgium.

The move is being characterised by the UK magic circle firm as part of a plan to grow its cross-border litigation practice that has also seen significant recent partner hires in Paris and New York.

The Belgian team is led by partner Nathalie Colin and also comprises associates Alexandre Hublet and Nino De Lathauwer. 

They will be joining Freshfields’ Brussels office, where 15 partners are listed on the firm’s website as using it as their primary base.

Colin has more than 25 years of practice in corporate and commercial litigation under her belt and specialises in advising corporates and private equity firms and other financial institutions on cross-border and domestic disputes.

She and her team join an 800-lawyer strong litigation team at Freshfields spanning 19 offices.

The firm said she would be working particularly closely with its continental network of disputes lawyers and cited its work acting for Volkswagen in its global defence during the diesel emissions scandal as a particular highlight in recent years.

Andrew Hart, global head of dispute resolution at Freshfields, said: “We are seeing more and more client demand to provide combined teams across continental Europe in areas such as follow-on damages, class actions and investigations.”

In September last year the firm hired top arbitration specialist partner Christophe Seraglini from Paris boutique practice Betto Seraglini.

A month later, top M&A and securities litigator Meredith Kotler was a member of the four-partner New York team led by Ethan Klingsberg which the firm secured from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

It was one of the most high-profile US team moves stateside to a UK magic circle firm to date. 

Last month, Reed Smith announced the opening of an office in Brussels – its fifth in Europe  - with the arrival of five partners, one counsel and two associates from five international law firms. 

In the same month, White & Case made up two Brussels partners – anti-trust specialist Strati Sakellariou-Witt and banking lawyer Hadrien Servais – as part of its largest class ever.

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