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16 March 2021

Cleary Gottlieb beefs up UK competition practice with Slaughters special adviser hire

Jackie Holland becomes latest UK lawyer to exit a magic circle firm for a US rival in London

By Ben Edwards

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has hired competition lawyer Jackie Holland from Slaughter and May in London, the latest magic circle departure to a Wall Street firm.

Holland joins the firm’s UK competition practice as a partner, bringing with her more than 25 years of experience covering antitrust issues, most recently as a special adviser at Slaughters but also as a senior director at the Office of Fair Trading, the predecessor to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Nicholas Levy, a competition partner at Cleary Gottlieb in London, said: “This is a really exciting time for UK competition enforcement. The CMA’s increased role after Brexit has accelerated the growth of our London practice to deal with cases previously managed exclusively in Brussels. Jackie brings a wealth of experience to our team.”

Cleary Gottlieb managing partner Michael Gerstenzang added that Holland is a ‘formidable talent’.

Holland’s practice focuses on antitrust enforcement, merger control, state aid, competition litigation and sectoral regulation, adding to Cleary Gottlieb’s long-tradition of hiring former senior officials in government bodies such as the US Federal Trade Commission, the US Department of Justice and both the UK and EU’s competition authorities.

Maurits Dolmans, competition partner in London, said: “Cleary has one of the strongest competition law practices in the world. To complement our leading EU, US, and international practices, we have grown our UK practice substantially, advising on many of the most challenging UK matters of recent years. Jackie’s arrival will enhance our UK and other European practices.”

Holland’s move to Cleary Gottlieb follows the loss of Slaughters corporate partner Murray Cox last month to US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, underscoring the challenge UK firms face from their US rivals even in their domestic market.

Wall Street firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has also made a number of hires in London recently, raiding Allen & Overy for its global antirust co-head Antonio Bavasso in December and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for restructuring partner Adam Gallagher at the start of February.

Last year Freshfields also lost its global M&A client group co-head, Bruce Embley, to Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

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