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01 June 2020

Founding partner of Cooley's European practice departs for Brussels boutique

Becket McGrath joins competition boutique five years after helping West Coast firm launch in London, and then Brussels

By Ben Rigby

Flags in front of the headquarters of the European Commission

The European Commission building: McGrath helped Cooley set up its Brussels office Xavier Lejeune Photo/Shutterstock

Becket McGrath, one of the founding partners of Cooley’s London and Brussels practices, has joined Euclid Law, the competition law boutique founded by former Clifford Chance head of competition law Olivier Bretz.

McGrath joined Cooley’s London office in 2015, where he led on competition law issues, helping to establish its Brussels office in 2019. Prior to Cooley, he spent five years at Edwards Wildman Palmer in London, with a four-year stint at legacy Berwin Leighton Paisner prior to that.

He brings to Euclid a wealth of practice experience, with particular focus on media, technology and the life sciences sectors, all of which have been subject to scrutiny by the European Commission and other competition regulators.

He is regarded as a leading expert on e-commerce antitrust issues, including distribution and selective distribution concerns, having advised a number of major online retailers and marketplaces during his career, both strategically and on ongoing investigations.

McGrath is well qualified to advise on regulatory thinking; having previously held a senior post at the UK's Office of Fair Trading (now the Competition and Markets Authority). He trained at Baker McKenzie, and worked at Simmons & Simmons, and then Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer after qualification. 

That breadth of practice experience has given him a wide network – he is a former chair of the Law Society of England & Wales’s competition section – and he is a member of the City of London Law Society competition committee, among other bodies. 

He is also a UK non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network, which brings together policymakers, regulators, academics and lawyers.

Commenting on LinkedIn, McGrath said he was “very happy to be joining such a great team”; it is understood that his departure was amicable, based on Euclid’s profile as a destination practice for competition law alone. 

The four-partner practice, founded by Bretz in 2014, has built up a strong niche in the field, without necessarily needing the synergies of corporate revenues from merger control work, or incurring the conflicts associated with larger law firms, while staying focused on strategic representation to win interesting mandates. 

Euclid saw partner Damien Gerardin leave the firm to set up his own boutique, Gerardin & Partners in Brussels, in January 2020; it previously hired Natalie Greenwood, from Lloyds Banking Group, as counsel in October 2019. Cooley declined comment.

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