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08 January 2021

McDermott boosts Brussels team with senior Deloitte Legal hire

US firm bolsters its EU law capability with addition of Hendrik Viaene

By Ben Rigby

EC headquarters

The European Commission headquarters in Brussels Shutterstock

McDermott Will & Emery has hired competition partner Hendrik Viaene from Deloitte Legal. 

Viaene, who headed up Deloitte Legal’s global antitrust and regulatory hub, brings with him deep experience of Belgian, and, in particular EU antitrust law, having previously spent 18 years at leading Benelux independent law firm Stibbe

Key to Viaene’s attraction is his ability to master merger control clearances and cartel defence work, as well as associated follow-on litigation, the bedrock of any successful Brussels practice for major law firms.  

He also has broad sectoral experience, from energy, chemicals and paints, to renewables, recycling and waste management, and telecoms, construction, and media, as well as private equity and financial services.

While his domestic practice is important, his experience before the European courts, as well as the European Commission, will be of significant interest to McDermott, given an expected increase in cases post-pandemic, enabling him to liaise with his EU counterparts.

Viaene said McDermott’s Brussels office was “a central and strategic pillar of the firm’s global antitrust expertise with strong practices in the US, Germany and France”.

The firm’s local managing partner, Jacques Buhart, added: “In addition to Andrea Hamilton, who concentrates on international mergers, and David Henry and Philip Bentley QC, both UK barristers, Hendrik will bring additional skills to offer our clients the highest calibre of legal advice to successfully defend them in complex competition and trade matters, including litigation.”

Bentley was one of the founding partners of McDermott’s Brussels practice following his legacy firm’s 2004 merger with McDermott, which saw him, and the late Clive Stanbrook OBE QC, move to the US firm.

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