Allen & Overy boosts European antitrust team with high-profile tech-focused Sidley hire

UK firm flags competition law as strategic priority as it secures Sidley’s co-head of antitrust in London

Allen & Overy (A&O) has kicked off 2022 with a high-profile addition to its European competition team after securing Sidley Austin’s global co-head of antitrust, Kristina Nordlander.

Nordlander is moving across to the Magic Circle UK firm’s London office after more than 16 years at Sidley, having been one of the early additions to the Chicago-based firm's Brussels office, which she joined from Cleary shortly after it launched in 2003.

Her arrival will reinforce A&O’s senior team following last year’s loss of former co-head of global antitrust, Antonio Bavasso, to Simpson Thacher, ahead of its launch of a Brussels office in September.

Nordlander, a Swedish national, will be based in London but continue to spend time in Brussels. She has built up a highly rated EU antitrust and litigation practice with a focus on big tech and life sciences.

A&O highlighted her ‘strong US West Coast client base’, aligning her practice with a seven-partner tech-focused team it hired from White & Case last August to open offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Philip Mansfield, A&O’s global co-head of antitrust, said: “Kristina’s hire is an illustration of our commitment to investing in our global antitrust team, as a strategic priority of the firm.” 

In October 2020, Nordlander received plaudits when she secured a significant victory for online pharmacy Shop-Apotheke, the European Court of Justice having ruled against several advertising restrictions imposed by France. It was touted as the first case interpreting the substantive free movement provisions of the EU e-Commerce Directive.

In 2008, Nordlander founded the Women’s Competition Network, an international professional forum for senior competition law and policy professionals, which has grown to a membership of more than 2,000.

Chambers and Partners ranks A&O as a band two firm for competition law in London behind its magic circle rivals, band one-rated Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May. In Brussels, A&O and Sidley are both ranked in band three by the directory.

Also kicking off 2022 with investment in its competition practice is Orrick, which has added two partners in Washington DC from White & Case and Dechert.

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