Competition litigation team exits Constantine Cannon for Fieldfisher as US boutique shutters London office

Exit of group led by partners Richard Pike and Stephen Critchley marks departure of last of Constantine Cannon’s London-based lawyers

Image courtesy of Fieldfisher

City firm Fieldfisher has added an eight-strong competition litigation team in London from Constantine Cannon, amid reports the US boutique has shuttered its office in the City.

Constantine Cannon’s managing partner, Richard Aborn, confirmed to American Lawyer on Monday (31 July) the firm had closed its London office, leaving it with three US bases. 

The team joining Fieldfisher is led by partners Richard Pike and Stephen Critchley and also includes director Simon Yeung, two associates and a paralegal, as well as two executive assistants. Their move marks the departure of the last of Constantine Cannon’s London-based lawyers after partner Pierre Valentin – who opened the office in 2012 – took his art law team to Boies Schiller Flexner last month. 

Fieldfisher, which grew revenue 11% in FY 2023 to £370m, described the team’s hire as an “enterprising move” that would build on the cross practice work of its competition and regulatory group. 

“Competition litigation is currently one of the most active areas of competition law, so adding this team propels Fieldfisher into the centre of the action, bringing a pipeline of exciting cases and giving the firm deeper expert resource to develop more,” the firm said. 

Pike spent 14 years at Baker McKenzie before joining Constantine Cannon nine years ago. Recognised in legal directories as a leading individual, his practice covers a broad range of competition and regulatory litigation and counselling. 

He specialises in competition litigation, particularly on the claimant side in competition damages actions and in regulatory appeals. Recent cases have included acting for Euronet in its claim against Visa and Mastercard, and for more than 130 public authorities pursuing damages arising out of the trucks cartel.

Meantime Critchley brings more than 20 years’ experience in the resolution of commercial disputes including a particular focus on antitrust damages actions. Critchley acted for the claimant in the landmark case of Crehan v Inntrepreneur Pub Company – which was the first case of its kind in the UK in 2003; recent work includes acting for a group of commercial entities, including Mitchell & Butler, Birds Eye and Pilgrim’s Pride, in pursuing losses caused by the trucks cartel. He became a partner at Constantine Cannon in 2021, having joined the firm in 2019 from London boutique Collyer Bristow. 

“Hiring an entire team is an exciting move for us and is reflective of our desire to invest in our people and ensure we are constantly improving our offering,” said John Cassels, co-head of Fieldfisher’s competition and regulatory group. “These hires will add a further dimension to the current practice. We are an ambitious group and are confident that this new team will create a combined force which is truly market leading.”

Fieldfisher said the new arrivals would work closely with its existing competition and disputes teams across its European network, which was expanded last month with the launch of an office in Vienna and also last year with the opening of a specialist group litigation unit, Fieldfisher X, in Berlin. 

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build on our collective offerings,” Pike commented. “I was particularly attracted to the firm because of its cross practice and jurisdictional reputation and I am really keen to get stuck in and work with Fieldfisher’s European network to develop competition litigation in other jurisdictions as well as offering English competition litigation to overseas clients.”

Constantine Cannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the departures and the closure of its London office. The firm currently has offices in Washington DC and San Francisco alongside its New York headquarters. 

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