DLA Piper hires Hausfeld’s former Brussels, Paris head amid ongoing European antitrust push

Laurent Geelhand will join as a partner in the firm’s competition practice in Brussels

Laurent Geelhand Image courtesy of DLA Piper

DLA Piper has hired Hausfeld’s former Brussels and Paris office managing partner Laurent Geelhand to expand its Brussels competition practice.

Geelhand joins as a partner and brings with him vast experience in the automotive and transport and logistics sectors, having headed both practices at Hausfeld. He focuses on advising large companies and trade associations in those sectors, predominantly on cartel issues and abuse of market dominance cases.

Paul Hopman, international head of litigation and regulatory at DLA Piper, said: “Laurent’s appointment will have an instant impact both in Belgium and across our growing international competition team. He is a highly respected and technically astute competition partner with extensive in-house experience and perspectives.”

Geelhand had been at Hausfeld since 2014, having joined from tyre-maker Michelin where he spent 16 years, more than 10 of which as general counsel for Europe and head of international legal affairs before that. He previously worked in private practice as an associate at Van Bael & Bellis.

Kristof De Vulder, DLA’s country managing partner in Belgium, said: “Laurent has been involved in many high-profile and sophisticated matters and will be a strong asset to our clients. This is the next chapter in our strategy to have the Brussels office of DLA Piper play a key role in the global competition arena.”

Hausfeld said it had a well-established French team looking after its French clients, with recently appointed global co-chair Anthony Maton also spending a lot of time in Europe working with its partners across the firm’s European offices.

Maton said: “We started with the Brussels office in 2014, and since then built teams on the ground in Düsseldorf, Berlin, Stockholm and Amsterdam. We remain focused on their continued growth and achieving the best results for our clients across Europe.”

Geelhand’s arrival follows the hiring of competition partner Joost Haans from Baker McKenzie, who is due to join the firm at the start of next month. The duo are part of a broader antitrust push at DLA following a spate of lateral competition hires last year in Germany, Hungary, Austria and London.

Those lateral moves included the hires of Justus Herrlinger from White & Case in Hamburg, Marc Lager from Deloitte Legal in Vienna and Matt Evans from Jones Day in London. Gábor Fejes and Zoltan Marosi also joined the firm from Oppenheim in Budapest, where Marosi was appointed as the office's co-head of antitrust. 

UK firm Norton Rose Fulbright has also moved to boost its competition offering in Brussels recently, adding partner Alexandra Rogers from White & Case last month. Her arrival followed the firm hiring a senior competition and antitrust partner, Miranda Cole, from Covington & Burling earlier in the year.  

And in June, UK Magic Circle firm Linklaters lost antitrust lawyer Nikolaos Peristerakis to K&L Gates. Peristerkais was the third to depart Linklaters for a US firm in Brussels this year, following the exits of Jonas Koponen, who decamped for Cooley in March, and Isabel Rooms, who joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as the New York firm's first lateral hire in Brussels in 15 years. 


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