Fried Frank adds third European office with Brussels launch
Wall Street firm latest US practice to open in EU regulatory hub in wake of Brexit
New York firm Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson has opened in Brussels, adding a fifth office to its network.
The office at Kunstlaan, Avenue des Arts in Brussels’ EU district will serve as a base for London- and Frankfurt-based members of the firm’s EU/London competition and trade team, which is led by Tobias Caspary.
The firm said Caspary would be splitting his time between the London and Brussels offices, while antitrust, competition and international trade associate Neda Moussavi is moving from London to staff the new office permanently.
Fried Frank is the latest of a steady stream of US firms committing to a presence in Brussels in addition to an office in London, which remains Europe’s premier legal hub but has become detached from the EU in the wake of Brexit.
Last year Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher and Curtis all moved in to Brussels with Reed Smith setting up shop there in 2020.
Fried Frank said the office would serve as the centre of its EU merger control proceedings together with London, adding that the move ‘capitalised’ on its existing presence in the key financial and regulatory centres of New York, Washington DC, London and Frankfurt.
“This expansion advances Fried Frank’s strategy of growing our European presence and continuing to align our offerings in Europe with the core strengths of the firm in the US,” said David J. Greenwald, Fried Frank’s chairman.
Fried Frank’s competition team received a boost last November when Barry A Nigro Jr re-joined the firm in Washington DC to head up its global antitrust and competition department having served in the US Department of Justice's Antitrust Division as principal deputy assistant attorney general and deputy assistant attorney general.
“Brussels is a key centre for international competition and antitrust activity,” he said. “Our presence there enables us to continue providing top-tier counsel and international coverage on complex global transactions for leading corporate players in the market.”
Recent work highlights include advising Aleris Corporation on the 20-month multijurisdictional antitrust review of its $2.8bn acquisition by Novelis, which concluded successfully in April 2020.