Hausfeld doubles down on antitrust with hires in London, Germany

Joanna Christoforou joins from Morgan Lewis & Bockius’s London office as René Galle moves over in Hamburg from A&O Shearman


Hausfeld has bolstered its competition bench with the hire of a lawyer apiece in London and Germany. 

Partner Joanna Christoforou will join the firm from Morgan Lewis & Bockius’s London office, and René Galle from A&O Shearman’s Hamburg office. Both have strong backgrounds in antitrust law and litigation.

Christoforou brings extensive experience in big-ticket litigation to her new firm and has a track record of handling high-stakes and complex UK and EU competition litigation. She joined Morgan Lewis as a partner in 2016 and during her time at the firm led Sainsbury’s to a landmark victory at the Supreme Court against Visa. This victory set a precedent and was a significant win for the firm in multilateral interchange fee competition litigation, both in the EU and UK.

Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, she spent 15 years as a senior associate at Ashurst, having trained and qualified at Watson Farley & Williams. She also had paralegal stints at Stephenson Harwood and the European Commission’s DG Competition and was seconded to the NHS Competition Panel. She will join Hausfeld in June.

Meantime Galle has joined Hausfeld as a partner having been of counsel at A&O Shearman, and brings a track record of success in high-profile competition litigation cases. He was promoted from senior associate at legacy Allen & Overy in 2017. He is also a regional co-head of the prestigious Association of German Antitrust Lawyers.

Galle will join Hausfeld in September and cited national and EU initiatives as the driving force behind his move, saying: “[As] antitrust law and related regulations, such as the Digital Market Acts, continue to be on the rise, so is client demand.”

With the new additions, the firm’s European competition disputes resolution team stands at 14 partners and 44 lawyers, making it one of the largest claimant private enforcement teams in Europe.

The hires “mark another milestone in our commitment to delivering unparalleled expertise and strategic insight to our clients”, said Hausfeld global co-chair Antony Maton, adding the duo’s “formidable experience will undoubtedly elevate our capabilities”.

Christoforou shared her reasons for leaving corporate law behind her: “Hausfeld has established itself as a preeminent firm in bringing cartel damages actions, abuse of dominance claims and collective claims. The big legal developments are really being driven by the claimant side – with Hausfeld playing a big role – which is why joining the firm is so exciting.”

Stressing the contentious side of her practice – distinct from that of her former firms, which have strong cartel defence, merger control and abuse of dominance practices in defendant-led mandates – Christoforou said Hausfeld’s specialist practice was “a perfect fit”.

Noting the firm’s “tremendous growth”, Galle added: “Competition litigation is my passion and at Hausfeld it sits at the heart of the firm, which makes it the right place to be.” 

The firm promoted commercial litigator Philipp Hardung to partner in 2024 in Düsseldorf alongside two US partners, while antitrust lawyer Philipp Westerhoff was promoted to counsel in Berlin. Antitrust lawyer Manuel Knebelsberger was also promoted to counsel in 2022, with successive German antitrust promotions made at associate level from 2021 onwards. 

Hausfeld launched in Berlin in 2015 with a £30m capital injection from Burford Capital. Two Berlin partner additions in 2019 followed: Wolf von Bernuth and Ann-Christin Richter, who is now the firm’s deputy managing partner locally. 

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