17 Jun 2022

K&L Gates secures Brussels antitrust partner from Linklaters

Nikolaos Peristerakis is the third Brussels-based lawyer Linklaters has lost to a US firm this year

A picture of the Flower Carpet Festival in Brussels

K&L Gates strengthens its antitrust practice in Brussels Shutterstock

K&L Gates has hired a competition lawyer from Linklaters to boost its antitrust and trade regulation platform in Brussels.

Nikolaos Peristerakis joins K&L Gates’ 80-strong global antitrust, competition and trade regulation practice as a partner after seven years at Linklaters, where he was a counsel. Before that, he spent 15 years at Skadden after getting his start as a trainee at Weil Gotshal and Manges in 1997.

Peristerakis’ more than two decades of experience will serve K&L Gates’ Brussels antitrust team as it keeps busy with the high levels of transactional activity and accompanying regulatory scrutiny taking place in Europe, the firm said.

Tony Griffiths, K&L Gates’s managing partner for Europe and the Middle East, said: “We identified the need to bring in senior behavioural competition experience to further strengthen the competition and regulatory capability. Nick meets that strategic requirement perfectly.”

Peristerakis is the third lawyer to part ways with Linklaters’ Brussels office in favour of a US firm since the start of the year. His exit comes two months after Jonas Koponen, head of the firm’s antitrust and foreign investment group, left for Cooley in March.

Koponen’s departure was preceded in March by that of partner Isabel Rooms, who joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as the New York firm’s first lateral hire in Brussels in 15 years.  

At Linklaters, Peristerakis focused his practice on advising clients on merger control and antitrust investigations before the European Commission. He also covers internal investigations, leniency applications, cartel and abuse of dominance compliance matters and state aid.

His arrival follows that of antitrust partners Yi Ying and Jens Steger, who both joined K&L Gates in the past year from White & Case and Simmons & Simmons in Washington DC and Frankfurt, respectively.

In April, Norton Rose Fulbright hired antitrust and competition partner Miranda Cole from Covington & Burling to strengthen its regulatory group in Brussels. And in January, Shoosmiths hired EY Law’s EU competition leader Kiran Desai to launch an office in Brussels as its first overseas base to take on more competition work in the wake of Brexit.

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