Latham & Watkins secures antitrust partner in London from Linklaters

Leading merger control practitioner Simon Pritchard joins US firm after 10 years at magic circle rival

Simon Pritchard Image courtesy of Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins has hired leading competition law specialist Simon Pritchard in London from Linklaters. 

Pritchard has joined the US firm’s antitrust & competition team as a partner and brings more than 20 years’ experience in private practice and government to his new firm. Ranked Band 1 by Chambers for competition law, Pritchard advises clients on complex merger control matters, market investigations, conduct inquiries and counselling, as well as cases before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

“We are delighted to welcome Simon to the firm,” said Stephen Kensell, Latham & Watkins’ London office managing partner. “He brings substantial industry knowledge and many years of experience across complex transactional, regulatory and enforcement matters. He will add tremendous expertise to our team in London and Europe.”

Before joining Linklaters in 2013 Pritchard spent three years as a partner at Allen & Overy. Earlier he served as the UK’s first senior director, mergers under the modern UK regime at the Office of Fair Trading, a predecessor of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). He has particular expertise in the healthcare and life sciences, media and entertainment, technology, financial services, consumer goods, retail, transport and chemicals industries, and regularly counsels clients in their engagement with the CMA and the European Commission. 

Pritchard has joined Latham as the sixth partner in its London antitrust team, which is known for its complex domestic merger control investigations work, owing in part to partners Gregory Bonné, David Little and Jonathan Parker having former experience working within the CMA. 

The firm’s wider antitrust practice, which houses more than 220 lawyers globally, has a strong presence in Belgium and the US and often coordinates merger notifications across multiple jurisdictions. 

“At a time when the CMA, the European Commission and other international regulators are taking an active stance in relation to merger control and enforcement matters, Simon’s track record and experience will be of great value to clients across the firm,” said Mandy Reeves, global chair of Latham’s antitrust & competition practice. “His arrival represents another milestone as we continue to build the world’s premier practice for cross-border deals, trials and high-stakes enforcement matters.”

Pritchard’s arrival follows partner Christos Malamataris rejoining Latham’s antitrust team in Brussels last October after a four-year stint at the European Commission. The firm also bolstered its offering in the US last year with the hire of Makan Delrahim, former assistant attorney general in the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, as a partner in Washington DC in April. The same month it secured antitrust specialist Katherine Rocco in New York from Kirkland & Ellis. 

Pritchard is the fifth partner to defect from Linklaters for a US rival in London in as many months: global infrastructure co-heads Jessamy Gallagher and Stuart Rowson moved over to Paul Hastings in January, shortly before M&A partner Sarah Flaherty left for Weil Gotshal & Manges

And last November Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton made a rare lateral hire in the City when it added M&A partner Nick Rumsby from Linklaters. 

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