Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance refreshes global antitrust leadership team

Marc Besen is named global co-chair while Richard Blewett will lead the Brussels competition practice
Headshots or Richard Blewett and Marc Besen

Richard Blewett (l) and Marc Besen Images courtesy of Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has shaken up its antitrust practice leadership with the appointment of a new global co-chair and a new Brussels competition lead.

Dusseldorf-based partner and head of the firm’s German antitrust practice Marc Besen takes over as global co-chair from Brussels-based Thomas Vinje, who is stepping down to focus on the firm’s international tech practice and client base. Besen joins Washington DC-based partner Sharis Pozen to co-lead a 170 lawyer-strong group that is spread across 18 locations worldwide. Meantime, Richard Blewett has been named head of the Brussels antitrust team.

Pozen said: “Marc has an extraordinary reputation handling numerous high-profile global merger reviews and investigations before the European Commission and national antitrust authorities. In a market facing ever-increasing regulation and scrutiny, he brings significant experience in supporting international clients on antitrust compliance.”

Besen – who has been at the firm since the turn of the century – said competition law considerations continue to impact the way the firm’s clients approach risk and growth opportunities. 

“This is as true locally as it is across jurisdictions,” he added.

Blewett has also been at the firm since 2000, working across the firm’s London and Asia offices. He became a partner in 2014 and most recently served as head of antitrust for Greater China in Hong Kong.

Clifford Chance has been focused on strengthening its global antitrust team of late, particularly in the US. Washington-based Brian Concklin was promoted to partner this month following the arrival of life sciences and healthcare partner Leigh OIiver in March, who joined the antitrust team from Hogan Lovells.

Pozen is also a relatively recent recruit, joining in 2019 from General Electric, where she was VP for global competition law and policy.

Last month, Norton Rose Fulbright bolstered its Brussels antitrust and competition practice with the hire of Covington & Burling partner Miranda Cole, while in March, Cooley expanded its antitrust team with a twin partner hire – Caroline Hobson and Ethan Glass – from CMS and Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan respectively.

Orrick also beefed up its Washington antitrust team in January with the arrivals of veteran competition lawyers Eileen Cole from White & Case and Craig Falls from Dechert.

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