11 Jul 2022

Norton Rose Fulbright rings Brussels changes with new office head and White & Case partner hire

Miranda Cole is taking over from Jay Modrall who is retiring from the partnership

Miranda Cole

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has hired a partner from White & Case in Brussels and appointed a new office head – Miranda Cole – on predecessor Jay Modrall's retirement from the partnership.

Cole takes the reins in Brussels after joining the firm from Covington & Burling in April, while Alexandra Rogers joins the firm from White & Case as a partner in the firm's competition practice. 

Meanwhile, Modrall, who joined from Cleary Gottlieb in 2013, remains at the firm as a senior counsel. 

Cole spent 13 years at Covington & Burling before switching to NRF and focuses her practice on the health, life sciences and technology sectors, working with clients on emerging regulatory frameworks.

Prior to joining NRF, she was part of the Covington team that advised Brussels-based biopharmaceutical giant UCB on competition aspects of its $1.9bn acquisition of US outfit Zogenix, maker of potential 'blockbuster' epilepsy drug Fintepla, which completed in March. 

Ian Giles, NRF’S head of antitrust and competition for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, said: “This is an exciting period for antitrust and competition, with a huge amount of ongoing regulatory activity. Our highly experienced Brussels team continues to thrive and will be strengthened even further through Miranda’s leadership, as the new head of office, and the joining of Alex as partner.”

Rogers, meanwhile, joins the firm after 14 years at White & Case, including five years as a local partner. Her experience spans a wide range of competition law issues, including dawn raids and inspections, cross-border merger control and antitrust compliance. She primarily advises clients across the technology, energy, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors. 

With Rogers on board, NRF’s Brussels office has five partners: Cole, Rogers, Giles, and fellow antitrust and competition lawyers Michael Jürgen Werner and Wilko van Weert. 

The Brussels market has witnessed a steady stream of partner laterals and office launches recently, at least partly fuelled by the UK's exit from the EU. Several US firms have opened in Brussels since Brexit, including Simpson Thacher and Fried Frank.  

Last month, veteran disputes partner Werner Eyskens’s joined Crowell & Moring from Allen & Overy while antitrust partner Nikolaos Peristerakis also made the jump to a US firm, going from Linklaters to K&L Gates. Peristerakis was the third lawyer to part ways with Linklaters’ Brussels office in favour of a US firm since the start of the year. 

His exit came after Jonas Koponen, head of the firm’s antitrust and foreign investment group, left for Cooley in March and partner Isabel Rooms joined Cleary Gottlieb, the New York firm’s first lateral hire in Brussels in 15 years.  

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