Paul Weiss adds antitrust partner from European Commission for Brussels launch

Henrik Morch joins recent antitrust recruits from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Macfarlanes in new office

Paul Weiss has added a senior lawyer from the European Commission to open an office in Brussels, the first for the US firm in Continental Europe.

Henrik Morch has joined the firm’s antitrust practice as a partner after more than three decades at the European Commission, where for the past eight years he has led the division responsible for antitrust policy and enforcement in the transport, post and other services sectors, overseeing merger control investigations, antitrust and market sector inquiries, state aid cases and legislative proposals.

“Henrik is among the most experienced antitrust lawyers in Brussels,” said Paul Weiss chairman, Brad Karp. “His knowledge and understanding of all aspects of EU competition law will be of great benefit to our clients, who are facing increasingly complex and challenging antitrust and regulatory issues across borders.”

His hire follows Paul Weiss recruiting antitrust partners Richard Pepper and Ross Ferguson last month ahead of the launch from Macfarlanes and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett respectively.  

Morch and Ferguson, who advises private equity firms, funds and public company clients on complex cross-border transactions and antitrust investigations, will be based in Brussels. Meantime Pepper, whose broad practice includes global merger control and foreign direct investment reviews, cartel and behavioural investigations and counselling on all aspects of antitrust law, will split his time between Brussels and London.

“Brussels is the epicentre of EU competition law and policy and a key jurisdiction for many of our clients that face high-stakes antitrust matters across multiple regions,” Karp said. “Having a strong team on the ground in Brussels will enable us to provide strategic advice to our clients on the full range of antitrust issues, from merger control and cartel investigations to foreign direct investment reviews.”

Paul Weiss grew revenue nearly 11% in 2023 to a new high of $2bn, according to data from the American Lawyer, with profits per equity partner up 14.8% to $6.5m.  

The firm’s Brussels launch comes amid the rapid growth of its London office, which was left with just three partners following the exit of office head Alvaro Membrillera last August for Kirkland & Ellis.

Since then it has hired more than 20 partners in London, including Annie Herdman, who joined last month from Ropes & Gray as London head of antitrust and foreign direct investment. Late last year the firm also hired Linklaters’ global head of antitrust, Nicole Kar, in London.  

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