Top antitrust team heads to Willkie Farr from Quinn Emanuel in London

Quinn’s UK competition litigation practice co-lead among group of partners and associates making the move

Boris Bronfentrinker Image courtesy of Willkie Farr & Gallagher

The co-lead of Quinn Emanuel’s UK competition litigation practice is among a team of lawyers to be hired from the firm in London by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Boris Bronfentrinker has made the move along with fellow Quinn partners Elaine Whiteford and Nicola Chesaites and 'at least eight' associates.

New York-based Willkie said the hires reflect the firm’s commitment to grow its antitrust and litigation practices globally and ‘service our clients’ needs in the important area of competition disputes.’

The news follows shortly after the firm announced it hired disputes barrister Duncan Speller from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to help launch its international arbitration practice in London.

Bronfentrinker represents both claimants and defendants in high profile cases in the English courts, including the Supreme Court and the Competition Appeal Tribunal. His team, ranked by The Legal 500 as tier 1, also litigates competition law matters before the European Courts in Luxembourg and has represented clients in the defence of competition investigations by the European Commission and national competition authorities.

Bronfentrinker described Willkie as the “perfect fit for our practice and ambitions for the future”.

“The firm is involved in some of the most complex compliance and antitrust matters and we will be able to offer clients on the defence side an end-to-end service from the investigatory stage through to the civil litigation stage, whilst also being able to continue to take on important cases for clients on the claimant side,” he said.

Whiteford is an experienced competition and EU litigator who counsels clients on contentious EU, competition and regulatory matters. Before Quinn Emanuel she was a partner at Covington & Burling, King & Wood Mallesons and legacy firm Berwin Leighton Paisner.  

Nicola Chesaites is a barrister focused on competition and complex EU litigation with particular expertise in collective actions. Prior to spending six years at Quinn Emanuel she worked at the General Court of the European Union and was a senior associate at Covington & Burling.

“The antitrust challenges our clients are facing are becoming ever more complex,” said Philipp Girardet, head of Willkie’s European antitrust and competition group, adding that that new arrivals “strengthen Willkie’s position as a ‘go to practice’ for complex compliance and cartel matters, offering advice at every stage of a case, including importantly protecting our clients’ interests in the courts.”

Quinn Emanuel said in a statement: ‘We wish Boris, Elaine, and Nicola well and thank them for the contribution to our practice. Antitrust and competition litigation remains a key focus for Quinn Emanuel in the US, London, and Brussels and we will continue to build on our existing practice that encompasses both claimant and defence representation.’

Quinn Emanuel also lost a litigation partner in the US last week when Lazar Raynal moved over to King & Spalding’s trial and global disputes practice in Chicago, as the firm continues to build its office in the Windy City.

This was preceded by the defection of a four-strong disputes team to US rival Jones Day in Perth in July, though going the other way the firm has secured two high-profile London hires this year, adding Simmons & Simmons’ UK head of dispute resolution Paul Baker in February and heavyweight disputes partner Dominic Roughton from Boies Schiller Flexner in March.  

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