Who’s Who Legal identifies future antitrust leaders

26 May 2017

Who’s Who Legal has revealed its first listing of the lawyers and economists believed by their peers to be the upcoming stars of the global competition community.

Though there is substantial overlap between WWL: Competition – Future Leaders 2017 and the broader Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees, Future Leaders focuses on those reckoned to be up-and-comers, aged 45 or under.

The publication canvassed opinions on law firm partners and non-partners, barristers, and expert economists.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May – closely followed by Jones Day and Allen & Overy – topped the list of combined partner and non-partner lawyers identified as the stars of the future. Freshfields racked up an impressive 33 non-partner lawyers to be featured, nearly double the number of the next contender, Linklaters.

Sixteen Freshfields partners were also voted as being future leaders of their field, while Latham & Watkins and Jones Day fielded 10 such partners each. And special credit deserves to go to Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Uría Menéndez and Blake Cassels & Graydon, which were among the top 20 for combined partners and non-partners – a group otherwise made up entirely of global law firms.

Freshfields partner Rafique Bachour received the most nominations among partners in Brussels; Claire Jeffs and Isabel Taylor at Slaughter and May took the top two spots in London; Bredin Prat partner Olivier Billard in Paris was the best-rated for the rest of Europe; and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Leah Brannon in Washington, DC, had the most votes in the extremely competitive North American market.

The rest of the world listings for partners highlights the global nature of competition expertise beyond its traditional hotspots. The top four individuals for the rest of the world hail from all over the world: Barbara Rosenberg at BMA – Barbosa Müssnich Aragão in São Paulo; ELIG partner Gönenç Gürkaynak in Istanbul; Michael Han at Fangda Partners in Beijing; and Tamara Dini at Bowmans in Cape Town.

The survey also tapped the individuals who have yet to become partners, but are clearly some of the best young lawyers around. The most votes for non-partners went to Gianni De Stefano at Hogan Lovells in Brussels; Michael Engel at Sullivan & Cromwell in London; Daniel Zimmer at Hengeler Mueller in Düsseldorf; Farrell Malone at Latham & Watkins in Washington, DC; and Rohan Arora at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas in New Delhi.

Economists tend to have a more international bent than lawyers. After all, while lawyers will globetrot to advise multinational companies, they remain bound by their national qualifications.

Adrian Majumdar at RBB Economics, a former deputy economics head at the UK’s Office of Fair Trading, came first in votes in the European category. A veteran in complex investigations work, he recently advised Generics (UK) in its appeal against the UK’s first pay-for-delay decision.

Veteran Jonathan Orszag, meanwhile, was dubbed a “leading light in the field”, and topped the list for North America, while Elsa Chen, the chief economist of law firm Allen & Gledhill in Singapore, excelled in Asia.

Finally, WWL: Competition – Future Leaders 2017 spots the true up-and-coming stars at the English bar, which has one of the greatest concentrations of competition lawyers and advocates in the world.

As might be expected, several of the individuals who came at the top of the ranking have already taken silk – a mark of quality awarded to senior lawyers in England and Wales. Monckton Chambers tenant Daniel Beard QC was closely followed by a trio of Brick Court Chambers barristers: Robert O’Donoghue QC, David Bailey and Kelyn Bacon QC.

Who’s Who Legal editor Rupert Wilson told GCR: “Who’s Who Legal: Competition – Future Leaders follows on from our hugely successful Arbitration – Future Leaders edition published late last year. As with that book, we received an extraordinary response from the market, with nearly 10,000 votes, nominations and recommendations from all over the world collated by our team during the research process. From the evidence of this guide, the future of competition law is certainly in safe hands.”

The full rankings for WWL: Competition – Future Leaders 2017 can be read here.

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