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Sheppard Mullin Launches First-Tier EU Competition and Regulatory Practice in Brussels

High-Profile Lawyer Jacques Derenne Will Lead Practice, Which Includes Robert Klotz, Oliver Heinisch and Further Partner Hires

In a decisive move, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has bolstered its presence at the heart of the European Union by launching an EU Competition and Regulatory practice at its office in Brussels. The California-based firm has initiated a series of lateral Partner and Counsel hires, starting with prominent competition lawyer Jacques Derenne, who will be joined by Robert Klotz to form an EU team advising on competition, regulatory and other EU law. With forthcoming new hires in Brussels and a preeminent Antitrust and Competition team across the US, Asia and more recently London, Sheppard Mullin has established a leading global competition practice.

Leading competition lawyer Jacques Derenne will head Sheppard Mullin’s new EU Competition and Regulatory Practice in Brussels. Partner Robert Klotz and two Counsel, Chris Guirado and Yaniss Aiche, are also joining the new Sheppard Mullin team. This follows the firm’s recent addition of competition Partner Oliver Heinisch in London.  Further Partners and other hires will be announced in the coming weeks.

Jacques Derenne was previously the head of Hogan Lovells' Brussels competition practice. Recognized as a “stellar practitioner,” he has over 25 years of experience in EU competition law, with a successful track record in EU competition investigations and EU litigation. Jacques is widely respected for his expertise in State aid as well as his broad experience acting on behalf of highly regulated industries. Jacques also teaches competition law at the University of Liège and the Brussels School of Competition.

Robert Klotz joins Sheppard Mullin from Mayer Brown. Well known and highly regarded in Brussels, he previously served for ten years in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition. Robert has a particular focus on network industries, such as energy, telecommunications, post and transport, and represents corporate and institutional clients both at the EU level and in Germany.

Oliver Heinisch advises on all areas of EU, UK and German competition law with a focus on international cartel and abuse of dominance cases and related litigation. He has substantial expertise advising on the interface of intellectual property and competition law, in particular in the technology and life-science sectors.

Chris Guirado has a broad legal and business background in the energy, transport and construction sectors. With an in-depth knowledge of EU public procurement, she combines significant experience in private practice as well as in EU agencies.  Yaniss Aiche brings public policy experience gained in the government, private and non-profit sectors across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has a particular focus on regulatory policy, advocacy and international legal affairs.

These renowned EU lawyers join Sheppard Mullin’s existing Brussels office with an international trade regulatory practice led by Partner Curt Dombek, who handles export control, economic sanctions, anti-corruption and global Customs and Free Trade Agreement matters.

The new team’s combined qualifications and breadth of experience enable Sheppard Mullin to advise at a senior level not only on EU law, but also on national competition and regulatory law in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK, in addition to the US.

Guy Halgren, Chairman of Sheppard Mullin, expressed the Firm’s excitement about the new European expansion: “With Jacques, Robert, Oliver and other new partners soon to be announced, we have brought together a superb team of EU competition and regulatory lawyers to offer our growing international client base a practice with an extraordinary depth of experience and breadth of qualifications.”

Gary Halling, Sheppard Mullin’s Antitrust and Competition practice group leader, added: “This high-caliber group with complementary areas of specialty and European qualifications adds major depth to our existing team which has handled some of the most complex US antitrust cases. Jacques, Robert, Oliver and their team also add a unique combination of knowledge and experience in all the highly regulated industries in Europe.”

Jacques, Robert and Oliver are excited by the opportunity to launch and further develop this EU competition and regulatory practice for the Firm: “We are delighted to be joining Sheppard Mullin, a firm with nearly a century of prominence in US antitrust practice, as it expands into EU competition and regulatory law.   We all look forward to joining an entrepreneurial Firm with a commanding presence in the US market and strong offices in China and Korea whose partners are committed to offering the same outstanding service to clients in the EU.”

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