Celebration: Baker Botts Marks 1st Anniversary of Brussels Office
12/09/2013

61st U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, to Attend Event at Bibliothèque Solvay

In little more than a year, Baker Botts has established a strong presence in the antitrust and competition law community in Brussels and throughout the European Union.

This accomplishment is due in large part to the talented legal team -- Catriona Hatton and Paul Lugard together with an experienced team of associates -- who opened the office here in September 2012 and to a number of significant matters that resulted in positive results for firm clients.

"What Catriona and Paul have done in the past 12 months is to demonstrate that the Baker Botts brand can be a perfect fit for the brightest legal minds in a wide array of practices and locations to provide the highest level of service on many of the most sophisticated matters our clients face every day," said Baker Botts Managing Partner Andrew Baker. "In this case, it is in the antitrust and competition law practice area and in our Brussels office."

The firm will celebrate the first anniversary of its Brussels office opening with a reception tonight (September 12, 2013) at the Bibliothèque Solvay. The 61st U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, the firm's senior partner, will attend the event and deliver brief remarks.

Ms. Hatton opened the doors to the first Baker Botts office in Brussels last September as Partner in Charge of the operation. During the past year, Ms. Hatton has earned recognition from Global Competition Review and EuroMoney as being among the leading women in the antitrust and competition field. She and Mr. Lugard are both recognised in this year's International Who's Who of Business Lawyers for their work in competition law.

Mr. Lugard joined Ms. Hatton on the first day of operations as a newly-minted Baker Botts Partner. He was the former Global Head of competition law at Royal Philips Electronics prior to joining the firm, where he managed all significant antitrust matters for the company. Late last year, he was named Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce's Committee on Competition.

In addition to professional recognitions, the firm's Brussels team has handled cutting edge issues for clients in technology, energy and life sciences markets. They also represented Contran Corporation in connection with the $2.9 billion sale of Titanium Metals Corporation to Precision Castparts, Cameron International Corporation on the formation of its OneSubsea Joint Venture with Schlumberger (a joint venture focused on subsea oil and gas production) and have worked with Caterpillar on multiple projects.

"This is a highly competitive market, but with the depth and breadth of experience of our team and our commitment to excellent client service, we are confident that we can win new cutting edge work and continue to expand our work for existing clients," Ms. Hatton said.

Mr. Lugard added: "Baker Botts is relatively new in Brussels, but the partners and associates in our office here have decades of experience in EU antitrust and trade law. The key competitive parameter is the quality of services to clients. Clients are looking for creative and effective solutions, often in complex matters, which is precisely what we are committed to offer."

The success of the office since last September played a large part in the recent recruitment of Dr. Georg Berrisch to the Baker Botts team in Brussels. Dr. Berrisch is recognized as one of the most experienced and effective litigators specializing in competition law, state aid and trade matters in the European Union (EU). He is currently representing Ryanair in its appeal against the EU Commission merger control decision earlier this year prohibiting Ryanair from acquiring control of Aer Lingus. He advises the airline in relation to several state aid investigations.

"Competition in Brussels is indeed fierce," Dr. Berrisch said, "but Catriona, Paul and I are all well known and recognized in the market, and each of us brings different skills to the table. So I believe we have a very strong offering. I also expect new opportunities to develop from working closely with the U.S. antitrust practice, and on the trade side from Baker Botts' offices in the Middle East and Moscow."

The Brussels office is an extension of the firm's antitrust and competition law team based in Washington, D.C. In March 2011, more than 50 lawyers and staff moved from Howrey LLP to Baker Botts. Part of the move included planning for locating a talented team of lawyers in Brussels, the city considered a hub for antitrust and competition law in the European Union.

 

 

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