Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is to relocate London-based antitrust, competition and trade (ACT) partner Alex Potter to China, the magic circle law firm announced Monday.

Potter will switch to Freshfields’ Beijing office for a year from January 2008 as the London firm bids to boost its Chinese ACT practice. He will lead the practice alongside Hong Kong-based partner Connie Carnabuci.Potter — who specializes in European and U.K. competition law, with particular experience in the consumer goods, retail and defense sectors — becomes Freshfields’ first dedicated competition partner in Beijing.His recent work includes obtaining merger clearance from the European Commission for BAE Systems on its proposed joint venture to consolidate U.K. naval shipyards with VT Group and acting for Hanson in relation to its takeover approach by HeidelbergCement.Commenting on the move, Freshfields ACT group co-head David Aitman said: “In light of China’s new anti-monopoly law coming into force in August 2008, we believe now is the right time — building on our existing network of China ACT contacts in Europe and the U.S. — to fully bring to bear our experience of handling the most complex international antitrust matters by having a dedicated partner with that background on location in China.”Meanwhile, Freshfields has promoted Beijing antitrust senior associate Michael Han to counsel.