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Trevor Soames, a former global antitrust co-chair at Howrey who joined Shearman & Sterling’s Brussels office in 2011, has left the firm to start his own boutique.
The move is the latest European exit from the storied New York firm and comes a month after The American Lawyer and London-based sibling publication Legal Week reported that Soames and fellow Shearman & Sterling antitrust partners Stephen Mavroghenis and Miguel Rato were in talks to join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
All three lawyers joined Shearman & Sterling in February 2011 from Howrey, a high-powered antitrust and litigation firm that dissolved a month later. Howrey antitrust partners Geert Goeteyn and Götz Drauz joined the group in heading to Shearman & Sterling, although Drauz left in September 2011 to start a Brussels office for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Soames (pictured right) declined to comment Tuesday when contacted by The American Lawyer, but a Shearman & Sterling spokeswoman confirmed his departure, as well as the decision by Mavroghenis and Rato to remain with the firm. In late September, Shearman & Sterling adopted a plan to de-equitize some partners in order to increase profits.
The 839-lawyer firm, under the leadership of Creighton Condon, has watched its finances slip in recent years as a result of flat demand for legal services and increased competition from Am Law 100 rivals. In June, Paul Hastings poached a three-partner M&A team from Shearman & Sterling in San Francisco. Beau Buffier, an Australian serving as co-head of the antitrust group at Shearman & Sterling in New York, left the firm last month to become chief of the antitrust bureau for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Last week Shearman & Sterling’s global private equity head Mark Soundy was removed from the firm’s partnership in London, according to Legal Week, which also noted the resignation of London tax head Sarah Priestley. Paris finance partners Arnaud Fromion and Frederic Guillox also left Shearman & Sterling last week to join Goodwin Procter, bringing with them counsel Adrien Paturaud and several associates.
In London, British firm Berwin Leighton Paisner picked up Shearman & Sterling’s former chief knowledge officer Judy Mackenzie Stuart, while finance counsel Luke Jaggar left in August to join the private office of German financial services giant Deutsche Bank AG as director of transaction structuring and management in Geneva, Switzerland. David Connolly, an M&A partner at Shearman & Sterling in New York who was part of a team of lawyers that advised Luxembourg-based Altice N.V. on its $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corp. in June, was hired just before Labor Day as the U.S. cable company’s new executive vice president and general counsel.
Shearman & Sterling has sought to stem the tide with some new additions, announcing in September an expansion of its capital markets and Latin America practice by bringing back former senior associate Alejandro Gordano as counsel in London from Credit Suisse AG, where he was director and counsel for almost three years.