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Shearman & Sterling antitrust partners Stephen Mavroghenis and Miguel Rato, courted last year by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, have joined the firm’s Brussels office. Both lawyers re-unite with former colleague Trevor Soames, who Quinn Emanuel hired in December.

Mavroghenis served as global head of Shearman & Sterling’s competition group and managing partner of its Brussels office, where he spent years working alongside Rato and Soames. All three lawyers joined Shearman & Sterling in 2011 from Howrey, just prior to that firm’s collapse.

While Soames left Shearman & Sterling in October to briefly set up his own shop, Rato and Mavroghenis opted to remain at the firm. Both lawyers will be ensconced at Quinn Emanuel’s Brussels base by mid-June and are expected to take a team of Shearman & Sterling lawyers with them to their new firm.

“One of the major goals of our European plan has been to build a world-class competition office in Brussels,” said a statement by firm co-founder and managing partner John Quinn. “With the arrival of Stephen and Miguel, closely on the heels of their colleague Trevor Soames, we have achieved that goal.”

Their departures will leave Shearman & Sterling with only one full-time partner in Brussels, Geert Goeteyn, as well as three counsel and two associates. Matthew Readings, a Shearman & Sterling partner who splits his time between Brussels and London, will replace Mavroghenis (pictured right) as managing partner of its Brussels base and global head of competition. James Webber, another antitrust partner at the firm, will also continue splitting his time between the U.K. and Belgium.

Quinn Emanuel, which recently added Clifford Chance’s tax investigations and disputes head Liesl Fichardt in London and recruited Kirkland & Ellis intellectual property litigation partner Steven Cherny in New York, will now have four partners in Brussels, including Soames and Nadine Herrmann, chair of the firm’s European union and German competition practice.

Christopher Bright, an antitrust partner at Shearman & Sterling more than a decade ago before re-joining the firm’s London office as of counsel in 2014, was recently re-elected to its partnership. In a statement, Shearman & Sterling wished its departing partners well.

“The firm has a strong antitrust capability in Europe and is recognized for its deep EU competition law expertise,” the firm said. “Combined with our wider global antitrust practice, we remain well positioned to continue to serve our clients. We also continue to be committed to our Brussels office and will be announcing additional resources for that office soon.”

The Asian Lawyer reported earlier this week on Shearman & Sterling bringing back former associate Li Chen as an M&A partner in Beijing, as the firm reshuffled its operations in China.

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