O’Melveny & Myers has hired a Hong Kong competition law partner from the local regulator.
Philip Monaghan was most recently an executive director and general counsel for the Hong Kong Competition Commission, an independent statutory body responsible for enforcing the city’s 5-year-old competition ordinance.
Monaghan, who joined the Competition Commission in 2014 from Mayer Brown JSM, where he was a senior associate, was in charge of the commission’s legal division and helped draft guidelines on the interpretation of the competition law.
Hong Kong did not have a cross-sector antitrust law until 2012, when the competition ordinance was passed by the city’s Legislature; it then took another three and a half years for the law to become fully effective. The competition ordinance deals mostly with price cartel, bid-rigging and other abuses of market power. But the law’s merger control rule only applies to the telecommunications sector.
At O’Melveny, Monaghan will give Hong Kong competition law advice to clients involved in cross-border transactions and act for companies facing antitrust litigation in Hong Kong. In March, the Competition Commission took its first enforcement action by taking five technology companies, including BT Hong Kong Ltd., to the Competition Tribunal.
Monaghan is the latest disputes addition to O’Melveny’s Hong Kong office. Within the past few years, the U.S. firm has hired litigation partner Denis Brock from King & Wood Mallesons and government enforcement and investigations partner Ronald Cheng from the U.S. Department of Justice. But the firm also lost Friven Yeoh, former office head and an international arbitration specialist, to Sidley Austin last year. In addition, The Asian Lawyer reported Tuesday that O’Melveny Beijing office head Lawrence Sussman is departing to join Hogan Lovells in August.
Steven Parker, former chief litigation counsel for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, has taken over from Monaghan as general counsel for the Competition Commission.