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Wilson Sonsini lands former Hong Kong Competition Commission director to boost Brussels arm

Jindrich Kloub joins as a partner following five-year spell in Hong Kong after more than a decade at EC’s competition arm

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has hired antitrust specialist and former European Commission lawyer Jindrich Kloub to bolster its competition practice in Brussels.

Kloub brings with him almost two decades of experience in competition law, most recently serving as executive director for operations at the Hong Kong Competition Commission. In that role he was responsible for all antitrust enforcements, including a number of precedent-setting investigations such as the commission’s first abuse of dominance enforcement action and matters related to digital markets, settlements, director disqualifications and compliance remedies.

Prior to his five years in Hong Kong, Kloub spent more than a decade at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition where he specialised in international cartel investigations, including cases related to LIBOR and foreign exchange benchmark rate-fixing.

Doug Clark, managing partner of Wilson Sonsini, said: “Because Hong Kong’s competition law was based on EU competition law, Jindrich has worked at two enforcement agencies that are highly engaged in monitoring and enforcing competition and antitrust laws of importance to our clients.”

Kloub’s arrival at Wilson Sonsini marks a return to private practice for the first time since 2006 when he was an associate at German firm Roedl & Partner. Kloub is the second former Hong Kong Competition Commission lawyer to recently join Wilson Sonsini, following the arrival of the commission’s former CEO Brent Snyder in March 2021. He took up residence in the firm’s San Francisco office. 

Cedric Burton, managing partner of the firm’s Brussels office, said: “Jindrich’s addition to our Brussels office further demonstrates Wilson Sonsini’s growing presence and strong brand in Europe – especially within the complex and constantly changing digital regulatory framework that impacts both antitrust and data protection.”

Openied in 2011, Wilson Sonsini’s Brussels office was its first in Europe and has grown to number 18 lawyers including three partners, according to the firm’s wesbite. The firm launched its only other European arm, in London, in 2018. It now houses more than 50 lawyers, including EY’s former global head of tech law Richard Goold, who joined in February

A number of other firms have been strengthening their EU competition teams in recent months. In August, DLA Piper hired Hausfeld’s former Brussels and Paris office head Laurent Geelhand to join its competition practice in Brussels. That followed K&L Gates’ hiring in June of Brussels-based competition lawyer Nikolaos Peristerakis from Linklaters. Also in June, Mathesons hired Niall Collins from Mason Hayes & Curran to head up its EU competition and regulatory practice.

A study last month from LexisNexis found that Brexit is likely to boost UK competition law demand over the next year. In August, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan hired RPC’s head of competition Lambros Kilaniotis in London.

Source: Global Legal Post