LONDON, March 1, 2016: Morgan Lewis today announced another significant step in the firm’s continuing expansion of its leading antitrust and competition practice with the addition of Omar Shah and Joanna Christoforou in London. Both lawyers possess extensive backgrounds in global competition law.
Mr. Shah, who joins Morgan Lewis as a partner, focuses on defending clients in complex global cartel and anti-corruption investigations; he was formerly a partner at another global law firm. Ms. Christoforou joins as of counsel, arriving from a global firm where she spent 15 years working on all aspects of European Union and UK competition law.
“Europe is a key area for antitrust enforcement, with the European Commission very active in pursuing investigations into alleged cartels and potentially anti-competitive mergers. In addition, clients are increasingly litigating in Europe for breaches of EU competition law,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon. “With their combined experience and strong reputations for handling these matters, Omar and Joanna perfectly fit our global team.”
The additions highlight Morgan Lewis’s continued commitment to growing its antitrust capabilities in Europe and to leveraging its US and Asian antitrust and competition law practices to enhance its handling of cross-border antitrust matters for clients. In less than two years, the firm has vastly expanded its capabilities in the antitrust area, fielding teams that work from offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. With nearly 50 lawyers dedicated primarily to competition matters, and many others with antitrust and competition law expertise, Morgan Lewis has one of the largest such practices in the world.
The moves also constitute the firm’s latest expansion of its London services, including recent additions to its investment management and structured transactions teams. Including Mr. Shah, Morgan Lewis has added 10 partners to its London office since last summer.
Mr. Shah handles civil claims for alleged breaches of competition law, and represents clients in commercial and regulatory proceedings, including judicial reviews. He represents global corporations in major international cartel investigations in the airline, steel, automotive and maritime sectors, including a major airline involved in proceedings arising out of a European Commission decision imposing nearly €800 million ($872 million) on air cargo carriers for a global price fixing cartel on fuel surcharges. In addition, he has worked extensively on complex global mergers.
Ms. Christoforou deals with the European Commission, UK regulators, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and antitrust authorities in other jurisdictions in relation to competition law investigations, merger control, and the application of competition law to a wide range of commercial agreements and practices.
“Omar and Joanna further deepen our capabilities in Europe at a time of considerable investigative activity on the part of regulatory authorities and a more litigation-oriented approach to resolving suspected competition law infringements,” said Frances Murphy, who is responsible for the competition team in London. “We recently highlighted the increased role of compliance programs around the world in our Global Cartel Enforcement Report, and our new colleagues will be of immediate help to clients in this area.”
“We are pleased to welcome Omar and Joanna to our growing London office,” said London Office Managing Partner Peter Sharp. “They strongly complement our existing team and bolster our ability to win new work and serve all our clients. This takes our London team up to nearly 40 partners in all practice areas, with further strategic growth targeted to continue.”