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BCLP aims to make DC antitrust inroads with new partner hire

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REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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  • Charles Tompkins most recently chaired the antitrust group at boutique Williams & John
  • He joins Bryan Cave's four decades-old D.C. office as a partner

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(Reuters) - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is the latest law firm to add antitrust talent in Washington, D.C., bringing on the chair of the antitrust and unfair competition practice at litigation boutique Williams & John.

Charles Tompkins is joining the firm as a partner, BCLP said Thursday, part of a worldwide antitrust team of more than 60 lawyers. Tompkins will be the fifth antitrust partner based fully or partly in Washington, according to the firm's website.

Source: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Tompkins, who was an executive committee member at much smaller, Chicago-based Williams & John, said he was drawn to Bryan Cave because of the firm’s “extensive client base” and its “international capabilities with the expanding international scope of antitrust law.”

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Prior to joining Williams & John in 2012, he practiced as a partner at Boston law firm Shapiro Haber & Urmy and was an associate at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Law firms have been scooping up partners with antitrust experience as clients face increased U.S. antitrust scrutiny under the Biden administration and heightened international enforcement.

Stephen Libowsky, the former head of the U.S. competition and antitrust practice at Dentons, jumped to Manatt, Phelps & Phillips last week as a partner in its Chicago office. Other firms that have expanded their antitrust offerings in recent months include Mayer Brown, Shearman & Sterling, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which all added Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission alums.

A representative for Williams & John did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

BCLP is the product of a 2018 merger between St. Louis-based Bryan Cave and U.K. firm Berwin Leighton Paisner. Bryan Cave opened its Washington office in 1978.

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Xiumei Dong covers legal industry news, with a focus on law firm strategy and growth, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., legal market. Reach her at Xiumei.Dong@thomsonreuters.com.

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