'Naturally, the firm's strategic decision to establish the Brussels office was well prepared and was based on the needs of our current and future clients.'
-- Paul Lugard
Paul Lugard is a Partner with Baker Botts and is skilled in competition law, with considerable experience in merger control proceedings, exclusionary conduct, distribution arrangements in the energy and other sectors, technology licensing and matters on the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law.
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Market Insight Key to Baker Botts Success of Brussels Office
Editor's Note: This is one in a series of Q&As with Baker Botts partners on the 1st anniversary of the opening of the firm's Brussels office.
As a 'pioneer' partner for Baker Botts in Brussels what has been your most memorable moment from the first year of the office being open?
PL: It is great to see that the Brussels office has hit the ground running and continues to grow, particularly in a competitive market. We have experienced many memorable moments during the first year, but I have been most impressed by the depth of expertise and the dedication and commitment of the Baker Botts lawyers we have worked with, the high quality standards and the seamless cooperation across different offices and practice areas. As a former senior in-house legal executive, as well as a current partner of the firm, I am convinced that those qualities set us apart.
Brussels, as you know, is considered the place to be for law firms competing for clients in the antitrust/competition law practice. How have you -- and the firm -- been able to effectively compete with larger and more well-established firms here for clients? What do you suspect keeps the phones ringing, the messages showing up in your computer requesting representation?
PL: Baker Botts is new in Brussels, but the partners and associates in our Brussels office have decades of experience in EU antitrust and trade law. The key competitive parameter is the quality of services to clients. Clients are looking for creative and effective solutions, often in complex matters, which is precisely what we are committed to offer. The close cooperation with the D.C. antitrust group, the depth of our practice and our industry focus help us to achieve that objective. Already in our first year, we have seen many clients of the firm, as well as new clients, greatly value our services, often at the expense of our competitors. Obviously, that strengthens our confidence as to the future and we very much look forward to assisting our current and prospective clients in the years ahead.
How has your first year with Baker Botts in Brussels played out; as expected or were there a number of surprises along the way?
PL: I feel very fortunate to be part of the firm. Baker Botts has a world-class, transatlantic antitrust and trade practice that is an integral part of the firm, we believe we have an accurate insight in the market and are committed to provide excellent services. Naturally, the firm's strategic decision to establish the Brussels office was well prepared and was based on the needs of our current and future clients. As a result, there have been few, and fortunately only positive, surprises during our first year. We are very confident that we will further grow our antitrust and trade practice in the years to come.
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