Linklaters former global head of competition has left the firm’s Brussels office to join Cooley, as U.S. firms continue to bulk up in the city.
Jonas Koponen is joining as a partner in the firm’s global antitrust and competition practice group, a statement on Tuesday said. He leaves Linklaters after 21 years, with over 16 of those spent as partner, according to LinkedIn.
He was Linklaters’ global head of competition between 2015 and 2019, and co-head of the firm’s global healthcare team between 2011 and 2016, according to his Linklaters profile.
This is the second loss from Linklaters’ Brussels base in March, having already lost antitrust partner Isabel Rooms to U.S. firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
Other U.S. firms to bolster their Brussels’ practices in recent months include Covington & Burling, which hired former EU trade chief Cecilia Malström in January. Meanwhile, Fried Frank launched a Brussels office in January, following launches by Kirkland & Ellis, Reed Smith and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 2021.
Koponen’s experience includes representing clients on merger and foreign investment reviews of M&A transactions by the European Commission and other global enforcement agencies, the statement added.
In a statement, chair of Cooley’s antitrust and competition practice, Jacqueline Grise, said: “Jonas is a well‐known and recognized leader in the antitrust bar in Brussels, Europe and globally. Jonas’ background and comprehensive knowledge of the space will help our team continue to deliver successful results for our current and future clients.”
This is the latest hire to its Brussel base, which launched in 2019.
In June 2021, Elisabethann Wright joined Cooley from Hogan Lovells while in 2020 it hired a four-lawyer team from DLA Piper, led by its global data privacy and cybersecurity practice co-chair Patrick Van Eecke.
A Linklaters spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Jonas Koponen will be leaving Linklaters on 31 March and we wish him all the best for the future.”