About me

Trevor Soames has been practicing EU competition and regulatory law for more than 30 years. He has been resident, living and working in Brussels since 1993.  To proclaim his commitment to the EU and continental Europe and to preserve his ability to work in Brussels post-Brexit  Trevor has applied for Belgian citizenship and has no plans to return to the UK post-Brexit. He was admitted to the Barreau de Bruxelles on 5 December 2016 as a Belgian Avocat on the A List. This will guarantee essential legal privilege and advocacy rights before the EU Courts. Educated at Cambridge University, Trevor is also a Barrister (called to the Bar in 1984) and a Solicitor-Advocate.

He was Co-Chair of Howrey’s worldwide antitrust practice and founder of its highly successful Brussels office which ranked as one of only four Brussels Elite practices by Global Competition Review in 2009 and 2010. After leaving Howrey, Trevor was a partner of Shearman & Sterling until he resigned in October 2016 and joined Quinn Emanuel as a partner in December 2016.

Trevor has long been recognised by the leading directories and commentators as one of a handful of leading Brussels players. He has first chaired many leading cases over the years in multiple areas of EU and indeed UK competition law. These have included mergers, joint ventures, cartels, monopolisation (dominance), state aid and associated litigation. A significant portion of his practice relates to complex cases that involve the interface of intellectual property and antitrust, especially in relation to standard essential patents. He is also a leading lawyer in the transport sector, especially in shipping and air transport. Trevor has been repeatedly been identified by Euromoney as one of the top 20 aviation lawyers in the world and ranks #1 in Belgium in GCR’s International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers, praised as “the most prominent competition lawyer in the air transport industry”.

Drawing on his experience at the English Bar as both prosecutor and defender in criminal cases, he is well known for his robust and no-holds-barred advocacy. Trevor is proud to defend his clients fiercely and without compromise. In 2010 he and his team were awarded the Legal Business Competition Team of the Year award for the successful defence of Qualcomm in the 2005-2009 Article 102 investigation. Recent comments on his work include:

  • Soames himself ‘is a samurai’ in his dealings with competition authorities” (Commercial Dispute Resolution, December 2016)
  • one of the top lawyers in the EU competition field: powerful persuasion, great negotiation skills and a very wide knowledge” (Chambers Europe 2016),
  • there is no-one better in the tech space” (Who’s Who Competition 2016),
  • highly knowledgeable, well-connected, and engaging to work with” (Global Competition Review GCR100 Brussels),
  • very original and strong lawyer” (Chambers Europe 2015),
  • amazing” “unrivalled” (Who’s Who Legal, Competition 2013/14),
  • a really smart guy – the experience that he brings is fantastic” (Chambers Europe, Belgium Competition Law 2013),
  • one of the finest practitioners in the field worldwide” (Who’s Who Legal, Competition 2012).

Trevor draws upon a wealth of experience across many global industries to assist clients and has a strong track record of success.  Recent cases include:

  • European Commission’s two current Article 102 investigations into Qualcomm, the so-called Predation and Exclusivity investigations
  • Hanjin in the Commission’s recently closed investigation of price announcements in the liner shipping pricing
  • Legal Service of the European Commission before the General Court in the successful defeat of four appeals against the Commission’s decision to reject Article 102 complaints against De Beers Supplier of Choice selective distribution system for rough diamonds (Spira v Commission, T-108/07 and T-354/08); and BVGD v Commission (T 104-07 and T-339/08)
  • Samsung Electronics in the European Commission’s Article 102 investigation into its applications for injunctive relief regarding its Standards Essential Patents
  • Nokia, defending against an Article 102 complaint lodged by Google against Nokia and Microsoft, as well as one submitted by Sierra Wireless
  • the sale of Singapore Airlines 49% shareholding in Virgin Atlantic to Delta
  • Syniverse, on its acquisition of MACH, cleared by the European Commission in a Phase II investigation
  • Credit Suisse in the CHF LIBOR and credit derivatives investigation and subsequent settlement, and another international bank in JPY LIBOR against whom the investigation was terminated
  • ICIG, the divestment purchaser in the Solvay/INEOS Inovyn JV merger review
  • Microsoft in the Android investigation

Other recent successes include the conclusion of the European Commission’s Microsoft/Internet Explorer investigation, securing the dropping of all charges against United in the Commission’s Air Cargo investigation, the unconditional clearance of the United Airlines/Continental Airlines merger and, on behalf of United Airlines,  the satisfactory outcome of the Commission’s investigation into the A++ joint venture between United Airlines, Continental, Lufthansa and Air Canada in which an Article 101(3) efficiencies defence prevailed despite the conduct being identified as being a restriction “by object”.