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Nicholas Spearing


Has handled UK and EU antitrust cases for over 40 years, and has unparalleled experience in guiding deals through competition filings and FDI scrutiny worldwide.

Nicholas has over four decades of experience in a broad spectrum of antitrust matters, acting for leading companies in a range of transactional and behavioral practices cases before the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission.

He is regularly called upon by market associations to assist in delivering industrywide solutions to consumer concerns.

Working with colleagues across the firm’s global network, Nicholas and his London-based team coordinate the worldwide delivery of antitrust clearances and foreign investment screening approvals for clients. Familiar with policy and practice in over 70 jurisdictions, they have ready access to trusted local counsel.

Nicholas is a former chairman of the Solicitors’ European Group and the original author of the mergers section in Butterworth’s Competition Law.

Experience highlights

  • A.P. Moller – Maersk in connection with its $7.45 billion disposal of Maersk Oil to Total
  • Charles Taylor on its £261 million takeover by Lovell Minnick
  • Chemtura on its $2.5 billion acquisition by Lanxess
  • Comcast on its £30.6 billion competitive takeover of Sky
  • Emerson Electric on its $3.15 billion acquisition of Pentair’s valves and controls business, and sales of its network power business to Platinum Investors and generators/motors business to Nidec
  • Fibria on its €8 billion merger with Suzano
  • Heineken on its non-binding agreements with China Resources to join forces in China
  • Ingersoll-Rand in connection with its approximately $15 billion combination of its industrial segment with Gardner Denver Holdings
  • Ingram Micro on its sale to HNA Group
  • Natura on its $1 billion acquisition of The Body Shop from L’Oreal and subsequent acquisition of Avon
  • Nuvei on its $889 million takeover of SafeCharge
  • SS&C on its $5.4 billion acquisition of DST Systems
  • Suez on its $3.4 billion acquisition of GE’s water treatment and chemicals business
  • Technip on its $17 billion merger with FMC Technologies
  • Temenos on its £1.4 billion takeover offer for Fidessa
  • Tokyo Century in connection with its acquisition of Aviation Capital from Pacific Life
  • Vanke Service on its investment in Cushman & Wakefield

Nicholas advised in connection with the filings for:

  • NBC Universal on its strategic partnership with Euronews
  • Uber China on its merger into Didi Chuxing
  • Volkswagen Truck on its strategic investment in Navistar

Before joining Davis Polk, Nicholas' representations included:

  • Anchorage Capital on its acquisition of Ideal Standard
  • Emirates' Alpha Flight Group on its joint venture with Lufthansa's LSG Sky Chefs
  • Live Nation on its acquisition of Ticketmaster
  • Party Gaming on its acquisition by bwin
  • RBS on its acquisition of NatWest
  • Xstrata on its acquisitions of Falconbridge and MiM
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M.A., Law, University of Oxford
  • Hertford College
  • Open Scholarship
  • first-class honours
Professional history
  • Counsel, Davis Polk, 2015-present
  • Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, 2012-2015
  • Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, 1984-2012
Qualifications and admissions
  • England and Wales
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