Nicholas Spearing
  1. Counsel

Mr. Spearing is counsel in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the London office. He has experience in a broad range of antitrust matters, acting for leading companies in a range of transactional and behavioral practices cases in the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission.

He is also regularly called upon to assist, at a broader level, in delivering industry-wide solutions to consumer concerns.

Work 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

Mr Spearing 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, Mr. Spearing’s 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


Mr. Spearing has, for many years, been listed as one of London's leading antitrust/competition lawyers in various legal industry publications, including:

  • Chambers UK − which praises his "great judgment and holistic view"
  • Legal 500 − which refers to his combination of "great wisdom with a no-nonsense approach“ and that he is ‘inspired’, ‘sophisticated’ and ‘understands the nuances’
  • Chambers Global and Chambers UK – “He cuts to the chase and retains a realistic approach”
  • PLC Which Lawyer? – "Mr. Spearing is praised by some peers as one of the cleverest competition lawyers in the market"

Of Note

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

Professional History

  • Counsel, Davis Polk, 2015-present
  • Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, 2012-2015
  • Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, 1984-2012

Bar Admissions

  • England and Wales


  • M.A., Law, University of Oxford, 1975
    • first-class honours
    • Hertford College
    • Open Scholarship