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

  • Comcast Corporation in connection with its £22 billion ($30 billion) pre-conditional cash offer to acquire the entire share capital of Sky plc

  • A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S in connection with its $7.45 billion disposal of Mærsk Oil to Total S.A.

  • SS&C on its $5.4 billion acquisition of DST Systems

  • Fibria on its €8 billion merger with Suzano

  • Temenos on its £1.4 billion recommended cash offer for Fidessa

  • Natura on its $1 billion acquisition of The Body Shop from L’Oreal


  • Ingram Micro in its sale to HNA Group

  • Technip in its merger of equals with FMC Technologies


  • Emerson Electric in 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


  • Chemtura in its $2.5 billion acquisition by Lanxess

  • Suez in the $3.4 billion acquisition of GE’s water treatment and chemicals business 

Mr Spearing advised in connection with the filings for:
  • NBC Universal in its strategic partnership with Euronews
  • Uber China in its merger into Didi Chuxing
  • Volkswagen Truck in its strategic investment in Navistar

Before joining Davis Polk, Mr. Spearing’s representations included:

  • Anchorage Capital in its acquisition of Ideal Standard
  • Party Gaming on its acquisition by bwin
  • Emirates' Alpha Flight Group in its JV with Lufthansa's LSG Sky Chefs
  • Live Nation's acquisition of Ticketmaster
  • RBS' acquisition of NatWest
  • Xstrata's 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
  • 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