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Nicholas Spearing

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. Office of Fair Trading/Competition Commission (now combined in the Competition and Markets Authority) and at European Commission level. He is also regularly called upon to assist, at a broader level, in delivering industry-wide solutions to consumer concerns.

Work Highlights

  • Ingram Micro in its sale to HNA Group
  • Technip in its merger of equals with FMC Technologies
  • Emerson Electric in its 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 acquisition by Lanxess
  • Suez in the 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


  • Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP
    5 Aldermanbury Square
    EC2V 7HR
    P: +44 20 7418 1096

    Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP is a limited liability partnership formed under the laws of the State of New York, USA, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 566321.

Practice Focus

Bar Admissions

  • England and Wales


  • M.A., Law, University of Oxford, 1975
    • First Class Honours
    • Open Scholarship