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Soames, Trevor

Trevor Soames

Direct Tel: +32 2 416 5002
Fax: +32 2 416 5100

Trevor Soames is Managing Partner of the Brussels office and has been practising EU competition and regulatory law for more than 30 years. He has been a 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. This will guarantee essential legal privilege as well as advocacy rights before the EU Courts. Educated at Cambridge University, Trevor is 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 including civil damages claims and appeals. 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 and he has been involved in a significant number of the leading cases in that area. Who’s Who Legal has ranked Trevor as a Thought Leader - Competition 2018. He is also a leading lawyer in the transport sector, especially in shipping and air transport. Trevor has repeatedly been identified by Euromoney as one of the top 20 aviation lawyers in the world and ranked #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”. Who’s Who Legal 2018 has ranked Trevor for his Regulatory work in the Aviation sector. 

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 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 Legal, 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) and
  • one of the finest practitioners in the field worldwide” (Who's Who Legal, Competition 2012).

Learn more about Trevor:


  • Air Canada
  • Association of European Airlines
  • bmi british midland
  • European Liner Affairs Association
  • IATA
  • ICI
  • ICIG
  • Greek Government
  • Hanjin
  • Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority
  • Iberia
  • LGE 
  • Monsanto
  • Nokia
  • Olympic Airways
  • Qualcomm
  • Rockwell
  • Samsung Electronics
  • SAS
  • Schering-Plough
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Sony Mobile
  • Stena
  • Syniverse
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Tomkins
  • United Airlines
  • The Walt Disney Corporation
  • Wyeth
  • Legal Service of the European Commission before the General Court in four separate 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 investigation whether its applications for injunctive relief in respect of its Standards Essential Patents could be held to be an abuse of a dominant position, contrary to Article 102: the case was settled by an Article 9 decision.
  • Nokia in defending against a complaint lodged by Google against Nokia, Microsoft and MOSAID Technologies, as well as one lodged by Sierra Wireless.
  • Singapore Airlines sale of its 49% shareholding in Virgin Atlantic to Delta.
  • Syniverse in its acquisition of MACH, cleared by the European Commission in Phase I subject to remedies.
  • United Airlines in the European Commission’s investigation and unconditional Phase I clearance of the merger with Continental.
  • United Airlines in the European Commission’s air cargo cartel investigation (all allegations were dropped post SO).
  • United Airlines in the European Commission’s investigation of the fully integrated “metal neutral” A++ transatlantic joint venture between United Airlines, Air Canada, Continental and Lufthansa as a result of which the Commission were persuaded to apply Article 101(3) in a ground breaking analysis of “out of market” efficiencies.
  • Qualcomm, the world’s leading developer of wireless communication technology, in the European Commission’s investigation regarding complaints lodged by Nokia, Ericsson, NEC, Panasonic, Texas instruments and Broadcom. In November 2009, the European Commission announced that it decided to close the formal antitrust proceedings marking the first time a major US high tech firm, subject of an Article 102 EC investigation, succeeded in having the case against it terminated and hence avoided not only the issuance of a Statement of Objections but also a finding of infringement (2005-2009).
  • Qualcomm, in the European Commission's so-called concurrent Predation and Exclusivity Article 102 TFEU investigations, as well as in NVIDIA v Qualcomm before the Chancery Division of the High Court of England & Wales.
  • Olympic Airways, the Hellenic Ministry of Transport and the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority in defending Olympic’s ground handling monopoly against Article 102 complaints made by various European airlines as well as Article 106 infringement proceedings brought by the European Commission against the Greek government. Advising Olympic Airways and the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority on the implementation and application of the Ground Handling Directive.
  • Iberia, defending its ground handling monopoly against Article 102 complaints made by various European airlines as well as Article 106 infringement proceedings brought by the European Commission against the Spanish government.
  • The Greek Government and Olympic Airways in repeated EC investigations into the alleged infringement of State aid authorization decisions as well as securing further decisions from the European Commission re-authorising the grant of aid, including appeals to the EU General Court.
  • Schering Plough in the European Commission’s investigation of the pharmaceutical sector.
  • European Liner Affairs Association, representing the world’s liner shipping industry in the Commission’s review (and eventual termination) of the Liner Conference Block Exemption, the adoption of Guidelines and the extension of the Liner Consortia Block Exemption.
  • Association of European Airlines advising the Board on the 2010 closure of airspace due to volcanic ash.
  • Rockwell, a lead complainant before the European Commission in its investigation of the GE/Honeywell merger and as an intervener before the EU General Court in the two linked appeal hearings in GE v Commission and Honeywell v Commission in support of the Commission’s merger prohibition decisions.
  • TWDC in its objections to the proposed merger of Sky Italia and Newscorp as well as in the Commission’s investigation of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) provisions in Pay-TV output agreements.
  • ICI in the European Commission’s Methacrylates cartel investigation resulting in the scope of liability in terms of products and duration being substantially reduced in the Commission’s decision, preparation of the appeal to the General Court but ceased after ICI was acquired by Akzo.
  • Monsanto in the European Commission’s investigation of a complaint brought by the Government of Argentina regarding an alleged monopolisation infringement under Article 102 through vexatious patent infringement litigation, case terminated and complaint withdrawn.
  • Hanjin in the Commission’s recently closed Article 101 TFEU investigation of price announcements in the liner shipping sector, recently settled with an Article 9 commitment decision.
  • ICIG, the divestment purchaser which allowed the Ineos/Solvay joint venture (which was cleared in Phase II subject to extensive complex divestment commitments) to proceed.
  • In addition to the above, there are many other leading cases from the period prior to joining Howrey in early 2002 when Trevor Soames was a partner of Norton Rose which, for the sake of brevity, are omitted from this listing including British Midland v Aer Lingus, British Midland v Air France and CDC, Ryanair v Aer Lingus, B&I v Stena Sealink (Holyhead I), Sea Containers/Sealink merger, Sea Containers v Stena Sealink (Holyhead II), Sea Containers v Stena (HSS), Cartonboard, Cross Channel Freight Surcharges, PVC II, Cross Channel Ferry Services, P&O/Stena Cross Channel joint venture.
  • Inns of Court School of Law
    (Bar Finals, 1983-1984)

  • Cambridge University
    (M.A., Cantab, 1979-1983)
Avocat au Barreau de Bruxelles 2006; Barrister, Member of the English Bar (Middle Temple), 1984 call; Solicitor-Advocate, England & Wales
  • French
  • English
  • Shearman & Sterling:
    • Partner, 2011-2016
  • Howrey LLP:
    • Managing Partner Brussels and Global Antitrust Practice Co-Chair, 2002-2011
  • Norton Rose:
    • Partner, 1990-2002
  • Barreau Cosmopolite, Forum No. 265 - November 2017 (Barreau de Bruxelles)

  • American Bar Association
  • Member, European Competition Lawyers Forum
  • Founder and former Committee member, European Air Law Association
  • Former Board Member, European Aviation Club
  • European Maritime Law Organisation
  • International Bar Association