On 1 November, Swedish competition partners Kent Karlsson and Erik Söderlind opened antitrust boutique Kastell Advokatbyrå AB in Stockholm. Both partners come from Linklaters LLP.
Karlsson joined Linklaters as a partner in 2001 and was responsible for its competition law team in Stockholm for ten years. He focuses on EU and Swedish antitrust law and merger control, advising clients from the banking, postal services, utilities, transport, paper and consumer goods sectors.
Söderlind was based in Linklaters’ Hong Kong office for the past two years and headed the firm’s competition practice in Asia. He also joined the firm as a partner in 2001.
Prior to joining Linklaters, both partners practised at Lagerlöf & Leman Advokatbyrå.
Commenting on the launch, Karlsson said: “It is time to do something on my own. Linklaters is a fantastic organization, but over time their focus in Stockholm has turned entirely to M&A and finance work. We will of course do M&A-related competition work but will have a wider business focus. We aspire to be the natural choice for everyone in this area.”
“After working in Hong Kong it feels right to move on”, added Söderlind. “Our strategy is to create an effective team within the areas of competition law, litigation and intellectual property while retaining the small-scale feel of a specialist office and the advantages that this entails for client.”
Kastell will provide advice to businesses and other organisations within competition law (including EU law and public procurement), dispute resolution and intellectual property.
Karlsson says he hopes the firm will have five to ten lawyers by the end of next year.
Gerwin Van Gerven, global head of competition at Linklaters in Brussels commented; “For us it is business as usual, except that we will miss Kent and Erik because they have been wonderful colleagues and have become and will continue to be good friends. We wish them the good luck with their new antitrust firm.”
Both lawyers feature in The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists.