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Rafique Bachour

Global Managing Partner

Antitrust and competition | ESG and sustainability | Foreign direct investment and national security | Industrials | Life sciences | Private capital |

A direct, to the point and no-nonsense approach to negotiations

Chambers Global 2022

Profile details

About Rafique Bachour

Rafique is a Global Managing Partner of the firm.

Prior to taking on the role he was global co-head of Freshfields’ industrials sector group, which is responsible for clients in the automotive, chemicals and other industries.

Rafique specialises in antitrust and regulatory aspects of global M&A transactions, international antitrust investigations, and other behavioural and regulatory matters.

He has extensive experience of: managing large-scale transactions that require a global regulatory and merger-control strategy; and co-ordinating multijurisdictional defences in international investigations and ensuing litigation.

He also acts for global financial investors, including sovereign wealth funds and state-owned enterprises, and advises on transactions involving institutional investors. He has unique experience in the Middle East region, where he regularly advises local and international companies on the antitrust and regulatory aspects of their national and international transactions.

Rafique speaks English, Arabic and French.


Recent work

  • UBS on the global strategy for its acquisition of Credit Suisse.
  • Ericsson on the global antitrust and foreign investment strategy for its $6.2bn acquisition of Vonage.
  • AstraZeneca on the global antitrust and foreign investment strategy for its $39bn acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, one of the first transactions to be reviewed in parallel by each of the EU and UK authorities following Brexit; and on the antitrust aspects of its $8bn strategic oncology collaboration with Merck.
  • BASF on its €7.6bn acquisition of significant components of Bayer’s seed and crop protection businesses and related assets, which Bayer divested ahead of its planned acquisition of Monsanto.
  • Suzano Papel e Celulose, the Brazilian paper and pulp manufacturer, on the global merger control aspects of its $11bn acquisition of rival Fibria Celulose, including in the EU, US, China and Brazil.
  • Johnson & Johnson on the global merger control aspects of its $30bn public takeover of Actelion, including in relation to an innovative remedy package in the EU.
  • Holcim on its $43bn merger of equals with Lafarge, including in relation to a complex global remedy package in order to gain approvals in the EU and a number of other jurisdictions.
  • Defending clients in recent and on-going investigations, by multiple authorities around the globe, of suspected cartels in a number of industries including bioethanol, precious metals, capacitors and optical disk drive (ODD), including exclusion from cartel allegations and fines in the European Commission’s ODD decision.



  • University of Damascus, Syria (LLB)
  • University of London, UK (LL.M in international business law)
  • College of Law, London, UK (common professional examination and legal practice course)
  • King’s College London, UK (postgraduate diploma in law - EC competition law)

Professional qualifications

  • Solicitor, England and Wales
  • Solicitor, Ireland
  • Admitted to the Brussels Bar (A List) 

Additional responsibilities

  • Non-governmental adviser to the International Competition Network
  • Lectures in competition law at King’s College London, UK