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Rafique Bachour

Managing partner

Antitrust, competition and trade

There is an effortlessness to how he approaches matters … he is trusted to take cases from A to Z

Chambers Global 2020

Profile details

About Rafique Bachour

Rafique is the firm’s managing partner.

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

  • Advising 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.
  • Advising 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.
  • Advising 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.
  • Advising 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.
  • Advising AstraZeneca on the antitrust aspects of its $8bn strategic oncology collaboration with Merck.
  • Advising 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