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Andersen Legal's French legal arm SG Archibald has taken on top French banking and finance partner Jean Thibaud from Gide Loyrette Nouel.
Former Gide Loyrette senior partner Thibaud had been with the firm for 19 years, five of which were spent in New York.
His specialist areas include corporate finance, acquisition-related financing work and regulatory matters as well as project finance in Europe, Asia and Africa.
At Paris-based SG Archibald he will focus primarily on structured and project financing and will also be responsible for developing the firm's financial services.
SG Archibald saw a 27 per cent revenue growth last year, according to its latest reported financial figures for 1998 to 1999.
Speaking of his decision to leave Gide Loyrette, Thibaud says: "Having spent many years there, I felt it was time to develop my work in new directions and I am therefore very enthusiastic about joining Andersen Legal.
"The firm has a wide international base and, with my experience, I will actively contribute to its focus on developing the strength of its banking and finance operations in Europe and around the world."
Patrick Bignon, European managing partner, says: "Jean Thibaud is a highly-regarded banking and finance partner. His expertise is well-known in both French and international financial circles and we are delighted that he decided to join our French practice.
"We have the greatest respect for his skills and are confident that he will make a rapid contribution to the growth and development of the practice."
Gide Loyrette joint managing partner Gérard Tavernier says that at present he has no intention of replacing Thibaud and does not expect the banking and finance department to be affected by the move.
He says: "Jean decided to leave the firm. This was in full agreement with us and we wish him good luck.
"Our banking department is fully able to handle all the matters Jean was dealing with before he left and we have had no problems so far without him."