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Allen & Overy has boosted its Paris M&A practice with the hire of a partner and five senior associates from Clifford Chance.
Partner Marcus Billam has joined A&O’s corporate practice along with five assistants, including senior consultant Catherine Maison-Blanche and counsel Frédéric Jungels.
Billam, who specialises in transactions involving listed companies as well as in leveraged buyouts, will also become a member of the firm’s Paris strategic advisory committee.
In addition, Michel Struys, who was Conseiller Référendaire to the Irish Judges at the European Court of Justice, is joining A&O’s Paris competition team, having spent nearly 10 years in the firm’s London and Brussels offices.
A&O’s Paris managing partner Jean-Claude Rivalland said: “The arrival of Marcus, his team and Michel further strengthens Allen & Overy’s position as one of the major players in the Paris marketplace.
“We’re keen to provide greater assistance to major French companies, advise them on their strategic operations and become their privileged partner. Where appropriate, we’ll continue to look for opportunities to further expand the Paris offering during the course of the year.”
Clifford Chance’s Paris managing partner Yves Wehrli said he was “relaxed and calm” about Billam’s defection.
“We’re keeping our options open for the future and looking to our in-house associates to make partnership,” said Wehrli.
Billam recently advised Vivendi on its takeover of GVT Holding, a Brazilian telephone operator; Jet Multimedia on the handover of its publishing and international business units to a group of financial investors; SFR on its acquisition of Neuf Cegetel; and L’Oréal on its acquisition of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.
He began his career with Darrois-Villey-Maillot-Brochier, where he was between 1989 and 2000 before moving to Clifford Chance.