Ashurst has appointed Gide Loyrette Nouel associate Nicolas Bonnefoy as a partner in its global energy team.
Bonnefoy joins Ashurst from Gide’s London office. His practice has a particular focus on advising sponsors, lenders, governments and national resource companies on energy deals across Africa.
Prior to Gide, Bonnefoy worked at Ernst & Young across West Africa and in London and he is both French and English qualified.
Commenting on the appointment, Ashurst’s global energy head Geoffrey Picton-Turbervill said: “[Nicolas’s] extensive experience will allow us to build on our work in both North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and further maximise the many opportunities in the region.
“Africa’s fast becoming a key region for energy companies and his appointment is a significant boost to our offering.”
The appointment follows a string of hires at Ashurst so far this year, including the announcement last week that corporate insurance duo Adam Levitt and Hammad Akhtar were ditching Herbert Smith for Ashurst (4 May 2012).
A week earlier the firm announced it was hiring UBS litigation head David Capps as a partner to boost its dispute resolution practice group (25 April 2012). Linklaters managing associate Nicholas Moore also joined the firm as a partner in early April.
Prior to this, Ashurst had not made any lateral partner hires in London since it took on City-based Luxembourg specialist Isabelle Lentz from Oostvogels Pfister Feyten (now OPF Partners) in June 2011.
A string of partners left Ashurst last year, with its energy group seeing the departure of equity partners Louise Eccleston (2 September 2011) and Anthony Patten (11 August 2011).
Last week King & Wood Mallesons announced it was hiring Australian competition partner Stephen Ridgeway from Ashurst’s office in Melbourne (3 May 2012).