Back to business

Les grandes vacances are over, and in Paris several firms have marked the rentrée – or return to school – by bulking up their presence.

Possibly the most significant move is being made by DLA Piper. As first revealed by The Lawyer, the Anglo-Saxon giant has announced it is merging with corporate boutique Frieh Bouhenic.

The merger will give DLA Piper much more weight in its corporate practice in France. Frieh Bouhenic is led by ex-Linklaters partner Michel Frieh and ex-Weil Gotshal & Manges partner Pierre-Alain Bouhenic. It’s probably no coincidence that DLA Piper hired former Linklaters managing partner Tony Angel just over a year ago, with the aim of continuing the firm’s transformation.

Meanwhile Pinsent Masons, itself newly-merged with Scottish firm McGrigors, is launching in France. The hire of a team from Marccus Partners is less high-profile than the DLA Piper move, but marks the firm’s intentions to be a truly international player after abandoning its alliance with Salans.

Meanwhile, Taylor Wessing is building a Paris property practice by picking up a team from Orrick Rambaud Martel, and French firm Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés is building up in China.

The holidays are definitely over.

PS. Don’t forget that the European Awards and Conference are now less than two months away. We have a great line-up of speakers and topics at the conference, and the event will also see the crowning of this year’s European Law Firm of the Year. Join us in Monte Carlo in October.