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Aviation specialist Beaumont and Son has sealed a takeover of Paris firm Cabinet Garnault.
As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (5 January), the Paris office will operate under the banner Beaumont Garnault, with a partnership comprising Beaumonts’ partners plus two former Cabinet Garnault aviation partners.
These two avocats and four other legacy Cabinet Garnault lawyers will not join the Beaumonts equity partnership. Beaumont Garnault will be managed by Beaumonts chairman Neil McGilchrist and the firm’s senior partner John Balfour. Beaumonts will continue to operate under its own name in London, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore.
Balfour told The Lawyer: “In effect, we’ve created a parallel partnership [two partnerships within a single structure]. This may be reviewed later on and Beaumont Garnault incorporated into Beaumont and Son. However, we want to work with them a bit more closely before deciding whether to do this.”
He added: “We also wanted to keep them separate in order to keep the Garnault name while incorporating the Beaumont name as well.” The move to France follows a period of upheaval at Beaumonts, due to the loss of its former senior partner Sean Gates, who set up his own niche aviation practice Gates & Partners in March 2004 along with two other former Beaumonts partners, Daniel Soffin and Adosh Chatrath.
The firm is also considering whether to reintroduce its former managing partner position after ditching it last year. Balfour now serves as the equivalent to the managing partner in his capacity as senior partner.
Philip Bass, Beaumonts’ last managing partner, took over last September as head of the firm’s Singapore office, while another partner, Peng Lim, relocated to Singapore at the same time as Bass. Beaumonts has also recently hired former Allen & Overy lawyer Nick McLoughlin as its practice director. He works alongside Beaumonts’ long-established chairman McGilchrist.
Near the top of Beaumonts’ agenda now is the launch of an office in China, which has been under discussion for many months.