Clifford Chance boosts Paris funds practice with Ashurst team

Clifford Chance is hiring Ashurst’s French fund formation chief Xavier Comaills and a team of lawyers to lead the firm’s Paris private funds group.

The news of Comaills’ hire comes just days after The Lawyer revealed that Clifford Chance had lost global private equity head David Walker to Latham & Watkins in London (8 April 2013).

Comaills will join the magic circle firm along with four lawyers including counsel Tiana Rambatomanga. He moved to Ashurst in 2008 from SJ Berwin with the mandate of creating a funds team at the firm.

He focuses on advising sponsors of international private equity funds including buy-out funds, venture capital funds, mezzanine funds, funds of funds and debt funds.

Recent work includes acting for Groupama on the signing of an agreement to sell 100 per cent of subsidiary Groupama Private Equity to the ACG Group. In 2011, Comaills led Ashurst’s work for Crédit Agricole and Crédit Agricole Investment Finance on the sale of the bank’s private equity business to Coller Capital.

Clifford Chance’s global investment funds head Mark Shipman said an increase in regulation in investment funds, including the European alternative investment fund managers directive, which comes into force later this year, made it “particularly important” for the firm to support its European and global clients in this area.