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A conflict of interest on the Eurotunnel administration has postponed a mini-merger between French bankruptcy legend Gabriel Sonier and independent firm Veil Jourde.
Earlier this year Sonier left Sonier Poulain & Associés, the niche firm he co-founded in January 2005 with Jean-Paul Poulain, as Poulain set up an association with Denton Wilde Sapte.
Sonier is currently working from Veil Jourde's premises on the rue de Lisbonne in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, but with a Chinese wall in place due to conflicting instructions on the ongoing Eurotunnel administration.
Veil Jourde managing partner Jean Veil is acting for Eurotunnel, while Sonier is representing one of the company's creditors.
Sonier and Veil have a long history together, having worked alongside each other between 1982 and 1987 together with Jean-Michel Darrois, now of Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier.
Veil confirmed that Sonier was now working from Veil Jourde's building and added that clients had given their consent for the arrangement. He said the plan is for Sonier to join formally in the future, subject to the progress of the Eurotunnel case.
Veil Jourde has witnessed much upheaval in the past year. In June a team of five defected to Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and last week (1 September) Gibson Dunn & Crutcher announced the arrival of Veil Jourde partners Ariel Harroch and Marie-Charlotte Trebuchet, along with six associates, for a Paris corporate push.
This latest raid leaves Veil Jourde with just six partners.