France’s Jeantet links up with Australia’s Clayton Utz for reciprocal secondment programme

French independent Jeantet Associés and Australian national firm Clayton Utz have joined forces in a unique secondment relationship.

French independent Jeantet Associés and Australian national firm Clayton Utz have joined forces in a unique secondment relationship.

Claytons senior associate Sarah Varney is currently on secondment with Jeantet in Paris, working with the firm’s energy and natural resources team. It is hoped that Jeantet lawyers will be sent to Australia on a reciprocal basis.

The project was launched by Melbourne-based projects partner Michael Tuckfield and Jeantet partner Thierry Lauriol, who saw a crossover between the two firms’ expertise. Lauriol’s practice focuses particularly on energy and resources work in Francophone Africa, where Australian companies are active.

Varney said: “It’s quite unusual for an Australian firm to develop a relationship with a Continental European firm. It’s a way for Jeantet to get to know some of the Australian clients and vice versa.”

One of Varney’s first deals on arrival in France saw her helping to advise Australian investment bank Macquarie Bank on a European matter by interpreting the Anglo-Saxon legal issues for Jeantet.

Jeantet is one of only a few independent French firms with an international strategy. The firm has a small office in New York and recently hired former Coudert Brothers partner, US-born Jonathan Wohl, to bolster its international practice in Paris.