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Herbert Smith has lured top French competition partner Claude Lazarus from Paris firm Jeantet & Associes.
Lazarus is bringing his team of three assistant avocats with him to Herbert Smith's Paris office when he joins the firm early next year.
Neil Brimson, managing partner of Herbert Smith's Paris office, says: "Our office in Paris has been growing immensely over the last two or three years, particularly in the areas of corporate finance, projects and litigation, and we want to build up all the associated areas.
"At the moment we just have one assistant doing competition work with a partner who is doing other things. This will give us a top-class competition practice in Paris, both in EU and domestic law."
Brimson adds: "Claude also does a lot of regulatory work, particularly deregulation, especially in telecoms and the electricity markets, and that fits in very well with what we do."
Brimson says Lazarus is also an experienced litigator who will be important in building up the Paris litigation practice.
Lazarus' move will increase fears among Paris firms about aggressive UK firms destabilising the legal market by poaching lawyers. His departure is a further blow to Jeantet, which has been shedding key lawyers to UK firms.
This month, its 11-strong IT team left to set up Bird & Bird's Paris office. In March the firm's Eastern European practice head defected to Cameron McKenna and last June the entire insurance practice joined Norton Rose.