Watson Farley's Paris office splits from group

Watson Farley & Williams' Paris office, led by David Syed, has resigned from the partnership following a dispute with the London office over the terms of a deal with US firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. It is understood that the London office turned down £8m for the loss of Paris clients, including Vivendi Universal, Renault, France Telecom and BNP Paribas. Instead, it demanded more money and invoked a non-compete clause. It also refused to pay the partners their equity share and agreed only to return their initial capital investment. However, the deal leaves Watson Farley to pick up the liabilities of the office.