Four more leave Salans Paris office for UK firms

New York firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn is reeling from the loss of two more partners and two associates from its Paris office.

The move follows the announcement last month that top private equity partner George Pinkham is leaving for SJ Berwin (The Lawyer, 29 January).

All four are going to UK magic circle firms in Paris. M&A partner Armelle Walters-Renaud is joining Allen & Overy. Walters-Renaud, who handles mainly cross-border transactions, says he is moving as he believes that UK firms are taking over the Paris M&A market.

Telecoms specialist Marc d'Haultfoeuille is joining Clifford Chance with Salans' new technology lawyers Sylvain Staub and Sandrine Lambijou.

One Salans partner suggests that the departures are connected to Salans' plans for expansion.

Salans is known to be looking for merger partners in both the UK and Germany. It plans to expand its M&A, corporate, banking and finance, IT and IP and multi-jurisdictional litigation practices.

The partner claims that Pinkham is leaving Salans because he is reliant on the referral of funds work from SJ Berwin. “And our expansion does not include SJ Berwin,” he says.

When Walters-Renaud joins Allen & Overy in April, its M&A practice will have four partners.

Clifford Chance is also talking on an M&A partner from the French firm Bredin Prat. Dominique Bompoint advises a number of French blue-chip companies and investment banks.

“The forecasts are predicting long-term growth in the French M&A market,” says the managing partner of Clifford Chance's Paris office, Yves Wehrli. The country currently comes third in Europe for volume of M&A deals after the UK and Germany.