Rambaud reacts to lawyer defections with Orrick tie-up

Last Wednesday (12 October), The Lawyer exclusively revealed that the two firms had agreed in principle to link up from January 2006, creating an office with an income of €40m (£27.5m).

The merger will see the bulk of Rambaud’s 70-strong team decamp to Orrick’s Paris office in January 2006. Around 20 partners are expected to join the US firm’s partnership, including name partner Jean-Pierre Martel.

Rambaud was hit earlier this year by the departures of six partners to Proskauer Rose. At the same time, four partners, including Mathieu Rambaud, the son of founding partner Jean-François Rambaud, announced they are to kick-start a Paris office for Reed Smith.

Martel said last week that the losses had “nothing to do” with the merger announcement. He told The Lawyer that he had made the decision to join Orrick in order to guarantee a future for the lawyers left at Rambaud after it became evident there was no obvious successor to him.

“I don’t think of this as being an end; it’s a new start,” he said. “For my firm it’s really a good opportunity for new development.”

He added that Orrick’s international reach was particularly attractive.

That reach has been significantly boosted recently after Orrick inherited lawyers from Coudert’s London, Moscow, Paris, China and US offices.

The firms hope that Rambaud’s strengths in M&A and litigation will complement Orrick’s finance and tax specialisms.

In 2004 a similar merger saw the end for Moquet Borde & Associés when it joined up with Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker. De Pardieu Brocas Maffei also suffered when former name partner Jean Leygonie decamped to Morgan Lewis in April 2004.