Blake Redding, former general counsel of Michelin, has joined Archibald Andersen as a partner in its international corporate department.
Redding says the motivation for leaving French tyre manufacturer Michelin after five years was to return to private practice and an admiration for Archibald Andersen's commitment to multi-disciplinary practice.
Archibald Andersen is the French member firm of legal services network Andersen Legal.
Redding says: “After more than 20 years in-house, I want to capitalise on the international experience I gained with US oil services company Schlumberger and Michelin.
“I am convinced that MDPs will have an increasingly important role in the legal world.
“Being involved in the development of this rapidly growing practice is exciting, both professionally and personally.
“I like Andersen's vision of legal services based on strong local practices that are recognised as leaders in their markets and that have access to the wider partnership.”
Archibald Andersen's acknowledgement that in-house counsel played an important role in the relationship between lawyer and client was also a draw, he says.
Patrick Bignon, managing partner Europe for Andersen Legal, says: “Blake's addition to the partnership underlines our success in the past three years in attracting experienced, high-profile lawyers from private practice and commerce and industry who share our vision of global legal services.”
The MDP concept is only gradually gaining acceptance in France. A report published last July recommends MDPs be formally recognised, but the French Bar Association opposes the move.
The Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Union has also recently rejected MDPs. The Law Society in London reserves its position, but regional firms fear that MDPs threaten the profession's integrity.