Last week the senior partner of France’s largest firm Gide Loyrette Nouel announced his retirement from the firm that he has revolutionised over the past 10 years.
Gerard Tavernier is a bit of legend. Having taken over at a time when the French giant was considered something of a monolith, he has transformed it through internationalisation, with offices launched in London and across the world.
The number of independent French firms has been dwindling during the past few years and one of the biggest reasons has been their inability to cope with the succession of senior figures of legendary status.
Great French names, such as Moquet Borde and Rambaud Martel, are no more and others, such as Veil Jourde and even M&A powerhouse Bredin Prat, have lost hungry young partners who felt they had hit a glass ceiling.
Tavernier seems to have passed the baton gracefully to Pierre Raoul-Duval and was keen to point out that his trusty managing partner Xavier de Kergommeaux remains in place. Tavernier hopes the firm, which has grown 150 per cent during his time in office, will now be of a size where there are job opportunities for all.