Gide in shock swoop on Morgan Lewis Paris for nine-partner team

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has been left with just three partners in Paris after a raid by Gide Loyrette Nouel, which has taken a team of 19 lawyers, including nine partners.

The team includes Paris managing partner Anne Tolila and partner Jean Leygonie, who were both part of the team that left De Pardieu Brocas Maffei & Leygonie to launch the Paris office for Morgan Lewis in 2004 (5 April 2004).

Gide said five partners and four associates are to join the mergers and acquisitions department. They include Tolila, Pierre-Antoine Dubecq, David-James Sebag and Olivier Edwards, who headed Morgan Lewis’ European emerging business and technology practice initiative.

Four other partners and their teams are to join the funds formation, competition, employment and taxation practice groups.

A statement from Gide senior partner Baudouin de Moucheron and managing partner Stéphane Puel said: “We are delighted to welcome these nineteen lawyers, whose quality, enthusiasm and importance on the market has been known to us for a long time now.”

The firm has seen a number of departures from the Paris office over the last year, including real estate partner Erwan Le Douce-Bercot who left for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (7 March 2013).

This came after a trio of senior corporate partners quit to launch an M&A boutique with former Gide partner Antoine Gosset-Grainville (22 March 2013).

The arrival of the nine-partner team will be a significant boost for Gide, leaving Morgan Lewis with just three partners in Paris, according the firm’s website.

In a statement Morgan Lewis said: ”The practices of the departing partners, although well respected in Paris, were not consistent with the needs of our clients and our firm’s global focus.

“We believe that this departure is in the best interests of all concerned, and we wish our former colleagues well in their new firm.

We maintain our presence in Paris with partners and associates in the corporate, litigation and intellectual property practices. We will also continue to build our firm’s global presence as we have through our recent expansions in Moscow, Almaty, London, and Dubai.”

The partners are:

Anne Tolila: admitted to the Paris bar, she specialises in mergers and acquisitions

Ann Baker: admitted to the New York and Paris bars, specialising in fund structuring, and advises a broad range of international investors, including sovereign wealth funds with an international experience in sovereign funds and pension funds 

Pierre-Antoine Dubecq: admitted to the Paris bar, he specialises in mergers and acquisitions

Olivier Edwards: admitted to the Paris bar, he specialises in mergers and acquisitions and venture capital

Karen Noël: admitted to the Paris bar, she specialises in mergers and acquisitions as well as in venture capital

Christian Nouel: admitted to the Paris bar, he specialises in tax law

David-James Sebag: admitted to the Paris and New York bars, he specialises in mergers and acquisitions

François Vergne: admitted to the Paris bar, he specialises in employment law, with prior experience in mergers and acquisitions

Jean Leygonie: admitted to the Paris bar, competition law specialist