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French firm Jeantet & Associés has lost a leading French tax lawyer to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and its intellectual property (IP) team to Andersen Legal's Paris office.
Pascal Coudin, who will join Cleary Gottlieb's seven-partner European tax practice, deals with French and international taxation issues and specialises in M&A, joint ventures and corporate restructuring. He will handle the French side of cross-border acquisitions.
He is moving because he wants to join an international firm to advance his practice. "In the case of Jeantet there is no clear direction in terms of international expansion," he says. "However, I started my discussions with Clearys a number of months ago and my departure is not connected with the failure of [Jeantet's talks with White & Case]. I rate Cleary Gottlieb as one of the leading firms internationally and in Paris. It has been in Paris since 1946 and is viewed as part of the French environment. Its tax team is extremely good and I have personal relationships with some of its partners."
The merger talks between White & Case and Jeantet broke down at the beginning of October (The Lawyer, 9 October). Jeantet has since stated its commitment to remaining independent. In 1998, the firm also pulled out of an alliance with Linklaters & Paines.
Cleary Gottlieb managing partner Peter Karasz says: "M&A is no longer a local practice. It is now global, and this is an opportunity for Coudin to work with a global firm. He's one of the best tax lawyers in France and this opportunity just landed in our laps."
IP lawyer Pierre Lenoir is also leaving Jeantet, taking two associates to Andersen Legal. Andersen Legal worldwide managing partner Patrick Bignon says: "Pierre is a recognised heavyweight in both the French and the international IP marketplace. His appointment reflects a desire to strengthen our capabilities in the IP area."