Jeantet set to abandon merger plan

Paris-based Jeantet & Associes is at the point of abandoning merger talks with UK and US firms, and developing its own informal international network.

Following months of tentative merger discussions, first with White & Case and recently with Freshfields, the firm, one of France’s biggest, is considering going it alone.

A source close to the firm says: “They have had a few talks with people but in the end it is a question of whether one plus one makes three. In the end it might be better to create an informal alliance with firms to whom they have good connections.”

Jeantet is known to have good relations with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in the US and Hengeler Mueller Weitzel Wirtz in Germany.

The firm has suffered a rash of departures – including Frederque Dupius-Tubol and Benjamine Fiedler to Bird & Bird and Claude Lazarus to Herbert Smith – due to internal divisions over the partnership’s future.

But according to partner Phillipe Portier those who remain are united. He says: “We have a lot of work at the moment and we do not have that much time to consider a merger. We are not going to rush into losing our independence.”