Mayer Brown duo team up with litigators for Paris boutique launch

Mayer Brown Paris litigation partners Renaud Semerdjian and Christophe Ayela are leaving the firm to launch a new litigation boutique with white collar and crime specialists Francis Szpiner and Caroline Toby.

The boutique will be known as Szpiner Toby Ayela Semerdjian (STAS) and will be dedicated to complex litigation and risk management.

Semerdjian and Ayela joined Mayer Brown four years ago (26 November 2009) from their own firm, while Szpiner and Toby have practised as a boutique together for several years.

The firm will also add an employment team in October.

Szpiner and Toby said they wanted to “rekindle the entrepreneurial adventure” by forming the new firm, while the Mayer Brown partners added that the synergies of the boutique would help all four lawyers develop their skills.

STAS will advise individuals and companies on criminal and white-collar crime law, media law, general business litigation, industrial hazards and insurance, and employment law. As well as the four founding partners there will also be a team of associates and Paris Court of Appeal honorary general attorney Jean-Claude Kross will be a consultant.

Szpiner’s experience includes representing victims of terrorist attacks and MPs, ministers and politicians, while Toby has acted for a number of company directors and lawyers in litigation brought against them.

Ayela and Semerdjian’s practice focuses more on commercial litigation.

Just under a year ago Hogan Lovells partner Jean-Georges Betto also set up a French litigation boutique, Betto Seraglini (13 November 2012).