Nabarro’s French ally Lefèvre Pelletier announces €44m merger

Nabarro’s French ally Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés and fellow Paris firm CGR Legal have announced a merger creating a €44m (£32.9m) firm with 160 lawyers.

The merger will propel the combined firm, LPA CGR, into the top 10 independent French firms by turnover and also into The Lawyer European 100.

LPA CGR will boast a team of 40 partners and another 120 lawyers and have offices in Paris, Algiers, Casablanca, Munich, Hong Kong, Shanghai and most recently Tokyo.

In 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available, Lefèvre Pelletier turned over €30.5m and employed just over 120 lawyers, according to figures published by French magazine JuristesAssociés.

CGR will contribute €10m in turnover, and the balance is expected to come from the launch of new offices in francophone Central Africa and the Middle East over the course of the year.

The firms said in a joint statement that the merger would allow them to strengthen their corporate, finance, litigation, employment and tax teams.

LPA CGR will be led by a three-strong management committee, comprising two partners from Lefèvre Pelletier and one from CGR. The management committee will be joined by another CGR partner and three Lefèvre Pelletier partners to form an executive committee.

The merger came about after Lefèvre Pelletier hired real estate investment partner François-Régis Fabre Falret from CGR last July. Fabre Falret noted the cultural similarities between the two firms; management met in October and the merger was approved in principle by December.

CGR managing partner Philippe Raybaud said the merger would allow the firm to meet its strategy aims of strengthening its existing teams, boost its M&A capabilities, and develop its international presence.

“We had all this on the go, it’s like a 10-year leap at once,” Raybaud told The Lawyer.

Lefèvre Pelletier board member Olivier Ortega added that the firm had decided on a new growth strategy two years ago which included recruiting new talent and boosting its international development.

“As we have strong competition from US and English law firms, if we want to play on an international level we need to consolidate,” added fellow Lefèvre Pelletier partner Christophe Jacomin.

Raybaud added: “Part of the decision to go into this merger is that we believe that the market has to consolidate. We wanted to be one of the first ones to do so, rather than the last.”

Lefèvre Pelletier announced last week that it was launching an office in the Japanese capital by bolting on local Franco-Japanese player Vincent & Kanezuka. The two-partner firm, comprising dual-qualified partners Lionel Vincent and Ayano Kanezuka, previously had a relationship with rival French firm CVML.

In October 2014 Lefèvre Pelletier joined Nabarro’s alliance of European independent firms. It replaced August & Debouzy as the French member of the group, which later branded itself as ‘Broadlaw’.