Orrick builds European empire with Paris launch

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is free to launch in Paris and has also bolstered its London team.
The Paris office of Watson Farley & Williams will become part of Orrick from 1 November, after negotiations freed the team early from its notice period.
Seven partners and around 35 associates will open Orrick's Paris office, and the firm hopes to double those numbers as soon as possible. Orrick chairman Ralph Baxter said: “Efforts to bring additional lawyers are well under way.” The office will be led by Stephane Salou.
Meanwhile, the London office has managed to lure structured finance partner Jim Waddington from Proskauer Rose's Paris office. “We are determined to grow a much larger UK office,” said Baxter. “We need to be open to a merger with a UK firm. There are thoughts, but there are no talks with a UK firm.”
David Syed, one of the Watson Farley partners, will become Orrick's managing partner for Europe and has responsibility for implementing a European strategy. Syed hopes to see the firm opening offices in Milan, Frankfurt, Madrid and Amsterdam.
Mike Bacon, Orrick's London managing partner, said: “The opening of other European offices will be prioritised in terms of the people not in terms of the geography.”
The Watson Farley team is expected to take its entire client base to Orrick, including Vivendi Universal, Renault, France Telecom and BNP Paribas.
The new office will work closely with the France desk in New York, which also recently recruited two Watson Farley partners, and the London office.