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US firms Reed Smith and Proskauer Rose have launched a blistering attack on leading French independent Rambaud Martel, splitting the firm in half and throwing its future into doubt.
Reed Smith is in talks to take name partner Mathieu Rambaud, Marie Albertini, Benoit Charot and Phillipe Lecler to launch its French office. New York's Proskauer Rose has already recruited six partners.
The Lawyer understands that a third group of partners, led by senior partners Michel Jockey and Guillaume Forbin, are threatening to quit and set up a rival firm. Jean-Pierre Martel denied any knowledge of this. The shake-up could leave Rambaud Martel with less than half its roster of 32 partners.
Martel told The Lawyer: "We've had to think about the future of the firm. One way is to change the structure and grow with diversified activities, and the other is to concentrate on our core business of M&A and litigation. The second way has been chosen, and some of the partners disagreed with that and have chosen to leave."
Reed Smith UK managing partner Tim Foster said: "It's well known Reed Smith has been interested in the Paris market, but we have nothing to announce at this stage."