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French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel has grasped the opportunity to open a London office after being approached by four partners from US best friend Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. UK-qualified partners Michael Doran and Colin Mercer and US-qualified partners Scott Cameron and Christopher Mead will launch the office with Gide partner Arnaud Duhamel, who will relocate from Paris. The haul of Sidley partners comes from the firms corporate securities group in London. For a number of years we have been told by clients that we need a UK and US law capability. This was a unique opportunity, Gide managing partner Gérard Tavernier told The Lawyer. Doran and Mercer focus on structured finance transactions while Mead and Cameron are more focussed on capital markets work. Tavernier said there is no intention of offering other services in London at this stage. Read said: Firms like Gide have been losing out to the magic circle and leading US firms despite having closer client relationships. We intend to tip the tables a bit. Read told The Lawyer that the team would be looking to capitalise on Gides huge client base of corporates and banks. Sidleys managing partner Drew Scott said that he hoped to continue the firms referral relationship with Gide together with its other close French friend De Pardieu Brocas Maffei & Leygonie. Sidley is left with 26 partners in London, with 17 in the structured finance team.