Watson Farley Paris fights back with Archibald scoop

UK firm in first partner hire since Orrick raid last year

Watson Farley & Williams' Paris office has recruited its first partner since the defection of most of its team to US firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe last year.

Jean Thibaud, a finance partner at Archibald and previously a partner at Gide Loyrette Nouel, will join the firm this month.

Watson Farley managing partner Michael Greville said: “Our plans are to ensure that the practice that the firm has in Paris, and particularly in asset finance, is serviced by French law capabilities.”

Thibaud's recruitment brings the number of lawyers the firm has in Paris to five. With the firm having lost seven partners to Orrick last year, Greville confirmed that the management will continue to search for lawyers in order to bulk up in France.

Greville stated that clients such as French banks BNP PAribas, Credit Indosuez, Credit Lyonnais and Societe Generale needed to be serviced.

“We will focus on finance, tax, and to a lesser extent, corporate,” said Greville.