We all know there are various reasons why a firm might lose partners, but the defection of five Linklaters lawyers including three partners and one high-level consultant to join White & Case in Paris looks like a harsh loss.
Only last week the firm saw former US head Larry Byrne walk out the door to join Pepper Hamilton’s US office alongside a team of fellow litigators, while last year finance partner Olivier Jauffret joined Weil Gotshal & Manges, the same destination chosen in 2011 by London banking partner Stephen Lucas.
It might not be as potentially devastating as Weil’s infamous 2011 raid on Clifford Chance’s funds team, but it shows that even the UK elite are not immune to high-paying US firms’ raids.
Linklaters has said it has “plans in place” to develop its capital markets practice, which presumably means more than just making sure the remaining three partners in the Paris practice don’t cross the Seine for another firm.
The most immediate need will be to negotiate exit terms with departing partners Cenzi Gargaro, Philippe Herbelin and Séverin Robillard as well as consultant Gilles Endréo and associate Thomas Le Vert.
If the five of them manage to fix a quick move to White & Case, it’ll be croissants all round.
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