French independent Cotty Vivant Marchisio & Lauzeral is launching a Japan office with the hire of former Gide Loyrette Nouel partner Laurent Dubois.

Dubois and a team of six associates, who are all registered to practise in Japan and are trilingual, speaking French, English and Japanese, are joining Cotty Vivant to set up the new Tokyo office.

The hire is also the catalyst for a Japan team based in Paris, led by partner Fabrice Marchisio, who previously worked as an associate in Gide’s Toyko office. The firm is planning to enable lawyers to move between the two offices.

Marchisio said the decision to hire Dubois and his team was not taken lightly, as the Tokyo office is Cotty Vivant’s first overseas venture. He added that being a part of Cotty Vivant would enable Dubois to grow his Japan offering.

“It’s hard to recruit when you’re alone,” Marchisio said.

Dubois was instrumental in running Gide’s Japan operation between 1995 and 1999, when the firm decided to close Tokyo down. Since 1999 he ran his own firm, Laurent Dubois Foreign Law Office, which had a joint venture with Japanese firm TMI Associates.

Cotty Vivant’s Tokyo office will advise clients on corporate and M&A, restructuring, IP work and employment law.

Dubois is Cotty Vivant’s fifth partner and joins the firm three years after it was established through a merger between two smaller independent firms.