Dechert has announced the hire of former Weil Gotshal & Manges corporate finance heavyweight Laurent Faugérolas as a partner, almost three years after he quit law to set up a corporate advisory boutique.

Faugérolas has joined Dechert as a partner, splitting his time between London and Paris.

The corporate finance specialist focuses on strategic M&A transactions in the energy and life sciences industries, and has advised on a number of significant IPOs.

He joined Weil in 2011 from Willkie Farr & Gallagher before quitting two years later to set up a corporate advisory boutique in London specialising in the oil and gas sector.

Speaking to The Lawyer, Faugérolas said he had enjoyed his time away from the law but that his clients had begun to suggest he should return to practising.

“As a corporate finance adviser I saw other aspects of deals which I think will be quite useful coming back to lawyering,” he added. “I’m coming back with new eyes and it’s quite exciting.”

Faugérolas said he had spoken to several firms before picking Dechert, which had impressed him with its collegiality and entrepreneurship. He said it had also been important to rejoin a US firm.

“My clients need US advice,” he said. “Most of my important deals mix French and US law in particular so I needed this combination.”

Faugérolas is the first French hire for Dechert for some time. Earlier this year arbitration partner Pierre Mayer left the Paris office to set up his own practice, citing his reasons for leaving as increasing conflicts of interest and a wish to focus on working as an arbitrator.

Last year corporate partner Emmanuelle Trombe joined McDermott Will & Emery and Dentons hired life sciences partners Olivia Guéguen and Anne-Laure Marcerou with a team of associates.