DWS gears up for French restructuring boom with domestic alliance

Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) has launched an association with French independent Poulain & Associés to strengthen its French insolvency expertise.

The firms linked up on 1 July, pooling their restructuring and private equity expertise. The association is to be run by Poulain partner Philippe Matignon and DWS partner Constantin Achillas.

The move comes three months after Linklaters hired restructuring partners Aymar de Mauléon de Bruyères and Cécile Dupoux from Poulain, which left the latter with just three partners and 11 lawyers.

DWS chief executive Howard Morris said the alliance is a precursor to an expected rush of restructurings and insolvencies in the French market.

DWS has previously focused on corporate and M&A work in Paris, although it also has tax, employment and IP/IT partners. Achillas is the only partner to practise insolvency law in France.

Poulain was the product of a merger between insolvency boutiques Sonier & Associés and Poulain in January 2005, creating a sizeable restructuring practice. The firm also has a small private equity practice.

The alliance seems unlikely to lead to a merger.