Fried Frank hit by another European raid

French independent De Pardieu Brocas Maffei has raided the Paris office of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, snaring a seven-lawyer team.

The group includes corporate partner Patrick Jais and intellectual property specialist Barbara Levy, both of whom joined Fried Frank in 2005 from French boutique, Veil Jourde. The team joined De Pardieu yesterday.

This is the second raid on Fried Frank’s Paris office in as many months and the third on one of its European outposts. Last November, Willkie Farr & Gallagher hired a group of six lawyers from the firm including litigation partner, Maurice Lantourne.

Earlier last year the same firm snared a group of capital markets lawyers from Fried Frank’s Frankfurt office.

“We are going to see a lot more of this in US firms over the coming months,” commented Friedrich Blase, an executive partner with management consultancy KermaPartners. “With firms closing their books for 2008 and beginning the profit distribution process for 2009, there will be more blood.”

Fried Frank, which has a 28 February fiscal year is yet to close its books. In its most recent financial year, 2007, the firm posted a 14 per cent increase in gross revenue to $537.4m and a 5 per cent rise in average profit per equity partner (PEP), to $1.6m.

Last year, however, the US firm was reported to have let go up to 30 associates, described at the time as ‘performance-related’. The firm also cut a number of support staff positions in its Washington and New York offices in August last year.

Fried Frank declined to comment.

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