Market rumours are that Veil Jourde will be the next French independent firm to bite the dust, following the disappearance of Moquet Borde to Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker in 2004 and Rambaud Martel to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in 2005.
Veil Jourde is down to seven partners after M&A lawyer Guillaume Kuperfils defected to Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw in June with a team of four associates. Last year the firm lost rated corporate partner Patrick Jaïs to Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, following the July 2004 loss of its employment team to Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent.
Name partner Jean Veil said talk of Veil Jourde’s demise was premature, pointing out that similar rumours flooded the market after Jaïs’s departure. There was also talk along the same lines about DePardieu Brocas Maffei Leygonie after Morgan Lewis raided the firm in 2004, but DePardieu has bounced back.
Veil is confident his firm can survive, promising that the only way it would dissolve would be to follow Moquet Borde and Rambaud Martel into mergers with US firms. And that is not an option at the moment.
Watch this space.