Orrick to merge with Rambaud Martel

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is set to merge with French corporate powerhouse Rambaud Martel.

The merger, which is agreed in principle, will see the bulk of Rambaud Martel’s 70-strong team decamp to Orrick’s Paris office in January 2006. Around 20 partners are expected to join the US firm, including name partner Jean-Pierre Martel.

Rambaud Martel was hit earlier this year by the departure of six partners to Proskauer Rose. Many in the Paris legal market saw the moves as being the death knell for the firm, which is one of the largest French independents left and has particular strength in M&A and litigation.

The practice areas will complement Orrick’s finance and tax specialisms.

The merger follows several Paris hires for Orrick this year, including, most recently, competition partner Philippe Rincazaux from Coudert Brothers.