Hogan hires Freshfields’ French IP head

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has lost its second European partner to a US firm in a week after Paris IP head Xavier Buffet Delmas defected to Hogan & Hartson.

Last week Dewey Ballantine raided the Frankfurt office for capital markets partner Walburga Kullmann. Hogan France managing partner William Curtin said the hire of Buffet Delmas highlighted the different strategies of UK and US firms in France.

Curtin said: “I think the magic circle firms are shedding people in IP and IT, but I’m not sure what they’re going to do. Rely on local boutiques perhaps.”

Buffet Delmas will lead Hogan’s French IP practice, which focuses on trademark, copyright and patent disputes. He will add a patent capability to Hogan’s Paris office, which has so far concentrated on copyright and trademark advice to clients in the media sector.

Curtin said the firm intends to keep growing its European IP practice. “We’re focusing on building IP in London and Germany and we’ll be asking Xavier to help coordinate the IP practices of other offices in Europe,” he explained.

Buffet Delmas said: “The idea for me was that it was a great opportunity. There’s a big difference in strategy between the UK firms and US firms here. The US firms are in the mood to develop the IP practice.”

A Freshfields spokesperson said the firm thanked Buffet Delmas for his contribution and wished him well.