Paris coup for Herbert Smith

Herbert Smith has doubled the size of its Paris-based projects practice by recruiting the head of Price Waterhouse Juridique et Fiscal's energy and natural resources group and three assistants.

Partner Stephane Brabant and assistants Betrand Montembault-Heveline, Jean-Pierre Bozec and Alexis Blois specialise in the energy, mining and utilities sectors.

Bragant brings to Herbert Smith a first-hand knowledge of Francophone west Africa. Prior to moving to Paris in 1995 he headed Price Waterhouse's legal and tax office in Libreville, Gabon for six years.

The Price Waterhouse Paris law office is having to merge with Coopers & Lybrand's. But Neil Brimson, Paris managing partner and head of Herberts' four-lawyer projects team, denied that Brabant's move had anything to do with this.

He said: “We have worked with Stephane and his team in Africa over the last few years and we eventually decided to join forces… Africa is an area of enormous opportunity, especially in oil, gas and mining.”

Herbert Smith's London and Paris projects practice has worked extensively for Eurotunnel since its inception.