Peres was named co-head of M&A in France only this month after the departure of corporate chief Patrick Bonvarlet on sabbatical.
The hire of Peres is a rare lateral hire for Davis Polk and marks a significant U-turn in the New York firm’s international strategy. The firm opened an office in Paris in 1962 but has just two US partners in the French office.
Peres has been a partner at Freshfields since 1990 and made partner in 1999.
A Freshfields spokesperson said: “We are sad to see him go and wish him well in the future.”