Following last month's loss of its profitable Madrid office to DLA, asset finance lawyer Jeremy Arscott will today (4 November) join Simmons & Simmons.
The Paris office was established in 2001, when Arscott joined from Norton Rose and remaining partner Richard Pearson joined from his own practice Carlton Pearson. Just a few months ago, Stephenson Harwood held up the Paris asset finance practice as a major contributor to a 44 per cent increase in European revenue to £3m for 2001-02.
It is understood that Arscott, who specialises in aircraft finance, began looking at other firms in the spring, when it was clear that the market was slowing down. Simmons offers a more established reputation for aviation finance in Paris. Arscott said he was attracted by the opportunity to work with Paris asset finance partner Matthieu de Varax and dual-qualified structured finance partner Colin Millar at Simmons.
His move gives Simmons its first English-qualified full-time asset finance partner in Paris.
Arscott said: “Simmons has an excellent position in Paris in the aircraft market on the back of the work done by Matthieu. The thinking was that, because Matthieu and I know a lot of the same people in the banks, we'll hopefully find great synergies in cross-selling our expertise.”
De Varax said: “Over the last two years or so we realised we were missing out on some big-ticket asset finance deals in the Paris market [because we lacked an English-qualified partner].”
The hire follows the appointment last month of Trowers & Hamlins' banking partner Roger Clarke in Simmons' Abu Dhabi office.
Stephenson Harwood head of banking and asset finance Mark Russell said: “We will still have aviation capability in Paris and our banking and asset finance practice is integrated across London, Paris and Singapore.”