Field Fisher Waterhouse has poached a leading lawyer from Richards Butler as a partner to head its Anglo-French group.
Marie-Caroline Frochot is qualified in English and French law and helped found the French desk at Richards Butler, where she has worked for 10 years.
She is taking all her clients with her to Field Fisher Waterhouse.
Frochot says: “Field Fisher Waterhouse has had foreign desks for a long time so it knows what they mean and how they should be run.
“I know I will get the necessary support on the business development front.
“I see this as a great opportunity to strengthen Field Fisher Waterhouse's existing practice and to combine it with my own.”
Field Fisher Waterhouse has a Far Eastern desk and an Anglo-German group, and already works for a number of large French clients, including Dannone and the magazine Elle.
Frochot's main expertise lies in merger and acquisition work for French companies looking to take over English businesses, and advising English firms moving into France for the first time.
She says: “I think it is fundamental to have a French group at an international firm. French companies are increasingly attracted to the UK, it is a very profitable market for them.”
Practice development partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse Mark Abell says: “Our German desk has proved to be very successful and this is what clients are telling us they want.
“We are making a concerted drive to act for French clients and anticipate recruiting more lawyers to the desk soon.”
Head of corporate finance at Richards Butler David Boutcher says: “Most of the clients who Marie-Caroline introduced are probably going with her to Field Fisher Waterhouse.
“We are looking for someone to replace her and hope to be able to make an announcement soon.”