French firm Klein-Goddard’s Singapore office has collapsed following the departure of its corporate practice to Watson Farley & Williams.
Klein-Goddard corporate partner Diane Mullenex, who established the Singapore office in 1996, joins shipping expert Watson Farley at the start of April.
Mullenex will bring with her three fee-earners who are qualified in French, Singapore and US law.
Watson Farley established itsef in the region 18 months ago when it bought the office from rival Sinclair Roche & Temperely.
At the end of last year, the firm told The Lawyer it wanted to expand the operation and would pay particular attention to the corporate practice.
The recruitment comes a month after Watson Farley poached leading lawyer Barry Irwin from Australian firm Allen Allen & Hemsley to head its Singapore corporate practice (The Lawyer, 7 February).
Singapore managing partner Nigel Thomas says talks with Mullenex, who wanted to be part of an international practice, began at the end of last year.
“Her move has tremendous potential because her team fits so well. We also share a number of clients.”
The 18-partner Paris firm was created in 1993 when leading French practice Klein et Associes and UK firm Theodore Goddard’s Paris office merged. The operation is now the associated French firm of Theodore Goddard.
Managing partner Peter Cook says the move will not affect Theodore Goddard’s alliance with Klein-Goddard: “Our relationship is very much focused on London and Paris only,” he says.
Klein-Goddard has offices in the Ivory Coast, Lyons and Israel. It also has affiliated offices in both London and the US.
Clients include Disneyland Paris and Matra, the high-tech arm of media and engineering group Lagardare.