Pinsent Masons is expanding its French presence with the acquisition of six-lawyer boutique Ichay & Mullenex Avocats.
Ichay & Mullenex partners Diane Mullenex and Frédéric Ichay will become partners at Pinsents, while fellow partner Annabelle Richard will be a legal director.
The bolt-on follows Pinsents’ 2012 launch in Paris with a team from Marccus Partners (31 August 2012). Earlier this year the firm added a tax practice with Marccus Partners partner Eugénie Berthet (3 September 2013).
Ichay & Mullenex was founded in 2004 and focused on technology, telecoms, gaming and gambling and e-commerce. It had a sizeable African and Middle East practice.
Mullenex will head up Pinsents’ international telecoms and gambling and gaming practices. Prior to launching the boutique, she was a partner at Watson Farley & Williams in Singapore. Mullenex took a team from French firm Klein-Goddard to Watson Farley (6 March 2000).
Ichay also spent time at Watson Farley in Singapore, before moving back to France to join domestic firm Ginestié Paley-Vincent & Associés. He rejoined Mullenex to launch Ichay & Mullenex.
Mullenex told The Lawyer that she and Ichay had decided to turn against the Paris trend of launching boutiques (14 October 2013) as her clients needed a more international platform.
“Ten years ago when we launched our boutique we were one of the few doing it,” she said.
Mullenex praised Pinsents’ growth and said it had appealed to her and her team. “They’re cherry-picking the right people to expand their European network,” she added. “It’s good to be in a firm that’s growing and respects entrepreneurship.”
Pinsents’ TMT and sourcing head Clive Seddon said the firm’s strategy was to become a tier one global technology practice and the acquisition would enhance its cross-border capabilities in TMT work.
Seddon added that the Ichay & Mullenex team would complement Pinsents’ IP practice in Paris, which is led by partner Emmanuel Gougé.