SullCrom’s Bompoint goes solo to bridge advisory and litigation gap

Sullivan & Cromwell Paris corporate star Dominique Bompoint has left the US firm to set up his own practice in a bid to get closer to clients on both advisory and contentious work.

Bompoint set up Cabinet Bompoint, together with three associates from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Linklaters and Sullivan & Cromwell, on Monday (25 February).

He said the firm will provide transactional and litigation advice to the same sort of clients who instructed him at his previous firm, such as investment and industrial group Bolloré, electricity giant EDF, and investment banks Crédit Agricole and Natixis.

Bompoint’s deal list includes advising Crédit Agricole on the €6.6bn merger of its asset management business with that of Société Générale, acting for the financial advisers for NYSE when it merged with Euronext and representing the financial advisers for Alcatel on its combination with Lucent.

“It’s good for clients that the lawyer who structured the deal can stand by his advice if this is challenged in court or by the regulator,” Bompoint told The Lawyer. “It’s extremely comfortable for the client to know that it’s the same guy who’s going to explain to a regulator or a court where the weaknesses or the strong points in a transaction are.”

Bompoint added that he had always managed to retain a certain amount of contentious work in his practice, but that this had lessened over the years. He noted that the French legal market is becoming increasingly specialised and the lawyers who made their name practising in both the litigation and corporate fields, such as Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier senior partner Jean-Michel Darrois, are now at the older end of the profession.

“The combination of skills that I have you don’t find very often in Paris,” said Bompoint.

He said he also hoped to build even closer relationships with clients at Cabinet Bompoint.

“What I like in this work is to accompany business people in their adventures and to play a part in their careers. That’s what makes it fun,” Bompoint said. He added that the concept of a firm with a single partner was “unique” in the Paris market, although there are a number of small corporate boutiques established by lawyers from larger firms, and was a compelling proposition.

“People who like me have 100 per cent of me,” he added.

He said he did not plan to bring on board any more partners at this stage.

Bompoint began his career at Bredin Prat, where he was a partner between 1996 and 2001. He moved to Clifford Chance in 2001 before being hired by Sullivan & Cromwell in 2004 (8 November 2004).