Willkie’s Lantourne quits to re-establish boutique

Willkie Farr & Gallagher Paris restructuring partner Maurice Lantourne has left to set up a boutique after six years with the US firm.

Flavie Hannoun, Maurice Lantourne, Kristell Cattani

Lantourne is re-establishing Lantourne & Associés with fellow restructuring specialists Flavie Hannoun and Kristell Cattani. Hannoun was most recently special counsel at Willkie Farr, while Cattani worked there as an associate until 2012. She left to establish her own practice before teaming up with Lantourne.

Lantourne ran his own firm until 2006, when it merged with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (6 June 2006). In 2008 (25 November 2008) he left Fried Frank to join Willkie Farr along with five associates, including Cattani and Hannoun.

The trio specialise in corporate restructuring, including litigation connected to insolvencies. Lantourne & Associés will aim to grow its client base among large and medium-sized French and international companies and investment funds, as well as advising shareholders, creditors and potential investors in distressed companies.

Lantourne has also made a name for himself defending individuals, most notably the French businessman Bernard Tapie in a long-running court battle related to the sale of Adidas by Crédit Lyonnais in 1994.

Although Tapie won an arbitration over the case in 2008, the issue was back in court last year as the legality of the arbitration was questioned. Former Baker & McKenzie chair and current International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, who as French finance minister ordered the arbitration, was also caught up in the investigation as a witness.