Osborne Clarke expands European base with Paris launch

Osborne Clarke is launching a Paris office with a partner hire from local firm De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés, some 15 months after disbanding its European alliance.

eiffel tower paris

The Paris office will be headed by Béatrice Delmas-Linel, who joins after over four years as a partner at De Gaulle Fleurance. Prior to joining the firm, Delmas-Linel was a senior member of the EMEA in-house team at Microsoft. She was previously a partner at August & Debouzy, and began her career at Dentons legacy firm Denton Sales Vincent.

The office launch follows confirmation in June (3 June 2013) that the firm had secured the hire of two partners from its former Belgian ally to launch in Brussels.

Osborne Clarke dismantled its European alliance with Belgium’s De Wolf & Partners, Dutch firm Ploum Lodder Princen and Stehlin & Associés of France last year. The firm then merged with Italian and Spanish allies SLA Studio Legale Associato and Osborne Clarke Spain (29 March 2012) and followed this with plans to open offices in Brussels and Paris (28 September 2012).

Osborne Clarke managing partner Simon Beswick said France was a key part of the firm’s international strategy.

“Having a really credible base in Paris is of such significance to our overall offering,” he said.

Beswick said the firm had been seeking the right people to launch the office for over a year, looking for a team which had the right mix of expertise and entrepreneurial skills to build a base in Paris.

Delmas-Linel added that she felt her practice was best-suited to an international network, which De Gaulle Fleurance had been unable to offer. She also said she was attracted by the chance to develop Osborne Clarke’s French offering.

“The idea of founding the firm and managing that project from an entrepreneurial aspect was extremely attractive to me,” she told The Lawyer. “From the onset of our discussions I was extremely impressed by their vision with respect to international development, with respect to client service and with respect to teamwork.”

She said she was keen to build a team of similarly entrepreneurial individuals and differentiate the firm from much of the Paris market.

Paris is Osborne Clarke’s third office launch in a year. As well as Brussels, the firm also opened in Hamburg last autumn (23 October 2012). Last week, the firm restructured its German management team (18 July 2013).