Olswang picks up former Linklaters TMT head in Paris

Olswang has bolstered its Brussels and Paris offices with the hire of former Linklaters TMT head Sylvie Rousseau. 

Rousseau, who was a managing associate and head of the TMT practice at Linklaters, left the firm in April 2013. She is registered at both the Brussels and the Paris bar and will operate from Olswang’s offices in both cities.

She will focus on extending Olswang’s cross-border telecoms, IT, outsourcing and data protection offering to Africa, having dealt with local telecom regulators in African jurisdictions, mainly with respect to infrastructure sharing transactions or transfer of licence issues.

She previously advised the Nigerian-based telecommunications infrastructure provider IHS Holding on its purchase of MTN’s mobile network towers in Ivory Coast and Cameroon.

In Europe, she also has relationships with the European Commission and local regulators, such as the Belgian Privacy Commission and the French CNIL.

Olswang chief executive David Stewart said that with Paris a hub for francophone Africa TMT transactions, Rousseau would boost the firm’s growth potential in the region.

“With data protection grabbing headlines and the prospect of major infrastructure sharing deals in the telecom sector, global organisations need legal professionals who can navigate the intricacies of national regulations, understand the political landscape and deliver forward-thinking advice,” he added.

Olswang launched in Paris three years ago, picking up a team from Dechert to kickstart its French offering (5 February 2011).

Linklaters has seen a stream of recent departures, most recently capital markets partner Nigel Pridmore, who quit the firm last month (3 March 2014). In July the firm lost Sinapore-based Arun Balasubramanian to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (9 July 2013) and earlier last year three capital markets partners left for White & Case in Paris (28 February 2013).

In October 2013 Linklaters saw the high-profile exits of private equity partners Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw who resigned to join White & Case in London (17 October 2013).