Gide Loyrette Nouel has launched an investment funds practice in its London office with the hire of UBS in-house counsel Lucy Frew.
Frew has joined the firm, whose London office has historically focused on finance, as an associate from the Swiss bank’s wealth management arm. She previously worked at Dechert and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and also spent eight months on secondment to the FSA.
London office head Colin Mercer said the firm would initially focus on advising investment fund managers on regulatory work. Regulation has become a major issue for fund managers in the past year as a result of the introduction of the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive.
Mercer added that Gide will focus more on hedge funds than private equity to begin with.
Earlier this year Gide managing partner Christophe Eck told The Lawyer that the firm had plans to develop and broaden its finance practice in the UK, seven years on from its launch in London with the hire of a structured finance and capital markets team from Sidley Austin.
Mercer said the impetus to diversify Gide’s London offering “had become rather more pointed since the financial crisis”. He said a funds practice complemented the existing finance expertise well.