Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel has strengthened its French real estate offering with the hire of former in-house lawyer David Blondel.

Blondel joins the US firm, which is allied with Berwin Leighton Paisner, from a role as legal director of the real estate department of Natexis Banques Populaires. He becomes of counsel at Kramer Levin.

Blondel focuses on real estate financing and investment. His arrival means Kramer Levin’s Paris office now features six partners and seven of counsel.

The firm has a tradition of hiring from in-house, with a recent coup being the arrival of France Telecom’s former general counsel Jean-Pierre Mattout.