Morgan Lewis lures fifteen lawyers from De Pardieu for new Paris base

Morgan Lewis has become the latest US firm to launch an assault on Paris after taking a 15-strong team from French independent De Pardieu Brocas Maffei & Leygonie.

The haul of lawyers from De Pardieu includes former name partner Jean Leygonie, an antitrust specialist who left the firm earlier this year along with corporate and securities partner Anne Tolila. Leygonie will head up Morgan Lewis’s new Paris office.

The 15-lawyer team includes two other partners, telecoms and technology expert Florence Guthfreund-Roland and Francois Vergne, an expert in employment and labour law.

Morgan Lewis’s foray into France – subject to approval from the French bar – marks its fourth office in Europe, with the others situated in Brussels, Frankfurt and London.

The latest Paris opening follows a rush of US interest in the Paris market following Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker’s recent merger with Moquet Borde & Associés and Weil Gotshal & Manges’ link-up with Serra Leavy & Cazals.

Following Leygonie’s departure from De Pardieu, the French independent recruited a former associate from Norton Rose, Philippe Guibert, to become its new head of competition.