Reed Smith taps Hogan Lovells for Paris competition launch

US firm Reed Smith has launched a competition practice in Paris with the hire of Hogan Lovells antitrust, competition and economic regulation co-head Michel Debroux.

Debroux joined Hogan Lovells from Clifford Chance in 2005. He is the latest in a string of hires coming into the US firm’s Paris office, with recent additions including finance partner Alexandre Tron and senior associate Olivier Borenstejn, who both joined in December from Jeantet Associés.

Debroux’s hire means the firm now has a competition practice in Paris, although at the time of writing it was not clear how fast the practice was expected to grow nor if any further hires were in the pipeline.

“Our clients are increasingly seeking antitrust and competition advice in respect of their cross-border activities,” commented Reed Smith Europe and Middle East corporate head James Wilkinson. “We already have a strong competition practice in London, [so] Michel’s arrival will strengthen our European antitrust offering and our position to win EU competition work from French-based as well as international organisations.”

While the office has been growing through various lateral hires, last year also saw corporate partner Philippe Lecler leave for French firm Moisand Boutin & Associés.

The previous year was particularly busy for the office, which pounced on the remnants of failed firm Howrey in 2011 for the hire of partners Marina Cousté and François Jonquères, whose combined list of clients included GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi, Nokia and Procter & Gamble, to launch a Paris IP practice (4 May 2011).

That year also saw Reed Smith boost its Paris corporate practice with the hire of a corporate team from Simmons & Simmons, led by partner Marc Fredj (28 September 2011).

Debroux was not available for comment at the time of writing.