Speechly Bircham opens its fourth European base in Paris

Speechly Bircham has launched in Paris, just three months after opening a base in Geneva.

The operation initially consists of four partners and seven associates, and will expand the firm’s personal wealth offering (2 September 2013). The firm has made a number of lateral partner hires to kick start the office. These include Stephane de Lassus and Anne-Marie Berthault-Boissonnas, both international tax planning specialists hired from Parisian firm STC Partners.

Litigation partner Frederic Jeannin also joined from STC Partners, while corporate partner Thibaut Caharel joined the team from Parisian firm PDGB Avocats.

De Lassus said in a statement: “We’re all very excited about this fantastic opportunity. The partner team here in Paris has a clear focus on the private wealth, private equity and entrepreneurial market, which fits perfectly with Speechlys’ international practice.”

Firm senior partner Michael Lingens added: “Building on the success of our first international offices, Paris feels like a natural next step due to its importance as a European commercial centre.”

The team in France will be supported by four partners in the firm’s City HQ: dual qualified TMT partner Nathalie Moreno, corporate partner Martin Wright, EU and competition law partner Paul Henty, and tax and estate planning partner John Ward.

The firm opened its first international bases in Zurich and Luxembourg in June 2011 (6 June 2011). It launched its third overseas office in Geneva in the summer (2 September).

In the 2012/13 financial year, the firm’s global turnover flatlined at £56.5m – almost exactly in line with its 2011/12 figure of £57.6m. While net profit increased by 2.3 per cent globally, from £11.3m to £11.6m, the firm also witnessed a decrease in UK profit per equity partner (PEP) from £299,000 to £293,000.

The firm said that at the half-year point revenue remains “broadly flat”. However, it is ahead on profit due to cost-cutting measures.