Leading French arbitration boutique Derains & Associés has lost partner Laurence Kiffer to rival niche practice Teynier Pic & Associés.

Kiffer spent 13 years as a partner at Derains, which is currently acting for a group of Spanish energy companies on a high-profile arbitration worth around $1bn (£490m) against Algerian state-owned energy group Sonatrach.

Teynier Pic name partner Eric Teynier said: “Laurence brings us 20 years of unique experience, which relates to all that we are as independent French lawyers practising international arbitration. Her style fits with ours, being rigorous, proactive and creative.”

Kiffer joins the firm with two associates and a practice that focuses on advising foreign clients on alternative dispute resolution in Paris, advising on more than 50 arbitrations.

She specialises in disputes in construction, finance and insurance, as well as advising clients on post-arbitral matters, including annulment and enforcement proceedings. Before becoming a partner at Derains, Kiffer was at the firm for six years after joining straight from university.

The hire brings Teynier Pic up to three and Derains down to three partners.