Ashurst exits continue in Paris as five-strong team quits for Gibson Dunn


Ashurst’s Paris office has been hit by its second large-scale defection this year, with a team of five lawyers to join Gibson Dunn to launch litigation and finance practices for the US firm.

The team consists of dispute resolution partners Eric Bouffard, Pierre-Emmanuel Fender and Jean-Pierre Farges, M&A and private equity partner Bertrand Delaunay, and restructuring counsel Amanda Bevan, all of who will join Gibson Dunn as partners.

It is the second large team to exit Ashurt’s Paris office this year, after the February hire of a five-partner private equity team by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The loss of both teams will leave Ashurst with around 10 partners in Paris, according to its website.

Last month, the firm hired Linklaters senior associate Roux as a finance partner, while employment partner Fleury was promoted in the firm’s April partner promotions.

Speaking to Legal Week, Ashurst’s managing partner Paul Jenkins said: “We have known about this for quite some time so it was not unanticipated. We are in the middle of a rebuild process and have been actively recruiting in the market, and there is another announcement I am expecting to make very shortly.

“We still have 10 partners in Paris. It’s a strong office and office managing partner Philippe None is doing an exceptional job getting out into the market and assisting with the rebuild process. The message he is giving is: let’s get on with it and make sure we have the right people in place.”

Gibson Dunn’s chairman and managing partner Ken Doran described the hires as a “transformational step in the development of our Paris office” and added: “Their practices provide many synergies with our overall global platform – they will establish a new litigation practice in our Paris office that will complement our European disputes practice and at the same time enhance the firm’s restructuring and transactional practices.”

Farges said: “We are excited to join Gibson Dunn’s platform and help continue its growth globally, especially with building a disputes practice in Paris. Gibson Dunn’s collegial culture fits well with our close-knit team, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

In January, Gibson Dunn also hired a four-lawyer technology team from Allen & Overy in Paris, led by partner Ahmed Baladi.

A spokesperson for Ashurst said: “The Paris office is going through a rebuild, and the process of identifying and hiring partners who match the capability we want for the network is well underway. We have hired Pierre Roux as a finance partner, Nataline Fleury has been promoted as a new partner and we will make a further announcement next week.”