Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has confirmed the hire of a five-partner corporate and finance team from Ashurst’s Paris office.
The Lawyer revealed several weeks ago that the magic circle firm was set to vote on bringing in the team.
The group is compromised of private equity partners Guy Benda, Nicolas Barberis and Yann Gozal, as well as finance partners Laurent Mabilat and Stéphanie Corbière.
The move was widely expected, with the team understood to have held talks with a number of firms in the French city.
Freshfields has seen a number of exits in Paris in the past year, losing four partners to US firm Orrrick Herrington & Sutcliffe over the summer. Last week it was also announced that the firm would lose its entire Paris real estate capability, with real estate head Erwan Le Douce-Bercot leaving for Jones Day along with a three-lawyer team.
Several of the partners are understood to have been on Ashurst’s super-plateau after 10 points were added to the top of the ladder last year.
Their move follows the departure of Ashurst Paris tax head Nadine Gelli, who has already left for local boutique DePardieu Brocas Maffei & Associes.
Ashurst has had a tumultuous year in Europe, closing its office in Rome in order to focus purely on its Milan base last summer. It also shut down in Sweden after all its lawyers joined local firm Hamilton.
In London, Ashurst lost a wave of partners to firms such as Latham & Watkins and White & Case last year. However, the stream of exits appears to have subsided, particularly after the firm ‘bought back’ partners James Perry and Nigel Ward.
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