BCLP boosts Paris litigation and investigations team with White & Case quartet

Head of New York firm's commercial and civil litigation practice in Paris among those making the move

Elodie Valette and Philippe Métais Image courtesy of BCLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has expanded its litigation and investigations practice in Paris with the addition of a quartet from White & Case.

Philippe Métais, head of White & Case’s commercial and civil litigation practice in Paris, is moving over alongside Elodie Valette, who joins as a partner, and associates Laura Cann and Jules Grasso.  

The quartet will join BCLP in early November and be part of the team of Constantin Achillas, co-managing partner of the Paris office. BCLP said their arrival means there are 10 lawyers in the Paris business litigation team, which offers litigation services to banks, financial institutions and public and private companies.

An experienced litigator, Métais joined White & Case at the start of his legal career in 1987, while Valette spent the last two years as a counsel at the firm having moved there almost a decade ago. BCLP said their experience complements its existing capabilities in commercial and corporate litigation, compliance and internal/international investigations.

The duo acts in cases involving European consumer law from the angle of unfair terms and misleading commercial practices and also works in crisis litigation, in particular shareholder disputes and post-acquisition litigation. They argue before commercial, civil and criminal French courts as well as European courts and are also involved in arbitration cases using various alternative dispute resolution methods.

Recently they have been advising clients in emerging litigation related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues, with Valette establishing a CSR litigation practice at White & Case focused primarily in the area of environmental claims.

"We are delighted to join BCLP and bring our knowledge of procedural issues and expertise in financial and banking litigation to the firm," commented Valette, while Métais said that BCLP "offers a wide range of experiences, high quality teams and a worldwide presence. It is a very attractive firm in which to continue our practice."

Cann, meanwhile, joined White & Case’s commercial litigation practice in 2017 from a role as a legal intern at Paris-based law firm Veil Jourde, while Grasso joined the same practice as a trainee in 2019 and became an associate later that year.   

Litigation and investigations is one of three key groups created by BCLP as part of its Project Advance strategy, which was unveiled last October following a review conducted with the help of management consultancy McKinsey. The firm aims to build scale around existing core practice areas, as well as modify its operational structure to help drive growth.

The firm’s other key groups are corporate and finance transactions and real estate, with last year seeing the firm build up its Paris office through a series of real estate-focused lateral hires. Conversely there have been a string departures from is private client group – notably to Taylor Wessing in London and US trust and estates boutique Harrison & Held in the US

The Lawyer reported yesterday that BCLP is reconfiguring its NewLaw offering as part of Project Advance and is pulling the plug on Cubed, its high-volume delivery unit that was led by senior partner Neville Eisenberg, who has left the firm after more than 25 years.

The firm is also reportedly shuttering Cantilever, which comprises the consulting arms from both legacy firms, Bryan Cave’s BCXponent and BLP’s Streamline. Most of the teams from both Cantilever and Cubed will be moved into the firm’s wider innovation and business services arms, the Lawyer claimed. BCLP declined to comment on its plans for Cubed and Cantilever.

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