BCLP secures seven-strong real estate team from CMS in Paris

Hires include partner and 30-plus-year real estate veteran Pierre Popseco

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has hired a team of real estate lawyers from CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats as it continues to expand its Paris office and build up its real estate practice worldwide.

The team includes partner Pierre Popesco and six other lawyers, strengthening its Paris real estate group that was created following the arrival of partners Henry Ranchon, Laurent Schittenhelm and David Blondel from French firm Franklin in January. That expands the Paris office real estate team to 30 lawyers, including seven partners.

Chris de Pury, real estate global department leader, said: “The growth of the real estate practice in Paris is part of our international strategy, to provide European and international real estate players with a comprehensive and high-level service. Our new strike force on the French market is our best example.”

Popesco brings with him more than three decades of real estate experience in France. He was at CMS for almost three years and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) for more than 12 years before that. He started his legal career as general counsel at Unibail-Rodamco subsidiary Espace Promotions in 1986, which specialised in developing shopping centres.

Ranchon said: “[Popesco’s] experience and reputation in the Paris market is the perfect complement to our growing team.”

He is joined by counsels Peter Schaefer, Chloe Strasser and Michel Koutsomanis, and associates Neda Tassoubi, Apolline Coly and Martin Delcamp.

Schaefer had been with CMS for just nine months before his arrival at BCLP. He previously had stints at LPA-CGR Avocats, Dentons, King & Spalding, Taylor Wessing and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Strasser, meantime, joined CMS alongside Popesco, having also worked in his team at HSF. Like Schaefer she also had a spell at LPA-CGR. Likewise, Koutsomanis followed Popesco from CMS and HSF.

The team has experience working on large-scale real estate deals both nationally in France and globally, including creating funds and joint ventures, acquisitions and disposals of property portfolios, plus restructuring and financing.

Popesco said: “Real estate is in BCLP’s DNA, and this is a considerable asset for our clients, who can benefit from the firm’s broad, global platform. I am excited to bring my expertise to the team and the firm.”

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