Hogan Lovells Paris partner quits with six-strong team to set up financial disputes boutique

Launch of Swift Litigation continues run of breakaway firm launches on both sides of the Channel
Headshot of Julien Martinet

Julien Martinet

Updated with additional information on 3 Feb

The head of Hogan Lovells' Paris banking and finance litigation practice has quit the firm with his team to set up his own boutique.

Julien Martinet’s new firm, Swift Litigation, is the third Paris boutique to launch this year staffed by lawyers with previous experience working out of major international firms.

Martinet's boutique officially launched on Thursday (3 February), with a total staff of ten, including a team of four associates and three interns, all but one of whom hailed from Hogan Lovells.

The new firm promises a tailor-made service advising on complex litigation, advising financial institutions on ‘high-stakes litigation’ and regulatory investigations, including in relation to whistleblowers. It will also ‘anticipate and adapt to new litigation challenges, whether they concern ESG standards, ethics, new forms of shareholder activism, or cybercrime’.

Martinet joined Hogan Lovells in 2018 from French outfit Jeantet with a team of five associates. At the time, the international firm flagged his 'strong relationships' with some of its key clients in the sector.

He began his legal career in 2000 at New York firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, where he became a partner in 2012 before leaving for Jeantet in 2015. He is highly rated in the Chambers & Partners guide.

News of the Paris breakaway, which will be headquartered on Rue de Monceau in the French capital's buisiness district, comes in the same week that Natasha Harrison, the former deputy chair of Boies Schiller Flexner, unveiled her much-anticipated new London litigation firm, Pallas Partners. It will also have a strong focus on financial services disputes.

Allen & Overy, meanwhile, hired two senior disputes partners in January from UK rivals in anticipation of a 'steep' rise in fraud cases in the banking and finance sector sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Martinet’s departure from Hogan Lovells' Paris office comes hard on the heels of that of tax counsel Laurent Ragot, one of the founding partners of M&A boutique Mermoz, which launched last month in a bid to target France’s ongoing mid market private equity and M&A deal making boom. The 25-lawyer founding team included eight partners, five of whom hailed from French independent private equity specialist Villechenon. 

Also in January, two Dentons Paris-based practice heads, Barton Legum and Jean-Christophe Honlet, departed the firm to set up their own international arbitration-focused boutique, Honlet Legum Arbitration. 

Several other boutiques have been founded in Paris over the past few years, including ADF, which was set up by former Linklaters partner Pierre Duprey last January, and Medici Law Firm, an all-female, four-partner firm which was launched in September 2020.


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