Hogan Lovells secures five-strong disputes team from White & Case in Paris

Former senior government lawyer Jean-Pierre Picca joins alongside fellow partner Jean-Lou Salha and three more lawyers

(L-R): Hélène Luciani, Jean-Lou, Arthur Merle-Beral, Jean-Pierre and Gabrielle Imbert Image courtesy of Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has hired a five-strong disputes team from White & Case in Paris led by Jean-Pierre Picca, a prominent former prosecutor and advisor to then French president Nicolas Sarkozy.  

Joining alongside Picca is fellow partner Jean-Lou Salha, counsel Arthur Merle-Beral and a pair of associates. The team will focus on investigations and compliance work.  

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Jean-Pierre and Jean-Lou to the firm,” said Des Hogan, global head of Hogan Lovells’ disputes practice. “Their addition aligns well with our strategy to build out our global disputes team across our key markets.” 

Stephanie Yonekura, global leader of the firm’s investigations, white collar and fraud practice, added: “Jean-Pierre brings decades of experience within government and representing clients in high-profile investigations and cross-border complex litigation. Likewise, Jean-Lou has extensive experience representing clients in investigations and actions, brought by French and US authorities. They are a formidable team.” 

Picca brings 30 years of experience to his new firm and is regarded as among the leading prosecutors and defence lawyers in France. Before joining White & Case in 2013, he held several high-profile roles within government, including senior liaison legal advisor to the US Department of Justice between 2002 and 2007. He also served as senior legal advisor to then French president Nicolas Sarkozy from 2010 to 2012 and prior to that was a senior prosecutor.  

More recently, Picca has been involved in headline financial investigations and cross-border litigations, advising French banks in major investigations driven particularly by the French and US authorities. He has extensive experience in conducting internal investigations and advises on international sanctions cases, complex compliance issues and on issues related to the prevention of corruption, the implementation of ad-hoc compliance programmes and the controls carried out by the French Anti-Corruption Agency. 

Meantime Salha has joined Hogan Lovells after eight years at White & Case, where he became partner in 2020. He advises financial institutions and corporate clients in criminal investigations led by French and foreign authorities, covering offenses including corruption, tax fraud laundering, misleading commercial practices and cybercrime. He also has significant experience conducting internal investigations and brings expertise in compliance with applicable regulations on anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, consumer protection and duty of vigilance. 

The team’s arrival expands Hogan Lovells’ Paris litigation practice to more than 40 lawyers, according to the firm’s website, including practice head Arthur Dethomas. The practice is ranked Band 3 by Chambers, which noted it provides representation in a range of areas including life sciences and banking litigation as well as fraud and enforcement cases and assists an enviable roster of IT and pharmaceutical clients.  

Notable work undertaken by the team includes advising US real estate services and investment firm CBRE in several proceedings related to the collapse of Dynamique Hotels, which was being sued by its investors for mismanagement and alleged violation of French securities laws. 

Xenia Legendre, Paris office managing partner said: “We’re so happy to welcome both Jean-Pierre and Jean-Lou to the Paris office. They are recognised for representing clients in many of their most challenging and complex matters, and their experience fits well with our position in the market.” 

A White & Case spokesperson commented: “We can confirm that Jean-Pierre Picca and Jean-Lou Salha left White & Case. We wish them success in the future.” 

Hogan Lovells also expanded its European presence in Berlin recently when it hired a four-strong corporate infrastructure and energy team from Dentons last September.

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