McDermott bolsters Paris private equity offering with Dentons team hire

Partner Guillaume Panuel arrives with three associates, bringing key capabitlity to US firm’s PE offering in French capital
Photograph in the office of Guillaume Panuel with his team of associates (l-r) Agathe Marcelin, Houda Bourrich and Bréa Kamtcheu.

Guillaume Panuel with his team of associates (l-r) Agathe Marcelin, Houda Bourrich and Bréa Kamtcheu.

Top 25 US law firm McDermott Will & Emery has bolstered its private equity offering in Paris with the hire of a team from Dentons led by partner Guillaume Panuel.

Panuel has joined the firm along with associates Houda Bourrich, Agathe Marcelin and Bréa Kamtcheu. 

McDermott said the team brought extensive fund structuring experience and would develop secondary transactions capabilities in collaboration with its existing private equity team, which in Paris comprises 10 partners and nearly 50 lawyers.

"Guillaume's arrival is of strategic importance to our Paris office as it enables us to offer our clients a fully comprehensive private equity service, including transactional, financing, taxation and regulatory capabilities and now also fund structuring and secondary operations,” said Grégoire Andrieux, managing partner of the Paris office.

Panuel, who spent nearly 19 years at Dentons and legacy firm Salans, has significant experience in all types of structuring funds, both national and multi-jurisdictional, and advises management teams on obtaining AMF approvals as well as on regulatory and governance rules. 

Panuel also brings expertise in secondary transactions on the seller or buyer side and has represented the investment teams of Amundi PEF, Crédit Agricole Indosuez, Eurazeo, Ekkio Capital and Edmond de Rothschild, among others, in connection with their primary investments and/or secondary transactions.

“Guillaume’s arrival provides a further boost to our private equity team,” said Harris Siskind, global head of McDermott’s transactions practice. “In response to our clients’ increasing transactional needs, we have been growing our private equity teams throughout our international offices. Guillaume and his team will complement our existing French offering and create direct synergies with our teams across Europe and globally.”

Among the new arrivals in McDermott’s PE team was Garrett Hayes, who joined the firm in London in October from Paul Hastings to bolster its M&A and private equity bench. 

“I was attracted to McDermott’s strong offering in the private equity space, including its expertise in fund financing and the ability to tackle complex tax-related issues – both of which are of key importance to my clients,” said Panuel. “I am very much looking forward to working with my new colleagues whose level of excellence is well-recognised in the market."

Following the team’s arrival McDermott will have more than 110 lawyers in Paris, including 25 partners. 

A Dentons spokesperson commented: “We confirm the departure of Guillaume Panuel and wish him well in the next phase of his career. Partner Olivier Genevois will continue to serve our clients in relation to investment funds structuring, regulatory matters, fund of funds investments and secondary and co-investment transactions.”

In recent months a number of McDermott's competitors have moved to beef up their private equity and corporate benches in Paris. In October, Norton Rose Fulbright secured M&A partner Pierre François from Pinsent Masons and in September Squire Patton Boggs hired a three-strong team of private equity lawyers in Paris from French law firm Lamy Lexel.  

September also saw elite Wall Street firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom expand its Paris private equity team with the hire of Nicola Di Giovanni as a partner from Winston & Strawn.

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