Squire Patton Boggs adds private equity team from Lamy Lexel in Paris
Partner Arnaud Lafarge joins alongside two associates as latest in string of private equity hires for US firm in Paris
Squire Patton Boggs has hired a three-strong team of private equity lawyers in Paris from French law firm Lamy Lexel as it moves to build its PE bench in Europe.
Partner Arnaud Lafarge, previously co-head of Lamy Lexel's corporate practice, has moved over alongside associates Nicolas Leveque and Eva Jouannic.
The hires form part of a broader effort by the US firm to build private equity strength across key European hubs, which Paul Mann, head of Squire’s European private equity group, said had already led to new teams in the UK, Spain, Italy, France and “soon in Germany”, as well as brought in a number of new clients and strengthened existing ties in the sector.
Dual qualified in New York and Paris, Lafarge brings more than 15 years’ experience advising funds and private and listed companies on complex, cross-border transactions. He also brings expertise in public M&A and securities law.
Tony Reed, head of Squire’s corporate practice for EMEA, said his hire would strengthen the firm’s transactional capabilities in France and reinforce its position in the global corporate mid-market.
Lafarge joined Lamy Lexel, which houses more than 120 lawyers and staff and has offices in Paris and Lyon, as a partner at the start of 2019 and before that spent almost seven years as a senior associate at DLA Piper. Earlier he was an associate at Paul Hastings.
His appointment is the eighth partner hire in Squire’s Paris office since summer last year and brings its total partner headcount to 21 alongside a wider team of nearly 30 counsel and associates.
He joins a corporate team bolstered by the recent arrival of private equity lawyers Maxime Dequesne and Anthony Guillaume from Martine Conseil and DLA Piper respectively, as well as private equity finance and tax specialists Benjamin Marché and Charles Briand, who moved over from Shearman & Sterling and Orrick.
Paris has been a hotbed for private equity lateral hires recently as law firms attempt to cash in on strong M&A activity in France. The country’s mid-market M&A activity for H1 2022 grew by 7% compared to H1 2021 to a little more than $17bn, according to Refinitv, in contrast to a global drop of 15% during the same period to $571.2bn.
US rival Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom boosted its Paris private equity bench earlier this month with the hire of partner Nicola Di Giovanni from Winston & Strawn. The firm described the hire as ‘a strategic next step’ in the expansion of the its pan-European offering.
Elsewhere, Boston-based Goodwin Procter opened an office in Munich in April as it looked to continue its private equity-focused growth in Europe. The office is chaired by PE partner Jan Schinköth, who arrived from the local office of US rival Sidley Austin in May 2021 along with an associate.
His hire followed Goodwin securing a highly-regarded five partner PE team in London from Sidley the previous September led by Erik Dahl, formerly Munich managing partner and co-leader of Sidley’s global private equity practice, and Christian Iwasko.