French corporate boutique BDGS picks up Linklaters M&A team

French corporate boutique BDGS Associés has made its first lateral hire since setting up 18 months ago, appointing Linklaters M&A partner Marc Loy.

Loy is joining BDGS alongside Linklaters of counsel Thomas Meli, who will become a partner at the boutique. Linklaters associate Gauthier Verdon is also making the move.

The hires bring the number of partners at BDGS to eight, all with a background at French stalwart Gide Loyrette Nouel.

The firm was founded last year by a team of corporate partners from Gide (22 March 2013) and has since picked up roles on a number of major M&A transactions. It is currently advising the board of travel company Club Méditerranée on two rival takeover bids (7 July 2014).

Loy, who left Linklaters in May, joined the magic circle firm in 1998 from Gide alongside fellow corporate heavyweights Thierry Vassogne and Olivier Diaz (27 October 1998). With his departure none of the three are left at Linklaters, following Diaz’s departure for Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier and Vassogne’s death three years ago (11 January 2011).

Led by Vassogne, the team was widely credited with building up Linklaters’ profile in the French market. Deals on which Loy worked included acting for energy company Suez on its merger with Gaz de France (27 February 2006), maintaining the relationship with further instructions such as the investment by China Investment Corporation in GDF Suez (17 August 2011).

Loy also spent time as one of the co-heads of Linklaters’ global M&A team.

The magic circle firm has seen a number of comings and goings in Paris in the past two years. It lost a capital markets team to White & Case early last year (28 February 2013), and turned to Shearman & Sterling for the hire of partner Bertrand Sénéchal to rebuild the team (11 July 2013).

More recently, the focus has been on arbitration. Last week the firm recruited International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration managing counsel Christian Albanesi. Albanesi joined the ICC in 2007 as deputy counsel in the court’s Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese team, and was promoted to managing counsel in 2013.

He previously worked in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Paris office, having moved to Europe from his native Argentina where he worked at Marval O’Farrell & Mairal.

The hire follows Linklaters’ recruitment of a trio of arbitration partners from French firm Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton last year (22 October 2013).

The ICC has promoted Alexander Fessas to managing counsel in Albanesi’s stead. Fessas was formerly the Eastern Mediterranean team counsel at the ICC court.

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