Freshfields hires French private equity partner

The international law firm has hired corporate lawyer Bertrand Pellet from Norton Rose to join its French headquarters in Paris.

European commercial law firms active in private equity continue to compete for talented practitioners. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has become the latest practice to poach from a rival, having hired Bertrand Pellet from Norton Rose to join its Paris office.


While at Norton Rose, Pellet was a partner working on cross-border acquisitions, mergers, spin-offs, joint ventures, management buyouts, secured and unsecured bank financings and restructurings. He was involved in over thirty high profile acquisition finance transactions and LBOs, representing international banks, financial institutions and mezzanine funds.


Pellet’s clients at the firm included LGV Ventures and Royal Bank Private Equity. He started his career with Slaughter and May in 1990, working in both Paris and London, and joined Norton Rose in 1994, becoming a partner in 1998.


“Pellet’s experience in private M&A, acquisition finance and private equity will increase our capacity in this important market and add to our growing reputation for high level public and private corporate work,” said Patrick Bonvarlet, head of the Paris corporate group.


The French private equity law market has been fairly actively hiring of late. Most recently, SJ Berwin poached a team of four French private equity professionals from Clifford Chance in May.


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Paris office was established in 1972 and has 235 lawyers, including 33 partners. The firm’s private equity group team comprises over 40 partners and 70 associates across its network of offices in Europe and Asia. The firm has worked on a number of European private equity transactions during the past twelve months, including the acquisition of cable TV company Premiere by Permira, Carlyle’s acquisition of Edscha and BC Partners and Cinven’s unsuccessful bid for Legrand. The firm also counts 3i among its clients in France.