Lovells boosts French private equity team

The London-headquartered law firm has appointed Monique Sentilles-Dupont, the latest in a raft of high profile private equity moves in Paris.

Top ten UK law firm Lovells has recruited French private equity practitioner Monique Sentilles-Dupont to join its Paris office.

Sentilles-Dupont, who already shares one of Lovell’s key clients 3i, joins from French boutique  law firm Nomos, which she helped found in 1998.

With over 25 years’ experience as a lawyer focused on private equity and transactional work, Sentilles-Dupont will also bring a team of three associates with her when she joins in October.

In the Paris office, Sentilles-Dupont will work alongside partners Alexis Terray and Jon Harry. Lovells' current team in the French capital comprises 19 partners and 35 lawyers across the firm's network of European offices.

The move is the latest in a string of high profile moves within the French market for private equity related legal services, many of which involve high-paying US firms.

Last month Paris-based Ashurst rainmaker Thomas Forschbach left to join Latham & Watkins for a salary reported to be between $2 million and $2.4 million.

Forschbach’s surprise move follows the equally unexpected defection of David Aknin from Linklaters to the Paris office of Weil Gotshal & Manges earlier in the year. Both Forschbach and Aknin, who billed £5 million for Linklaters in 2002, were reportedly unhappy with management policy at their respective firms.

According to a report in The Lawyer, Sentilles-Dupont is likely to earn around half as much as Aknin and Forschbach, with a slight increase on the £450,000 (€660,000; $810,000) salary she earned at Nomos.

Lovells has recently acted on a number of pan-European private equity transactions, including the €1.5 billion sale of German automotive operator Auto Teile Unger to KKR for $1.75 billion and the €800 million Charterhouse acquisition of UK vending machine company Autobar.