05:04, March 23 314 0

2018-03-23 05:04:05
Skadden corporate heavyweight tempted back to Gide

French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel has announced the “upcoming arrival” of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom M&A partner Olivier Diaz, in a coup for its Paris office.

Diaz will rejoin Gide 20 years after leaving it in 1998. He has since been a partner at Linklaters, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, and since 2015 at Skadden.

Diaz was co-managing partner at Darrois Villey at the time of his departure.

He has advised on a string of major transactions during his career, including the merger of telecoms giant Alcatel Lucent in 2006 and the takeover of Aventis by Sanofi in 2004, as well as more recently the aborted merger of Publicis and Omnicom.

As well as joining Gide’s corporate team, which now has 18 partners, Diaz will be in charge of a of a commission that will explore growth possibilities with clients and Gide’s major partner firms.

The firm entered into a non-exclusive best friends arrangement with fellow European firms Chiomenti, Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira and Gleiss Lutz in 2012. The quartet have since been developing the relationship, sharing office space outside their home jurisdictions and launching a regulatory hub in Frankfurt in 2015.

Diaz is the first senior partner hire for Gide for some time and his addition marks a resurgence for the firm, which is once again in growth mode after several years of restructuring. In 2016 managing partner Stéphane Puel acknowledged it was managing out partners following a firmwide strategic review.

In the last six months Gide has launched in Tehran and Cairo. In Paris it has made a number of counsel hires as well as that of Bredin Prat counsel Magali Buchert as a tax partner.

In November the firm elected Xavier de Kergommeaux as its new senior partner while re-electing Puel for a third term.

Gide was named Law Firm of the Year: France at The Lawyer European Awards last week for its modernisation and internationalisation.