International firm DAC Beachcroft is to open its first French office on Monday, but insists the move is not related to Brexit. The Paris office will have eight lawyers led by partners Vladimir Rostan d’Ancezune and Christophe Wucher North and will focus on the insurance and industrial risks sector.
The firm already has offices in Spain and Ireland.
Paris is one of several European cities aiming to market itself as an attractive forum for international dispute resolution post Brexit.
Earlier this year the Paris Commercial Court (PCC) became the latest in a clutch of common-law forums aiming to erode London’s dominance.
In a letter to the Gazette last month Jean Messinesi, president of the PCC, said Brexiters ‘underplay or seek to ignore’ the fact that, from next March, judgments by the London Commercial Court will no longer enjoy automatic enforceability in EU member states. Multinationals will need to seek exequatur [sovereign recognition] in each of these countries, a strong incentive to elect a jurisdiction elsewhere, he said.
A DAC Beachcroft spokesperson said the firm had no specific plans to make use of the Paris Commercial Court but that it has a growing international arbitration practice and see Paris as an important centre.
David Pollitt, managing partner, said, ‘Paris is an important hub for international insurance work, as well as gateway into the strong domestic market. Our ambition is to be the leading provider of insurance legal advice in France.’
D’Ancezune said: ‘Opening a DAC Beachcroft office in Paris is such an exciting step which is a natural and complementary addition to DAC Beachcroft’s existing offering. It will enable us to provide a wide range of services to the French market, which is one of the most active in Europe.’