Paris, France

DLA Piper has hired a three-partner tax team in Paris from Reed Smith, just 12 months after those same lawyers joined Reed Smith from the collapsed European arm of King & Wood Mallesons.

Paris tax partners Sylvie Vansteenkiste, Fanny Combourieu and Raphael Bera have all left Reed Smith to join DLA. The trio was part of a 50-strong team, including 17 partners, hired by Reed Smith across offices in London, Paris, and Germany following the administration of King & Wood Malleson’s European arm.

Vansteenkiste had joined Reed Smith as head of its Paris tax team and previously co-led the European and Middle East tax practice at KWM before its collapse. Her practice covers tax audits and litigation, with a particular focus on complex tax structuring of investment funds.

Combourieu acts on private equity transactions, acquisitions and disposals and restructurings, with a particular focus on personal tax for high net-worth individuals. Before joining King & Wood Mallesons, she was a lawyer with Freshfields in Paris and then joined legacy SJ Berwin as a partner.

Bera worked at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in both Paris and New York before joining legacy SJ Berwin. His practice covers tax litigation and audits, with a focus on investment fund structuring.

The trio joined Reed Smith in Paris alongside competition partners Marc Levy and Natasha Tardif, corporate and private equity partners Guilain Hippolyte and Pierre-Louis Perin, tax counsel Gwenael Kropfinger, 10 associates, one jurist, four trainees and four secretaries during the original spate of hiring.

“It’s always disappointing to see good people leave the business and we certainly wish our former partners well,” Reed Smith Europe and Middle East managing partner Tamara Box said of the departures. “2017 was one of our busiest years yet for the Paris office as we continued to diversify our offerings to our clients in France and globally.”

At DLA Piper, co-country managing partner Xavier Norlain noted how the hires would enhance the firm’s international offerings.

“The addition of this highly experienced team of lawyers is a major boost for our Paris office and the global tax practice,” he said. “They all have exceptional credentials and their skills and know-how ideally complement our strengths.”

DLA Piper’s global co-chairman of tax, Roderik Bouwman, added that the hiring of the new team reflects the importance of its global tax practice.

“These strategic hires are a testament to our commitment to significantly grow our global tax practice,” he said. “We continue to see a very high demand for advice in this area and the new team has an outstanding reputation as tax specialists. Their combined expertise complements that of our existing team and enhances our integrated tax offering for our clients.”