Signature Litigation has launched a Paris office with a double hire from Hogan Lovells after posting strong revenue growth of 35 percent for the last financial year.
Former Hogan Lovells partner and Paris disputes head Thomas Rouhette will lead the new base along with former Hogan Lovells senior associate Sylvie Gallage-Alwis and reinsurance litigation lawyer Emmanuele Lutfalla, who joins from French firm Soulie & Coste-Floret.
Both Gallage-Alwis and Lutfalla join as partners. The trio is joined at the litigation boutique, which was founded in 2012 by former Hogan Lovells partner Graham Huntley, by six associates and three support staff.
The Paris base will be the firm’s third office, alongside London and Gilbraltar, which opened in 2017.
Signature has also announced that its revenue jumped by more than a third from £12 million ($15.56 million) to £16.3 million ($21.14 million) during 2017-18, and that it paid out an annual profit share of 13.6 percent to all members of the firm. Signature is unusual in that it operates in the style of a cooperative, with all of its lawyers and staff given a stake in the firm.
“The launch of a Paris office is not part of a determined international strategy, but rather a reflection of a desire to complement our existing practices in London and Gibraltar with people who we know will fit in and prosper as part of our unique all-member profit sharing and open management style,” Huntley said.
“Paris, of course, is special in many ways, and it will help us to develop a broader litigation and arbitration practice unaffected by Brexit, which itself we believe will not affect the dispute resolution activity in London,” he added.
The litigation specialist is the latest in a number of firms expanding into the French capital. DAC Beachcroft launched an office in the city earlier this month with the hire of an eight-strong team of lawyers from local firm HMN & Partners, while Kirkland & Ellis recently recruited two Linklaters Paris partners to set up its second continental European base, which is awaiting approval from the Paris Bar Association.
In addition, Taylor Wessing has hired a seven-lawyer Paris team from Bird & Bird, including two partners.