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The Paris arm of Dutch firm Stibbe, which is set to merge with US firm Latham & Watkins, is to lose one of its senior partners to top French corporate boutique Bredin Prat.Competition specialist Hugues Calvet will join the 15-partner Bredin Prat at the beginning of September after working at Stibbe for the last seven years.“The move makes sense for myself and my practice, Bredin Prat is better suited to my legal expectations,” Calvet told Legal Week.“Bredin Prat is a respected player in the French legal market and I want to work in an independent firm,” he added. Calvet had been one of the driving forces pushing for closer integration between Stibbe and the Paris practice, formally known as Simont Monahan Duhot before merging with the leading Dutch firm.Calvet told the firm that he did not wish to enter into merger negotiations with Anglo-Saxon firms.The news comes after details of the merger between the Paris practice and US firm Latham & Watkins were revealed this week (Legal Week 28.6.01).Stibbe’s 26 partner Paris practice has been in merger talks with the Los Angeles-based firm since April, after it emerged that the office was to sever ties with Stibbe.The marriage, which will become official on 1 October, will give Lathams a significant presence in the market, rivalling US firms with a strong French law practices like Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Shearman & Sterling.

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