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Disputes: NRF hires Orrick litigation heavyweight as 20 Essex Street’s Morpuss QC joins Macfarlanes

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has today (10 April) announced the hire of Orrick Rambaud Martel’s Philippe Hameau as a dispute resolution and litigation partner in its Paris office. Meanwhile, in London, Macfarlanes has confirmed that it has appointed 20 Essex Street silk Guy Morpuss QC to provide its clients with advice and advocacy.

Effective from 28 April, Hameau, who is acknowledged by The Legal 500 as a leading individual in insolvency matters in France and as ‘a top expert’, is experienced in banking and commercial litigation, advising both domestic and international companies on crisis management, restructuring and insolvency matters. He also assists creditors and shareholders of distressed companies and has substantial experience in distressed acquisition work.

Before joining Orrick, Hameau was a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer between 1997 to 2007, and went on to serve as head of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Paris restructuring and insolvency group from 2008 to 2010.

Head of dispute resolution and litigation for Europe, Middle East and Asia at NRF, Deirdre Walker, said: ‘Philippe is a strong addition to our growing dispute and litigation team and will expand our restructuring and insolvency capabilities. Philippe’s focus will be on global and domestic clients with an emphasis on the financial institutions sector.’

George Paterson, head of the Paris office of Norton Rose Fulbright added: ‘We are delighted to welcome Philippe, a well-known lawyer in the French restructuring market. Litigation in restructuring and insolvency is an area that has seen increased activity in recent years, not only in France, but across the region. Working alongside Christian Dargham, Philippe’s arrival will add further depth to our wider litigation and business ethics offering in Paris.’

Meanwhile, Morpuss QC joined Macfarlanes as a barrister on 1 April 2014. Although he will work from the firm’s offices, he has not joined as a partner as he did not wish to have a partnership role, a spokesperson confirmed. He will provide advocacy and advice exclusively for the firm’s clients in his role as counsel.

Now leading the firm’s advocacy and arbitration teams, previous high-profile work includes representing one of the Lehman Brothers companies in a High Court, as well as Equitable Life for several years in relation to its disputes with former directors and professional advisers. He has also previously worked on arbitration proceedings between Formula One teams, and on disputes relating to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Macfarlanes’ head of litigation Iain Mackie, said: ‘We have worked extremely closely with Guy for some years and it is a natural development of our working relationship for Guy to work directly with Macfarlanes on an exclusive basis.’