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Team hire: Pinsents boosts Paris practice with TMT hires from local boutique

Pinsent Masons has launched a Paris TMT practice with a six-strong team from Paris-based boutique technology firm Ichay & Mullenex Avocats (IMA).

Led by partners Diane Mullenex and Frédéric Ichay, along with Annabelle Richards who joins as a legal director, the team will bolster Pinsents’ around 25-strong French base, which opened in September 2012 and includes 10 partners.

Since forming in 2004, IMA has focused on technology, telecoms, e-commerce transactions and in regulated online businesses, including gaming and gambling and is recommended in The Legal 500.

Work for IMA has included acting for a major European telecoms operator on international projects including the financing and management of a mobile network in Afghanistan, and a telecoms investment and regulatory project in Kosovo under the mandate of United Nations.

Mullenex and Ichay advised the Dubai Sovereign Fund on a telecommunications project in Mali as part of the privatisation of the national incumbent and subsequently assisted the successful consortium on obtaining a third telecoms licence.

Mullenex will head the firm’s international telecoms practice and continue her current role as co-chair of the IBA Communications Committee. She will also head up the firm’s gambling and gaming practices.

Clive Seddon, Head of TMT and sourcing at Pinsent Masons, said: ‘Our ambition and strategy is to become a tier one global technology practice. The market for TMT services remains strong internationally, with technology and sourcing projects, commercial TMT work – including e-business and data projects – and TMT renegotiations giving rise to significant multi-jurisdictional transactions.

‘Diane is a prominent name in the international market, while Frédéric and Annabelle also come with stand-out reputations. They enhance our cross-border capabilities in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Gulf and Africa, and complement the existing IP-focused practice in Paris led by Emmanuel Gougé. Our client base is global and the arrival of this team will allow us to offer clients truly joined-up international TMT services.’

The hires come shortly after Pinsents launched a French tax practice with the hire of partner Eugénie Berthet from Marccus Partners who rejoined his former colleagues after the firm opened in Paris last year through the hire of a team from Marccus Partners.