Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is to ditch its Paris office — the firm’s only base on the Continent — as the New York leader focuses its European strategy exclusively on its London hub.
The decision to shut the 25-year-old outpost, which is headed by partner Steven Wolfram, has been put down to the success of the firm’s London office launch in 2001, as well as to a desire to build up stronger referral links with top Paris practices.
“The Paris office was doing fine but it did not really contribute much globally to the firm. In terms of Europe, London has been a great success, and it makes more sense to run things from London,” a partner said.
When Paul Weiss London office opened three years ago, the firm had 10 lawyers in its Paris base, although the last three years have seen that number whittled down to just three.
The closure will see the firm, which only practises US law, focus on building up stronger referral links with French leaders to pick up US components on deals.
The decision to dump Paris leaves London as the top 30 US firm’s only European outpost. Aside from its US bases in New York and Washington DC, the firm has three international offices in Asia: Beijing, Tokyo and Hong Kong.