Herbert Smith poaches PPP veteran in Paris

Christophe Lefort joins the law firm’s Paris office from developer Bouygues. Lefort has decades of experience and will advise firms on construction and financing for infrastructure projects.

International law firm Herbert Smith has poached infrastructure attorney Christophe Lefort from French developer Bouygues, where he served as general counsel. Lefort, who joins the Paris-based office as a partner, specialises in large-scale infrastructure projects.

Lefort joins a team led by Stephane Brabant, the head of the Herbert Smith’s energy and infrastructure practice for Paris and Africa. Additionally, Lefort will be practicing closely to Jacques Bertran de Balanda, who leads the banking and finance department, in advising clients on infrastructure design and financing. His addition is part of a broader expansion unfolding at the firm.

Throughout his career, Lefort has participated in public-private partnerships (PPPs) across Europe, Australia, Asia as well as the US. An industry veteran with more than two decades of association with Bouygues and Veolia Environment, he is well versed at drafting and designing contractual agreements on building construction and operating PPPs.

Some of the notable projects that he has contributed to in transportation are the A-28 and A-41 motorways in France as well as Australia’s Sydney Metro and Melbourne tramway. He has also been involved with trade projects involving South Korea’s largest port, dubbed the Port of Busan, as well as the Port of Miami Tunnel in the US.

Brabant and Bertran de Balanda issued a joint statement saying:  “[Christophe’s] arrival will further enhance our ability to advise public and private clients on all areas of law involved in major infrastructure projects and other public works. His experience with some of the world’s leading infrastructure companies makes him a great addition to our international infrastructure team.”

Over the summer, Herbert Smith advised commercial banks involved in raising $800 million in debt syndication for a toll road monetisation in Dubai.