French firm establishes beachhead in Quebec

The French are joining forces.

International business law firm DS Avocats, based in Paris, France, is partnering up with Welch Bussieres, a 30-lawyer business law firm that has offices in Quebec City and Montreal.

DS Avocats has five offices in France along with offices in China, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Jean-François Welch, managing partner at Welch Bussieres, says this move will help the firm compete with larger national firms.

“Our competitors, which are the national firms, have been growing outside of Canada with a variety of partnerships and mergers, and we’re just trying to be able to follow our clients all the way to China and Europe and be able to offer them the service that they would get in a national or international law firm,” he tells Legal Feeds.

“Multinational corporations have access to seamless services across the planet, we just try to offer the same thing to small and medium businesses,” he says.

DS Avocats has a strong global connection as a founding member of the DS Network, a group of firms in Barcelona, Brussels, Milan, Buenos Aires, and soon Brazil.

François-Xavier Simard Jr., one of the firm’s partners, had a strong influence on the partnership with DS Avocats. Simard conducts a lot of business in Europe and with the new comprehensive economic and trade agreement, currently being negotiated by Canada and the European Union, he convinced the firm to go global in order to take advantage of it, says Welch.

In addition, the firm already does a fair bit of work with the United States so it made sense to seek access to the European and Chinese markets as well, he says.

“We need to be able to follow our clients outside of the borders,” says Welch.

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