I am no Francophobe, but when French law stories surface the attachment remains unopened. Nonetheless, with Paris now the capital of world rugby, it seemed the right time to find out what Parisian lawyers actually do (apart, obviously, from long lunches and liaisons dangereuses).
So I started with a little probing at Gide Loyrette Nouel and, I must admit, I got a bit of a shock. Suddenly a different, more exotic world opened out. I found myself in North Africa, where Gide seems to have cornered the markets from its offices in Algiers, Tunis and, above all, Casablanca. I imagined myself in the kasbah with Bogart. Then I was whisked away to Gide's meeting with BNP Paribas regarding the privatisation of Sahara Bank (apparently the first bank privatisation in Libya).
Yes, the frontiers are coming down. No wonder an Italian with a law degree from Scotland is opening in London to sell Spanish houses to rich Russians.