Louis Vuitton’s LVMH beefs up legal team in fight over Tiffany merger

The company behind Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior is building its legal team as it fights claims that its trying to wiggle out of a $16 billion merger with Tiffany.

LVMH has hired famed French lawyer Jean-Michel Darrois to help advise it on the battle, which threatens to raise the curtain on French governmental proceedings, two sources close to the situation said.

Darrois, a commander of the French Legion of Honor, has been a public supporter of French President Emmanuel Macron. In 1999, he defended French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius in a suit that obtained a dismissal and is now a counselor to French CEOs and other wealthy people.

The battle between the two retailers kicked off earlier this month when LVMH said it wouldn’t be able to complete its $16.2 billion merger of the New York jeweler featured in the 1961 flick “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” by the Nov. 24 deadline. In a statement, LVMH said the French government had instructed it in a letter to wait until Jan. 6 of next year to close the deal in response to the US’s threat to impose tariffs on French goods.

Tiffany has sued LVMH in Delaware to force it to meet the Nov. 24 deadline because once the merger agreement expires, LVMH can seek to lower the price or walk away.

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