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Nicolas Sarkozy's big adventure

Posted by: Laurence Simons 30/05/12

You would think outgoing French president Nicolas Sarkozy might be happy to louche it around France for the rest of his days, moodily inhaling Gitanes and gesturing wildly at his supermodel wife. Apparently not: according to the Wall Street Journal's Gabriele Parussini, the former leader is preparing to sue his shoes for not being tall enough as he returns to his corporate law practice in Paris.

"He will return to law," said Patrick Balkany, who has known the departing leader since back in the day. "He's been mayor, law-maker, minister, president: he's not going to do it all over again."

Whilst it is an impressive CV, Sarkozy shouldn't have to jump through the usual legal recruitment hoopla (much to the relief of our Paris office): he still owns a stake in Cabinet Arnaud Claude & Associés, a practice he and two other associés founded back in 1987. The firm, which now employs more than 20 lawyers, specialises in insurance, real estate, car makers and local authorities, which should suit a skillset Mr Sarkozy honed 'running the entire country'.

Well, that's assuming he gets the gig. The former leader could well be tied up from mid-June, as a probe into his dealings with L'Oréal heir Liliane Bettencourt, delayed up until now by Mr Sarkozy's diplomatic immunity, is set to go ahead. Accusations from Ms Bettencourt's former accountant allege that Sarkozy's successful 2007 election campaign was funded by illegal donations from the billionaire, a claim Mr Sarkozy has repeatedly denied. Just take a cruise, Nicolas. Just retire and take a cruise.

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