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France: Real Estate 2016

The French commercial real estate market’s resurgence continued in 2015, with lawyers noting a steady flow of work with these increased levels of investment expected to extend into the coming year. Paris is noted as a popular destination for foreign investors, particularly with US equity funds who have been involved in a number of big ticket deals involving landmark buildings. From this year’s research 39 leading individuals are highlighted in the field.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei leads our research with four of its practitioners recommended for inclusion. Emmanuel Fatôme specialises in the financing of real estate transactions and is a “seasoned expert” in the field. Pierre Gebarowski focuses his practice on real estate acquisitions and financings, as well as construction and urban development law. He also has experience of litigation in these areas and is a “true asset to the firm”. Guillaume Rossignol is “a master” of real estate investment transactions and impresses with his “diligent approach”. Paul Talbourdet is noted for his “outstanding” work in real estate investment and finance, as well as complex real estate structuring, particularly commercial leasing.

Fairway garners three inclusions in this practice area, including Olivier Mesmin whose “expert advice” to clients on the framework of real estate and hotel transactions makes him “a firm favourite”. Frédéric Lefébure is a real estate acquisitions specialist whose “ability to get to the heart of the issue” was lauded during our research. Aubry D'Argenlieu has “impressive experience” in complex real estate investment, acquisitions and property transfers, property development, implementing real estate joint ventures and real estate funds.

Gide Loyrette Nouel also sees three of its practitioners recommended. Renaud Baguenault de Puchesse is “incredibly knowledgeable” in the fields of acquisitions of buildings and companies with underlying real estate assets. Frédéric Nouel specialises in real estate transactions and financing for both listed and non-listed major institutions, enjoying a “formidable reputation” in the market. Eric Martin-Impératori is a planning and construction law, acquisitions and project financing “guru”, whose “solutions-oriented approach” is highly commended.

King & Spalding received two recommendations. Pascal Schmitz is a “fantastic” corporate and investment property acquisitions and disposals specialist. Benoît Marcilhacy is praised for his “astute legal mind” and is particularly noted for his work on acquisitions and sales of structured property portfolios.

Two names are also featured from Lacourte Raquin Tatar. Jean-Jacques Raquin is a “top choice” for disposals, acquisitions and real estate management and boasts over 30 years of experience in the field. Thierry Lacourte is very active in all areas of real estate work and is commended for his “encyclopaedic knowledge” of the sector.

Allen & Overy also garners two inclusions. Jean-Dominique Casalta is frequently involved in the acquisition, disposal and structuring of portfolios for French and international real estate investors. He is a “great strategist” and is praised for his “innovative thinking”. The “brilliant” Jean-Yves Charriau advises many listed real estate companies and foreign funds on their real estate investment transactions in France and abroad.

Herbert Smith Freehills is represented by two names, including Pierre Popesco who boasts over 20 years of experience in the real estate sector and has built up an “impressive roster of clients” during that time. Pierre-Nicholas Sanzey assists French and foreign investors, particularly German funds, on acquisitions and disposals of all types of property assets. Peers recommended him for his “invaluable knowledge of the sector”.

At Baker & McKenzie, Florence Defradas has a “no-nonsense approach” which clients appreciate. Respondents regularly praise her “excellent” work involving real estate transactions. Alongside her, Marc Mariani is “a leading light” in real estate matters and impresses clients with his “quick thinking”.

From Franklin two names also feature. Henry Ranchon, co-head of the firm’s real estate team, is seen as a “first rate” practitioner, who is “greatly respected” in the market. David Blondel specialises in corporate real estate and is “highly proficient in all aspects of structured financing and debt restructuring”, according to peers.

Lefèvre Pelletier et associés sees co-founding partner Philippe Pelletier recognised for his “stellar” real estate investment advice, as well as his “intricate knowledge” of the sector. Marie-Odile Vaissie specialises in commercial leases, development and construction. She is recognised as a “thought leader” by her peers.

DLA Piper also has two names included as experts in real estate. Antonia Raccat specialises in the investment and financing of real estate assets, and is commended for her ability to “tailor advice to clients’ needs”. Antoine Mercier deals with domestic and pan-European real estate acquisition and financing. She is noted for her “accessible and easy-to-work-with nature”.

The “excellent” François Bonteil of Clifford Chance specialises in all aspects of real estate work including M&A, private equity and commercial leasing. He is highlighted for his “hands-on approach” by clients.

Jean-Louis Martin is a “famed practitioner” in the market, and head of the real estate group in Paris for King & Wood Mallesons. He also co-heads its European and Middle East real estate sector group, and is a “major player” in the field.

Ashurst’s Philippe None is head of its real estate department in Paris. He is a “leading authority” on all aspects of real estate work acting for investors, banks and corporate end-users.

Françoise Maigrot heads Linklaters’ real estate team in Paris. Sources recommend her for her “commercial insights” and “business-oriented approach”.

Franck Peter from White & Case is a construction and real estate specialist whose clients praise his “calm demeanour” and “wealth of experience”.

JeantetAssociés is represented by Catherine Saint Geniest, who has developed extensive experience in leasehold sales and disposals, and in asset management and leases. She praised for her “user-friendly, commercial approach”.

Andrew Armfelt at Mayer Brown has worked in both Paris and London, and also has experience of markets in the Middle East and Africa. His “international outlook is a great asset to clients”, and he is also praised for his “bespoke solutions”.

From Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Hervé Kensicher has specialist experience in real estate finance and is known as a “distinguished player” in the field.

The “superb” Vincent Lassalle represents SBKG & Associés in this chapter, specialising in commercial real estate investment transactions for French and international investors.

Erwan Le Douce-Bercot at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has developed vast experience in property acquisitions and disposals, and complex real estate promotion transactions. Peers praise his “innovative dealmaking skills”.

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