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France: Transport 2016

In this chapter we list 41 leading transport lawyers in France covering aviation finance, regulatory and contentious experts, as well as the leading shipping and maritime lawyers.

Clyde & Co garners four listings in this chapter. Maylis Casati-Ollier is a “pre-eminent” lawyer handling disputes arising from major aircraft accidents. Clients appreciate her “dedicated and pragmatic approach”. The “very bright” Benjamin Potier represents companies in the aviation industry and their insurers in litigation and is deemed a “formidable opponent”. With more than 15 years’ experience in aviation law Fabrice Pradon has established a “sterling reputation” for his work in relation to aviation disputes. He has particular experience in defending claims relating to passenger, cargo, sports and leisure aviation. Gildas Rostain enjoys a “prominent position in the legal marketplace” due to his “commanding presence” in the courtroom and “innovative thinking”. He advises actors in the maritime transportation and shipbuilding industries.

Norton Rose Fulbright sees three of its lawyers selected for inclusion in this chapter. Christine Ezcutari is a finance specialist in Paris, advising banks and ship owners on ship and export credit financings, as well as advising on commercial matters such as charters, sales and leaseback agreements. Marc Hamilton is a “go-to” for aircraft finance work and has acted for airlines, banks, export-credit agencies, arrangers, lessors and investors. Head of the Paris practice George Paterson is also the leader of the Paris aviation team. His practice focuses on aviation finance and leasing transactions. Clients comment he “stands out for his experience with Japanese operating leases and French leveraged leases”.

At Ince & Co three lawyers are recommended. Gilles Gautier is a founding partner of the Paris office and he brings to his practice “deep industry knowledge” having previously worked in-house for two major French ship-owning companies. He is “very effective” in dispute resolution, handling matters such as charter party disputes, latent defects and collisions. Jérôme de Sentenac specialises in shipping disputes and advises on admiralty, cargo claims, charter party and bill of lading issues. He impresses with his “calm and methodical approach”. The “brilliant” Mathieu Croix is noted for his “stellar work” in relation to shipping matters including ship arrest and collisions, as well as matters affecting the yachting sector.

Holman Fenwick Willan has two inclusions in this section. Guillaume Brajeux is recommended for his “top notch work” in relation to shipping disputes. He acts for insurance and reinsurance companies and is a “go-to” in the market. Olivier Purcell is a “great operator” who focuses on dispute resolution arising from shipping, insurance/reinsurance and industrial risk.

At Allen & Overy, Denis Chemla heads the litigation department in Paris and is recommended for his product liability experience particularly in relation to aviation. He is joined by Carine Chassol, who is a “first-rate” asset finance and structured finance lawyer covering ships and aircraft.

Villeneau Rohart Simon & Associés garners two listings in this chapter. Patrick Simon is a “terrific litigator” with vast experience handling admiralty issues. Jean-Serge Rohart is also a “big name” in the maritime market; he specialises in contentious work and negotiating settlements.

At HMN & Partners Gérard Honig has a deep understanding of insurance and reinsurance matters in relation to the aviation and marine industry. Peers observe that he is “highly sought after”. At the same firm, Simon Ndiaye advises insurance companies on product liability matters and aircraft accidents. He also represents clients in litigation and is “great on strategy”.

Hogan Lovells has two practitioners recommended. Head of the banking and finance practice Richard Jadot is recommended for his experience in aviation, and his involvement in aircraft financing and operating leases. Thomas Rouhette’s experience includes advising an aircraft manufacturer in connection with proceedings arising from plane accidents. He has experience in product liability, and insurance and reinsurance matters.

At Bouckaert Ormen Passemard Sportes – BOPS, Christian Bouckaert is a “tremendous practitioner” with a “sterling reputation”. He represents clients in insurance and reinsurance and product liability disputes in the aviation sector. He also acts as arbitrator and counsel in arbitral hearings. At the same firm, Aurélia Cadain acts for well-known airline companies in their day-to-day operations and in significant litigation. She also has vast experience handling insurance matters.

Two lawyers are recommended at Garnault Rembauville Bureau Tassy. Fernand Garnault has “unsurpassed experience” in aviation law matters and is “very active” in arbitration. Patrice Rembauville-Nicolle enjoys a “well-deserved reputation” for his “high-quality service”. He advises on maritime and aviation matters and is “always attentive to clients’ needs”.

At DLA Piper Vonnick le Guillou is “famed” for her experience in international liability claims and knowledge of the aviation industry. She is deemed “a guru” on aviation matters, representing insurers, aircraft manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, MROs and industrial companies. She is joined by Véronique Collin, a lawyer with “intrinsic knowledge of finance law” and extensive experience in asset finance and structured finance.

Lewis & Co’s managing partner Lars Lewis is a “tremendous advocate” who deals with all aspects of shipping and insurance including P&I and defence, ship arrest, pollution, yachts, cruise and ferry matters. Alongside him, Peter Iglikowski concentrates on shipping law advising clients on contentious matters including cross-border disputes. He is a “force to be reckoned with”, according to his peers.

Stephenson Harwood is home to two highly respected lawyers: Edward Campbell and Alain Gautron. Campbell has a particular focus on aircraft finance, and clients are full of praise for his “strong technical skills” and “commercial approach”. Gautron is also an asset finance specialist. He has experience with ships and corporate jets, and advises banks and other financing institutions, leasing companies, sponsors and operators.

Thomas McDonald at White & Case brings “strong technical ability and deep industry knowledge” to his practice advising on asset and equipment finance. He advises commercial banks, export credit agencies, lessors, lessees and equity participants with respect to aircraft, vessels, rolling stock and other equipment. Victoria Westcott’s asset finance experience covers aircraft and shipping finance, and she is praised for her “strong negotiation” and “ability to keep deals moving smoothly”.

Jean Chevrier at Cabinet d'Avocats Chevrier focuses his practice on handling contentious matters in the aviation sector. He is a “consummate professional” and a “great tactician”, according to respondents.

Henri de Richemont of Richemont Nicolas & Associés is known for his experience in handling disputes arising from major casualties. He has advised on cases with respect to collisions, salvage, groundings and charter-party disputes.  

Menard Quimbert & Associés is represented by founding partner Michel Quimbert who specialises in maritime and aviation law, and is active in litigation as well as in a consultant capacity. Clients praise his “comprehensive and detailed advice”.

Courrege Foreman’s Simon Foreman is noted for his “invaluable sector experience” and “calm demeanour”. He has considerable expertise in product liability matters relating to aviation.

Henri Najjar at DelViso Avocats specialises in both shipping and maritime law and is “always a pleasure to work with”.

Mayer Brown’s Matthieu de Varax is highly recommended for asset finance transactions. He advises airlines, lessors, manufacturers and financial institutions in the negotiation and documentation of leasing and financing arrangements for aircraft, business jets, engines and parts, flight simulators, and airport facilities.

At Watson Farley & Williams Charles Viggers focuses his practice on aviation finance and leasing. He is “diligent” and offers “sound advice”. Peers praise his “strong negotiation skills”.

Latham & Watkins is represented by Etienne Gentil who has a “wealth of experience” in asset financing. His experience includes advising Air France KLM and Air France in their €1.1 billion syndicated credit facility.

Deborah Jarmain-Barbizet of Meyrier Fayout Lacoste is recommended for her aviation finance practice. She has “a resolute focus” and “a commercial approach” to transactions.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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