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France: Mining 2016

As is to be expected, the main focus for French practitioners in the mining sector continues to be francophone Africa. The mining industry is becoming an increasingly difficult market to work and has seen a slow-down in many projects. Furthermore, companies are now having to find new ways of sourcing financial support, despite the continued interest from Chinese mining companies investing in the continent. Thirteen leading lawyers are highlighted for their work in the sector.

Herbert Smith Freehills achieves two listings in this chapter, including Stéphane Brabant, who is renowned for his “fantastic” work, particularly on projects in Africa. He is joined by the “brilliant” Bertrand Montembault who leads the energy and infrastructure group in Paris. He has over 20 years of advisory experience in M&A, project implementation and financings in the industry.

Two leading lawyers at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe also garner inclusion this year. Pascal Agboyibor is regarded by peers as a “leading figure” in the mining sector, where he often represents governments, lenders and private investors. Alongside him, Sydney Domoraud-Operi regularly delivers “intuitive” advice to clients on a broad range of transactions involving both French and English-speaking countries in Africa.

Jean-Claude Petilon represents McDermott Will & Emery’s Paris office in this chapter. He is admired by clients for his “vast experience and expertise” advising on international contracts, project financing and special tax regimes.

Head of Gide Loyrette Nouel’s mining practice François Krotoff wins praise for his “creative” and “strategic” approach to mining projects in francophone Africa.

Linklaters is represented by co-head of the firm’s francophone Africa desk, Bertrand Andriani, who is described by peers as a “standout” practitioner in relation to the financing of major mining projects.

At Shearman & Sterling, Christophe Asselineau has over 25 years of experience advising on global projects, particularly in Africa. He has worked with clients on high-profile projects and acquisitions and is praised for his “intricate knowledge” of the sector.

Clifford Chance is fielded by Anthony Giustini whose “longstanding experience” makes him a “distinguished player” in the field.

Christopher Dempsey at Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats continues to impress clients and possesses “outstanding expertise” in the African mining sector.

At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, the “excellent” Barthélemy Faye is known for his “impressive roster of clients” including ArcelorMittal, who he advises on large-scale mining, infrastructure and industrial investments in Liberia and Senegal. 

Jeantet Associés’ manager of its energy, mining and infrastructure department Thierry Lauriol is “highly regarded” in the field and is described as an “asset” to his clients.

Yves Baratte at Simmons & Simmons provides clients with “innovative” counsel on complex mining projects in Africa. 

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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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