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France: TMT 2016

A key focus over the past few years for French TMT lawyers has been the increase in work relating to data protection work. The issue goes hand-in-hand with that of cybersecurity, another area that owes its increase in prominence to mounting concerns over the technology rights and risks, and the subsequent changes in regulation. This year, 70 leading lawyers are recognised for their impressive work in the field.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés leads the research this year with an impressive four nominations. The “fantastic” Louis de Gaulle is considered “a leader” in relation to new technologies. He is joined by Charles-Edouard Renault who possesses “strong expertise” in the fields of media, audio-visual and entertainment law. Frank Valentin’s sector expertise is described as “outstanding” in relation to information technology issues. Julien Horn blends “strong legal knowledge and strong business sense in the IT sector”, according to one respondent.

Bird & Bird garners three listings in this chapter, including Frédérique Dupuis-Toubol. She is extremely well known in the telecommunications field, particularly for her “respected regulatory practice”. Alongside her, Marc Schuler is commended for the “innovative counsel” that he delivers to clients, who include IT equipment manufacturers, software publishers and technical intermediaries. The “excellent” Ariane Mole is joint head of the firm’s international data protection group and regularly advises both French and international clients on compliance matters.

Alain Bensoussan is one of three leading lawyers from his firm to achieve listings for their work on advanced technology. He is very highly regarded among peers for his experience and knowledge of the technology market. Eric Barbry is “a prominent figure” in internet law, while Isabelle Tellier gains recognition for her “brilliant IT outsourcing work”.

Bersay & Associés also achieves three nominations. Martine Georges-Naïm wins praise for her “intricate knowledge of communication regulatory matters”. The highly regarded Claire Bernier focuses on IT and data protection law, with a “top-tier cybercrime practice”. Emmanuel Schulte is praised by clients for his “impressive and creative outsourcing work”.

Kahn & Associés is fielded by three lawyers, including the firm’s founder Daniel Kahn. He has previously served on a French governmental commission, advising the prime minister on electronic commerce legislation, and is known for being very active in the field of new technology and IT. Fabrice Perbost is a “true authority” on TMT matters, and assists clients with matters regarding media, telecoms, internet law and e-commerce. The “first-class” Sabine Lipovetsky is recommended for her work on privacy and data protection.

Pinsent Masons receives three listings in this chapter. Frédéric Ichay’s clients include international IT and telecoms companies, who commend him for his “sensible” and “effective” advice. The “excellent” Annabelle Richard is known for her expertise when dealing with e-commerce, online gaming and gambling, data protection and cybersecurity matters. Diane Mullenex is considered a “notable figure” in the IT transactional, the telecommunications, gambling and e-commerce markets. As one of her peers notes, “she is very adept at handling issues that involve cross-disciplinary elements”.

Pascal Wilhelm represents his own firm, Wilhelm & Associés, and is known for his “excellent media law practice”. He is joined by Valérie Levy who is described as “a go-to” for online gaming matters.

DLA Piper achieves two listings this year. Stéphane Lemarchand is joint global head of the firm’s intellectual property and technology practice and acts for clients in cross-border contentious and non-contentious IT matters. Florence Guthfreund-Roland is recognised for her expertise in telecommunications, both regulatory and commercial, in Europe and emerging nations in Africa and the Middle-East.

Olivier Cousi is one of two lawyers at Gide Loyrette Nouel to garner inclusion in this chapter. His “distinguished and innovative media practice” is highly praised by respondents. The “excellent” Thierry Dor is the partner in charge of the firm’s IT legal matters; according to one respondent, “he combines outstanding commercial and legal insight in data protection and IT projects”.

Jones Day has expanded their strong presence in the French and Francophone Africa telecommunication sectors with the recent hire of Rémy Fekete, who advises important public entities and major telecoms companies on issues related to broadcasting, distribution and corporate law. Hervé Castelnau is also very well-respected among peers and clients alike in relation to license bid processes and acquisitions for major telecoms operators, who include Maroc Telecom, Orange, and Vodafone.

At August & Debouzy, Florence Chafiol-Chaumont is noted for her IT outsourcing practice; she is “an excellent negotiator and strategist”, according to clients. Mahasti Razavi is “making waves” this year, as she continues to provide clients with “highly innovative and bespoke advice”.

Hogan Lovells is represented in this chapter by two leading advocates. Winston Maxwell is recognised for his “terrific” telecoms work, while the “extremely bright” David Taylor focuses particularly on the protection of brands online.

Christopher Mesnooh is one of two lawyers at Fieldfisher recognised this year. He is renowned for his impressive roster of major technology clients who he advises on their cross-border commercial transactions. Bruno Ducoulombier is “at the top of his game”, as he heads the firm’s intellectual property and information technology practice in Paris.

At Clevery Avocats, the highly acclaimed Henri Larmaraud handles a broad range of TMT matters including data protection, privacy and e-commerce. Alongside him, Jean-Marien Blondet garners praise from clients who describe him as “a strong dealmaker” in commercial transactions in the technology sector.

Michel Béjot at Bernard-Hertz-Béjot focuses on new technologies and is lauded by one peer as an “insightful lawyer, at the cutting edge of the market”. He is joined by the “excellent” Alexander Blumrosen, whose knowledge of IT law is considered “second to none”.

At Herbert Smith Freehills, Alexandra Neri is considered “a pre-eminent lawyer” in e-commerce, IT projects and cybercrime.

Nicolas Herzog at Vaughan avocats is known for “providing high-quality legal work” and user-friendly advice to both IT and telecoms operators in relation to IT, internet and communications law.

Founding partner Pierre Deprez represents Deprez Guignot & Associés in this chapter and is recognised for his “great technical expertise” in IT law.

At Franklin, Bradley Joslove heads the firm’s TMT and outsourcing teams and possesses over 25 years of international experience in IT and telecoms. He is highly regarded by respondents who value his expertise and impressive experience of the market.

Nicolas Brault at Watrin Brault Associés receives a number of endorsements from sources for his expertise in media law; he is referred to as “responsive and technically assured”.

The highly esteemed Alexandre Limbour at Chemarin & Limbour is recognised for his market-leading insight into telecoms sector, including regulatory and contentious matters.

At Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés, Christophe Clarenc is commended for his “solutions-oriented” approach to media cases.

Marc d’Haultfoeuille represents Norton Rose Fulbright in this edition, and wins praise for his “meticulous, creative and thorough” approach to IT and telecoms outsourcing, as well as services agreements and distribution agreements.

Lucien Rapp at Watson Farley & Williams acts as an expert for the international telecommunication union, and is known for his “tremendous understanding” of communications law.

At NomoS, Eric Lauvaux is hailed by respondents as “one of the country’s leading media lawyers”.

Feral-Schuhl/ Sainte-Marie’s founding partner Christiane Feral-Schuhl is known among nominees as “technically excellent and precise” when it comes to data protection issues.

Benoît De la Taille represents his own firm in this chapter, possessing “an excellent command of regulatory issues in the telecoms sector”.

At Baker & McKenzie, Emmanuel Guillaume is seen as a “highly intelligent and pragmatic individual. He is seen a notable figure in the telecoms industry in relation to both contentious and non-contentious matters.

At her own firm, Julie Jacob is esteemed for her “sharp intellect” and “unparalleled abilities” when dealing with online gaming legal matters.

Stephane Coulaux at CMG & Associés is described by peers as a “reliable” and “extremely knowledgeable” advocate.

Clara Hainsdorf at White & Case is a rising player in the French e-commerce and IT sectors. She is particularly noted for her litigation practice in relation to internet issues.

Representing ATM Avocats is the “highly sought-after” André Meillassoux who is a prominent figure in the fields of new media, software and internet law.

Bertrand Potot at DS Avocats advises clients on the full range of legal concerns in the telecoms and IT sectors. One respondent describes him as “a forward-thinking and highly insightful counsel”.

At Foucaud Tchekhoff Pochet et Associés, founding partner Philippe Pochet is known for his “fantastic reputation” in the media industry, particularly in relation to fashion and cinema.

Olivier Iteanu, founder of Iteanu Avocats, is “a great asset” to clients in the telecoms sector, who also praise him for his “excellent advice” in relation to regulatory matters.

At SEA Avocats SELAS, Hervé Gabadou runs “a world-class IT practice”.

At his own firm, Emmanuel Michau is highly recommended by both peers and clients for his work in the telecoms space.

Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats is fielded by Marie-Hélène Tonnellier who is regarded as a “key player” in the fields of e-commerce and privacy law.

Eric Caprioli founded his firm Caprioli & Associés and is described as a “bona fide expert in IT security matters”.

Olivier Fréget, who launched Fréget – Tasso de Panafieu in 2014, is highly regarded for his regulatory and competition law expertise in the telecoms sector.

Pascale Gelly, founder of Cabinet Gelly, is admired by clients for her “invaluable knowledge and expertise in data protection issues”.

Benjamin Jacob at PDGB Avocats wins praise from peers for his “hands-on approach” and “calm demeanour” when dealing with IT and telecoms matters.

At Osborne Clarke, Béatrice Delmas-Linel is “well-versed” in the digital sector and “never fails to impress her clients”.

LMBE Avocats is represented by the “accomplished” Raphaël Dana, who is highly regarded for his work on software licensing and outsourcing agreements.

At Simmons & Simmons, Christophe Fichet is seen as a “lawyer of choice” regarding telecoms regulatory compliance.

Isabelle Wekstein at WAN Avocats also garners a listing for her “stellar” work advising clients in the media industry on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters.

At Lawways, founding partner Gilles Rouvier possesses over 20 years of experience in the field of new technologies and data privacy. According to one source, “he is knowledgeable, practical and a very good communicator”.

Benjamin May represents Aramis Société d’Avocats in this chapter. He is known for his “user-friendly” practice, which encompasses IT and e-commerce. 

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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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