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France: Government Contracts 2016

The tightening budgets of public bodies have made the financing of public procurement and other forms of public contracts a prime concern. Accordingly there is greater demand for more innovative and complex contractual structures. Meanwhile, the greater competition among suppliers and contractors for these contracts has increased the likelihood of tenders being challenged in the administrative courts. We have listed 19 standout specialists in this area. 

Gide Loyrette Nouel ranks highly in our research, with a large and active public procurement team. The firm regularly advises contracting authorities and companies on major public contracts, including the structuring of contracts and bids, as well as related litigation. Thomas Courtel has been involved in a number of highly significant PPPs developments in France over the last decade. He described as “a fine lawyer with a strong understanding of what it takes to structure and implement large scale public-private initiatives”. Laurent Deruy is highly recommended for his experience in contentious and non-contentious procurement matters, with peers describing him as “a very good operator”. Bénédicte Mazel is also recognised for her experience and “excellent advice and support” through the procurement process.

Hogan Lovells is recognised across Europe for its expertise and focus in this growing area of public law. Ludovic Babin advises both sponsors and lenders on a wide range on public infrastructure projects. Respondents praise his “market-leading expertise”. The “excellent” Bruno Cantier is noted for his active presence on PPPs, advising on large-scale energy, rail and road infrastructure projects in particular.

As Clifford Chance’s head of public law in France, David Préat is regarded as “one of the outstanding names in the field”. He advises public and private entities on PPPs and public procurement contracts across a wide range of major infrastructure projects.

At UGGC Avocats, Thierry Dal Farra is a seasoned expert in public contracts and has established a leader public procurement practice. Sources advise that his technical knowledge and his attention to detail is “first-rate”.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s Thierry Laloum advises public bodies and private entities on a wide range of infrastructure projects. He is “an established figure” in large PPPs with an impressive portfolio of clients.

At CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, François Tenailleau is extensively experienced in PPPs and other public contracts. He also regularly appears before the administrative courts in disputes over procurement tender decisions. Sources note that he has “a substantial practice” in this space and that he is “very visible” in bidding negotiations and challenges.  

Romaric Lazerges heads Allen & Overy’s public law department in Paris. He advises public bodies, suppliers and contractors on contract structuring, bidding and procurement litigation. Clients observe that “his advice is always well judged, extremely informative and practical”.

Dentons’ head of public law in France, Marc Fornacciari, is very active in the PPP market domestically and abroad. His “impressive knowledge” and “strategic qualities” marks him out as “a top lawyer” in the field.

Philippe Delelis of Jones Day stands out for his experience and prestigious status in public law. Peers regard him as “a thought leader” and “a go-to practitioner” for advice on structuring complex contracts.

Head of public law at Linklaters’ Paris office, Paul Lignières is “a leading name” in public procurement and PPPs, according to a number of respondents who cite his excellent array of public and private sector clients. One source notes that “his strong academic understanding of public law is supported by commercial and practical execution”.

At KGA Avocats, Marc Sénac de Monsembernard advises public and private entities on contentious and non-contentious matters in relation to public contracts. He is considered “an excellent practitioner” with “a detailed and precise knowledge of French public contract law”.

Noël Chahid-Nouraï heads the public law team at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Paris office. He is established as “one of the most senior and knowledgeable practitioners” in relation to public contracts, advising both the French government and private entities on large infrastructure projects.

King & Spalding’s Ruxandra Lazar is earmarked as “one to watch” by peers impressed by her growing practice. She is very active in large energy and infrastructure PPPs and procurement contracts.

Jeantet Associés’ Philippe Mallea is described as “a leading player in the French PPP sector”. In particular, respondents praised his “excellent negotiation skills” and his “natural business sense”.

Christophe Lefort of Herbert Smith Freehills regularly advises clients on large PPP infrastructure projects. He is highly recommended by sources, who praise his diverse understanding of legal implications and financing techniques.

At De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, Jean-Renaud Cazali is extensively experienced in domestic and international PPP contracts. Sources cite his ability to offer “innovative and solutions-orientated advice on complex contractual structures”.

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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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W11 1QQ, UK