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France: Commercial Litigation 2016

Respondents attest to a litigious corporate and commercial environment. Last year’s merger-mania means it is likely that post-M&A disputes will increase and occupy a greater portion of a top litigator’s time. In addition to this, France’s new consumer law, the Hamon Law, has introduced class actions into the domestic legal system. Sources also point to an increase in contract and white-collar crime litigation. We identify 25 leading litigators. 

Paris-based Veil Jourde leads our research with three standout practitioners. Founding partner Jean Veil is a “highly respected” figure.  Recognised as a “master strategist and advocate”, he has particular insight into the theoretical background behind litigation proceedings. The “excellent” Georges Jourde co-leads the firm’s litigation department and specialises in dealing with M&A-related disputes. Also highlighted by the research is Emmanuel Rosenfeld. A “specialist” in real estate litigation, he is known for his deep awareness of the complex issues and concerns in the field.

Two lawyers are selected from Gide Loyrette Nouel. Michel Pitron is a veteran practitioner with over 25 years of experience in corporate law. He is “a veritable expert” in contract, corporate and banking law, and clients continually laud the “incredible quality of personal service” that he provides. Pierre Raoul-Duval is “a talented strategist and a skilful advocate” who specialises in international contract law and litigation.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, two practitioners are selected for inclusion. Stéphane Bénouville, the head of the Paris litigation team and the financial institutions dispute resolution group for continental Europe, is recommended by his peers for his extensive experience acting on behalf of banks and financial institutions. According to sources, he is a “formidable opponent in the courtroom” where his “dynamic and rigorous style” is the foundations of his impressive track record. With over 25 years of advocacy experience in the French courts, Elie Kleiman is a highly regarded fixture of the energy and natural resources industries, pharmaceuticals, and construction and engineering sectors.

Two lawyers are included from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. The “greatly respected” Jean-Pierre Martel is a leading figure in the field. According to sources, he is noted as “one of the foremost experts” in French M&A and corporate law, where he has taken part in a number of high-profile cases before the French courts. The “acclaimed” Laurent Jaeger is a “top-notch” practitioner active in litigation proceedings. His practice focuses on commercial and investment disputes, and he has significant experience representing industrials as well as sovereign states and governments.

Clifford Chance garners two selections. Jean-Pierre Grandjean is known for his “wealth of knowledge” in relation to corporate and commercial law. His broad practice covers M&A and corporate disputes, product liability, contracts, and white-collar crime. He has extensive experience representing large French or international companies in high-profile litigations. Thomas Baudesson is also included for his “fantastic” record in commercial litigation. He focuses on commercial contracts, corporate, product liability, labour law, white collar crimes, injunctions and conservatory measures.

At Bouckaert Ormen Passemard Sportes – BOPS, founding partner Christian Bouckaert is lauded as “one of the country’s premier commercial litigators”. He has wide industry experience, but is especially considered a “guru” in matters relating to professional or product liability in the aviation, pharmaceuticals, energy, chemicals, construction, and environmental pollution sectors.

At Simmons & Simmons, Jacques-Antoine Robert is singled out as a leader in the field. A noted commercial lawyer, he has particular expertise in regulatory matters, transactions and disputes involving commercial and liability issues. In particular, he focuses his practice acting for major industrial groups such as pharmaceuticals and the high technology industries.

Dominique Mondoloni of Willkie Farr & Gallagher is a “seasoned veteran” with over 20 years of experience trying cases before the courts. Mondoloni is famed for his impressive record in M&A-related disputes. Clients point to his “forceful and powerful advocacy skills” for the reason behind his success in litigations.

At Allen & Overy, Denis Chemla leads the firm’s litigation department.  He is known for his “substantial experience in the area of product liability” and clients describe him as a “top-of-the-range litigator” in cases related to the aviation industry.

At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Jean-Yves Garaud is singled out as a “fantastic practitioner”. His practice encompasses international and domestic litigation, with a particular focus on corporate and white-collar criminal matters.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier is a Paris-based independent firm specialising in dispute resolution. Founding partner Jean-Michel Darrois is a “leading expert” with over 20 years of experience in the field of dispute resolution.  In particular, he is noted for his expertise in major corporate and financial litigation, as well as white-collar crime.

At Hogan Lovells, Thomas Rouhette heads the firm’s dispute resolution department. His “outstanding, market-leading practice” focuses on commercial litigation and product liability.

Didier Malka heads Weil Gotshal & Manges’ dispute resolution department. His practice specialises in commercial litigation cases in France and on the international stage. Sources praise his “commercial approach” and the “incredible ease with which he grasps the issues involved in complex, cross-border proceedings”.

Reinhart Marville Torre’s Antoine Dérot is recognised for his “considerable expertise” in banking and finance litigation.

At Vatier & Associés, founding partner Bernard Vatier is known for his “formidable knowledge” of corporate and commerical litigation, and white-collar criminal law.  Sources also laud his “impressive advocacy skills”.

Louis Christophe Delanoy at Bredin Prat is a highly regarded practitioner, admired by colleagues and clients alike for his “comprehensive and dynamic” advice when acting as counsel.  He specialises in disputes relating to mergers and acquisitions, foreign investment and in the construction industry.

Head of White & Case’s dispute resolution practice in Europe, Africa and the Middle, Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall impresses with his comprehensive “strategic mind-set” and “outstanding powers of persuasion”.

K&L Gates’ Louis Degos is a “top litigator” with significant experience in domestic and international commercial litigation proceedings.

Linklaters’ Matthieu de Boisséson is a celebrated name in France. A leading lawyer in dispute resolution, he is famed for his “tough negotiation style” and his “deep understanding of international commercial law”.

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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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