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France: Energy 2017

In this chapter, we recognise 42 leading energy lawyers. The individuals featured are identified for their expertise in energy law including financing, management, projects, structuring and transactions.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Thierry Lauriol Jeantet AARPI
2. Stéphane Brabant Herbert Smith Freehills
3. Anne Lapierre Norton Rose Fulbright, Paris
4. Michael Polkinghorne White & Case, Paris
5. Rebecca Major Herbert Smith Freehills, Paris

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS’ robust energy practice is a prominent force in both France and francophone Africa. It sees four lawyers listed in this chapter, two of whom are among our most highly regarded practitioners.
African practice head Stéphane Brabant emerges as one of the foremost energy specialists in the market. He provides expertise in crisis prevention, management, compliance and project development in the energy sector, particularly in the mining space.
Rebecca Major specialises in projects and transactions in the upstream oil and gas sector and has significant expertise in the African market where she has represented clients active in over 37 African countries.
Client favourite Mathias Dantin focuses on the financing of energy projects and is highly reputed within the market. One respondent said, “Mathias has a strong understanding of French mining law and regulations. He is very solutions-oriented and always demonstrates a high level of integrity.”
Project finance practice head Louis de Longeaux is a seasoned practitioner with over 20 years’ experience advising clients on the financing of energy projects in France and Francophone Africa.

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT sees three of its lawyers listed for their expertise in the field.
The “fantastic” Anne Lapierre is head of the European energy practice and specialises in transactions in both renewable and non-renewable energy alongside project development and construction.
Christophe Asselineau is a longstanding fixture in the market known for his expertise in energy project transactions, particularly in the African continent.
Alain Malek heads the North Africa practice and has expertise in transactions and cross-border matters relating to energy.

CLIFFORD CHANCE’s Parisian offering is renowned for its proficiency on M&A transactions, financing and project development in the energy sector. The firm garners three entries in this section.
Anthony Giustini specialises in cross-border project development and financing transactions across a range of energy types. Sources dub him “a flawless practitioner” with a “strong reputation for project finance in the energy sector”.
The “excellent” Nikolaï Eatwell provides expertise in finance and management for both domestic and cross-border energy projects.
Delphine Siino Courtin is a project finance specialist in both Europe and Africa and is considered “a key figure in the energy field”.

Specialist disputes boutique THREE CROWNS achieves three listings for its work in a number of notable energy disputes.
Georgios Petrochilos is an internationally renowned practitioner known for his experience handling several high-profile energy arbitrations. He has represented both states and commercial entities in disputes in numerous arbitral seats. 
Kathryn Khamsi’s impressive practice sees her represent both states and commercial entities in a range of cross-border energy disputes.
Todd Wetmore handles complex arbitrations in the energy sector including joint venture and post-M&A disputes.

CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON boasts a respected practice in the French market. The firm’s deep bench regularly assist leading players in the mining and oil and gas sectors in corporate and M&A transactions. In the following pages, two individuals are selected for inclusion.
Barthélemy Faye has expertise in financing and transactional matters and is “a major player in the French energy market”.
Jean-Pierre Vignaud specialises in energy transactions and industrial development alongside privatisations.

GIDE LOYRETTE NOUEL sees two of its lawyers listed.
Oil, gas and mining practice head François Krotoff is regarded as “absolutely one of the top players in the market”. He is well known for his considerable experience assisting a wide range of clients during the development of domestic and cross-border projects.
Michel Guénaire is considered “superb on regulatory projects” by market commentators. He regularly acts for both governments and public authorities on energy matters.

Two practitioners are recommended at MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY.
Jean-Claude Petilon co-heads the firm’s Africa practice and is commended for his significant expertise in energy transactions and counts a number of petroleum and mining majors among his enviable list of clients.
Julien Naginski specialises in M&A transactions and investment funds in the energy space and has particular experience in the European, African and Chinese markets.

ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE sees two lawyers listed.
Peers warmly endorse Laurent Jaeger for his well-developed disputes practice that sees him represent clients in commercial and investment arbitration and litigation in the energy space. According to one respondent, “He is a very strong name in the market.”
Simon Ratledge is known for his expertise in the financing of large energy projects in the emerging markets. He has represented investment banks and major lenders across various energy sectors.

QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN achieves two listings.
Michael Young is a highly experienced arbitrator who is active in the energy disputes space. One respondent maintains, “He is a superb lawyer and a real energy specialist.”
Philippe Pinsolle is renowned for his longstanding expertise in energy, power and oil and gas. He is "a very well-known energy arbitration lawyer”.

JEANTET AARPI’s Thierry Lauriol enjoys widespread praise from market sources. Described as “a distinguished figure” by one source, he is renowned for his expertise in energy disputes.

At WHITE & CASE, “serious energy practitioner” Michael Polkinghorne handles energy disputes across numerous jurisdictions.

François April at LINKLATERS is a project finance specialist known for his longstanding expertise assisting clients in the renewable energy space.

Mehdi Haroun at KING & SPALDING specialises in energy-related transactions, joint ventures and restructurings. He is particularly active in both France and Algeria.

ALLEN & OVERY sees Alexandre Ancel recommended for his transactions, joint venture and restructuring expertise.

At BONNA AUZAS LAWYERS, Philippe Auzas comes highly recommended for his investment and commercial expertise, particularly in the energy sector. One respondent says, “He is one of the go-to practitioners for French oil and gas 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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