France: Project Finance 2017

In this chapter we recognise 24 project finance experts who are renowned in the market for their expertise and experience advising sponsors and lenders on major project financing and refinancing transactions. The featured lawyers advise on major public infrastructure projects as well as enterprises in the energy, natural resources, telecoms, water, hospitality and healthcare sectors.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Simon Ratledge Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Paris
2. Anthony Giustini Clifford Chance, Paris
3. Bertrand Andriani Linklaters, Paris

Magic circle heavyweight CLIFFORD CHANCE garners three entries in this chapter, including two of the most highly regarded practitioners in our research. The firm’s team is well known for its experience in a wide range of international projects, acting for sponsors, lenders and public bodies.
Anthony Giustini is considered a “top-notch practitioner” by sources thanks to his extensive expertise advising clients on project development and finance issues in the energy and natural resources sectors.
The “superb” Nikolaï Eatwell is a projects specialist with a wealth of experience advising clients on project finance transactions in Africa, Turkey, Russia and the CIS region.
Daniel Zerbib is also recognised for his infrastructure finance expertise.

Fellow leading magic circle firm LINKLATERS also impresses, with three individuals selected for inclusion in this chapter.
François April draws widespread praise for his market-leading project finance practice and is considered a “go-to lawyer” for renewable energy projects.
Bertrand Andriani, deemed a “first-rate lawyer” by sources, is a seasoned practitioner with over 20 years’ experience on major project finance transactions. He co-heads the francophone Africa group in Paris and has significant expertise assisting clients developing projects in the region.
Paul Lignières is a public law specialist with a strong track record in major PPP transactions across a wide variety of industries, including the transport, defence and healthcare sectors.

WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER’s Parisian team is known and respected for assisting clients with projects in the energy, transport and infrastructure sectors. The firm sees two practitioners recognised in this chapter.
Amir Jahanguiri stands out for his considerable experience acting on highly regulated projects. He is active in energy and infrastructure projects, both private and public, and is well versed in the intricacies of complex finance transactions.
Thierry Laloum is known for his vast experience advising both public and private entities on significant PPP projects.

At WHITE & CASE, two practitioners are selected for inclusion.
Paule Biensan heads the firm’s energy and infrastructure project finance group in Paris and is a prominent figure in the French market. She advises borrowers and lenders in both domestic and international financings.
Victoria Westcott is commended for her considerable expertise handling project financings in the energy, transportation and social infrastructure sectors.

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT boasts a strong reputation for successfully handling complex energy and natural resource projects. In this chapter, two lawyers are singled out for praise.
Anne Lapierre heads the firm’s EMEA energy practice and is well known for her proficiency advising clients on project financing in the energy space.
Christophe Asselineau is a veteran projects lawyer with a longstanding practice assisting clients with energy, natural resources and infrastructure project financing, particularly in Africa.

French independent DE PARDIEU BROCAS MAFFEI is a key player in the country’s finance space.
Name partner Antoine Maffei is a well-known figure in the domestic market with a longstanding practice focusing on project finance transactions.
The “superb” Jean-Renaud Cazali regularly advises domestic and international banking clients and financial institutions on cross-border project financings.

ALLEN & OVERY sees two of its practitioners recommended. The firm’s team impresses market commentators with the breadth of experience on offer, with its practitioners ideally placed to assist with the financing of projects across an array of industry sectors.
Christine Poyer-Rufenacht is a leading name in the market, known for her competence in handling domestic and international energy and infrastructure projects. She offers clients considerable experience in the renewable energy sector.
Adrian Mellor frequently acts for both banks and borrowers on large project financings, particularly in relation to telecoms projects.

ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE’s Simon Ratledge is described by one interviewee as “one of the country’s premier project finance lawyers”. He is prominent in the energy and infrastructure spaces, acting for banks, commercial lenders and sponsors on financing transactions in Africa and the emerging markets.

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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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