The French commercial real estate market experienced a resurgence in 2014, with respondents in our research reporting a considerable increase in investment volumes when compared with the previous year. Lawyers have looked to seize the opportunities presented by larger transaction volumes, and while there has been activity in a number of regional cities, Paris remains the primary target for investors. Practitioners have also been encouraged by the increased appetite of overseas investors, with US equity funds particularly active in big ticket deals and transactions involving landmark buildings. Our research highlights 39 leading individuals in the field.
A key focus in recent years for French project finance lawyers has been the growing tide of work coming out of Francophone Africa in the areas of infrastructure and natural resources. Closer to home, the first project bond-funded venture has recently been launched which will see upgrades to ADSL and fibre-optic in sparsely populated rural areas of France. Twenty-one lawyers come highly recommended in this chapter.
Consumer legislation adopted by the French parliament in February 2014 will enable consumer protection associations to bring actions before the civil courts to obtain compensation for individual losses sustained by a group of consumers. In light of this change, it has been an incredibly busy year for product liability defence lawyers and we list 12 of the leading individuals in the following pages.
The private equity market in France has seen an increase in foreign investments in recent years and a high contribution from insurance companies. Private equity plays an important role in the market supporting French companies. We list 10 individuals below who specialise in private funds with particular experience on the formation side.
The risk of increased personal tax burdens for high net worth individuals brought on by the economic situation in France and the socialist government’s policies has left many individuals considering whether they should leave the country. Within this context, work for private client advisors has seen a sharp uptick and we list seven of the top professionals in the field below.
The introduction of the unified patent and the unified patent court looks set to take place during the course of 2015, with sources indicating that this could lead to a concentration of patent litigation in the jurisdictions in which the central court of first instance will be based (France, the UK and Germany). Our research identifies 23 leading lawyers in the field.
In Francophone Africa, the mining and metal industries have emerged as key drivers of growth in the last decade. Rich mineral reserves continue to provide growing investment and African nations are seeking to implement modern and transparent regulatory frameworks. As such, established law firms in Paris with leading cross-border mining, infrastructure and project finance practices are prospering. We have highlighted the top 10 lawyers in this space.
France has seen paltry levels of growth in mediation over the past year with only a small proportion of commercial disputes going through the process. Scholars have noted that use of the term “mediation” more widely in society has added confusion to the public conception of the method and thus find it necessary to distinguish between the two main types of mediation: the judicial and extrajudicial. Despite this, for several leading practitioners, it remains a focus of their practice and we list 11 lawyers in this sector.
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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.