Practitioners from firms of all sizes across the world have been selected for inclusion this year, reflecting the global scope and varied nature of the corporate immigration field. Within our research several firms stand out due to the high number of listings they achieve, with immigration giant Fragomen leading the way. The firm has lawyers from 19 of its offices around the globe singled out demonstrating its wide-reaching international presence. Following closely behind is Berry Appleman & Leiden, which has individuals from the US and Brazil recognised, and FosterQuan is also strongly represented in this edition. We also select the 15 most highly regarded practitioners in the world who stand out for the depth of their expertise.
Compliance and reform remain the two key issues facing corporate immigration lawyers worldwide. The clear conclusion is that immigration “has gone mainstream” – both legally and politically. This has led to an increase in the number of firms and practitioners on previous years, as larger firms attempt to bulk up their immigration practices, and a greater number of sole practitioners branch out to go it alone.
Practitioners note that the shipping industry continues to see reduced activity but the aviation field remains strong, particularly in financing. The lack of significant legislative changes means the workload has remained fairly steady this year with general transportation advice on the regulatory side a common field of work. However, those specialised in aviation finance predict an even greater appetite for capital markets as ECA financing becomes ever more expensive. We list 28 transport specialists in this edition.
2013 saw several important referrals to the ECJ regarding what constitutes use of a trademark in situations where the mark as used differs from the mark as registered, or where it is used only as part of a more complex trademark. Furthermore, in France the defence of lack of use of a trademark has become increasingly common and many infringement actions based on the use of key words by competitors have been dismissed. We identify 22 leading lawyers in this chapter.
With the exception of Germany, France is the largest exporter and importer in Europe. In June 2013, France’s trade deficit stood at €4.44 billion due to a sharp decline in imports. The legal market remains small in size but is “highly specialised”. We feature four of the leading lawyers in this chapter.
Outsourcing continues to be an extremely active area of work for lawyers in France and practitioners have noted an uptick in the amount of cloud computing work. With economic recovery still sluggish at best, the upcoming year will see an absence of traditional IT deals, but cloud computing and data protection will likely take its place. In this chapter we list 41 “first-class” practitioners.
In 2013, the French government considered the implementation of major changes to the tax law on broadcast rights for sporting events, changes which could have a major effect on the amount of tax to be paid by commercial broadcasters. Additionally, sporting clubs will be impacted by the proposed imposition of a 75 per cent tax on annual salaries of over €1 million euros, plans for which were approved by France’s highest court in December 2013. Football clubs in Ligue 1 will be heavily affected by the changes, and French football clubs’ union UCPF vigorously opposes the law. Subsequently, there is the possibility of further disputes over the planned legislation in 2014. Our research identifies four “specialists” in the field.
Practitioners have noted the continued uptick in activity in the real estate space and this looks set to endure given the number of reforms currently under way to increase access to housing and improve planning. Another significant law, the Loi Duflot will come into effect in 2016 and will introduce among other things a cap on rental prices and agent fees. We list 38 lawyers in this chapter.
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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.