The investigations practice area is an internationally growing phenomenon as government regulators and criminal prosecutors increasingly scrutinise the activities of corporations and their personnel. This attention has made the legal knowledge and the methodological familiarity behind regulatory and criminal investigations a prized asset among many of the world’s leading corporations and the law firms that advise them. The close technical relationship with white-collar crime defence means that many law firms combine the practice areas, with lawyers typically hailing from a commercial litigation or business crime defence background. With a new financial prosecutor and moves towards extending plea bargaining to major white-collar crimes, internal investigations may soon take off in France. We list 18 practitioners in this regard.
The tightening budgets of public bodies have made the financing of public procurement and other forms of public contracts a prime concern. Accordingly there is greater demand for more innovative and complex contractual structures. Meanwhile, the greater competition among suppliers and contractors for these contracts has increased the likelihood of tenders being challenged in the administrative courts. We have listed 19 standout specialists in this area.
Franchise networks continue to grow in France, with the business model now contributing around €60 billion to the domestic economy through over 1,500 systems and 60,000 franchisees. France is the largest franchising market in Europe and many international brands see it as the entry point for the European continent. However, appreciating cultural, economic and legal differences to the Anglo-Saxon markets is vitally important to the success of brand expansion in France, which cannot be accomplished without advice from well-versed local counsel. We list six leaders in this regard.
A key focus over the past few years for French TMT lawyers has been the increase in work relating to data protection work. The issue goes hand-in-hand with that of cybersecurity, another area that owes its increase in prominence to mounting concerns over the technology rights and risks, and the subsequent changes in regulation. This year, 70 leading lawyers are recognised for their impressive work in the field.
We identify six leading lawyers for their work in the sector.
As is to be expected, the main focus for French practitioners in the mining sector continues to be francophone Africa. The mining industry is becoming an increasingly difficult market to work and has seen a slow-down in many projects. Furthermore, companies are now having to find new ways of sourcing financial support, despite the continued interest from Chinese mining companies investing in the continent. Thirteen leading lawyers are highlighted for their work in the sector.
Europe’s capital markets are less than half the size of its transatlantic neighbour and European businesses are raising about five times less than their US equivalents. In response to a need for “deeper” capital markets across the single market, the European Commission recently launched its Capital Markets Union Action Plan, which includes measures to relaunch high-quality securitisation. Ultimately the plan will help increase and diversify the funding sources for Europe’s businesses and break down barriers that are blocking cross-border investments.
It’s been another busy year for business crime defence advocates in France, with those we spoke to noting a renewed focus from the government in relation to enforcement actions. The past year has seen an attempt to speed up the process and improve the efficiency of financial crime cases, as well as a general clampdown on financial corruption. We recognise 31 leading lawyers for their work in the field.
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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.