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France: Leading Firms

We have singled out 10 firms that achieve standout performances across the French legal marketplace. This section reflects the fact that the upper echelon of the market is balanced between local and international law firms. Standing above the competition, Gide Loyrette Nouel has the highest number of listings and the most comprehensive presence within our featured practice areas. A trio of local law firms are also recognised: most notably Bredin Prat, followed by CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre and De Pardieu Brocas Maffei. Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Hogan Lovells, Herbert Smith Freehills and White & Case represent the best foreign law firms in the market. To view the full results of our research, please click here.

France: Practice Areas

France’s economy and legal system lends itself to certain practice areas. As a result of its efficient and liberal arbitration laws, the country is a leader in this form of dispute resolution and it is the largest practice by lawyer in our research. The country’s proactive Competition Authority, which has maintained a high level of antitrust enforcement this year, continues to keep French competition lawyers among the busiest in the world. Industry-related legal practices, especially life sciences and TMT, are strong thanks to a large commercial marketplace and sophisticated research centres. France’s close ties to francophone Africa ensure that energy and mining are also lucrative sources of legal work. Meanwhile, a resurgent real estate market has been a welcome sight for one of the most important commercial and legal markets in the country. In our analysis of the French legal market we feature 728 leading lawyers across 36 distinct practice areas. Click here to view the results of our research.

Expert Practice Area Reviews

We feature several exclusive practice area reviews, written by the market’s leading experts: François Tenailleau and Kawthar Ben Khelil of CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre examine the review procedures, in particular the référé précontractuel and Tarn-et-Garonne, which take place in the administrative courts; Louis Vogel and Joseph Vogel of Vogel & Vogel review ongoing jurisprudential debates in the France competition market, which includes, in particular, abuses of a dominant position, anti-competitive agreements, mergers and commitments, private actions and procedure; and Florence Aubonnet of Flichy Grange Avocats updates us on the many changes to French labour law in recent years and how the new legislation works in practice.

Overview of the French Market

Regulatory and contentious areas are thriving, with investigations, business crime defence and tax particularly active areas of practice. It is no surprise that these make up some of the larger chapters of this guide. Activity in the telecoms market in France has also seen lawyers work on some big-ticket deals such as the sale of GVT by Vivendi to Telefónica for €7.5 billion, as well as network-sharing agreements such as that between Bouygues Telecom and SFR. Our TMT chapter features a total of 50 lawyers: an increase of nine from the previous edition. However, for the most part, law firms searching for growth continue to set their sights on Africa. Opting for either an Africa desk in Paris or expansion through offices in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, law firms are focused on attracting mining and natural resources, as well as work in the regulated sectors such as telecoms, water and electricity.  To read more please click here.

Ropes & Gray expands Asia practice with key hire in Hong Kong

Asset recovery lawyer Andrew Dale has joined Ropes & Gray as a partner in the firm’s business and securities litigation practice in Hong Kong. He arrives from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

McGuireWoods welcomes back top business crime lawyer in DC

George Terwilliger, a leading business crime defence lawyer, has re-joined McGuireWoods in Washington, DC after 15 years away from the firm. 

Switzerland: Leading Firms

This year, we pick out 10 firms in this section all of which deliver standout performances in our research. Lenz & Staehelin once again takes top spot with an “outstanding” corporate and finance department, as well as the most practice area listings. Fellow Swiss firms Homburger, Schellenberg Wittmer, Walder Wyss and Bar & Karrer impress with recognition in 22 out of 32 practice areas. Meanwhile, Baker & McKenzie is the only global firm to stand out for its depth of expertise in the Swiss market. To view the full results of our research, please click here.

Switzerland: Practice Areas

In our analysis of the Swiss legal market we feature 640 leading lawyers across 32 distinct practice areas. Switzerland’s unique position makes it a prime location for legal practices. As a leading offshore centre for private wealth holders, the private client market is as competitive as ever, making it one of the largest chapters in our research. Likewise, our investment management chapter is unique to this publication due to the country’s large body of private investment banks. Investigations is the newest chapter to the publication, which stems from the continual rise of this area of law as regulators increasingly scrutinise Switzerland’s major corporations. Elsewhere, dispute resolution remains the busiest area in the Swiss market; in particular, the country’s arbitration-friendly legislation continues to make it one of the most attractive jurisdictions to bring proceedings in the world. Click here to view the results of our research.

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