Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International LawThe Queen's Award for Enterpise 2012

France: Leading Firms 2017

WWL: France 2017 is our latest, comprehensive look at the French legal market. The 917 total listings are comprised of 776 lawyers and experts from 274 firms across 37 chapters, from Administrative Litigation to Transport. Of these 274 firms, 23 boast 10 or more listings.

Gide Loyrette Nouel stand apart with 46 listings, ahead of joint-second-placed firms Bredin Prat and Allen & Overy, who nevertheless excel with 25 listings. Other firms with an outstanding breadth of expertise in the French market include CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, Hogan Lovells, White & Case and Clifford Chance, who all have more than 20 listings.

We feature the 20 firms with the most listings below.

Allen & Overy

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Asset Recovery 1
Business Crime Defence & Investigations 1
Capital Markets 3
Commercial Litigation 1
Competition 1
Corporate Tax 2
Energy 1
Government Contracts 1
Labour and Employment 1
Life Sciences 3
Patents 1
Private Funds 1
Project Finance 2
Product Liability Defence 1
Real Estate 2
Transport 2

ALLEN & OVERY is a leading international law firm with a wide network of offices around the globe. Its vast industry expertise enables the firm to represent corporate clients in major transactions, and this prowess is reflected in this year’s research. The prestigious Paris office is no exception, and achieves 25 listings across a broad array of practice areas.

The firm’s impressive capital markets practice is particularly noteworthy as it is home to three of the 17 lawyers listed in that section. Allen & Overy similarly achieves three listings for life sciences, putting it among the most successful French firms in that practice area. Denis Chemla is a leading figure across an impressive five practice areas including commercial litigation, product liability defence and transport.


August & Debouzy

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Arbitration 1
Asset Recovery 1
Environment 1
Labour & Employment 2
Life Sciences 2
Patents 2
TMT 2

AUGUST & DEBOUZY is a full-service French firm with a strong international presence and client base. The firm achieves recognition for the quality of its services across the full range of practice areas it covers, illustrated by its 12 listings in this years’ guide. It features a strong IT and IP practice and all four of its partners practising in these areas are highlighted in our listings. This includes Mahasti Razavi, one of our most highly regarded TMT lawyers in France. 

Additionally, the firm boasts an impressive life sciences practice, home to Grégoire Desrousseaux and François Pochart, and also has specialist expertise in healthcare law. Two further practitioners have been recognised for their prowess in labour and employment matters, in which the firm offers a comprehensive range of services.


Bouckaert Ormen Passemard

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Commercial Litigation 1
Insurance & Reinsurance 5
Life Sciences 1
Mediation 1
Product Liability Defence 1
Transport 1

BOUCKAERT ORMEN PASSEMARD is a world-class firm with a strong reputation in litigation proceedings globally. Its practitioners provide exceptional representation in complex and high-profile cases across a range of areas including commercial litigation and product liability.

The firm demonstrates unrivalled strength in insurance and reinsurance, with its revered lawyers making up one-fifth of the names in that chapter. This includes the truly outstanding Christian Bouckaert, who achieves an incredible six listings. 


Bredin Prat

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Arbitration 2
Banking 3
Business Crime Defence & Investigations 1
Capital Markets 1
Commercial Litigation 2
Competition 4
Corporate Tax 2
Energy 1
Labour & Employment 1
M&A and Governance 5
Project Finance 1
Restructuring & Insolvency 2

BREDIN PRAT achieves an impressive 25 listings in this year’s research. It is renowned for the broad range of expertise it offers clients in both domestic and cross-border transactions. The firm leads the M&A and governance market, with its lawyers making up almost a third of those listed. This includes Benjamin Kanovitch, whom we list as a “most highly regarded” practitioner in the space. From the prestigious competition group four esteemed lawyers have gained recognition, including the impressive Hugues Calvet and Olivier Billard. The firm is also among the most dominant players in banking law.

Other pre-eminent individuals at the firm include Olivier Puech for his restructuring and insolvency work and Eric Dezeuze in business crime defence and investigations. Didier Martin also occupies a prominent position in the capital markets arena.


Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Arbitration 2
Banking 1
Capital Markets 3
Commercial Litigation 1
Competition 1
Corporate Tax 2
Energy 2
M&A and Governance 1
Mining 1

International heavyweight CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON is a leading player in the French market with a longstanding pedigree. The firm opened its Paris office in 1949 and has been advising domestic and international clients on a wide range of commercial, tax, energy and disputes-related issues. The firm’s lawyers perform particularly well in our arbitration, capital markets, corporate tax and energy sections, achieving listings in a total of nine chapters in this guide, highlighting the breadth of expertise on offer.

The firm is active on a number of significant transactions in the market, including representing Essilor in its union with Delfin and acted for Amundi in the €3.55 billion acquisition of Pioneer Investments from UniCredit.

The firm’s top lawyers include Pierre-Yves Chabert who is recognised in our banking, capital markets, and M&A and governance chapters and Jean-Yves Garaud who is recognised as a leading arbitration and litigation expert.


Clifford Chance

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Arbitration 2
Banking 1
Capital Markets 2
Commercial Litigation 2
Competition 1
Corporate Tax 2
Energy 3
Government Contracts 1
Mediation 1
Mining 1
Private Funds 1
Project Finance 3
Real Estate 1
Restructuring & Insolvency 1

Leading magic circle firm CLIFFORD CHANCE boasts a significant presence in the French market thanks to its longstanding position as one of the pre-eminent international firms operating in Paris. The firm opened its Paris office in 1962, and with over 37 partners and 180 lawyers based there the team is ideally placed to advise a range of clients, including leading French and international corporates, banks, and financial institutions. The firm achieves listings in 14 chapters in this edition, particularly standing out in the project finance and energy arenas.

Nikolaï Eatwell is recognised in both our project finance and energy chapters; he is known for his commodities financing expertise in numerous jurisdictions including Africa, Russia and the former CIS. Anthony Giustini stands out as one of the most highly regarded individuals in our project finance chapter. He co-led the team that advised 15 lenders on the $1 billion financing of Nigeria’s first independent power plant.


CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Corporate Tax 16
Government Contracts 1
Life Sciences 1
Private Client 4
Private Funds 1

CMS BUREAU FRANCIS LEFEBVRE is the French arm of international firm CMS. The firm boasts an excellent reputation in the local market and is renowned for its expertise in commercial and tax law. Recognised as a market leader in our corporate tax chapter, the firm sees 16 nominees selected for inclusion, highlighting the wealth of talent and expertise on offer. The team handles a wide range of issues including transfer pricing, VAT, real estate tax as well as transactional-related tax issues and contentious matters. Private client matters are also an area of particular strength at the firm.

Agnès de l'Estoile-Campi, Edouard Milhac and Bruno Gibert are all recognised for their significant tax expertise, while Bruno Gouthière is a standout name in the private client arena.


Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Arbitration 1
Business Crime Defence & Investigations 1
Commercial Litigation 1
Competition 2
Corporate Tax 1
M&A and Governance 3

DARROIS VILLEY MAILLOT BROCHIER is a highly regarded Paris law firm with a well-established position in the domestic market. As attested by our research, corporate transactions and dispute resolution form core competencies at the firm and its team is well equipped to handle complex, cross-border M&A transactions, as well as significant post-transaction litigation and arbitration.
The firm’s deep M&A expertise and enviable list of clients includes a wide range of French clients across a variety of sectors. Recently, for example, the firm advised Banca Leonardo SpA during the sale of 100 per cent of the share capital of one of its subsidiaries to UBS.

Significant players at the firm include name partner Jean-Michel Darrois, who is listed in our business crime defence and investigations, commercial litigation, and M&A and governance chapters. Didier Théophile is also recognised in our M&A and governance, and competition chapters and is notable for having founded the firm’s antitrust and competition practice.


De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Banking 2
Capital Markets 1
Competition 3
M&A and Governance 1
Project Finance 2
Real Estate 4
Restructuring & Insolvency 2

DE PARDIEU BROCAS MAFFEI was founded in 1993 with a focus on business law in France. Its clients are primarily large French or international entities and the firm handles both national and international cases.

The firm achieves high accolades for its real estate practice, providing high-quality counsel on both funding and portfolio management. Leading individuals include Emmanuel Fatôme and Pierre Gebarowski.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is also well respected for its competition expertise including merger control and right of distribution. This includes competition litigation where the firm has a strong team, including Philippe Guibert who heads the practice.


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Arbitration 4
Commercial Litigation 1
Competition 1
Corporate Tax 2
Labour & Employment 1
Mediation 1
Project Finance 1

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER has become a stalwart in the French market since it opened its Paris office in 1972. The office sees lawyers listed in four of the seven areas it serves: competition, dispute resolution, labour and employment, and corporate tax. It has been involved in some of France’s most significant transactions in recent years and provides good knowledge of the French commercial market.

The firm performs particularly well in our arbitration chapter this year. Its market-leading arbitration practice possesses significant skills in commercial and investor-state arbitration, including treaty drafting and enforcing arbitral awards. Top-ranking lawyers include Elie Kleiman and Noah Rubins.


Gide Loyrette Nouel

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Arbitration 4
Banking 3
Business Crime Defence & Investigations 1
Capital Markets 2
Commercial Litigation 2
Competition 2
Construction 1
Corporate Tax 1
Energy 2
Environment 1
Government Contracts 2
Insurance & Reinsurance 1
Labour & Employment 2
Life Sciences 1
M&A and Governance 2
Mining 1
Patents 4
Private Funds 3
Project Finance 1
Real Estate 3
Restructuring & Insolvency 1
Trademarks 3
TMT 2

Formed in 1957, GIDE LOYRETTE NOUEL is a French law firm with an international footprint. It has 14 offices in 12 countries and is active in numerous regions of the world.  With 46 lawyers recognised, it achieves the highest number of listings this year.

The firm is recognised in our research for its arbitration expertise, a practice which includes worldwide advocacy services and the ability to advise on civil and common law disputes. Top-ranked practitioners include Carole Malinvaud and Christian Camboulive.

Intellectual property is also one of Gide’s specialisms, and four of its lawyers are recommended in the area of patents. They can assist on all aspects of IP rights and provide an end-to-end service for clients. Leading practitioners include Grégoire Triet and Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier.


Herbert Smith Freehills

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Arbitration 1
Competition 1
Energy 5
Mining 2
Patents 1
Project Finance 1
Real Estate 1
TMT 1
Trademarks 1

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS entered the French market in 1964 and has continuously aided CAC 40 and SPF 120 companies in their commercial needs. Lawyers are trained in both common and civil law and the office also includes a highly regarded team of Africa specialists. For this reason, Herbert Smith Freehills has carved out a significant reputation in energy and natural resources.

The firm sees four lawyers listed in our energy chapter and achieves one listing in the mining chapter.  The firm’s team advises on disputes, transactions and corporate work in both renewable and non-renewable energy projects. Mathias Dantin and Rebecca Major are listed for their energy expertise, while Stéphane Brabant is the Paris outfit’s mining expert.


Hogan Lovells

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 2
Arbitration 1
Business Crime Defence & Investigations 1
Capital Markets 1
Commercial Litigation 1
Corporate Tax 1
Energy 1
Government Contracts 2
Insurance & Reinsurance 2
Life Sciences 3
Product Liability Defence 4
TMT 2
Transport 3

 International full-service outfit HOGAN LOVELLS enjoys a reputation as one of the foremost firms in France. It is one of the top five leading outfits in the country, according to our research, achieving 24 listings across 13 practice areas. The firm stands out in particular for its exceptional product liability defence offering, which leads our research in the field this year. The group is well versed in handling complex and high-profile litigation, principally on a cross-border level and in relation to a range of industries, from life sciences and food, to financial services and technology. The firm’s transport group also performs exceptionally well, with three leading practitioners listed in the chapter.

The standout name at the firm is the pre-eminent Thomas Rouhette, who achieves listings across five practice areas: commercial litigation, insurance and reinsurance, life sciences, transport and product liability defence, an area in which he is considered a thought leader.  


Jeantet AARPI

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Banking 1
Competition 1
Energy 1
Government Contracts 1
Labour & Employment 2
M&A and Governance 1
Mining 1
Project Finance 1
Real Estate 1

JEANTET boasts a great reputation as one of the country’s leading independent business law outfits. The firm illustrates the tremendous breadth of its expertise in our research this year, achieving 10 listings across nine practices areas. The firm particularly stands out for its top-tier labour law practice that delivers advisory and litigation services to both domestic and international clients, most notably in relation to corporate restructurings. The firm also excels when it comes to regulated sectors: the energy group is well versed in handling the whole gamut of sector-related matters, from production and distribution, to risk management, regulations and development strategies.

Among the key names at the firm are two thought leaders who stand out for their excellence in their respective fields: Patrick Thiebart is considered one of the foremost labour and employment practitioners in the country, while energy specialist Thierry Lauriol is highlighted for his exceptional work in the sector. 


Jones Day

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 2
Arbitration 2
Commercial Litigation 1
Competition 2
Construction 1
Environment 1
Government Contracts 1
Life Sciences 1
Patents 1
Private Funds 1
Product Liability Defence 1
TMT 1

International full-service firm JONES DAY boasts a leading and longstanding presence in the French market, having spent almost 50 years delivering top-tier legal services to domestic and multinational clients from its Paris office. The firm demonstrates the great range of its services in our research this year, achieving 15 listings across 12 practice areas. It notably stands out for its excellent dispute resolution offering that encompasses international arbitration, administrative proceedings and commercial litigation. The firm is also noted for its strong antitrust group which handles the whole gamut of competition work from M&A and investigations to litigation and everyday advisory work.

Several practitioners at the firm have a notable reputation for the quality of their practices. Rémy Fekete is considered a leading name in the TMT space among peers and clients alike. Meanwhile, Philippe Delelis stands out in the research this year for his strong expertise in administrative litigation and government contracts. Thomas Bouvet, Michael Bühler and Laurent Martinet also achieve listings across multiple chapters. 


Linklaters

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Arbitration 2
Banking 1
Capital Markets 1
Commercial Litigation 1
Competition 2
Corporate Tax 1
Energy 1
Government Contracts 1
Mining 1
Patents 1
Private Funds 1
Project Finance 3
Real Estate 1
Restructuring & Insolvency 1

Global legal powerhouse LINKLATERS established its presence in Paris over 40 years ago, and has since built up a reputation in the domestic market as one of the leading business law firms in the country. By achieving 21 listings across 17 practice areas in our research this year, the firm illustrates the great depth and breadth of its expertise. It excels particularly in the financial services arena, with strong capital markets, banking, private funds and tax expertise. Its projects group also performs exceptionally well, with three of its leading names listed this year for their excellent work handling large-scale and complex projects across the energy, mining, infrastructure and transport sectors.  

The firm is home to a number of pre-eminent practitioners, including Paul Lignières, who is recognised for his exceptional expertise in government contracts, administrative litigation and project finance. Bertrand Andriani is highlighted for his outstanding project finance practice, as well as his specialism in the mining sector. François April and Édouard Chapellier also stand out as they achieve nominations across multiple chapters. 


Norton Rose Fulbright

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Banking 1
Corporate Tax 1
Energy 3
Insurance & Reinsurance 1
Mining 1
Project Finance 2
Restructuring & Insolvency 1
TMT 1
Transport 2

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT stands out in our research for its knowledge and expertise of energy law, as reflected by its three listings in that chapter. In particular, the team wins praise for its renewable energy project financing practice, as well as its considerable expertise concerning energy regulation. Recent work includes counselling Natixis Energéco on project-related matters concerning a biomass facility. A number of the firm’s lawyers also receive further recognition for their high-level work in both project finance and the transport sector. 

The firm is home to a number of pre-eminent practitioners including Christophe Asselineau, who receives an impressive triple listing for his work in energy, mining and project finance. Likewise Anne Lapierre garners recognition for her high-level practice in the energy and project finance chapters.  


Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Arbitration 3
Commercial Litigation 2
Competition 1
Energy 2
Government Contracts 1
Labour & Employment 1
Mediation 1
Mining 1
Private Funds 1
Project Finance 1
Real Estate 1
Restructuring & Insolvency 1

ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE stands out in the research for its arbitration expertise. With experience handling both domestic and international arbitrations, the team frequently appears before tribunals including the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration and the Swiss Chambers of Commerce. A number of the firm’s practitioners are also recognised in this edition for excelling in their work across the energy sector.

Several lawyers excel for the high standard and breadth of their practices, including Laurent Jaeger, who receives four listings across our arbitration, commercial litigation, energy and mediation chapters. Further notable practitioners include Noël Chahid-Nouraï, who receives multiple listings across administrative litigation and government contracts, and Simon Ratledge, who is recognised in energy and project finance.


White & Case

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Arbitration 4
Business Crime Defence & Investigations 2
Capital Markets 3
Competition 1
Construction 3
Energy 1
Labour & Employment 1
Private Client 1
Project Finance 2
Real Estate 2
TMT 1
Transport 2

WHITE & CASE has a fine reputation for its arbitration practice. The firm acts for global corporations, financial institutions, foreign investors and sovereign states, and is frequently involved in some of the most complex and high-value disputes in the world. In particular the team has experience handling disputes across the aviation and aerospace, construction, energy, IT and media sectors, among many others. Recent experience includes representing ENGIE in an arbitration against Hungary concerning a transaction for a gas distribution system. Numerous practitioners are recognised in our capital markets and construction chapters, demonstrating the firm’s broad expertise.

The firm boasts a number of distinguished lawyers including three practitioners, Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall, Charles Nairac and Christopher Seppälä who all receive an impressive double listing across construction and arbitration. Equally, Michael Polkinghorne stands out for his work in both arbitration and energy, and Victoria Westcott receives praise for her high-quality practice in project finance and transport.


Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Listings in WWL: France 2017
Administrative Litigation 1
Business Crime Defence & Investigations 1
Commercial Litigation 1
Competition 2
Corporate Tax 2
Government Contracts 1
Private Funds 1
Project Finance 2
Restructuring & Insolvency 1

WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER is known for its specialist work in the areas of competition, corporate tax, and project finance. The firm regularly represents high-profile domestic and multinational companies, investment funds and financial institutions in relation to sophisticated transactions, legal issues and business disputes. Its practitioners have experience advising clients on a broad range of competition and antitrust issues, as well as the tax aspects of transactions, creating tax-efficient structures, and financing major transportation and public infrastructure projects. Recent work from some of these departments includes the firm’s cross-border team advising Bonduelle on its agreement to acquire Ready Pac Foods, the US market leader of pre-packaged vegetables.

The firm is home to a number of preeminent practitioners including Jacques-Philippe Gunther in competition. In project finance, Amir Jahanguiri is joined by Thierry Laloum, who receives further recognition for his work in administrative litigation and government contracts. Dominique Mondoloni is also praised for his impressive practice in business crime defence and commercial litigation. 


Back to top

Follow us on LinkedIn

News & Features

Community News

Analysis

Features

Pro Bono

Corporate Counsel

Women in Law

Future Leaders

The UK Bar

Practice Areas

Firms

The Who's Who Legal 100

Awards

Special Reports

Events

Shop

About Us

It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

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.

Copyright © 2017 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. | http://www.lbresearch.com

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910

http://www.whoswholegal.com | editorial@whoswholegal.com

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK