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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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France > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Bank regulatory

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Bank regulatory
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Bank regulatory clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Allen & Overy LLP has a strong regulatory practice, with expertise including the formation, structuring and marketing of a range of financial products and the corresponding documentation, and particular strength advising on investment fund-related regulatory issues. The team, led by practice head Brice Henry, sits as part of the firm’s wider financial services group and regularly cooperates with colleagues in the London office to assist with cross-border matters, though domestic instructions account for a significant portion of its workload. Recent highlights include advising BNP Paribas Asset Management on the setting-up of its first pan-European long-term investment fund, a new European fund regime; and conducting a due diligence exercise for Crédit Mutuel Arkéa concerning the client’s proposed acquisition of a 50% stake in Primonial by Bridgepoint, as well as handling the work to obtain the regulatory approval by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). Barclays, Etablissement de Retraite Additionnelle de la Fonction Publique, Société Générale and Wells Fargo are other clients. Counsel Mia Dassas joined from Linklaters.

Clifford Chance is ‘a top-level’ practice specialising in assisting corporates and financial institutions with the regulatory facets of M&A and restructuring transactions, but is also experienced in advising public entities, including governments and international institutions, on legislative projects. The team also engages in lobbying work. Frédérick Lacroix heads the practice, with key support coming from counsel Sébastien Praicheux, whose areas of strength include Fintech-related mandates and insurance regulations. The pair handled a number of domestic and cross-border matters, such as advising Caceis on the restructuring of its European activities through mergers of the Luxembourg and Germany branches into Caceis France, which involved affiliates and branches in eight jurisdictions. Other work includes acting for BNP Paribas in lobbying the French government to amend the law relating to the hierarchy of creditors in insolvency. Other clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, FIA Europe and AXA Partners.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.has an excellent bank regulatory department’ and provides ‘excellent service and business knowledge’. Stéphane Puel and Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, who impress with their ‘in-depth knowledge of regulatory matters’ and their ‘excellent contacts with regulators’, jointly head the practice. Their combined expertise includes banking, investment services and investment management regulations; fund-related regulatory matters (including issues concerning regulated and non-regulated French funds); infrastructure and distressed debt funds; business rules; and experience in acting for clients in disciplinary procedures and litigation. Highlights included advising China’s fifth-largest commercial bank, Bank of Communications, on the establishment of the Paris-based office of its Luxembourgian subsidiary; assisting Amundi Asset Management with setting up an investment platform dedicated to Coface, a leading insurance company; and handling the establishment of a new investment firm focused on equity trading in France for Morgan Stanley. Kepler Cheuvreux, Lombard Odier Europe and HSBC are also clients. Counsel Guillaume Goffin is the other name to note.

Linklaters mainly advises on the regulatory aspects of company mergers and acquisitions, but also has strength in advising companies and financial institutions on the implementation of new regulatory frameworks. The team’s close cooperation with the firm’s litigation department in investigation and enforcement instructions is a key differentiator. Practice head Marc Perrone’s core strengths include the creation and licensing of institutions and the rules governing the organisation and conduct of business in regulated activities. The team predominantly handles work with a cross-border element, usually concerning the UK and US. Clients include investment and commercial banks, and investment managers and companies.

Boutique regulatory firm Spitz Poulle Kannan predominantly advises banks and other financial institutions on the full spectrum of regulatory issues, from licenses and authorisations to organisation and good conduct rules, as well as payment services, prudential regulations and the marketing of financial and insurance products. The team stands out for its expertise in investigation, enforcement and litigation matters, which frequently carry high reputational risks for clients, and its focus on legislative developments through its work monitoring and lobbying regulators and legislative bodies. The group is also adept at handling complex cross-border instructions, largely centred on continental Europe, and often coordinates work across several jurisdictions.Jean-Baptiste Poulle, Nicolas Spitz and Arut Kannan are the names to note.

DS Avocats handles contentious and non-contentious matters across a large array of regulatory sectors, with Fintech, digital banking and crypto-finance key areas of focus. Frédéric Bellanca has ‘a strong knowledge of market infrastructures’ and is noted for his ‘technical strength in both securities and cash systems’, his ‘analytical ability’ and his ‘very good connections with French regulators’. Recent work includes acting for a CAC 40 company on a public consultation launched by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) regarding an exception to the licensing requirement for payment institutions as set out in two European directives.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘an excellent service level’ with ‘fast response times and a powerful network’, and the team has ‘an exceptional appetite for innovation’. The arrival of Antoine Juaristi and his team from Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP in January 2017 bolstered the practice’s enforcement and litigation expertise and complements Vincent Hatton and regional head of finance Régis Oréal’s knowledge of the regulatory framework governing banking and investment, insurance, asset management and funds. Highlights included advising the French Ministry of Finance and Bpifrance on the transfer of French export guarantees from credit insurer Coface to the state, and the management of these guarantees to Bpifrance Assurance Export as part of a larger international operation involving the firm’s UK, German, US and Spanish offices. Other work included assisting internet health insurance broker Santiane with an ACPR disciplinary procedure regarding alleged violations of the rules governing insurance intermediaries. Clients include BNP Paribas, Western Union and Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring.

Jeantet advises domestic and foreign clients from the banking, investment and insurance sectors on the regulations governing licenses, conduct of business and organisation, and anti-money laundering strategies, as well as handling the structuring and distribution of financial products and instruments. The group also acts for clients in enforcement procedures initiated by the AMF, the ACPR and the European Central Bank. Martine Samuelian heads the team, which also includes Jean-François Adelle; the latter assisted a client with securing payment services provider exemption status from the ACPR. In another highlight, the group advised China Construction Bank on cross-collateralisation and risk-sharing standards across jurisdictions including France, Luxembourg, Austria and China. Other clients include banks, financial institutions, investment funds and insurance companies.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP provides ‘accurate’ advice and ‘very good quality’ work on a range of regulatory areas. Cross-border regulation, payment services, e-money, alternative financing, as well as enforcement and litigation procedures and the regulatory framework of transactions are at the heart of the practice. Jean-Pierre Mattout and Hubert de Vauplane jointly head the practice; the ‘thorough, reliable, experienced and pragmatic’ Gilles Kolifrath ‘is able to bring a comprehensive and pragmatic view of the best ways to solve issues’ and has ‘a very good understanding of insurance law and regulations’; and Hugues Bouchetemble is also noted. The team advised Total and Sofax Banque on regulatory issues concerning a banking monopoly and assisted Caceis with the management and signature of a large number of custody-related and banking contracts. The team also advised several clients from the Fintech, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer sectors on strategic and operational issues. BinckBank, Euroclear, SNCF and BNP Paribas are on the client roster.

Pwc Société d'Avocats focuses on the regulatory framework of business operations and structuring, handling advisory work and acting for clients in enforcement procedures, disputes and disciplinary proceedings. It is a popular choice for asset management companies thanks to the practice’s strength in AMF-compliant structuring pertaining to real estate, private equity and hedge funds. Practice head Nicolas Mordaunt-Crook frequently works alongside director Manon Carissimo and the firm’s tax experts. Highlights included assisting UBS with the acquisition of Banque Leonardo and its subsidiary Ocea Gestion, and advising Novaxia Asset Management on the regulatory conditions for the public offering of shares in three different companies, particularly the rules governing the Entreprises Solidaires d’Utilité Sociale. Other clients include banks, financial institutions and corporates.


Transactional work

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Transactional work
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Transactional work clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Allen & Overy LLP has been highly active in syndicated lending mandates and covers a broad range of financing types, including asset and export finance, energy and infrastructure, and real estate, trade and commodity finance. The eight-partner practice handles financing matters under French and English law and is a key name for domestic and cross-border work. Key names include practice head and asset finance specialist Adrian Mellor; Carine Chassol, who specialises in asset finance and restructuring; real estate expert Julien Roux; the corporate finance-focused Roderic Cork; Jean-Christophe David, whose main area of expertise is acquisition finance; and Driss Bererhi, who provides additional project finance expertise following his arrival from Bird & Bird. Highlights on the borrower side included advising Lloyds on the green covenant revolving facility agreement used in the refinancing of Unibail-Rodamco’s revolving facility agreement; and assisting PAI Partners with the acquisition financing of Ethypharm from Astorg Partners. On the lender side, the group advised HSBC, Deutsche Bank and KfW Ipex-Bank on tied financings totalling approximately €4.2bn for the development of gas-fired plants in Egypt. Other work includes assisting Deutsche Pfandbriefbank with the acquisition refinancing and development financing of a significant Paris office building owned by Eurosic. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Céréa Partenaire and BNP Paribas are also clients.

The ‘extremely efficient’ team at Clifford Chanceis able to bring parties to a fair, common sense agreement based on clear explanations of the current market practice’. The group’s ‘industry specialists’ are ‘creative and add real value’, and the full-service finance practice is ‘one of the best in town’. The group has a strong focus on general corporate lending, leveraged and acquisition finance and infrastructure finance, and project and export finance, but also handles real estate and debt restructuring and sovereign lending. ‘Very good leader’ Thierry Arachtingi is ‘always composed’; he jointly heads the practice with ‘technically excellent’ duo Benjamin de Blegiers (‘a must for transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors’) and Daniel Zerbib. The team advised the lenders to a bidding consortium on the contemplated €535m acquisition of a majority interest in Aéroports de Lyon concerning the privatisation of the airport; and acted for Rivage Investment, Société Générale and La Banque Postale Asset Management on the refinancing of the acquisition of Océa Group by Infravia Capital Partners. In the corporate mid-cap space, it assisted Société Générale and Banque Palatine with the refinancing of Daltys. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, EDF and Bridgepoint.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.combines strong expertise and sector knowledge with strong execution skills’, has ‘a competent and business-oriented team’ and ‘always finds a solution’; the group is further noted for its office network outside France. Structured finance, project finance and acquisition finance are core areas of expertise, but the team also has experience in debt restructuring. The team advised HSBC France on structuring the refinancing of the public private partnership (PPP) related to the construction and maintenance of the French Ministry of Defence, involving project debt, Dailly debt and hedging agreements; and drew on its expertise in the real estate sector to act for BNP Paribas, Natixis and ING on the €550m refinancing of Parisian building complex Quadrans. In the acquisition finance space, it assisted Partners Group with the French aspects of the financing of the acquisition of the Cerba Group, and advised Europcar on its €1.5bn cross-border acquisition of Goldcar. Bank of Ireland, Natixis and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank are other clients. The ‘efficient, discreet and proactiveKamel Ben Salah is ‘a very experienced lawyer in real estate financing’ and has ‘strong negotiation skills’. Ben Salah jointly leads the practice with Eric Cartier-Millon, Laetitia Lemercier and Rémi Tabbagh. Thomas Binet was promoted to the partnership in January 2018.

Latham & Watkins’ practice focuses on acquisition finance, asset finance, real estate and project finance. Practice head Michel Houdayer, Xavier Farde and Lionel Dechmann advised on an impressive range of matters, handling several large-cap deals in addition to having a strong core in the mid- and upper mid-markets. Recent highlights on the borrower side include assisting Partners Group with its senior and second lien €1.8bn financing of the acquisition of residential real estate company Foncia; and advising Shandong Ruyi Group on a revolving credit facility together with a senior bond offering pertaining to the acquisition of Groupe SMCP, which involved the firm’s offices in China, Hong Kong, London and the US. On the lender side, the team acted for Morgan Stanley on the term loans and revolving credit facility concerning Oberthur Technologies’ debt refinancing and acquisition of Safran’s identity and security company Morpho. Other work includes assisting BNP Paribas, HSBC France, ING, Natixis and Société Générale with the bridge financing for the acquisition of SAG Group by Spie. J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Nomura are also clients.

Linklaters is praised for providing ‘excellent work’ of ‘an immaculate quality’. The group has a core focus on structured and acquisition finance but also has strengths in project and asset finance, infrastructure and corporate finance. Practice head Bertrand Andriani, Kathryn Merryfield and Cyril Abtan are the key names, with counsel Rhéa Christophilopoulos, whose specialisms include event-driven financing, providing additional support. The department undertakes work for lenders and borrowers and assisted Bank of America Merrill Lynch as underwriter with the €4bn bridge facility intended to part-finance Safran’s proposed public offer to acquire Zodiac Aerospace. Other headline work includes advising on the financing of the acquisition of Keter Group by BC Partners, which involved a covenant-loose term loan B and a payment-in-kind (PIK) loan. In a cross-border matter involving the Paris and Luxembourg offices, the department acted for Goldman Sachs as sponsor on the acquisition of Finizy, which involved a mix of loan and bond financing. Other clients include Société Générale, J. P. Morgan and Apollo Management International.

White & Case LLPis able to put together large deal teams thanks to its size and depth of practice’ and is ‘one of the best for work at the upper end of the market’. The team of ‘hands-on practitioners’ has strength across the financing spectrum, with its corporate and acquisition financing experience of particular note. Practice head Raphaël Richard, who ‘has huge experience’, is ‘one of the best lawyers on the market’ and ‘thoughtful in his advice’. Other key names include corporate finance expert Denise Diallo; Samir Berlat, whose focus areas include structured finance; and Colin Chang, who is a specialist in bridge-to-high yield finance deals on top of his capital markets expertise. The team handles cross-border and domestic work, frequently handling matters at the cross-section between finance and capital markets; in one example, it is advising Suez on a €3.2bn bridge loan facility established to finance the acquisition of GE Water & Process Technologies, which also involves senior unsecured note issuances. Domestic highlights included assisting Socotec with a senior facilities agreement aimed at refinancing its indebtedness. Spie, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole are also clients.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei’s expertise includes syndicated and acquisition financing, real estate and asset financing, project and structured finance. The team has experience in an array of sectors, with asset finance capability in the maritime, aeronautics and military sectors among others and project finance specialisms including infrastructure and energy, as well as transport and telecoms. Christophe Gaillard heads the ten-partner team, with Corentin Coatalem, Olivier Hubert, Yannick Le Gall and real estate expert Emmanuel Fatȏme also key contacts. Recent work includes advising a consortium of seven banks on the financing of a €400m revolving credit facility for OVH, as well as assisting the same banks with the debt refinancing as part of OVH’s global expansion strategy, and assisting French agricultural group Terrena with its €630m inaugural syndicated loan. In the acquisition finance space, the practice assisted BNP Paribas with the financing of the senior debt concerning Altrad’s acquisition of Cape. The group also acted for the European Investment Bank on the €500m financing for the construction of 13,000 intermediary housing units. Eramet, Bastide and Aareal Bank are also clients.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘very reliable team is able to grasp a client’s commercial drivers’ and provides ‘an outstanding level of service’. The ‘efficient’ group is able to ‘think strategically’, has ‘strength-in-depth’, ‘anticipates issues related to counterparties’ and ‘has a passion for listening to clients’. The practice provides a one-stop-shop across the full spectrum of financing, as well as handling restructuring, and contentious matters. ‘One of the best firms for mid-market’ deals, the department also excels in large-cap mandates; it also has a strong regional focus on Africa, and is able to offer expertise in English law through newly promoted partner Rachel Campbell. Other key practitioners include practice head Louis de Longeaux; Eric Fiszelson; Régis Oréal; and the ‘very determined’ Laure Bonin, who has ‘great negotiation skills’, is ‘technically on point’ and ‘stands out from the crowd due to her charisma and energy’. Recent work includes advice to BNP Paribas on the refinancing of the simplified public tender offer by Groupe Marc de Lacharrière for shares in Fimalac, followed by a squeeze-out; and assistance to Société Générale with financing the acquisition of Scaff’Holding shares by an ad hoc company set up by the management, which involved refinancing, uncommitted and revolving credit facilities. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Citibank and La Banque Postale are also clients.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s team is particularly strong in transport-related asset finance, but also handles general banking, acquisition finance and structured finance, and has significantly developed its equipment and trade finance practice. Christine Ezcutari heads the practice; aviation specialist and key practitioner George Paterson is an expert in export credits; Anne Lapierre, who co-manages the firm’s Casablanca office, is especially active in the energy sector; and solicitor Janet Butterworth focuses on structured trade and commodities finance. Highlights included advising Bpifrance Assurances Export on an enhanced guarantee programme for a refinancing of approximately €171m by SFIL and Caisse Française de Financement Local concerning the construction contract financing for electrical substations in Egypt between the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and General Electric France. The team also assisted a pool of seven banks including Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank with a €750m rail financing. Euler Hermes, Natixis and HSBC are also clients.

The ‘committed’ team at Orrick Rambaud Martel provides ‘very good service’ and specialises in infrastructure acquisition finance, as well as refinancing, restructuring and direct lending. Key names include practice head Hervé Touraine, Arnauld Achard, Emmanuel Ringeval, ‘very clever adviser’ Amaury de Feydau, who has ‘a solid knowledge of the law and industry sectors’ and ‘negotiates in the interest of the transaction’, and recently promoted partner Carine Mou Si Yan. The team assists large banks and corporates with mid- and large-cap transactions. Recent work includes advising Blue Mountain, as Vivarte’s second largest lender, on Vivarte’s second restructuring, equitising a total of €800m reinstated debt and securing €680m new bonds and capitalised interest through a double trust. The team also advised new client Airbus on the financing of satellites for the Indian Space Research Organisation and handled Rallye’s renewal of a €150m credit facility for Go Sport. Other clients include Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, Veolia Environnement and Société Générale. Hervé Kensicher left for Mayer Brown and Jean-Jacques Essombè Moussio joined Bird & Bird.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has core strengths in acquisition finance, debt restructuring and leveraged finance, while its expertise in the structuring of build-up or add-on acquisitions is also of note. The group advises traditional finance players alongside alternative debt providers, such as private debt and opportunity funds. Key names include practice head Olivier Jauffret; James Clarke, who provides English law expertise; and Cassandre Porgès. The department advised JCDecaux on the €800m acquisition of a stake in Eurazeo, and assisted CVC and Elsan with the €730m leveraged finance acquisition of Medipole Group and the subsequent repricing of the incremental and existing debt. In an example of the team’s capability to handle add-on financing work, it advised Ceva on financing its acquisition of Hertape and Inova in Brazil, handled the financing of the subsequent acquisition of a Merial product portfolio from Boehringer Ingelheim and assisted with the refinancing of PIK debt; the three financings were structured as successive add-on incremental facilities under the existing senior facilities agreement. Oaktree Capital Management, Montagu Private Equity and Paprec are also clients.

Archers A.A.R.P.I. advises on asset, project, real estate and corporate finance matters for lenders, arrangers and borrowers, and has seen a recent surge in debt restructuring and litigation matters. Jean-Maurice Gaillard and Paul-Henri de Cabissole are the key practitioners. The team mainly handles mid- and upper mid-market matters such as advising Natixis on the real estate financing of a large office building in Paris, as well as assisting with the financing of the acquisition of 130 Paris office buildings by a Tikehau fund. Its borrower work includes advising Altafund on financing the construction of an office building in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Helaba and Aareal Bank are other clients.

At Ashurst LLP, ‘negotiations are led in a strong, but cooperative way’ and the team ‘goes the extra mile to satisfy the client’; its ‘competent and congenial lawyers’ provide ‘a one-stop-shop’ for clients. The ‘quick-thinking’ Hassan Javanshir, who has ‘excellent knowledge of the economic context of instructions’; Pierre Roux, who was a new arrival from Linklaters; and Hubert Blanc-Jouvan are the key names. Real estate and acquisition finance, for lenders and borrowers, are core strengths. Recent highlights include advice to EQT Partners on the acquisition and financing of a tower in La Défense through a share deal. Vivarte, Fayat, Barclays and BNP Paribas are other clients. Laurent Mabilat and Stéphanie Corbière joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Julien Bacus joined Dentons in 2018.

The ‘exceptional’ team at Baker McKenzie provides ‘short response times, has in-depth industry knowledge’ and ‘takes a very proactive and creative approach’ to matters. Michael Foundethakis leads the team, which focuses on cross-border deals in the areas of syndicated loans, project finance and acquisition finance. The group, which is ‘extremely strong in trade and export finance’, advised Commerzbank and a syndicate of lenders on a $872m dual-currency syndicated loan issued to Afreximbank. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Ardian and Lloyds.

Bredin Prat handles acquisition finance, including LBO finance, debt restructuring and real estate financing. Raphaële Courtier’s team includes Samuel Pariente, Karine Sultan and newly-promoted counsel Aurélien Jolly. Principally active for borrowers, but also undertaking work for lenders, the team recently acted for Areva on a partial asset transfer pertaining to Areva’s demerger and handled a €300m bridge finance loan for Areva NP, intended to provide liquidity until the sale of Areva’s reactor business to EDF. AXA, Bridgepoint and Groupe Flo are also clients.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s expertise spans the gamut of transactions, from syndicated loans to structured finance, acquisition finance and debt capital market matters, and is supported by its growing regulatory practice. Valérie Lemaitre, a key adviser alongside Fabrice Baumgartner and Barthélemy Faye, led advice to Frômageries Bel on the negotiation of a €400m and $100m term and revolving facilities agreement aimed at financing the acquisition of a majority stake in MOM Group from LBO France and to refinance MOM Group’s indebtedness. Other clients include Gecina, Tikehau Capital and the Republic of Senegal.

DLA Piper stands out for its ‘responsiveness, rigour and pragmatism’, providing ‘honest and direct communication’. The strength of this practice lies in acquisition and real estate finance, with experience spanning refinancings, recapitalisations and restructuring matters. Maud Manon directs the department and led in advising Ardian on the highly international financing of the acquisition of Diam Group. Real estate expert Erwan Lacheteau assisted Blackstone with the refinancing of an office building in La Défense, involving a mortgage financing and a capex facility. Bpifrance, Montagu Private Equity and Carlyle Europe are also clients.

Dentons’ ‘excellent service’ combined with its ‘proactive approach’ make the team ‘a real business partner’. The group is experienced in acquisition, real estate and asset finance, as well as in debt restructuring and renewable energy and commodities finance. Further expertise includes project and infrastructure finance. Led by trio Jean-Marc Allix, Philippe Max and Pascal Jouannic, who ‘is an expert in receivables financing, factoring and securitisation’ and ‘dedicated to his clients’, the department acts for banks and corporates, with recent examples including advice to TCR Capital on the LBO of Laboratoires Lescuyer. HSBC Factoring, BNP Paribas and Faurecia are other clients. Julien Bacus was a new arrival from Ashurst LLP in 2018.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acts for borrowers, lenders and arrangers, and has recently strengthened its acquisition and debt restructuring practice with the addition of Stéphanie Corbière and Laurent Mabilat from Ashurst LLP. Highlights included advising J. P. Morgan Securities on the financing of the acquisition of Dutch real estate bank Propertize by Lone Star and assisting Eurotunnel with the partial refinancing of its indebtedness through the issuance of new debt of €1.1bn and £680m in the form of publicly listed and privately placed notes. Warburg Pincus, Solvay and Société Générale are also clients. Fabrice Grillo heads the team.

Goodwin provides ‘great service’ and is noted for the ‘depth of the team’ and its ‘always available partners’. ‘Knowledgeable’ practice head Arnaud Fromion is ‘a great negotiator’. The ‘alert’ and ‘proactive’ Frédéric Guilloux and counsel Adrien Paturaud are other names to note. Core strengths include handling domestic and cross-border acquisition and corporate finance. The team assisted Averys Group with the refinancing of its LBO debt, and advised the pool of senior lenders led by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and Natixis on a €130m term and revolving credit facility agreement with Axens intended to finance Axen’s takeover bid of Heurtey Petrochem. BNP Paribas, Capzanine and Alcentra are clients.

The ‘excellentHogan Lovells (Paris) LLP provides ‘a broad range of financing expertise’ and ‘a highly experienced team of lawyers capable of offering expert advice in both French and English law’. Key advisers Michel Quéré and English-qualified ‘impressive negotiatorAlexander Premont specialise in corporate, acquisition, real estate, asset and insurance finance, but also undertake work in debt restructuring. The group has a regional focus on Africa, where its knowledge of commodities and export finance is a strength. Recent highlights include advising IDI and Orca on the financing of the acquisition of an Italian target, involving a senior acquisition financing and a mezzanine unitranche financing. The firm was appointed to the panel of HSBC France and counts Swissport, Europcar and Colina Capital as clients. Julien Martinet was a new arrival from Jeantet.

Jones Daycombines speed, quality and pragmatism’ and excels in financial litigation, acquisition and real estate finance, as well as in asset and project finance. Key names include practice head Frédéric Gros, Diane Sénéchal, Sophie Chevallier and of counsel Isabelle Maury. The team advised Tikehau Capital Investors on the financing of its subscription to the share capital of Tikehau Capital involving a tailor-made financing for Natixis as the mandated lead arranger. Other work includes assisting International Cookware with a debt refinancing. Cellnovo, Ecore and Henderson Park are also clients.

Mayer Brown has an ‘excellent’ team that advises mainly on acquisition and real estate finance matters, and is able to assist with the adjacent regulatory questions. Practice head and real estate expert Jean-Philippe Lambert, Privat Vigand, François-Régis Gonon, newly promoted partner Alban Dorin and Patrick Teboul are supported by counsel Maud Bischoff. The group advised Elis on the approximately €1.2bn refinancing of existing facilities and acted for Groupe Accueil on the arrangement of senior and mezzanine debt. Royal Bank America, Prosol and Factofrance are also clients.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP advises on a large spectrum of operations including corporate finance, acquisition and structured finance, asset and project finance, syndicated loans and export credit loans. Laurence Martinez-Bellet leads the team; English-qualified Alexia Russell and aviation finance expert Charles Viggers are also noted. Recent work includes advising on a SERV-covered buyer credit financing, assisting with the financing of the acquisition of a power plant and handling a refinancing in the renewable energy sector. BNP Paribas, BRED Banque Populaire and Deutsche Bank are other clients.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP counts acquisition finance, debt restructuring, real estate and project finance among its strengths, and also has experience in syndicated and bilateral lending. Practice head Paul Lombard is the key name; he assisted Tikehau Investment Management with the financing of the acquisition of QCNS Cruise by Montefiore Investment and advised PAI Partners on the PIK financing, recapitalisation and refinancing of a high yield and revolving credit facility granted to Labeyrie Fine Foods and Labeyrie Group. Other clients include Astorg, Eurazeo and Ardian Private Debt.


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    Types of investors The private equity (PE) funds that are active in Bulgaria are not raised or registered in the country. Some Bulgarian PE funds were raised recently, but there are no statistics as to the sources of their funding, their number, the funds that were accumulated, etc.
  • RECENT DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING COMMITMENTS

    THE PROCEDURE IS CLARIFIED, BUT MAY COMMITMENTS APPLY WITHOUT LIMIT?
  • Landmark decision by French Competition Authority in conditioned LPG case

    cartel case closed after discovery that leniency application was largely based on forgeries and rejection of collective dominant position objection.
  • 2012 supplementary budget

    The second supplementary budget published in the Official Gazette September 19, 2011 provides for two key measures that affect the deferral of tax losses and taxation of capital gains realized on the sale of equity securities .
  • Actualité législative fiscale

    Au delà des mesures applicables à l’ensemble des contribuables (telles que la limitation du report des déficits ou la réforme du mode de calcul des plus values sur cessions de participations),le plan de réduction des déficits annoncé le 24 août dernier par le gouvernement comprend des mesures qui intéressent spécifiquement les acteurs du secteur financier.

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