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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon 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 > Bank regulatory > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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

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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.

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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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