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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 > Capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: Debt
  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 Debt 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


Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘excellent’ team has core strengths in advising on French, English and US law on a broad range of matters, with particular expertise in complex, innovative matters. Experience includes hybrid debt instruments, Euro private placements, EMTN programmes and negotiable debt instruments, US federal securities law and New York Law. Names to note include ‘excellent’ practice head Hervé Ekué, US-qualified Diana Billik, Dan Lauder, Julien Sébastien and senior associate Soline Louvigny. The group acted for Areva on the transfer of a series of notes with a total value of approximately €4.8bn to New Areva and assisted Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken with several issuances with a total value of over $3.7bn. Other work included advising BNP Paribas UK and a syndicate of banks on a €1bn inaugural six-years senior non-preferred notes issuance. Other clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and HSBC.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s debt capital markets practice advises banks, global players from a range of sectors including aviation and insurance, and public entities on high-profile matters. The team’s expertise extends to senior non-preferred notes under French Sapin II legislation, Rule 144A and Regulation S matters, as well as investment grade debt offerings and liability management. Andrew Bernstein, Fabrice Baumgartner and Valérie Lemaitre form the backbone of the team and often collaborate with tax partner Anne-Sophie Coustel. Recent work includes advising Gecina on a €1.5bn bond offering consisting of three series of senior bonds issued under Gecina’s EMTN programme concerning the client’s acquisition of Eurosic, a matter which also involved the firm’s equity capital markets team. High yield transactions are also a strength, as evident in its advice to shipping giant CMA CGM on €650m of 6.5% senior notes due in 2022. Other clients include Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas, the Republic of Iraq and Airbus.

Clifford Chance advises banks, multinationals and public entities on the full spectrum of debt instruments. Cédric Burford and Alex Bafi lead the department, and are supported by Auriane Bijon, who made counsel in 2017. Highlights included acting for the government of the Sultanate of Oman on a $1.5bn 144A offering in debt securities underwritten by Citigroup, J. P. Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Natixis, and advising Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank on cash tender offers and consent solicitation by Crédit Agricole and Crédit Agricole Home Loan SFH regarding subordinated and covered bonds totalling €4.3bn. Other recent work includes advising Transdev Group on its first Schuldschein issuance and acting for the Caisse d’Amortissement de la Dette Sociale on the issuance of $2.5bn notes underwritten by Barclays, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and HSBC, which involved high-value placements in the US and advising on US securities law. Accor Hotels, Carrefour and Unibail Rodamco are also clients.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. demonstrates strength across the board of debt capital market financings, with 144A debt transactions by French issuers and Euro private placements areas of particular expertise. The team has a largely domestic workload but also excels in complex, cross-border matters, such as the work undertaken for Groupe FNAC on the issuance of €650m senior notes, which are governed by New York law, listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange’s Global Exchange Market. In another cross-border highlight, the team advised Veolia Environnement on the first issuance of a panda bond by a French issuer. Domestic highlights include advising Europcar Groupe on the issuance of 144A high-yield senior notes. Other clients include Société Générale, Gecina and BNP Paribas. Practice heads Arnaud Duhamel, Hubert Merveilleux du Vignaux and US-qualified Melinda Stege Arsouze are the key names. Laurent Vincent was promoted to counsel.

Linklaters provides clients with ‘innovative solutions’ and has ‘the necessary judgement to provide advice that best serves the client’s interest’. The ‘responsive’ team often acts in cross-border matters involving the UK and the US and advises on a myriad of debt instruments, from Euro private placements, EMTN programmes and equity-linked bonds to high-yield bonds, 144A and Regulation S placements, and also has expertise in liability management. ‘Technically strong’ practice head Luis Roth is ‘very good with clients in navigating complex financing transactions’; other noteworthy practitioners are Véronique Delaittre and Bertrand Sénéchal, who stands out for ‘his experience and availability’. In a major highlight, the team advised a syndicate of banks, consisting of Barclays, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Banking, Morgan Stanley, Natixis, Société Générale and BNP Paribas, as the lead managers on the first sovereign green bonds issued by France totalling €7bn. Other work includes advising French real estate investment company Icade on a liability management deal, a tender offer to holders of two different sets of notes and the issuance of a third set of notes to refinance part of the existing debt. CGG, Nomura International, SMBC Nikko Capital Markets, Deutsche Bank and Bred Banque Populaire are other clients.

White & Case LLP’s key areas of expertise include EMTN programmes, high-yield bonds, Euro private placements and sovereign bonds and tender offers, but the team also handles liability management and regulatory capital matters. Capital markets practice head Philippe Herbelin and Cenzi Gargaro advised several banks as bookrunners on the €1.5bn bond issuing of Gecina, which included three different sets of notes. Recently promoted partner Grégoire Karila and Séverin Robillard assisted Casino Group with an intermediated tender offer made by BNP Paribas of three different sets of notes with a total value exceeding €1bn. Colin Chang led advice to a banking syndicate on a two-tranche high-yield bond offering by Burger King France, which involved senior secured floating rate notes and senior secured notes. Of counsel Gilles Endréo, Thomas Le Vert and counsel Max Turner are also noted. Kaufman & Broad, Engie and SNCF Réseau are clients.

CMS’ ‘efficient and proactive team’ provides ‘an excellent level of service’. The group handles domestic and cross-border work and has particular strengths handling EMTN programmes and Euro private placement instructions, though covered bonds, liability management mandates and bond issues by public entities are also key areas of expertise. Practice head Marc-Etienne Sébire ‘has been a reference in the Paris market for years’ and ‘goes the extra mile without being obsessed by the clock’. ‘Constantly reliable’ counsel Rosetta Ferrère is noted for her ‘rigour and ability to deal with a heavy workload’. Highlights included advising the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations on updating its €18.5bn EMTN programme; acting for the joint lead managers on Publicis Groupe’s issue of €500m Eurobonds; and assisting Crédit Mutuel Arkéa with its first issue of senior non-preferred notes with a total value of €500m. Société Générale, BNP Paribas and the Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel are other clients.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is a key name for issuers, which it advises on various debt instruments including EMTN, Euro private placements, bond issues, debt security issues and equity-linked instruments. Practice head Louis de Longeaux led a cross-office team in advising Danone on the financing of its acquisition of Whitewave, which included updating the client’s EMTN programme, issuing €6.2bn notes and issuing $5.5bn 144A Yankee bonds. Other work included assisting Bureau Veritas with the issuing of €700m bonds through a private placement to institutional investors. Other clients include Airbus, BNP Paribas, Renault and Safran.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP advises on domestic and cross-border debt instruments, including Euro private placements, green bonds, social impact bonds and sukuk offerings. Global finance group head Sharon Lewis, who also leads the firm’s international debt capital markets practice, and Baptiste Gelpi, who heads the debt capital markets team in Paris, are the key names. Recent highlights include advising EDF on several bond issues totalling over €5bn, including Formosa and green bonds, and assisting the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector as the arranger of three sukuk offerings in Ivory Coast, Senegal and Togo. The team also advised the Association for the Right to the Economic Initiative on the legal structure of the first social impact bond in France. Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Céréa Partenaire and Edmond de Rothschild (France) are other clients.

Latham & Watkins has strengths handling high-yield debt financing and is able to advise on French, New York and English law from its office in Paris. Practice head Thomas Margenet-Baudry is the key name in a team that regularly cooperates with the firm’s banking department. Highlights included advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the issue of 9.5% senior secured notes and assisting Burger King France with the issue of €250m floating-rate senior secured notes and a separate issue of senior secured notes. Other work includes advising Crédit Suisse on the financing of Paprec’s acquisition of Coved where the purchaser’s existing high-yield green bond structure was used to finance the acquisition. Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Cerba HealthCare are also clients.


Index of tables

  1. Capital markets: Equity
  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 Equity 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


Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘one of the most experienced and talented teams on the market’, with ‘an enormous track record, a deep knowledge of the market and an ability to offer sophisticated and innovative solutions’. Areas of expertise include share rights offerings, public share offerings including IPOs, and private placements of shares. The practice has the resources to ‘deliver high quality work in tight schedules’ and key names include: John Brinitzer; Marie-Laurence Tibi, who is ‘one of the most experienced lawyers in equity capital markets’ and stands out for her ‘strong involvement in the matters and her high availability’; the ‘always calm’ Andrew Bernstein; and Pierre-Yves Chabert. Recent work includes advising Tikehau Capital on a €702m rights offering including a national public offer in France and a Regulation S offer to institutional investors, and assisting Carmila with its public offering in France following its merger with Cardety. In another highlight, the team advised Deutsche Bank on a €400m rights issue by Solocal. Other clients include Europcar, Bridgepoint and The Walt Disney Company.

White & Case LLP ‘is a clear leader among legal advisers for French equity capital markets matters’, but also demonstrates strength in handling complex, cross-border instructions, frequently involving the US. The team undertakes work across the full spectrum of equity instruments, with acquisition finance a core strength. Key advisers are Philippe Herbelin, who ‘has a wealth of experience’ and ‘knows when to draw a line in the sand to protect his clients while being smart and flexible enough to find common ground satisfactory to all parties in the interest of any given transaction’; ‘intellectually curious’, ‘agile thinker’ Thomas Le Vert, who is ‘not afraid to investigate the boundaries of legal and regulatory frameworks to allow corporates to achieve their goals’; Séverin Robillard; Colin Chang; and counsel Max Turner. The group advised a syndicate of banks, led by Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, on Gecina’s rights issue to finance its acquisition of Eurosic, and handled the US law aspects of Air Liquide’s €3.3bn rights issue with preferential subscription rights. Groupama, Suez and HSBC are also clients.

The ‘efficient’ team at Allen & Overy LLP specialises in cross-border transactions that require a multidisciplinary approach across capital markets, corporate and tax. Share capital increases are a specialism, with IPO and equity-linked matters also areas of expertise. Diana Billik and corporate specialist Marc Castagnède jointly head the team. Counsel Olivier Thébault advised Wendel on its €1bn share sale and assisted a syndicate of banks with Amundi’s €1.4bn rights issue. Other highlights for the team include advising a syndicate of banks on the IPO of ALD, Société Générale’s subsidiary. Airbus, Areva and Goldman Sachs are also clients.

Bredin Prat is noted for its ‘strong involvement of partners in matters’ and its ‘solid experience in supervising and coordinating foreign firms in cross-border matters’. The team counts IPO and Euronext listings, equity and hybrid securities offerings, and private placements via accelerated bookbuilding among its strengths. Practice head Olivier Saba ‘brings in-depth knowledge of stock exchange regulation and market standards, not only on the legal side, but also on the financial side’ and is noted for his ‘extensive network’. Highlights included advising EDF on a €4bn rights issue involving preferential subscription rights; assisting Sequana and Antalis International with the spin-off and connected IPO of Antalis International shares on Euronext; and acting for Carrefour on the high-profile IPO of Carrefour Brazil. The team also handled instructions from Korian, Direct Energie, Air Liquide and Groupe Flo.

Clifford Chance acts for corporates, financial institutions and funds, with experience spanning IPO and share capital increases as well as employee share and stock option schemes. US-law expert Alex Bafi is a key practitioner alongside Aline Cardin and Anne Lemercier. In a major highlight, the group acted for Société Générale on the IPO of its subsidiary ALD, acting for both Société Générale as shareholder and ALD as issuer. Other highlights include advising Altrafin on a share sale by accelerated bookbuilding involving institutional investors; handling the IPO and listing of Inventiva on the regulated market of Euronext Paris for Société Générale and KBC; and assisting Technip with employee share plans following its merger with FMC. BNP Paribas Fortis, Credit Suisse, Vallourec and Apax are also clients.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has a core focus on French issuer IPOs, but also has in-depth knowledge of US instruments, including Nasdaq listings, Regulation S and 144A transactions. Arnaud Duhamel is the key adviser and cross-border specialist Melinda Stege Arsouze is particularly active in private placements in the US. Counsels Théophile Strebelle and Guilhem Richard provide significant support. Recent work includes acting for Lysogène and Société Générale on Lysogène’s IPO on compartment C of Euronext Paris; advising BNP Paribas on a €143m capital increase for Société de la Tour Eiffel through preferential subscription rights; and handling Gensight Biologics’ private placement to investors in the US and Europe. The team has a strong following in the biotech sector, where clients also include Erytech Pharma and Inventiva. Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and Veolia are also clients.

The ‘responsive’ team at Jones Day has ‘a very good’ reputation for work in the healthcare sector, while also being active in the technology industry. Linda Hesse and Florent Bouyer jointly head the team, which has notable expertise advising emerging growth companies and also has the ability to advise on the US aspects of market transactions. The ‘constructive’ and ‘client- and business-oriented’ Renaud Bonnet is noted for his ‘very good knowledge of the tech industry’ and led in advising Prodways on its French IPO and the related pre-IPO subscription round. In a high-profile transaction, the team assisted Safran with its €8.7bn tender offer for Zodiac Aerospace shares in the context of the merger between the two companies, primarily handling the US capital markets aspects of the transaction. Another highlight saw the department assist Citi and Natixis as underwriters with Genfit’s two-step €80m capital increase. Other clients include Sanofi, Orange and Cellectis.

Latham & Watkins is especially active in IPOs, block trades and accelerated bookbuilding instructions. Practice head Thomas Margenet-Baudry has established the department’s position in the mid-to high-six-figure-sector of the market, as illustrated in its advice to Maisons du Monde on a €360m IPO and three major block trades in 2016 and 2017 with a combined value exceeding €500m. In the bookbuilding sector, the team advised on accelerated bookbuilding offers for Lectra and Lectra shareholder André Harari as well as for Vipshop International Holdings, both mandates that required a close cooperation with the firm’s corporate department.

Linklaters acts for issuers, arrangers and underwriters and has experience advising on French, English and US law. Bertrand Sénéchal is the key name, but capital markets practice head Luis Roth also advises on IPOs, rights offerings and block trades. In one domestic highlight, the team handled a €33.9m capital increase for Genfit, by way of a private placement reserved to institutional investors and a €44.6m rights offering involving preferential subscription rights. The department also assisted Telepizza Group and global investment firm Permira Asesores with the offering of 72% of the share capital of Telepizza Group to qualified investors and with the admission of the listing of the shares on the Spanish stock exchange. Other clients include Total, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s ‘very responsive’ team stands out for its ‘creative approach to legal issues’ and has broad expertise in IPOs, block trades and right offerings, including the ability to handle cross-border transactions for issuers and underwriters alike. Employee shareholding-related mandates are another strength. Sami Toutounji and the ‘very well-respected’ Hervé Letréguilly, whose ‘innovative mind-set is very valuable’, jointly head the practice. Counsel Séverine de la Courtie has ‘created long-term relationships with banks, advisers and issuers alike’. The team advised the Agence des Participations de l’Etat on an approximately €1.1bn block trade deal in the form of a private placement by way of an accelerated bookbuilding, and assisted Oddo and Gilbert Dupont with the Gensight Biologics’ IPO on the Euronext regulated market. The team also advises on the regulatory aspects of capital market transactions, including assisting various CAC 40 clients, including Amundi and Arkema, with the Market Abuse Regulation. Alstom, L’Oréal and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank are other clients.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP specialises in complex transactions, often involving a cross-border element, though it also handles a significant number of domestic instructions. The team has been kept busy handling rights offerings, and in one example advised the underwriters on EDF’s €4bn capital increase. Other work included assisting Elis with its €325m capital increase with preferential subscription rights, undertaken through a public offering in France and a private placement to qualified foreign investors, and handling the sale of 15 million Moncler shares by Eurazeo subsidiary Ecip M by way of an accelerated bookbuilding. Olivier de Vilmorin heads the team.

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Legal Developments in France

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    The People's Republic of China has initiated an overhaul of its social security system, reformed the personal taxation regime and has extended the scope of these laws to foreigners residing in China.

    The Kingdom of Morocco is supporting the ambition of becoming the leading financial place for Africa. In this context, a wave of draft laws is to be passed and implemented within the following months, amongst which, the Law No. 53.08, setting up a new financial authority, and the Law No. 54.08, reforming public offering rules, are of paramount importance to Moroccan and foreign issuers, and financial institutions.

    The opportunities offered to foreign investors by the Chinese mergers and acquisitions market are increasing every year: in 2010, transactions involving foreign companies came to 60.1 billion euros, an increase of 21.2% compared with 2009. Seen from the West, where markets are declining, all sectors of the Chinese economy seem to be undergoing promising development and the statistics indicate that the Middle Empire will be a lasting springboard for growth.
  • Prime de Partage des Profits

    Le dispositif L’article 1er de la loi de financement rectificative de la Sécurité sociale pour 2011 oblige les sociétés commerciales de 50 salariés et plus, dont les dividendes par part sociale ou par action sont en augmentation par rapport à la moyenne des deux années précédentes, à verser une prime à l’ensemble de leurs salariés

    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.

  • 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.
  • Réforme fiscale

    À la une Parmi les mesures annoncées par le Premier Ministre dans le cadre du plan de réduction des déficits, deux d’entre elles sont susceptibles d’affecter de nombreuses entreprises

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