France > Capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
Index of tables
Capital markets: debt
Other recommended firms
John Brinitzer -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Andrew Bernstein -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Cédric Burford - Clifford Chance (debt capital markets)
- Colin Chang - White & Case LLP (high-yield debt)
- Hubert du Vignaux - Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. (debt capital markets)
- Arnaud Duhamel - Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.
Hervé Ekué -
Allen & Overy LLP(debt capital markets)
- Gilles Endréo - White & Case LLP (debt capital markets)
- Cenzi Gargaro - White & Case LLP
- Philippe Herbelin - White & Case LLP (equity capital markets)
- Thomas Le Vert - White & Case LLP
- Hervé Letréguilly - Shearman & Sterling LLP (equity capital markets)
- Séverin Robillard - White & Case LLP
Marie-Laurence Tibi -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- John Brinitzer -
Next generation lawyers
Allen & Overy LLP produces ‘highly professional and efficient work that provides solutions’; the ‘highly responsive’ 20-lawyer team covers French, US and UK law. It advises banks and issuers on large conventional and sophisticated deals. Highlights included assisting La Banque Postale with its €750m issuance of tier 2 hybrid capital subordinated notes and advised the joint lead managers on AXA’s €1.5bn subordinated notes issuance. Hervé Ekué heads the practice, in which Diana Billik, Brice Henry, Dan Lauder and Julien Sébastien are also recommended.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP often assists issuers with debt capital markets (DCM) transactions in France and the US. The firm recently advised on bank capital securities issuances, such as BNP Paribas’ $1.5bn Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of tier 1 notes. It also represented JCDecaux during a €750m issuance of bonds and advised Loxam on a €250m issuance of high-yield notes. Key figures in the practice include Andrew Bernstein, John Brinitzer, Fabrice Baumgartner and Valérie Lemaitre, who ‘has great convertible technical expertise’.
Clifford Chance ‘always provides the right advice’. The ‘responsive’ 15-lawyer team advises banks and issuers on large, complex DCM mandates domestically and internationally, notably including corporate and public sector bond issuances, as well as complex hybrid bonds and emerging markets transactions. It assisted Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley with Solvay’s triple-tranche issuance, comprising €1bn bonds, $1.6bn of Rule 144A bonds and €2.25bn of senior bonds. The team is led by US-qualified attorney Alex Bafi and Cédric Burford, who provides ‘prompt and smart responses’.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has advised many leading French and international banks on small to large domestic transactions. Recent work includes assisting BNP Paribas with two issuances of notes by Vivendi, admitted to trading on Euronext Paris for a global amount of €1.5bn. The ‘competent and available’ Hubert du Vignaux is a great reference. Melinda Stege Arsouze provides US law advice and recently assisted the underwriting syndicates with two US dollar bond offerings by EDF, totalling $4.75bn.
Linklaters often advises the world’s largest banks on sophisticated domestic and international transactions. The practice assisted the joint bookrunners with BPCE’s first offering on the local Singapore debt market and acted for the joint lead managers on TDF Infrastructure’s €600m bond issuance. Luis Roth heads the practice. Also recommended is Véronique Delaittre, whose ‘expertise, practice and dedication are excellent’.
White & Case LLP provides ‘outstanding overall service’; it is widely regarded as the ‘very best’ in France in terms of its ‘first-rate strength-in-depth, exceptional response times’ and extensive experience. The team has a strong underwriter and manager-side practice and also advises issuers on the market’s largest and most complex matters. Highlights included assisting a banking syndicate with Total’s €1.7bn hybrid bond issuance and acting for the joint bookrunners on Europcar’s €125m high-yield issuance. ‘DCM guru’ Gilles Endréo is recommended for complex transactions. Cenzi Gargaro has ‘unmatched experience and is very helpful and extremely knowledgeable’. Séverin Robillard, Thomas Le Vert and high-yield expert Colin Chang are also highly recommended; Grégoire Karila was promoted to partner.
CMS has ‘very good knowledge of market standards’ and ‘produces solutions’. The firm is a leader in the EuroPP sector, where it advises on a high volume of transactions. The practice assisted APICIL Prévoyance with its inaugural €150m tier 2 bond issuance listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Practice head Marc-Etienne Sébire stands out for his ‘positive involvement in transactions’. Also recommended is counsel Rosetta Ferrère, who is ‘a success story and is state of the art in her field’.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP assists many leading French corporations with setting up Euro medium term note programmes and making bond issuances. The practice recently advised Safran on the €650m issuance of zero coupon convertible bonds (OCEANEs) and acted for Schneider Electric during a €200 green bond issuance. Airbus and Renault are also clients. The ‘calm and very knowledgeable’ Louis de Longeaux is recommended to borrowers for banking and DCM transactions.
Latham & Watkins is renowned for its leading high-yield expertise and notably assisted Deutsche Bank with the high-yield refinancing of Loxam. The practice also advised BIM on Elior’s €200m issuance of over-collateralised secured bonds exchangeable for ordinary shares – the first transaction of its kind in the French market. The highly versatile Thomas Margenet-Baudry is a great adviser.
Index of tables
Capital markets: equity
Other recommended firms
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘very strong and capable team’ advises issuers or underwriters; it has ‘a lot of experience, always gets things done and is very well accomplished in dealing with tricky and challenging issues’. It is a deep team wherein ‘partners are highly involved and responsive’, ‘the associate bench has high-level expertise’ and ‘the US expertise is outstanding’. Recent work includes assisting Amundi with its €1.7bn IPO and advising ArcelorMittal on a $3bn capital increase. Key figures include John Brinitzer, the ‘very solid’ Marie-Laurence Tibi, Fabrice Baumgartner and Pierre-Yves Chabert, plus Andrew Bernstein, who has ‘great experience and unmatched US law expertise’.
White & Case LLP has a substantial market share, thanks to its ‘strength-in-depth and across-the-board expertise’. The firm has ‘unmatched experience’, ‘a strong and deep bench of senior associates’ and ‘a very strong team, plugged into the latest issues, which efficiently runs transactions and is unequivocal in its advice’. The practice is routinely retained by banks to advise on top IPOs, rights offerings and convertibles transactions. Highlights included assisting the banking syndicate with Maisons du Monde’s €380m IPO. The practice includes three ‘equally talented’ partners: practice head Philippe Herbelin, Séverin Robillard and the ‘highly skilled and reliable’ Thomas Le Vert.
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘experienced team’ handles top transactions, mainly for banks. The firm advises on IPOs, share capital increases, block trade and equity-linked transactions. It assisted the respective banking syndicates with Amundi’s €1.7bn IPO and Veolia Environnement’s €700m OCEANE (convertible bonds) issuance. Marc Castagnède heads the team, in which Diana Billik and Julien Sébastien are other names to note; counsel Olivier Thébault is ‘a rising star who knows how to perfectly master transactions’.
Bredin Prat routinely advises large French corporations on capital increases and also assists issuers during IPOs, including advising Direct Energie during its IPO. The key figures are practice head Olivier Saba, Barthélémy Courteault and Patrick Dziewolski.
Clifford Chance is ‘top of the range for equity capital markets work across Europe’, particularly for banks. The team has ‘a commercial approach’ and is ‘able to deal with complex transactions’ across French, UK and US law, often representing banks. Recent work includes advising Société Générale on Amundi’s IPO and a Rule 144A private placement in the US, as well as assisting Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley with Solvay’s €1.5bn rights issuance with a Rule 144A placement in the US. The ‘outstanding’ US-qualified attorney Alex Bafi is ‘extremely experienced across geographies and a variety of transactions, and able to handle delicate issues in a deal through a very professional approach’. Aline Cardin and Gilles Lebreton are also highly regarded.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. produces ‘excellent and efficient work’ and ‘knows very well the standards on the banks’ side and the needs from the issuers’ side’; it has notable experience in mandates involving the public sector. The practice recently assisted the banking syndicate with Vallourec’s €480m capital increase and advised Veolia Environnement on a €700m OCEANE issuance. Arnaud Duhamel ‘shows real judgement in difficult situations rather than sitting on the fence’ and Melinda Stege Arsouze provides US expertise.
Jones Day is ‘a one-stop shop for French and US advice, covering ECM, DCM, convertibles as well as cross-border public M&A’. The team ‘takes a highly practical approach to transactions and gets the job done’. It advises banks and issuers on a broad range of matters and is a first choice for biotech sector IPOs. The practice recently assisted the underwriters with Cellnovo’s €32m IPO, as well as acting for BNP Paribas and Natixis regarding Soitec’s €75m rights offering. Practice head Linda Hesse is ‘a go-to adviser for cross-border issues who vigorously defends clients’ interests while remaining practical and constructive’. Renaud Bonnet is also recommended along with Florent Bouyer, who ‘brings his breadth of experience in the French market, in particular for rights issue and convertibles’, and counsel Robert Mayo, who is ‘great for cross-border transactions, extremely client-friendly and shows strong technical acumen’.
Linklaters’ recent mandates include advising Natixis on Amplitude Surgical’s €100m IPO and assisting the banks with Air Liquide’s share capital increase. The practice was also recently very involved in equity-linked transactions involving new types of product. Luis Roth is recommended along with Bertrand Sénéchal, who is ‘an excellent counsel, close to clients and well respected across the board’. Véronique Delaittre is also recommended for equity-linked transactions.
Shearman & Sterling LLP recently advised the banks (Oddo & Cie and Gilbert Dupont) during GenSight Biologics’ €40m IPO. The practice also handles equity-linked debt work. The ‘very experienced’ Hervé Letréguilly is practice co-head alongside Sami Toutounji, who advises on corporate governance and employee stock purchase plans. Counsel Séverine de La Courtie is also recommended.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP advises major French issuers with large debt and equity transactions in France and the US. The firm assisted TDF Infrastructure with its €600m offering of bonds traded on Euronext Paris. The ‘friendly and smart’ Olivier de Vilmorin is ‘very experienced on IPO and focuses on getting deals done’. Senior counsel Patrick Bonvarlet, Krystian Czerniecki and William Torchiana are also recommended.