France > Capital markets
Index of tables
Other recommended firms
- Xavier de Kergommeaux – Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. (structured finance)
- Hubert du Vignaux – Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. (debt capital markets)
Hervé Ekué –
Allen & Overy LLP(debt capital markets)
- Gilles Endréo – White & Case LLP (debt capital markets)
- Philippe Herbelin – White & Case LLP (equity capital markets)
- Hervé Letréguilly – Shearman & Sterling LLP (equity capital markets)
Séverin Robillard –
Allen & Overy LLP’s combined capital markets and banking expertise is a strong asset in the prevailing financial climate. The firm is in high demand to advise banks on crisis management issues such as derivatives clearing, restructuring and liability management. The debt capital markets (DCM) and derivatives practices are ‘excellent in terms of reactivity and appropriateness of advice’, and have French, UK and US law capabilities. François Poudelet heads this work, and is recommended along with Diana Billik and Brice Henry, as well as Dan Lauder, who has ‘good industry knowledge’, and Hervé Ekué, whose ‘detailed knowledge of the financial markets sets him apart’. Recent instructions include advising the lead managers on GDF Suez’s €3bn notes issuance to finance its acquisition of shares in International Power. Fabrice Faure-Dauphin heads the structured finance practice. Equity capital markets (ECM) expert Marc Castagnède acted for Natixis and Société Générale on Sequana’s €150m share capital increase.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP handles a broad range of high-end work. Its flagship ECM practice is of ‘exceptional quality’, but the practice’s expertise also encompasses Yankee bonds, high-yield debt, liability management, and convertible bonds. Its diverse client base includes large corporations as well as underwriters. The team has been busy with numerous complex transactions, often in a US and international context, including advising Morgan Stanley on Technicolor’s $191m capital increase and acting for the underwriters of Total Capital International’s $1.5bn SEC-registered note offering. Marie-Laurence Tibi, Andrew Bernstein, John Brinitzer and Valérie Lemaître are recommended.
Clifford Chance’s comprehensive French and English law practice serves leading financial institutions, such as BNP Paribas and Société Générale, corporations including Vinci and Veolia Environnement, and state authorities. Jonathan Lewis and Frédérick Lacroix, who ‘really brings security on a deal’, lead the innovative structured finance and derivative practice, which has been involved in developing new products and completed critical work in the Eurozone crisis. DCM expert Cédric Burford runs a successful practice which has recently advised on numerous bond issuances, and has been assisting the European Financial Stability Facility on its €241bn debt issuance programme and subsequent issuances. The firm also advises on ECM and international employee share schemes.
‘One of the top players in the DCM field’, Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. acts for issuers and financial institutions. It advised Europcar on its €324m senior subordinated secured notes issuance. It is also one of the few French firms able to handle top-end ECM work, and notably assisted Ipsos with its €200m share capital increase. The international capital markets team has French and US law capabilities through ECM specialist Jean-Marc Desaché, who is ‘a good adviser on tricky French corporate issues’; Arnaud Duhamel, who has ‘strong experience and international expertise’; ECM expert Hubert du Vignaux, who is ‘a very talented lawyer’; as well as Christophe Mead and Melinda Arsouze. The firm is also ‘the reference in France’ for securitisation work through Xavier de Kergommeaux, who has ‘longstanding experience’, and Gilles Saint Marc and Christine Van Gallebaert. Alban Caillemer du Ferrage and Patrice Doat joined Jones Day and Linklaters LLP, respectively.
Linklaters LLP has the ‘ability to work on complex and sophisticated transaction structures’, and provides ‘strong added value and in-depth analyses’. This ‘business-minded’ team has French, UK and US law expertise for top-end ECM mandates through the ‘very experienced’ Philippe Herbelin, and DCM work through market-leading figure Gilles Endréo. The firm recruited structured finance and derivatives expert Patrice Doat from Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I., who has strong experience in covered bonds and securitisation. Other key figures include US-qualified lawyer Luis Roth, the well-rounded Cenzi Gargaro and Séverin Robillard who has ‘a very good knowledge of the industry’. Recent instructions include advising the joint lead managers on the first Chinese currency bond issue by a French issuer (Air Liquide), and acting for BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and Société Générale on PSA Peugeot Citroën’s share capital increase. Since publication
Shearman & Sterling LLP has leading capabilities in the ECM and equity-linked field. The firm played a pivotal role in most of the headline deals of 2012, notably in the healthcare sector where it advised the underwriters on Inside Secure’s IPO on NYSE Euronext. The practice also has strong high-yield debt expertise and was at the forefront of innovation regarding the issuance of Yankee bonds by French corporations when it assisted Danone. Practice head Sami Toutounji regularly advises CAC 40 groups on employee incentive schemes. Other leading figures include Hervé Letréguilly and the ‘smart and fast’ Bertrand Sénéchal, who ‘finds simple solutions to sophisticated issues’. Robert Treuhold relocated to the New York office.
Hubert Blanc-Jouvan has built Ashurst LLP’s strong practice in the derivatives and structured finance markets, along with Julien Bacus, who ‘takes time to understand the needs of his client’, ‘produces very good work’ and has ‘very good negotiation skills’. The team has been particularly involved in advising clients such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and LCH.Clearnet on regulatory matters. The team’s key ECM practitioners are Yann Gozal and counsel Joël Corcessin, who is ‘a very hardworking and calm lawyer, with good business sense’.
Bredin Prat often advises major issuers on ECM matters including acting for PSA Peugeot Citroën on its €1bn share capital increase, which was the first top-end equity offering by a French company in over a year. Patrick Dziewolski, Olivier Assant, Olivier Saba and Barthélémy Courteault are the key contacts.
‘One of the best surprises in the sleepy world of DCM external counsel’, CMS provides ‘premium advice’ and ‘priceless expertise with public sector entity related work’. It has played a key role assisting banks and local authorities with bond issuances. Highlights included advising BNP Paribas, as arranger, and the permanent dealers on the €30bn Credit Mutuel-CIC Home Loan SFH EMTN programme and subsequent covered bonds issuance. Practice head Marc-Etienne Sébire is ‘a talented lawyer who understands very well the global picture of finance’, and is ‘always available and extremely enthusiastic’. Senior associate Grégory Benteux is an ‘innovative and business-minded’ adviser who heads the structured debt and finance practice.
Arnaud Pérès and Andrés Gil head Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s practice, which advises many leading financial institutions and is also a go-to firm for CAC 40 companies issuing securities in the US. The team assisted the initial purchasers of Pernod Ricard’s US notes offerings, and acted for LVMH on its inaugural Rule 144A offering, worth $850m.
‘A top law firm’ in the field of structured finance and securitisation, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is ‘very reliable and responsive’. The 13-lawyer practice is highly experienced in complex cross-border trade receivable securitisations, and notably advised HSBC, Natixis, CACIB and Société Générale on the €1.1bn securitisation refinancing of COFACE’s factoring activities in Germany. Dougall Molson heads the practice, which also has expertise in DCM and derivatives. Hervé Touraine and Fabrice Grillo are two other key team members.
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP has strong DCM and securitisation expertise, including great pan-European capabilities, and is particularly acquainted with financial institutions and insurance companies. Sharon Lewis heads the international practice, and Philip Boys and Baptiste Gelpi are also key practitioners. The practice advised Amundi on the establishment of French and English law programmes through a single Luxembourg securitisation vehicle. Jean-Marc Franceschi, who leads on ECM transactions, recently advised on ID Logistics’ IPO on NYSE Euronext.
Jones Day is ‘a key player for mid-market or complex international transactions’. The firm’s extensive client base of fast-growing technology companies is a significant source of work for the practice, which advised on a record number of IPOs on the NYSE Euronext regulated market. It advised Inside Secure on its €79.3m IPO, and acted for France Télécom and Sanofi on large DCM issuances. Practice head Linda Hesse is ‘a very well known professional’ who ‘fights until the very end’. ‘Brilliant lawyer’ Renaud Bonnet shows ‘strong dedication’ and ‘thorough knowledge of corporate laws and market regulations’, and Charles Gavoty is also recommended. The firm recruited derivatives and structured finance expert Alban Caillemer du Ferrage from Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I..
Latham & Watkins stands out for its high-yield bonds practice and, more generally, is also recommended for complex DCM and structured finance advice. The team advises financial institutions and also represents corporate issuers. Highlights included advising the joint bookrunners and initial purchasers, including JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, on a €324m high-yield bond offering by Europcar; and Air Liquide on its first renminbi bond issuance. Basil Zotiades, who co-chairs the firm’s structured finance practice, is recommended along with John Watson, Thomas Vogel and Thomas Margenet-Baudry.
Norton Rose LLP’s ‘level of service is outstanding’ and it has proven ability to work on sophisticated transactions in the ECM and equity-linked fields. ‘Brilliant lawyers’ Roberto Cristofolini and Marie-Aude Noury head the practice, and are ‘always very passionate about finding tailor-made and innovative solutions’. Clients include financial institutions such as Crédit Agricole and HSBC. The team advised BNP Paribas and Dexia Securities on Carmat’s €25m right issue. Securitisation is another area of work.
Orrick Rambaud Martel’s practice head Richard Parolai has strong expertise in structured finance transactions and advises leading financial institutions on securitisations. Louis de Longeaux advises large corporate issuers and public sector entities on DCM transactions such as EMTN programmes. Highlights included advising Danone on the adaptation of its €7bn EMTN programme to allow renminbi issuances. The firm also handles ECM mandates.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP regularly advises on market-leading ECM transactions. Since the financial crisis, major French corporations such as Total have turned to the firm for their US registered debt offerings. Krystian Czerniecki recently advised the Council of Europe Development Bank in this regard. Olivier de Vilmorin and Dominique Bompoint are also recommended, and William Torchiana is the market’s ultimate reference for insurance-related capital markets work.