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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 > Equity > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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

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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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