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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

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 Duhamelshows 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.

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