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France > Derivatives, structured finance and securitisation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Derivatives, structured finance and securitisation
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP runs a strong securitisation practice, regularly advising clients on complex and innovative structures. The team acted for the joint lead managers on DIAC’s securitisation of a portfolio of French auto loans and a subsequent note issuance by the newly created FCT Compartiment Cars Alliance Auto Loans France V. The team also assisted SFIL with a covered bond programme to refinance Coface export loans. Fabrice Faure-Dauphin heads the structured finance and securitisation practice, in which Julien Roux is another key figure. The firm also handles derivatives work, where Hervé Ekué heads the practice.

Ashurst LLP advises leading international banks on complex derivatives structures and regulatory matters. The firm also handles derivatives work in the context of LBO restructurings, as recently done with Vivarte. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs International and LCH.Clearnet are also clients. Julien Bacus heads the practice, in which Hubert Blanc-Jouvan is also recommended.

Clifford Chance provides the ‘highest level of service’ on securitisation programmes and also handles derivatives. ‘Advice is always highly detailed and focuses on the key points’. The practice also has a rare and ‘very good mix of knowledge of securitisation vehicles and project finance structuring’. It advised Axione Infrastructures and its shareholders on the structuring and refinancing of existing indebtedness through a securitised loan. The firm also assisted Natixis Financement with a €550m credit card securitisation. The structured finance team is headed by Jonathan Lewis, who has ‘terrific in-depth expertise’, and Frédérick Lacroix. Counsel Julien Rocherieux has ‘strong experience, both in securitisation vehicles and in project finance, which is quite rare’.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP leads an ‘excellent’ securitisation practice. The firm recently advised the financial institutions – including Natixis, BNP, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, CACIB and RBS – on three discrete auto securitisation deals for Banque PSA. Hervé Touraine heads the practice and Fabrice Grillo ranks among ‘the best securitisation lawyers’.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. ranks among the market-leading firms for securitisation and covered bond work, and is regularly instructed to advise clients in the context of innovative transactions. The practice recently assisted Société Générale with the issuance of covered bonds by Société Générale SFH, which were admitted to trading on Euronext Paris. Xavier de Kergommeaux, Gilles Saint Marc and Christine Van Gallebaert are all recognised experts. The firm is also active in the derivatives field, wherein Arnaud Duhamel and Karine Imbrosciano are the key contacts.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP combines ‘high responsiveness, flexibility and commercial sense’. The ‘always available’ 15-lawyer team shows ‘a high level of business and industry knowledge’ and follows a ‘hands-on approach’ to securitisation work and also handles derivatives. The practice recently advised high-profile automotive companies on large transactions: highlights included assisting Volkswagen with its French auto loan receivables securitisation and advising BMW Finance on its first-ever French auto lease ABS. Global practice head Sharon Lewis is ‘an excellent technical lawyer who demonstrates a great level of dedication to her clients and appropriately advises on risks’. Baptiste Gelpi is ‘efficient and available’.

Jones Day’s derivatives practice is ‘very good in terms of in-depth analysis, industry knowledge and responsiveness’. The six-lawyer team advises leading French banks and other financial institutions as well as derivatives professional bodies on regulatory and transactional matters. It recently advised BPCE on the negotiation of clearing documents with brokers. BNP Paribas is another client. Alban Caillemer du Ferrage shows ‘strong business acumen and excellent legal analysis’, and, according to one client, is ‘clearly the best lawyer in Paris in terms of derivative instruments’. Recently promoted partner Qian Hu is ‘an excellent transactional lawyer, who is very dedicated to her clients and able to meet very short deadlines’.

Rapid, efficient and available’, Latham & Watkins’s seven-lawyer team provides ‘very high-quality work’ and has ‘in-depth knowledge of derivatives’. The firm assists leading asset managers and banking institutions on highly complex structured finance and derivatives transactions. It recently assisted AXA Investment Managers with a series of US CLO transactions. ‘Deal-maker’ Basil Zotiades co-chairs the firm’s structured finance practice. Also a key element in the team, Thomas Vogel is ‘highly competent and experienced in the field of derivatives’.

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