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Editorial

Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: commercial litigation
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Clearly a leading name’ in France for strategic cases, Bredin Prat advises an outstanding French and international client base. The practice is highly recommended for handling sensitive shareholders’ conflicts, securities and corporate litigation. It is also retained to represent clients in commercial, industrial and international litigation and class actions. The team recently represented Technicolor in the context of the termination of a shareholders’ agreement entered into with Vector Capital. Didier Martin, Sylvie Morabia, Jean-Daniel Bretzner, Sébastien Prat and Florian Bouaziz are all outstanding lawyers.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘quality of service is second to none’. The team shows ‘impressive responsiveness, precision and client follow-up’. The practice is recommended for strategic corporate, commercial and financial cases. It represents leading French and international corporations such as Airbus, BNP Paribas, Goodyear and Lagardère. The firm is acting for the French state in a dispute with Alstom’s minority shareholders, as well as representing Sanofi-Aventis in proceedings brought by Rhodia. The team is headed by Jean-Yves Garaud and counsel Delphine Michot, who ‘keeps her cool in every circumstance’.

Clifford Chance has ‘a very high level of litigation expertise’ and produces ‘very high-quality work’. The ‘available and efficient’ team is recommended for ‘strategic cases’ and is especially strong in commercial, consumer and distribution law, where it represents many leading French retailers such as Carrefour. The firm successfully defended SFR in a sensitive dispute with Free Mobile. The practice also deals with major corporate and banking cases. It is representing Apax Partners in a dispute initiated by Chenavari. Other clients include RBS, J.P. Morgan and Hilton. Practice head Jean-Pierre Grandjean is highly regarded. Thomas Baudesson is also recommended along with Diego de Lammerville and recently promoted partner Thibaud d’Alès, who shows ‘excellent pleading skills and is also a good negotiator’.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier is second to none for handling strategic corporate and commercial disputes. The firm is involved in the market’s most high-profile shareholder conflicts, corporate and commercial disputes on behalf of leading French and international corporations and financial institutions. It is representing Veolia Environnement in shareholders’ litigation with EDF and recently assisted Casino in a mediation case regarding the sale by Galeries Lafayette of its stake in Monoprix. The team is made up of some of France’s finest lawyers, including practice co-heads Jean-Michel Darrois and Emmanuel Brochier, as well as Marie-Noëlle Dompé, Cyril Bonan, Christophe Ingrain and Matthieu Brochier. Nicolas Mennesson became partner in 2016.

Orrick Rambaud Martel is a go-to-firm for handling strategic and sensitive disputes involving leading French and international companies. The firm is managing high-profile cases in relation to corporate transactions and insolvency and restructuring matters. The practice is representing Fondations Capital following Intermediate Capital Group’s take control attempt over Courtepaille. The team also successfully acted for Consortium de Réalisation in proceedings against Bernard Tapie. Frédéric Lalance heads the practice. Jean-Pierre Martel is one of the Paris Bar’s most renowned figures. Jean-Michel Leprêtre is another key figure. Marine Lallemand became partner in 2016.

Veil Jourde’s high-end litigators often handle strategic cases. Jean Veil, Pierre-François Veil, Eric Deubel, Georges Jourde and Emmanuel Rosenfeld are the key names.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represents leading CAC 40 companies, private equity funds and banking institutions. The firm is involved in leading corporate cases in relation to post-acquisition, restructuring, and shareholders’ conflict matters. It is representing Caravelle in proceedings pertaining to DHL’s sale of Ducros Express to Caravelle and also acted for Engie in a high-profile case against a minority shareholder in La Compagnie du Vent. The practice also undertakes commercial and contractual litigation, where Casino and Safran are clients. Practice head Didier Malka is ‘highly efficient and clairvoyant’.

Allen & Overy LLP is retained by leading financial institutions such as Citi, J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch. The practice acts for large corporations in the energy and aviation sectors in commercial litigation or following industrial accidents and also regularly handles cases before the African courts. The ‘very good’ Denis Chemla heads the practice, in which Erwan Poisson and David Por are also key figures.

Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle & Associés provides high-quality service and is highly recommended for top banking, commercial and shareholders’ litigation. It is representing the Baud family in a hard-fought dispute with Casino regarding Geimex-Leader Price. Key figures in the team include practice head Edouard de Lamaze, Antoine Fourment, Jean-Hugues Carbonnier, Philippe Cavarroc, Fiorella Vecchioli de Fournas, Dorothée de Bernis, Rémi Sermier, Eric Morain and Hedwige Caldairou.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is recommended for ‘disputes where large financial sums are at stake’. The practice provides all-around litigation expertise, spanning commercial, insolvency, corporate, banking and cross-border proceedings. Clients include leading French and international industrial, banking and financial services entities. It is representing Société Générale in banking proceedings concerning derivative contracts and the enforcement of Euro-Dollar hedging contracts. Renault and Valeo are also clients. Philippe Dubois, Matthieu Barthélemy, Barbara Levy, Paul Talbourdet and Dominique Lefort head the practice, in which Joanna Gumpelson is also highly involved.

Dethomas Peltier Juvigny & Associés is retained by leading French and international groups, banks and investment funds to handle highly sensitive and strategic disputes. The firm is involved in several post-acquisition, LBO and governance related cases for leading private equity funds, in addition to which it is handling a diverse caseload also spanning shareholders’ conflicts, succession, tax evasion and criminal matters. It successfully represented ICG in a dispute with Fondations Capital concerning control of Courtepaille. The firm is also acting for Sernam in proceedings against SNCF and Geodis. The ‘precise and highly skilled’ Arthur Dethomas who ‘ranks among the best of his generation’, and Frédéric Peltier are highly recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a strong name for banking and financial services disputes. The ‘very responsive and fully engaged’ 14-lawyer team is representing major asset management funds and banks in cases involving financial products, and representing Natixis in proceedings brought by the Iranian state-owned Bank of Industry and Mine for payment of first-demand counter-guarantees. The firm also deals with commercial litigation and is currently involved in a highly sensitive case in the telecoms sector. AEW Europe and WPP are other clients. Dimitri Lecat is recommended along with practice head Stéphane Bénouville, who is ‘sharp and leaves no room for chance’.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has strong expertise in the banking sector. The firm is notably representing Natixis, BNPP and RBS in some ten Madoff cases, and handling more than 100 cases variously for BPCE, SFIL, RBS and Dexia Crédit Local regarding structured loans granted to French local entities. The firm also deals with commercial, tax, post-acquisition and professional liability cases. Corporate clients include Air France. Bruno Quentin and the ‘committed and efficientMichel Pitron are key figures.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is ‘highly recommended for product liability matters in France’ and is notably handling high-profile cases in the aviation and healthcare sectors. It is defending TÜV Rheinland against large-scale liability claims arising from the allegedly inappropriate certification of products made by French breast implant manufacturer PIP. The firm is also representing Boeing in its most sensitive matters, including the Flash Airlines and West Caribbean cases. The practice also undertakes commercial litigation and is defending Fondation Saint-Louis against living members of the former French Royal family regarding ownership of certain assets. Other clients include Honeywell, Natixis and Técnicas Reunidas. Practice head Thomas Rouhette is ‘very able in court and provides keen insights into legal strategy’. Cécile Derycke and Christine Gateau are also key figures in the practice. The firm is also acknowledged for ‘the appropriateness of its advice and industry knowledge’ in the banking and financial services sector through Antoine Juaristi.

Marc Henry heads the team at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, which has a high-profile caseload and is highly recommended for banking litigation; the practice also ably undertakes industrial cases in France or in cross-border contexts. It is representing Maersk in a dispute between two joint-venture partners. Other clients include Alcatel-Lucent, the American Bureau of Shipping, Bank of Scotland, BCBG-Max Azria, BNP Paribas and BPCE.

Lantourne & Associés is recommended for ‘difficult cases that require aggressive defence’. It is involved in various sensitive corporate and commercial cases, where it acts for major French and international groups such as Lagardère, JJW Hotels & Resorts, DCNS, ADP and Eurotunnel. The ‘exceptional’ Maurice Lantourne, Kristell Cattani and Flavie Hannoun are highly recommended.

Altana advises major engineering companies, industrial clients and a leading international bank. The practice represents parties in commercial and industrial disputes, as well as some fraud and corruption cases. Julien Balensi, Guillaume Forbin and Christophe Lapp are the key contacts.

Ashurst LLP is highly recommended for complex and challenging cases, notably including product liability and corporate litigation and class actions. It is representing Novacap in proceedings with Rhodia for breach of representation and warranty following the carve-out and acquisition by Novacap of Rhodia’s analgesics business. The firm is also handling some high-profile matters in the football industry. Other clients include Accor, BBA Aviation and Cegelec. Practice head Jean-Pierre Farges is ‘aggressive’, brings ‘exceptional insight’ to cases, and is ‘a pleasure to work with’. Eric Bouffard and Pierre-Emmanuel Fender are also recommended.

August Debouzy is retained by large French and international groups to handle commercial and contractual disputes. The firm is notably defending Orange in a high-end dispute with Numericable. The team is led by strong partners including Carine Dupeyron, Benjamin van Gaver and the ‘responsive and business-orientedMarie Danis, as well as the ‘very smartKami Haeri, who has ‘excellent litigation skills’.

bops is acting for various companies and their insurers in product liability cases and also handles commercial litigation. Christian Bouckaert, Pascal Ormen, Rémi Passemard, Aurélia Cadain, Alexis Valençon and Romain Dupeyré lead the practice. Carole Sportes and Valérie Ravit joined Squire Patton Boggs.

Boken is representing various financial services clients in key strategic cases. Antoine Beauquier, Raphaël Gauvain and Félix de Belloy are highly regarded.

FTPA is ‘very good at dealing with highly complex commercial litigation’, including cross-border disputes. The firm represents many leading French industrial corporations in commercial, contractual and industrial cases where large financial sums are at stake. Some of the partners also act as mediators. Practice head Serge-Antoine Tchekhoff is ‘highly skilled and creative; able to deal with sensitive cases’. Other key figures include Bruno Robin, Laurence Lepinoix, Emmanuel d’Antin and Robert Corcos, as well as Edouard Fabre, who is acknowledged for his technical and analytical abilities, and rigorous and skilled writer Rajeev Sharma Fokeer.

Franklin represents a prominent French client base, as well as some international clients. The practice is involved in sensitive commercial litigation and shareholders’ disputes. Practice head Yann Colin is ‘a great and sharp lawyer with strong pleading skills’.

Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent advises major French and international groups, investment funds and some banks. The practice is highly recommended for handling complex commercial, financial, industrial and corporate matters. It represented Hermès in a highly sensitive dispute with LVMH. Galeries Lafayette, Apax Partners, Bridgepoint and BforBank are other clients. Key figures in the practice include the highly recommended Philippe Ginestié, as well as Xavier Pernot and Catherine Paley-Vincent, who has strong expertise in the healthcare sector.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘proactive and responsive’ practice is well established in the banking and energy sectors, and gives ‘tailored and quality advice’. The firm is increasingly representing large French corporations and also won a major decision before the Court of Justice of the European Union on behalf of the joint administrators of Nortel’s EMEA entities. The practice also regularly assists clients facing proceedings in Francophone Africa. The team is headed by the young and gifted Clément Dupoirier, ‘a brilliant litigator who rapidly understands key priorities and delivers solutions accordingly’. Of counsel Dominique Jardin is also a key member.

Jones Day’s ‘very responsive’ team produces ‘high-quality work’. The practice manages a diverse caseload including commercial, contractual, product liability and industrial cases. It often acts for the very largest industrial groups, such as IBM, GE, Dow Chemical and ERDF. Laurent Martinet and Ozan Akyurek are recommended. The firm is also handling a high volume of cases in the banking sector, where it is defending SFIL, CAFFIL and Dexia Crédit Local against financial product claims brought by public entities. Frédéric Gros is the key contact for this type of case. Counsel Bénédicte Graulle, who shows ‘good business acumen and relentless determination to find a good angle and to win’, handles white-collar crime cases.

The ‘extremely competent and business-orientedLaude Esquier Champey has a ‘highly responsive’ team with ‘excellent knowledge of commercial litigation practises’. The firm handles a broad range of disputes, including commercial, corporate, banking, product liability and criminal cases. It is representing FIFA in a regulatory dispute prohibiting third-party ownership of football players. MGA Entertainment is also a client. The practice is led by Olivier Laude, who has ‘excellent expertise and is responsive, professional and focused’, and Richard Esquier, who is praised for his ‘efficient involvement and strong will to defend his clients’ interests’. Victor Champey is ‘capable of digging into the technical aspects to fully understand the global context’; former sole practitioner Nathalie Karpik recently joined the team.

Paul Hastings LLP manages a strong commercial and corporate caseload, handling work for prominent French clients such as Sanofi-Aventis, Total, Natixis, Peugeot-Citroën and Sodexo. It is representing Rhodia-Solvay in strategic commercial and corporate litigation, and recently obtained a significant judgment from the French Supreme Court for client Newedge regarding the proof admissibility of mobile SMS. Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi heads the practice, in which Nicolas Faguer and Aline Poncelet are also highly involved.

Reinhart Marville Torre is ‘highly committed and available when dealing with crisis situations and complex cases’. The team’s advice is ‘efficient and geared towards defending clients’ interests’. The firm represents some major French groups across a broad range of disputes, including corporate and commercial litigation or arbitration, as well as criminal and banking-related cases. The practice is led by Jean Reinhart, Louis-Marie Absil, Olivier Bluche, Jérôme Marsaudon, Agathe Moreau, Marc Susini and Antoine Dérot, whose ‘support is valuable in addressing complex situations’.

Simmons & Simmons LLP has leading product liability expertise, where it attracts top-end cases. Clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Janssen-Cilag. Other areas of practice include commercial and financial disputes. Jacques-Antoine Robert heads the practice, which also includes Alexandre Regniault and Etienne Kowalski.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s ‘highly responsive and efficient’ practice seeks ‘pragmatic solutions’ and is appreciated for its ‘knowledge of regulatory issues in transnational cases’. It advises French and international groups and investment funds. The practice handles commercial litigation and shareholder disputes. Counsel Grégoire Bertrou ‘focuses on solutions’ and ‘quickly understands matters at stake’.

Viguié Schmidt is recommended for handling complex cases, including securities, shareholders’ conflicts and corporate disputes. Nicolas Viguié and Yves Schmidt are recommended.

Villey Girard Grolleaud A.A.R.P.I. regularly acts in shareholder conflicts, as well as banking and post-acquisition disputes. The firm is representing the Duval family in the Eramet case. Practice head Daniel Villey is ‘highly available and reliable’.

Vivien & Associes advises many large French corporations and some international groups. The firm handles commercial, financial and corporate cases. Emmanuelle Bouretz and Céline Dilman head the practice.

White & Case LLP’s ten-lawyer team is especially strong in the financial services area where the practice is handling some high-profile disputes on behalf of leading financial institutions. The firm is also often involved in multi-jurisdictional disputes. Philippe Métais heads the practice.

Headed by Pascal Wilhelm, Wilhelm & Associés’ team produces ‘efficient and serious work, and takes time to elaborate realist and efficient strategies with its clients’. The firm is recommended for civil and professional liability disputes, as well as contractual and commercial cases. It advises leading groups in the communication and retail sectors and is notably representing Canal+ in a dispute with Parabole Réunion. Betclic, Zadig & Voltaire and Nocibé are also clients.

Dominique Mondolini heads Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s practice, which represents various major French and international groups in corporate and commercial litigation, often with a US angle. It recently handled a family conflict involving the sale of a famous estate.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘efficient, creative’ and ‘highly technical’ team is able to ‘resolve in a limited time sensitive cases, especially in the healthcare sector’. The caseload includes corporate, commercial and healthcare litigation, and is notably assisting the Ukrainian authorities regarding the extradition of a former Kazakh minister. Other clients include KAPA Santé and Point Vision. Practice head Gilles Bigotnever gives up on anything’. Guillaume-Denis Faure and Anne-Carine Ropars-Furet are also key figures.


International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: international arbitration
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Dispute resolution: public international law
  4. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘excellent and dedicated’ 22-lawyer team manages a balanced caseload of commercial and investment arbitration, including key matters in the oil and gas sector. It is representing East Mediterranean Gas and its foreign shareholders in four parallel arbitrations with Egypt and its state-owned entities regarding the sale of Egyptian natural gas to Israeli customers. Mining is another strong area of expertise. More recently, the firm has been retained to handle various post-M&A and joint-venture disputes. The group of ‘exceptional individuals’ is headed by Noah Rubins. Elie Kleiman and Peter Turner are also recommended, as is co-head of the global public international law practice Ben Juratowitch, who combines ‘an excellent legal mind with a very strategic and practical approach’.

Shearman & Sterling LLP ranks among ‘the best of the best’ and does ‘a magnificent job in handling difficult cases’. The Paris office has one of world’s largest dedicated teams and is managing several top commercial and investment arbitration cases. The practice is particularly experienced in cases in the telecoms and energy sectors, such as representing Areva and Siemens in an ICC cases with Teollisuuden Voima Oyj arising from the construction of a nuclear power plant in Finland. Other clients include EDF and the states of Egypt and Lithuania. ‘Genial’ practice head Emmanuel Gaillard is an absolute reference; Yas Banifatemi is in charge of the firm’s public international law practice. Other names to note are Coralie Darrigade, Jennifer Younan, recently promoted partners Maude Lebois and Mohamed Shelbaya, and counsels Kathryn Khamsi and Daniel Reich.

White & Case LLPfully deserves its excellent reputation’, ‘works under strict ethical and professional rules’ and provides ‘outstanding value for money’. The Paris office houses one of the world’s largest dedicated arbitration teams and is second to none in the construction industry. It is representing Grupo Unidos por el Canal in a $2bn dispute relating to the Panama Canal expansion project and is handling highly sensitive matters regarding the construction of nuclear plants. The firm is also acting in some of the world’s largest oil and gas disputes, as well as a high-profile case concerning telecoms in Africa. Michael Polkinghorne heads the practice, which includes the ‘outstanding’ Christopher Seppälä, who is praised for his ‘unrivalled strategic eye and friendly and to-the-point advice’; Christophe von Krause, who ‘has wealth of experience and knowledge about international arbitration in relation to construction and outstanding abilities to manage a team’; Charles Nairac, who shows ‘attention to the slightest detail and provides sound judgement’; John Willems; and Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall, head of the firm’s EMEA dispute resolution practice, who has ‘a talent to quickly adjust to changed circumstances in the courtroom’. Nicolas Bouchardie was promoted to the partnership in January 2015 and, in 2016, Elizabeth Oger-Gross became the Paris office’s first female arbitration partner.

Bredin Prat handles a balanced commercial and investment arbitration caseload. The 17-lawyer team is involved in a number of disputes arising from the Middle East, acting for sovereign states, state-owned entities and private sector clients. The firm regularly acts for the Republic of Egypt, which it is representing in an ICSID arbitration brought by Cementos La Union in relation to the cement industry. The practice is led by Louis Christophe Delanoy, Raëd Fathallah, Tim Portwood and José María Pérez.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provides ‘excellent service and always makes every effort to get the right result’. The Paris team manages a prominent investment caseload while also handling commercial arbitrations; it represents European and Middle Eastern states, as well as some large multinational companies, often in cases relating to oil and gas, energy, mining or financial services. The firm successfully represented the Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration initiated by Poštová Banka, wherein the panel ruled that interests owned in Greek government bonds do not qualify as protected investments under the Slovakia-Greece bilateral investment treaty. Key figures in the practice include: Claudia Annacker, who has ‘second-to-none knowledge of theory of international law and arbitration practice’; Jean-Yves Garaud; senior counsel Robert Greig; counsel and ‘rising star’ Cameron Murphy, who ‘is very knowledgeable and does a great cross-examing job’. Laurie Achtouk-Spivak was promoted to counsel.

Clifford Chance is ‘able to put in place a team of senior lawyers from different offices with specific knowledge of its client’s industry and the dispute, in a very short time’. The ten-lawyer Paris office handles commercial disputes on behalf of leading French and multinational companies, most notably various energy, aviation and corporate cases. Global practice co-head Jason Fry provides ‘perfect management of difficult arbitration proceedings’, Simon Greenberg is ‘very knowledgeable and able to advise on the legal matters and strategy of selection of arbitrators and experts’. Jean-Pierre Grandjean is also a strong adviser.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s 12-lawyer team only represents states in investment cases and shows ‘an unusual ability to assess claims and defence on their true merits, taking proper account of parties’ particular features’. It is representing the Republic of Kazakhstan in several cases, including in an ICSID case with Caratube International Oil and M. Hourani. The firm is also acting for Turkmenistan and the Republic of Cameroon. The commercial arbitration caseload is also growing. The practice is led by Peter Wolrich, co-head of the firm’s arbitration practice, and Geoffroy Lyonnet, who are ‘truly international in background, experienced and brilliant in evidentiary exposition’. Counsel Nadia Darwazeh is also recommended.

Dechert’s ‘excellent’ 16-lawyer practice handles high-profile investment work in Latin America in the oil and gas sector, where it is is acting for the Republic of Ecuador in several billion-dollar cases. The group also manages a high-end commercial arbitration caseload relating to energy, corporate, patent licensing and public procurement. Practice head Eduardo Silva Romero and José-Manuel García Represa make up ‘a formidable duo that gets great results, and are particularly good at handling maters in Spanish-speaking countries’. Philip Dunham is also recommended along with the ‘very smart and experiencedXavier Nyssen, whose ‘excellent human skills allow him to understand not only the legal aspects of a case but also the business and all other important aspects surrounding a dispute’. Pierre Mayer left the firm.

23-lawyer boutique Derains & Gharavi produces ‘very high-quality’ work, representing states, corporations and individual foreign investors. It is handling a prominent investment arbitration caseload, especially in the construction, oil and mining fields. Highlights included representing Caratube International Oil and Devincci Salah Hourani in their $1.1bn claims against the Republic of Kazakhstan. The team also handles commercial arbitration, particularly in the aviation industry. The practice is led by Melanie van Leeuwen, Bertrand Derains, Eloise Obadia and recently promoted partner Nada Sader, as well as the ‘brilliant’ Hamid Gharavi, who is ‘a real tactician with an excellent strategic approach and a great amount of charisma’, and Yves Derains, who ranks among the world’s top arbitrators.

King & Spalding LLP is well known for its investment expertise, particularly in the oil and gas sector, where it often represents companies against state entities. The firm’s recent caseload also includes a number of renewable energy cases. It is acting for 9Ren Holding in an ICSID arbitration against Spain. The highly respected Ken Fleuriet and Eric Schwartz lead the 13-lawyer team, which includes James Castello, Joël Alquezar and recently promoted partner Amy Frey.

Allen & Overy LLP’s 14-lawyer team represents large French and international groups in commercial arbitrations, notably in the aviation, car manufacturing and oil and gas sectors, including a number of Africa-related disputes. The firm is also developing its investment arbitration caseload, especially in the energy sector, and is representing the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in two treaty arbitrations. Airbus and GDF Suez are clients. Michael Young is a co-head of the firm’s global arbitration practice. Marie Stoyanov was promoted to partner in 2015.

Betto Seraglini builds ‘close relationships with its clients’ and shows ‘a perfect mastery of arbitral procedures’. The 11-lawyer boutique is acting for leading companies in the defence and energy sectors in commercial arbitrations and handles highly significant matters in North Africa. The Republic of Gabon and DCNS are clients. The firm is also representing Bernard Tapie and his wife in a highly-publicised case. Jean-Georges Betto has ‘great knowledge of the defence and aviation areas’, Christophe Seraglini produces ‘very fine analysis’; the other partners are Thierry Tomasi, Gaëlle Le Quillec and recent hire Julien Fouret, an investment arbitration expert who joined from Castaldi Mourre & Partners.

Brown Rudnick LLP is ‘punching well above its weight’ and handles a diverse commercial arbitration caseload spanning the infrastructure, telecoms, media and mining sectors. The ten-lawyer team stands out as having a mix of common and civil law expertise. The firm is handling large ICC disputes pertaining to Africa and the Middle East. The global practice is led by London and Paris-based Nicholas Tse, whose ‘dedication to clients’ matters is exemplary’. Sébastien Bonnard heads the Paris team, in which Roger Kennell and counsel Hervé Le Lay are also recommended along with the ‘outstandingJean-François Le Gal, who is ‘making a name for himself on both sides of the Channel’.

DLA Piper is increasingly being retained by leading European corporations such as Vodacom and Alcatel-Lucent. The eight-lawyer Paris team is handling large Africa-related investment cases involving mining and telecoms, including representing the Republic of Guinea in the world’s most high-profile pending mining dispute. The practice is also developing its commercial arbitration caseload. Michael Ostrove heads the arbitration practice for Europe and Africa. Alexander Brabant is ‘open to discussing issues instead of pushing his views’.

Dentons, which provides ‘a first-class level of services’, manages a caseload of high-end investment arbitrations and also handles commercial arbitration. Energy and Africa are key areas of focus. The team is defending Gazprom in a SCC dispute with a Lithuanian ministry that led to an important Court of Justice of the European Union decision. Global practice head Jean-Christophe Honlet is ‘extremely effective and understands the complexities and nuances of a case’. Barton Legum is global head of the firm’s investment treaty arbitration practice. Anna Crevon was named partner.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. handles commercial and investment arbitration cases and is representing French and international corporations in construction, telecoms and corporate disputes, often in relation to Africa and the Middle East, such as acting for Crédit Foncier de France in three ICC arbitrations regarding the financing of a hospital in Saudi Arabia. The team is led by Carole Malinvaud, Christian Camboulive, Pierre Raoul-Duval, Clotilde Lemarié and London-based Rupert Reece.

Eversheds LLP’s 16-lawyer practice ‘can run complex litigation seamlessly’ and has particular expertise in ‘very difficult and high-profile international arbitrations involving states’. It is involved in high-value investment cases on behalf of states or investors and handling oil and gas cases pertaining to the Middle East; the practice is also representing the government of Iran in several disputes. Will Thomas heads the department globally; David Sellers is ‘a real star who gets results for his clients’. Senior associate Greg Falkof is also ‘a very strong member’. Public international law expert Rodman Bundy and counsel Loretta Malintoppi are temporarily operating in Singapore.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘robust and commercial advice’ in commercial and investment cases. The practice has a particular forte in the energy sector, particularly renewable energy, and in oil and gas. Isabelle Michou heads the practice, in which Emmanuelle Cabrol provides ‘excellent services’. The well-regarded Andrew Cannon recently relocated from London to Paris.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP has ‘one of the best international arbitration teams in Europe’ and handles a high amount of work in the energy and natural resources areas. It is representing the government of Mongolia and MonAtom in a UNCITRAL arbitration brought by Khan Resources. The nine-lawyer practice is also acting for the Republic of Venezuela in several cases. Practice head Laurent Gouiffès is ‘very smart and energetic, and gets to the bottom of each issue no matter how challenging it is’. Carmen Nuñez-Lagos is also recommended along with counsel Thomas Kendra, who does not hesitate to ‘suggest alternative ways to settle disputes in the best interest of his clients’.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP handles commercial and investment arbitration cases, principally representing major French and multinational corporations in the energy and construction sectors, often in cases pertaining to Eastern Europe and North Africa. The firm represented Alstom in an UNCITRAL arbitration regarding the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Eastern Europe. Partners are also regularly appointed as arbitrator in cases. José Rosell co-chairs the firm’s practice globally. Marc Henry and Marc-Olivier Langlois are also recommended.

Jones Day is handling commercial arbitrations pertaining to oil and gas and construction law. The practice is often involved in matters involving the Arab world and is also dealing with a large investment dispute in the telecoms sector. The practice is led by Michael Bühler and the ‘highly competentJean-Pierre Harb.

Latham & Watkinsalways takes care of its clients’ cases with diligence and tenacious professionalism’. The ‘efficient and excellent’ 11-lawyer team has established a balanced commercial and investment arbitration practice, which is particularly strong in the oil and gas area. The practice often works for Spanish-speaking clients, as well as French ones, and is acting for various investors in strategic SCC arbitrations brought against the Kingdom of Spain in the photovoltaic solar sector. Global practice co-chair Fernando Mantilla-Serrano and counsel John Adam ‘are remarkable professionals with vast arbitration knowledge’. Fabrice Fages is another name to note.

Orrick Rambaud Martel provides ‘a very high level of service’ and is deemed to be ‘a leader in commercial arbitration in France’, while its investment arbitration caseload is also prominent. The firm is representing the Republic of Guinea in a $5bn ICSID arbitration pertaining to the world’s largest iron ore mine and also represents oil and gas majors. The 12-lawyer practice is headed by Laurent Jaeger and Charles Kaplan, who has ‘extraordinary oratory skills’ and can ‘intimately appreciate what tribunal members value most when making decisions’.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has a high-profile commercial arbitration caseload, including key matters in the oil and gas sector. The firm is representing FBME Bank’s shareholders in a significant ICC arbitration against the Republic of Cyprus. Practice head Philippe Pinsolle is highly regarded and Thomas Voisin is recognised as being one to watch.

Three Crowns LLP is handling large investment and commercial arbitrations, including several strategic disputes in the construction and oil and gas sectors. Other work includes acting for investors in Marfin Popular Bank in a dispute with the Republic of Cyprus. Areva and ExxonMobil are also clients. Georgios Petrochilos and Todd Wetmore rank among the market’s most experienced advisers.


Stock market litigation

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: stock market litigation
  2. Other recommended firms

Bredin Prat has an impressive track record, including acting in the context of investigations before the regulator’s Sanctions Committee and in contested take-over battles. The practice notably represented the Benetton family’s Edizione as a minority shareholder in the Club Med case and successfully defended Euronext in litigation over Radiall’s delisting without a share buy-back offer. The practice is headed by some of the market’s most highly regarded practitioners, including Didier Martin, Eric Dezeuze, Sylvie Morabia, Sébastien Prat and Florian Bouaziz.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier’s expertise is second-to-none. The firm is regularly involved in public tender and AMF sanctions disputes. It successfully defended Lagardère in the EADS case and is representing Gaillon in the Club Med case. Jean-Michel Darrois, Emmanuel Brochier and Marie-Noëlle Dompé are highly reliable.

Orrick Rambaud Martel is regularly involved in the market’s most strategic cases. The firm is expert at handling public M&A disputes and also acts before the AMF Sanction Committee. It recently represented Club Méditerranée in the eponymous case and acted for two Elliott funds in disputes with XPO Logistics regarding its tender offer on Norbert Dentressangle. Jean-Pierre Martel is the key name, supported by Frédéric Lalance.


White-collar crime

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: white-collar crime
  2. Other recommended firms

Bredin Prat’s impressive caseload includes the market’s most sensitive pending financial, corporate and taxation disputes, and it is defending a former member of Altran Technologies’ board in the eponymous case. Eric Dezeuze is regarded as one of France’s finest white-collar crime litigators. Didier Martin, Jean-Daniel Bretzner and Florian Bouaziz are also recommended.

Temime’s Hervé Temime represents high-profile figures and the practice is notably defending Bernard Tapie, as well as acting for UMP’s former president in the Bygmalion case. François de Castro, Julia Minkowski, Julia Stasse and Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt are other key names.

Veil Jourde has one of the market’s most prominent caseloads and successfully represented Société Générale in the Kerviel case. The team includes some of France’s finest litigators: Jean Veil, Emmanuel Rosenfeld, Georges Jourde, Pierre-François Veil and François Esclatine.

Allen & Overy LLP is ‘an excellent choice for an international company which needs a big law firm with resources and English-speaking capabilities’. The team ‘has vast experience and can draw on a huge pool of junior associates’, while ‘advice at partner level is excellent and very sound’. The firm is involved in high-profile financial services, securities and tax cases, including multi-jurisdictional and cross-border investigations. The practice recently achieved various major successes, including winning a landmark decision from the Constitutional Court regarding the non bis in idem principle. Daimler, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS and Volvo are clients. Practice head Denis Chemla shows ‘good overall case management, excellent English and communication skills’, and is ‘well connected in the French legal community’. Aurélien Hamelle demonstrates ‘excellent procedural know-how, analyses situations well and calmly, and has a very good and structured way of writing’.

Dethomas Peltier Juvigny & Associés is a leading name for stock market and financial services cases. The firm, which is involved in top cases for high-profile companies and high-ranking executives, successfully defended the former head of EADS’ Airbus A380 programme in the notorious insider trading case, and is defending Altran Technologies in its eponymous case. The firm is also managing some very sensitive criminal tax disputes. Arthur Dethomas and Frédéric Peltier are highly recommended.

Jeantet AARPI is involved in high-profile political and banking cases. The firm is assisting a leading bank in relation to sensitive fraud issues and acted for a former French minister in a highly publicised case. Yves Repiquet and Martine Samuelian are the key contacts.

Soulez Larivière et Associés has handled some of the market’s most prominent industrial cases and recently obtained a major success in the AZF case. The practice also represents clients in sensitive international corruption cases and has first-hand experience negotiating US Department of Justice agreements. Daniel Soulez-Larivière is highly regarded and Astrid Mignon Colombet is also frequently involved.

Francis Szpiner and Caroline Toby at Szpiner Toby Ayela Semerdjian represent many leading companies and their executives.

Taylor Wessing’s Paul-Albert Iweins is involved in some of the most high-profile cases in the politico-financial arena today and is regularly retained by top litigators to defend them when facing proceedings. The practice has been defending Thierry Herzog, lawyer to former President Sarkozy, in a major case. Press law is an area of expertise.

White & Case LLP is second to none for representing leading financial institutions facing regulatory investigations and litigation in relation to fraud, money-laundering or corruption claims in France and overseas. The firm is also playing a key role in the Air France Flight 447 Rio-Paris crash proceedings and is representing the former CEO of France Télévisions in the Bygmalion case. The highly regarded Michel Beaussier heads the 11-lawyer team, which notably also includes Ludovic Malgrain and Jean-Pierre Picca.


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Legal Developments in France

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  • The new French regulation applying to national insurance contributions for managers and shareholders

    French insurance contributions on executive and shareholder remuneration (pay + dividends) have been substantially increased by the National Insurance Funding for 2013 Act, No. 2012-1404, of 17th December 2012. Until 31st December 2012, all dividends were subject to national insurance contributions on unearned income but henceforth, under Article L136-3 of the National Insurance Code, amended by Act No. 2012-1404, certain dividends   are considered as pay received by executives and shareholders and are therefore subject to the national insurance contributions on pay. The Act also abolished the ceiling on health insurance contributions payable by the self-employed and all this means that businesses must rethink the way that they have been structured until now.
  • CHINA - PERSONAL TAXATION AND SOCIAL SECURITY : CHINESE AND FOREIGN NATIONALS ON AN EQUAL FOOTING

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  • MOROCCO TO BECOME THE LEADING FINANCIAL PLACE IN AFRICA

    The Kingdom of Morocco is supporting the ambition of becoming the leading financial place for Africa. In this context, a wave of draft laws is to be passed and implemented within the following months, amongst which, the Law No. 53.08, setting up a new financial authority, and the Law No. 54.08, reforming public offering rules, are of paramount importance to Moroccan and foreign issuers, and financial institutions.
  • ACQUISITIONS IN CHINA : ASSET OR SHARE DEAL?

    The opportunities offered to foreign investors by the Chinese mergers and acquisitions market are increasing every year: in 2010, transactions involving foreign companies came to 60.1 billion euros, an increase of 21.2% compared with 2009. Seen from the West, where markets are declining, all sectors of the Chinese economy seem to be undergoing promising development and the statistics indicate that the Middle Empire will be a lasting springboard for growth.
  • Prime de Partage des Profits

    Le dispositif L’article 1er de la loi de financement rectificative de la Sécurité sociale pour 2011 oblige les sociétés commerciales de 50 salariés et plus, dont les dividendes par part sociale ou par action sont en augmentation par rapport à la moyenne des deux années précédentes, à verser une prime à l’ensemble de leurs salariés
  • BULGARIA MARKET OVERVIEW

    Types of investors The private equity (PE) funds that are active in Bulgaria are not raised or registered in the country. Some Bulgarian PE funds were raised recently, but there are no statistics as to the sources of their funding, their number, the funds that were accumulated, etc.
  • RECENT DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING COMMITMENTS

    THE PROCEDURE IS CLARIFIED, BUT MAY COMMITMENTS APPLY WITHOUT LIMIT?
  • Landmark decision by French Competition Authority in conditioned LPG case

    cartel case closed after discovery that leniency application was largely based on forgeries and rejection of collective dominant position objection.
  • 2012 supplementary budget

    The second supplementary budget published in the Official Gazette September 19, 2011 provides for two key measures that affect the deferral of tax losses and taxation of capital gains realized on the sale of equity securities .
  • Actualité législative fiscale

    Au delà des mesures applicables à l’ensemble des contribuables (telles que la limitation du report des déficits ou la réforme du mode de calcul des plus values sur cessions de participations),le plan de réduction des déficits annoncé le 24 août dernier par le gouvernement comprend des mesures qui intéressent spécifiquement les acteurs du secteur financier.

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