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Editorial

Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: commercial litigation
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Bredin Prat represents prominent clients in commercial and corporate disputes. The firm was recently involved in two very sensitive class actions. Sylvie Morabia, Jean-Daniel Bretzner, Sébastien Prat and Florian Bouaziz are high-level litigators.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is particularly recommended for handling ‘the most critical litigation cases’; it provides ‘high-quality service’, where ‘work is straight-to-the-point and always delivered on time’. The practice represents many leading banks and corporations in corporate and commercial disputes, with clients including Airbus, ArcelorMittal and BNP Paribas. Jean-Yves Garaud is highly recommended and counsel Delphine Michot ‘remains calm in very stressful situations, has high-level expertise in commercial law, and is amazing at pleading’.

Clifford Chance is retained by large French and international corporations, investment funds and banks. The firm handles sensitive commercial, corporate and banking cases. It is also deals with product liability cases in the healthcare sector. Recent highlights include defending JPMorgan Chase in a dispute with ADP regarding the acquisition of a stake in Turkish airport operator TAV, and successfully representing SFR before the Court of Appeal in unfair competition litigation with Free Mobile. Carrefour, Airbus and Novartis are also clients. Jean-Pierre Grandjean, Thomas Baudesson, Diego de Lammerville and Thibaud d’Alès are recommended.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier is second-to-none for representing leading French and international corporations and financial institutions in the market’s most strategic or high-profile shareholder conflicts, corporate and commercial disputes. The team is made up of some of France’s finest lawyers, including Jean-Michel Darrois, whose ‘knowledge and wisdom are precious’, plus Emmanuel Brochier, Cyril Bonan, Christophe Ingrain and Matthieu Brochier.

Orrick Rambaud Martelknows how to solve complex and sensitive situations’. The ‘highly efficient and available’ team is involved in strategic shareholder conflicts and insolvency cases. It represents leading banks, corporations and investment funds. The firm successfully defended CDR in a complex dispute with the former managing director and shareholder of Banque Saga in connection with the sale of Banque Saga to Altus Finance; it is representing seven banks as senior lenders to Ludendo in a dispute with one creditor regarding a court-approved accelerated financial safeguard plan. CDR, Fondations Capital, Geodis and Marionnaud Parfumeries are also clients. Practice head Frédéric Lalance shows ‘excellent judgement’. Jean-Pierre Martel ranks among the market’s most notable figures. Jean-Michel Leprêtre and Marine Lallemand are also recommended.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is handling some of the market’s most strategic corporate and commercial disputes. It is co-counsel to Eurosic in a dispute seeking control of Foncière de Paris and is assisting Vivendi with enforcing its rights under a guarantee in connection with the acquisition of Radionomy. Bolloré, Casino and Alstom are clients. Didier Malka, Claude Serra and counsel Bernard Casanova are the key contacts.

Allen & Overy LLP has ‘the resources to staff large matters’, while its ‘global presence makes it understand multinational companies’. The practice is particularly strong in the financial services area, where it is handling top civil, commercial, regulatory and criminal cases on behalf of French and international institutions. It also handles commercial and industrial cases. Practice head Denis Chemla is able to ‘handle large and complex matters without being scared to debate difficult and untested issues, and is not afraid to move out of his comfort zone to explore out-of-the-box solutions’. Erwan Poisson and David Por are other names to note.

Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle manages a high-profile caseload. The firm is often retained in highly sensitive shareholders’ conflicts and is also a great choice for banking litigation, with commercial litigation being another area of expertise. The practice acts for listed companies, SMEs, banks and investment funds. Key contacts include: head of economic law and finance Edouard de Lamaze, Antoine Fourment, Jean-Hugues Carbonnier, Fiorella Vecchioli de Fournas, Dorothée de Bernis and Hedwige Caldairou. François Falletti, formerly Paris Attorney General, joined in 2015.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is instructed by leading French and international corporations, institutions and investors across a diverse caseload, including commercial, M&A and securities disputes. It successfully represented the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in a lawsuit brought by several descendants of Peggy Guggenheim and is acting for CDC in a dispute with Groupement Privé de Gestion and its shareholder. Areva, Rothschild and Carrefour are also clients. Georges Terrier and Christophe Perchet are top notch.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei handles a diverse caseload spanning corporate, insolvency, commercial and banking litigation. The firm represents leading banks and investors, as well as large corporations. It is representing Shaftesbury/UBS in the Docks Lyonnais case and is also involved in a very high-profile merger dispute. Société Générale, Renault and Valeo are clients. Key figures include Philippe Dubois, Matthieu Barthélemy, Barbara Levy, Paul Talbourdet, Dominique Lefort and Joanna Gumpelson.

Dethomas Peltier Juvigny & Associés handles high-stakes cases and is especially strong in financial services. Clients include many leading French and international corporations and investment funds, among them ICG, BNP Paribas and Wendel. It is handling several LBO-related cases and is also representing Barclays Bank in a liability suit initiated by 187 plaintiffs, as well as assisting Deloitte in a dispute with Europacorp. Arthur Dethomas and Frédéric Peltier are among France’s finest litigators.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is renowned for its strong banking sector expertise and is now increasingly involved in commercial, private enforcement and corporate disputes alongside leading corporations. The team is handling sensitive domestic and global cases, especially in the energy, automotive and telecoms sectors. JP Morgan, Natixis and Stallergènes are clients. Practice head Stéphane Bénouville and Dimitri Lecat are strongly recommended.

The ‘quick and reliableGide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. provides ‘excellent and thorough legal advice on a wide scope of commercial litigation’; the practice ‘understands technical issues and has good strategic decision-making and business acumen’. It has particular strength in the banking sector, where it is assisting banks in sensitive matters. It is representing BPCE, SFIL, RBS et Dexia Crédit Local in more than 100 cases linked to structured loans offered to French public sector entities. The practice is led by the highly experienced Bruno Quentin, who provides ‘clear views and recommendations’, as well as Michel Pitron, Patrick Ouart, and recently promoted partner Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry, who is ‘hardworking, agile and has excellent technical skills combined with a good understanding of practical business constraints’.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP has leading product liability expertise, where it is handling several prominent cases in the aviation and life sciences industries. These include representing TÜV Rheinland and AXA in a consumer fraud action over PIP faulty breast implants and acting for Boeing in the Flash Airlines and West Caribbean Airways crash cases. Honeywell and Bristol-Myers Squibb are also clients. Thomas Rouhette is ‘a very skilled advocate who knows the aviation sector very well and provides excellent insights’. Also recommended are Cécile Derycke and Christine Gateau. Antoine Juaristi joined Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is ‘a safe bet for any type of dispute’. The firm is involved in various high-stakes litigations and has great expertise in the manufacturing sector, where it represents many leading companies in landmark cases. The practice is also very adept at handling mass litigation, especially in the banking area. It is representing BNP Paribas in a case pertaining to allegedly abusive clauses in the bank’s fund deposit contracts, as well as acting for the American Bureau of Shipping in a dispute with the French state over immunity and liability questions following the oil spill created by the sinking of the Prestige in 2002. Practice head Marc Henry is a top litigator.

Lantourne & Associés is involved in sensitive corporate and commercial cases. The eight-lawyer team advises major French and international groups. Maurice Lantourne, Kristell Cattani and Flavie Hannoun are highly recommended.

Linklaters provides ‘high quality and tailor-made work’ that includes ‘a great ability to quickly understand the complex technical aspects of a case’. The firm is highly solicited by banks to handle sensitive reputational disputes. It also represents many leading French and international corporations facing commercial and corporate litigation in France, Africa and elsewhere overseas. Practice head Arnaud de La Cotardière has ‘extensive experience, shows great listening skills and creativity and a 360-degree vision’. Kiril Bougartchev and counsel Emmanuel Moyne founded Bougartchev Moyne Associés.

Veil Jourde provides ‘sharp advice and top-quality assistance’. The firm provides ‘high added value in cases and strong results’; it is often retained to handle strategic commercial, banking and corporate cases. Clients include Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring, BPCE and Crédit Foncier. The practice is led by a very strong team: Pierre-François Veil, who ‘listens to his clients and their needs and puts cases into the right perspective’, Jean Veil, Eric Deubel, Georges Jourde and Emmanuel Rosenfeld. Yankel Bensoussan and Marie Errera are recently promoted partners.

Altana represents several major industrial and engineering companies. The firm deals with commercial, industrial and banking fraud disputes. Julien Balensi, Guillaume Forbin and Christophe Lapp are recommended.

Ashurst LLP has ‘valuable litigation skills and provides strategic insight in difficult contexts’. The ‘very proactive’ eight-lawyer team handles commercial, insolvency and industrial cases. BBA Aviation, Bonna Sabla and Consolis are clients. Practice head Jean-Pierre Farges and Pierre-Emmanuel Fender are ‘excellent litigators’; Eric Bouffard is also recommended.

August Debouzy’s ‘very responsible and remarkably business-minded’ team also has ‘excellent English communication skills’. The firm represents many leading French corporations and international clients in commercial litigation, such as defending Orange in a dispute with Numéricable. Airbus and Cegid are also clients. The team is led by young, talented partners Kami Haeri, Marie Danis and Benjamin van Gaver. Carine Dupeyron joined Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier.

Boken is involved in several sensitive cases and handles a diverse caseload including commercial, financial, corporate and product liability disputes. The ‘dynamic and responsive’ Antoine Beauquier, Raphaël Gauvain and Félix de Belloy ‘show high technical skills’.

FTPA represents top French industrial groups in commercial litigation in France and internationally. The firm is also involved in a major shareholder conflict case. Areva and SNCF are clients. Key contacts are practice head Serge-Antoine Tchekhoff, Edouard Fabre, Robert Corcos and Bruno Robin.

Franklin has ‘a creative, courageous, brilliant and committed team’ which ‘always produces perfect and efficient work’. It is representing some large corporations and is dealing with high-stakes matters in the telecoms sector, including a class action. Practice head Yann Colin is ‘a sharp mind’ who ‘perfectly masters his field’, ‘stands his ground’ and ‘never gives up’. Associate Baptiste Robelin is ‘brilliant, hardworking and totally dedicated’.

Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent advises major French and international groups and investment funds. The practice is highly recommended for handling complex commercial, financial, industrial and corporate cases. Galeries Lafayette, Hermès and Generis Capital Partners are clients. Key figures include the highly recommended Philippe Ginestié, as well as Xavier Pernot and healthcare sector expert Catherine Paley-Vincent.

The ‘high-quality’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLPfully lives up to high expectations’. The ‘responsive and supportive’ practice provides ‘excellent and cost-conscious services’, ‘knows how best to move forward in the procedure before courts’, and ‘takes proactive steps to best manage the litigation file’. Energy and financial services are sector strengths and the team has extensive experience of cases in Francophone Africa. The practice was recently retained by Maurel & Prom and MPI in a case brought by minority shareholders in relation to a merger project. Practice head Clément Dupoirier is ‘extremely responsive, very focused on client service, has good experience of the French and West African legal systems’, and follows ‘an approach that is both scientific and practical’. ‘Calm, experienced and strategic’ of counsel Dominique Jardin is another name to note. Early 2017, a team of six lawyers led by Antoine Juaristi joined from Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, adding depth in banking and finance litigation.

The ‘excellentLaude Esquier Champey displays ‘a high degree of competence, skills and innovative solutions’, and is especially recommended for ‘litigation matters requiring punchy defence’. The 20-lawyer boutique handles a broad range of disputes, spanning commercial, corporate, financial, product liability and criminal matters. Recent work includes acting for MGA Entertainment in a sensitive lawsuit following its unsuccessful takeover of Smoby. FIFA, Altran and Quinta Communications are also clients. The team is led by ‘high-quality and knowledgeable lawyer’ Richard Esquier and Olivier Laude, who has ‘a sound sense of customer service and responsiveness’, including ‘top-notch technical skills and ability to focus on the core issues of any matters’. Nathalie Karpik and Victor Champey are also names to note.

Paul Hastings LLP handles commercial and corporate litigations on behalf of major French clients, such as Sodexo and Monoprix/Casino. The team has been representing Rhodia-Solvay in several strategic matters. Nicolas Faguer and Aline Poncelet are key figures along with practice head Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi.

SLVF AARPI has ‘a young but experienced, agile, quick and efficient team’, which ‘can coordinate parallel proceedings and makes remarkable strategic choices’. The corporate caseload included successfully acting for BJ Invest in a dispute with Hi-Media’s management and its subsidiary Hi-Pay; it is representing AXA as insurer of Enedis in a class action brought against both parties by solar energy investors. Sony Music Entertainment France and La Banque Postale are also clients. The practice is led by Martin Donato and Olivier Loizon, who ‘can manage complex cases’ and has ‘superior drafting skills’. Alexandre de Fontmichel left the firm.

The ‘excellentSoffer Avocats is ‘very responsive and has a can-do attitude’. The six-lawyer team is adept at handling complex and challenging cross-border cases, including matters such as corporate, commercial, stock market, succession or patent issues. Ron Soffer is ‘a brilliant tactician’, ‘totally dedicated to his clients and providing the very best client service possible’, while his ‘ability to manage cross-border litigation is unparalleled’.

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

Villey Girard Grolleaud A.A.R.P.I. regularly handles shareholders’ conflicts, banking and post-acquisition disputes. Clients include a number of family-owned businesses and wealthy families. Practice head Daniel Villey is recommended.

Headed by Philippe Métais, White & Case LLP’s nine-lawyer team is particularly strong in the banking sector, where it is involved in a number of liability cases. These include representing BNP Paribas Personal Finance in handling some 1,500 civil claims in the Helvet Immo case. The practice also handles commercial litigation.

Winston & Strawn LLP is involved in several shareholders’ conflicts, especially in the healthcare sector, acting for companies or former executives and shareholders. Mutuelle Nationale des Hospitaliers and Point Vision are clients. Practice head Gilles Bigot is held in high esteem. Guillaume-Denis Faure and Anne-Carine Ropars-Furet are also well regarded.


International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: international arbitration
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Dechert LLP is made up of ‘highly dedicated members who are very experienced in the oil sector and have skills in different areas such as hydrocarbons, telecoms, environmental issues and damage assessment’. The ‘very strong’ 20-lawyer practice is highly involved in representing state entities. It is acting for Ecuador in several matters and assisting the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID mining dispute with Glencore International and Prodeco. The firm also handles major commercial disputes, especially in the telecoms and defence sectors and is dealing with several large exequatur cases. Orange is a client. ‘Extremely strong’ practice head Eduardo Silva Romero provides ‘legal arguments which are always well reasoned and clearly organised’. José-Manuel García Represa is ‘awesome at analysing and presenting quantum issues’; Xavier Nyssen and Philip Dunham are also recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s work is ‘in line with the most demanding quality criteria and consistently top tier’. The 24-lawyer Paris practice is always involved in the market’s largest investment and commercial cases. It is particularly strong in the European and African energy and oil and gas sectors, where it recently earned several victories. It obtained a $324m damages award for its client, East Mediterranean Gas, in an ICC gas dispute with Egypt. Noah Rubins heads the Paris practice, in which Elie Kleiman and Peter Turner are ‘top-quality lawyers with sharp minds’. The firm also has a public international law practice that is ‘outstanding in legal precision and sophistication’. Global practice head Ben Juratowitch is ‘a leading lawyer whose key strengths include innovative thinking, conceptual clarity and accessibility, and persuasiveness of his writing’.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is ‘by far the best in the market and stands head and shoulders above its competitors’, according to one client. The firm has an impressive record in investment and commercial arbitrations. The Paris office has extraordinary depth with 53 dedicated lawyers and is currently involved in the largest pending arbitrations in the world. The practice represents sovereign clients and investors, with a high proportion of work in the oil and gas sectors. It represented GML before the Hague Court of Appeal in the Yukos arbitration award enforcement phase and is handling one of the largest construction arbitrations pending in North Africa. The practice also recently won a high-profile ICC dispute raising complex state aids issues for client EDF International in a case with a German federal state. Areva, Egyptian Natural Gas and the Arab Republic of Egypt are clients. Practice head Emmanuel Gaillard is an exceptional figure in the market. Yas Banifatemi heads the international public law practice. Also recommended are: Mohamed Shelbaya, who has ‘great tactical sense and is solution-oriented’, as well as Coralie Darrigade, Jennifer Younan, Maude Lebois and counsel Daniel Reich.

White & Case LLP’s ‘lawyers have far-reaching legal knowledge and extensive experience’. The team ‘always has a level of resources available to meet the requirements necessary to cope with high-value dispute resolution proceedings’. The practice is involved in several of the world’s largest ICC cases and has particular strength in the energy and construction sectors. The firm’s investment caseload is also growing. It is notably representing Engie in an ICSID dispute with Hungary under the Energy Charter Treaty. Elizabeth Oger-Gross is ‘very thorough and efficient in examining witnesses’, Christophe von Krause is ‘convincing, has excellent analytical abilities and a flexible and enthusiastic spirit’, and Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall is ‘extremely skilful at extracting the essential points in real time in the courtroom’. Michael Polkinghorne heads the practice, in which the other partners to note are Christopher Seppälä, Charles Nairac, John Willems, Nicolas Bouchardie and recently promoted partner Kirsten Odynski.

Bredin Prat handles a large commercial and investment caseload, often involving heavy financial claims. The 18-lawyer team is representing several Middle Eastern state entities, as well as many French and international companies and investors. In two ongoing ICSID arbitrations, it is acting for the Kingdom of Jordan against Orange regarding the renewal of a telecoms licence and is counsel to the Lebanese Republic in a case opposite a German investor. Egypt and Croatia are also sovereign clients. Louis-Christophe Delanoy, Raëd Fathallah, Tim Portwood and José María Pérez are the key figures.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provides ‘an excellent overall level of service’ that features ‘quick responses, effective and detailed work, in-depth knowledge and appropriateness of advice’. In collaboration with the firm’s other offices, the team manages a prominent investment caseload, often acting for state entities. Representing the Russian Federation, it recently obtained the annulment of three arbitral awards in the high-profile Yukos case by the District Court of The Hague. The firm is also assisting the Republic of Austria in its first ICSID arbitration. The firm also acts for many leading corporations in large commercial arbitration cases. The Arab Republic of Egypt, ArcelorMittal, EDF and the French Republic are clients. Claudia Annacker is ‘an impressive and dominant figure before the tribunal’. Other key contributors are Jean-Yves Garaud, senior counsel Robert Greig and counsels Cameron Murphy and Laurie Achtouk-Spivak.

The ‘excellentCurtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP ranks ‘among the top firms in international arbitration, particularly for acting for states in investment arbitrations’. The team, which is famous for only advising states in investment arbitration cases, handles very large cases, especially in the oil and gas sectors. It is representing the Republic of Kazakhstan in several disputes, including a $1bn case with Caratube. The practice also handles commercial disputes and recently obtained a major victory in a post-M&A case. Turkmenistan, the Republic of Cameroon and Arkema are also clients. Global practice co-head Peter Wolrich is ‘exceptionally good, both for the quality of his briefs and memorandums, and for the clarity of his oral presentations’. Geoffroy Lyonnet is also ‘very good, in particular in cross-examining witnesses’ and shows ‘perfect mastery of his files’. Nadia Darwazeh, Sabrina Aïnouz and Jérôme Lehucher were promoted to the partnership.

Dentons’ ‘experience and client focus exceed expectations’, with the ‘excellent’ team showing ‘deep knowledge, great performance before the ICC in Paris, and a multilingual capability that are of first order’. The practice is handling energy, tax, construction in commercial and investment cases relating to Europe, Asia and Africa. The team notably won a complete victory for Gazprom in dismissing Lithuania’s $1.9bn claims and is representing the Micula brothers in an ICSID arbitration filed against Romania regarding the sale of alcoholic spirits. Jean-Christophe Honlet heads the global arbitration practice, while Barton Legum is global head of the investment treaty arbitration group. Anna Crevon is another name to note.

The ‘excellentDerains & Gharavi is ‘very competent, efficient, respected and very well acknowledged in the industry’. The practice often deals with high-profile disputes, including billion-dollar investment cases. It handles disputes in the construction, oil and mining sectors and also manages commercial arbitration cases. The practice is representing Caratube International Oil and Devincci Salah Hourani in an ICSID dispute with the Republic of Kazakhstan for expropriation of an oil concession. It is also acting for the state of Qatar in a €200m ICC case regarding the construction of the first integrated solid waste management facility in the Middle East. The practice is led by Yves Derains and Hamid Gharavi, who is ‘an absolutely top-class lawyer’. Melanie van Leeuwen is ‘an excellent strategist who has a profound knowledge of investment law and impresses by the outstanding quality of her written and oral pleadings’. Bertrand Derains, Eloise Obadia and Nada Sader are also recommended.

King & Spalding LLP provides ‘extremely high-level advice’ and ‘shows unflinching commitment to cases, constant availability and ability to effectively broker solutions’. Often acting in combination with the firm’s other international offices, the 13-lawyer team handles investment arbitrations. It is especially strong in the energy sector and is involved in several billion-dollar oil and gas matters. The firm is also handling a growing European renewable energy caseload, including several ICSID disputes with Spain. The team is led by Eric Schwartz, James Castello, Joël Alquezar and Ken Fleuriet, who ‘keeps cool in every situation, and has great long-term experience with many international cases’. Young partner Amy Frey is ‘brilliant in assessing and structuring complicated matters in a way understandable for everybody’.

One of the sharpest firms’ in the market, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP recently reinforced its bench by hiring two former practice heads at their respective firms: Michael Young (ex-Allen & Overy LLP) and Isabelle Michou (ex-Herbert Smith Freehills LLP), who is ‘a skilful lawyer, attentive to her clients’ needs and a sharp-eyed analyst’. The firm has ‘extensive knowledge of energy, oil and gas and commodities trading sectors’, where it handles the largest ICC cases, often in connection with Africa. It recently acted for Edison in obtaining one of the largest sums ever awarded in a gas price review arbitration in an ICC dispute with Eni. ‘Outstanding’ practice head Philippe Pinsolle ‘understands his clients’ business and leaves no stone unturned’. Thomas Voisin is also recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP shows ‘excellent business acumen and industry knowledge’. Often acting alongside colleagues in other offices, the practice is handling major disputes in the gas sector and both conventional and renewable energy for high-profile operators. It is representing the Sultanate of Oman in an ICSID arbitration brought by Samsung Engineering, as well as acting for three European infrastructure funds in ICSID arbitrations with Spain concerning renewable energy. Marie Stoyanov is recommended. Michael Young joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Top firmBetto Seraglini provides ‘valuable advice’; the team is also praised for its ‘curiosity and interest in the technical aspects of its clients’ business’. The practice has particular expertise in the defence, aviation, energy and infrastructure sectors, with a preponderance of commercial cases concerning Africa. It is representing Africarail in a dispute with the republics of Niger and Benin regarding a major railway construction. Safran, Accor Afrique, Khan Resources and Eni are also clients. The practice is led by Jean-Georges Betto, Christophe Seraglini, Thierry Tomasi, Gaëlle Le Quillec and Julien Fouret.

Brown Rudnick LLPtakes a strong hands-on approach to cases with a high level of senior input’. The team stands out for its mixed common law and civil law expertise, which is a major asset for cases in Africa and the Middle East and particularly in ICC matters. Its highly diverse caseload includes mandates pertaining to oil and gas, mining, product liability, telecoms and M&A. It is acting in two high-profile cases dealing with mining and broadcasting issues. Boston Scientific is a client. Paris-based global practice head Nicholas Tse ‘does an impressive job of managing a path through complex cases’, and the Paris practice is led by the ‘pragmatic and insightfulSébastien Bonnard, who is ‘a skilled cross-examiner’. Other key names include Jean-François Le Gal, ‘a bright and upcoming partner with potential to be an impressive rain-maker’, Roger Kennell and counsel Hervé Le Lay.

Clifford Chance has a busy commercial arbitration practice covering energy, aviation and corporate law. The team is also involved in multibillion-dollar case in the mining sector. Leading French and international corporations are clients. Jason Fry co-heads the firm’s international practice. Simon Greenberg and Jean-Pierre Grandjean are other names to note.

DLA Piper is handling several billion-dollar cases in Africa in the infrastructure, mining and telecoms sectors. It is notably representing the Republic of Guinea in ICSID arbitration brought by BSG claiming expropriation of the world’s largest mining concession. The firm is also increasingly involved in award enforcement cases before the French courts. Alcatel-Lucent, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Technip are also clients. Michael Ostrove heads the practice globally. Alexander Brabant is another key contact.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is praised for its ‘quality of work and capability to build solid relationships with its clients’. Based in London and Paris, the 24-lawyer team has ‘well-known experience in ICC construction arbitration’ and provides ‘very appropriate views on necessary actions and opportunities for dispute settlement’. The practice is involved in a high-profile case in Algeria and is representing Crédit Foncier de France in an ICC dispute regarding the financing of a hospital in Saudi Arabia. Carole Malinvaud particularly stands out and also acts as an arbitrator. Christian Camboulive is ‘highly experienced and greatly competent’. Pierre Raoul-Duval and London-based Rupert Reeceare both hard workers with very good knowledge of the construction energy field and ability to create a positive environment’. Also involved are Clotilde Lemarié and recently promoted partner Alexandra Munoz, who is ‘passionate and competent’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP represents blue-chip clients in investment and commercial arbitration disputes. The practice is often involved in Africa-related matters and is also increasingly involved in Eastern European cases. Energy, mining and infrastructure are strong fields of expertise. The practice recently acted for ACP Axos in the first ICSID proceedings brought against the Republic of Kosovo following the cancellation of the privatisation of the postal and telecoms sector. UK-qualified lawyer Andrew Cannon and Emmanuelle Cabrol are recommended. Isabelle Michou joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is ‘strong on the legal analysis but also very good at understanding the practical and commercial challenges’ of a case, particularly in commercial and investment disputes. It is handling a number of strategic cases relating to energy, oil and gas. The practice represented the government of Mongolia and MonAtom in UNCITRAL arbitration brought by Khan Resources regarding uranium mining licences. It is also acting for Venezuela in arbitration under UNCITRAL rules. Practice head Laurent Gouiffès ‘conveys the key issues clearly and convincingly’. Carmen Nuñez-Lagos ‘manages to reconcile common law and civil law concepts in a multilingual environment’. Counsel Thomas Kendraconducts very effective cross-examinations of both fact and expert witnesses’.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP shows ‘outstanding responsiveness and reliability together with a business-oriented approach to questions’. Acting in collaboration with Washington-based partners, the team is representing Ukrainian investors in five BIT disputes with the Russian Federation following the annexation of Crimea. The firm is another name to note in commercial arbitrations. The ‘outstandingMarc-Olivier Langlois ranks among the ‘few civil and common law lawyers able to cross-examine witnesses and experts’. Marc Henrycombines an outstanding practical approach with impressive legal analysis abilities’; he is an expert in arbitrator impartiality and is increasingly retained as an arbitrator.

Jones Day handles many commercial arbitration cases, often in relation to the Middle East and Africa, often relating to oil and gas, as well as construction law and some investment cases. It is representing Capital Financial Holdings Luxembourg in an ICSID dispute with the Republic of Cameroon. Michael Bühler and Jean-Pierre Harb lead the practice.

Latham & Watkins is handling a growing commercial arbitration caseload, often dealing with construction, energy, oil and gas; the team also routinely acts in cases involving Spanish-speaking participants. It is notably representing investors in SCC disputes with Spain following tariff changes in the Spanish photovoltaic sector. The highly regarded Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is co-head of the practice globally. Fabrice Fages and counsel John Adam are other names to note.

The ‘very responsiveOrrick Rambaud Martel is ‘really experienced in gas pricing dispute resolution’, with a large caseload of investment and commercial matters, with many cases relating to energy and mining matters in Europe or Africa. The firm is co-counsel to the Republic of Guinea in a $5bn ICSID arbitration launched by BSGR following the state’s withdrawal of a mining licence for the world’s largest deposit of iron ore. The practice is jointly headed by Laurent Jaeger whose ‘submissions are always very clear, structured and can be read like a story’, and Charles Kaplan, who ‘understands the underlining issues behind a price review dispute and knows the methods to solve it’.

Three Crowns LLP is handling large investment and commercial arbitration disputes. The team is managing several strategic disputes in construction law and oil and gas. 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 extensive experience handling stock market litigation and was recently involved in several of the market’s recent leading cases. The practice also represents its clients before the AMF’s Enforcement Committee. Eric Dezeuze, Sylvie Morabia, Sébastien Prat and Florian Bouaziz are some of the market’s top advisers.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier’s expertise is second to none. The firm is regularly involved in the market’s high-end public tender and AMF sanctions disputes. Jean-Michel Darrois and Emmanuel Brochier are top notch.


White-collar crime

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: white-collar crime
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Bredin Prat is involved in the market’s most strategic and sensitive cases in the financial services, stock market, commercial and tax spaces. The firm represents several banking institutions, leading companies and their executives. Eric Dezeuze ranks among France’s most brilliant criminal lawyers.

Temime’s Hervé Temime represents high-profile names in high-end cases. Julia Minkowski and Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt are other names to note.

Veil Jourde has one of the market’s most renowned teams and caseloads. The firm is involved in many of the market’s current top mandates, including the AZF case (concerning a chemicals factory explosion in Toulouse in 2001) as well as the Cahuzac, Bettencourt, Oil for Food, Wildenstein, and Karachi cases. Jean Veil, Emmanuel Rosenfeld, Georges Jourde, Pierre-François Veil and François Esclatine are remarkable practitioners.

Allen & Overy LLP has ‘the resources to staff large matters’, with its global presence being helpful in cross-border matters. The practice is particularly strong in the financial services sector and is currently involved in two ground-breaking criminal tax cases. Leading financial institutions and corporations are clients. Practice head Denis Chemla is able to ‘handle large and complex matters without being scared to debate difficult and untested issues, and is not afraid to move out of his comfort zone to explore out-of-the-box solutions’. Counsel Dan Benguigui is another name to note. Aurélien Hamelle recently joined Total.

Courrégé-Foreman combines ‘excellent response times and very high level appropriateness of advice’. The practice is involved in several high-profile matters. It is notably defending Total in the AZF case and is also handling key matters in the criminal tax area. The firm is also recognised for its aviation practice, where it deals with commercial, industrial and criminal disputes. The five-lawyer team is led by Simon Foreman and the ‘responsive, trustworthy and extremely smart’ Mauricia Courrégé.

Delecroix Gublin Associés has ‘a global perspective on matters and risks at stake’ in a case, providing ‘tailor-made advice’. The boutique is handling many top cases and is the go-to-firm for sensitive defence industry cases. The practice is led by Fabienne Delecroix and Alexis Gublin, who is ‘a great pleading lawyer, always right and efficient’, with ‘a perfect mastery of complex international matters’; he is ‘always very discreet’ and his ‘remarkable strategic vision is a valuable asset’.

Dethomas Peltier Juvigny & Associés is a top firm for high-profile financial services and stock market criminal matters. The seven-lawyer team is involved in many top cases pending in the area. It successfully defended Wendel at first instance in a case concerning insider dealing, market manipulation and fraud, and is currently involved in the UBS tax evasion and Altran cases. BNP Paribas, Deloitte and Chanel are also clients. Arthur Dethomas and Frédéric Peltier are reliable and well regarded.

The ‘excellent’ team at Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP has ‘great experience’ and is representing many leading French and international corporations and individuals facing high-stakes proceedings concerning corruption, tax fraud and industrial accidents charges. It is defending Gecina’s former CEO and SNCF Réseau, Airbus and Renault Trucks are also clients. Practice head Antonin Lévy is ‘a first-class lawyer who is very calm and practical’.

Jeantet has a prominent role in several high-profile political and financial services cases, including representing top banking institutions in very sensitive litigation. Yves Repiquet and Martine Samuelian are recommended.

Soulez Larivière et Associés has strong know-how of international anti-corruption compliance and investigation issues. The firm is notably defending Total in a case linked to the signing of oil and gas contracts with Iranian companies in the 1990s and 2000s, which raises the non bis in idem principle. The practice also deals with a wide range of criminal cases including top industrial matters. It is notably acting in the AZF case. Daniel Soulez-Larivière is a leading figure in the market. Astrid Mignon Colombet and recently promoted partners Aurélia Grignon and Capucine Lanta de Bérard are other names to note.

Taylor Wessing’s Paul-Albert Iweins is involved in some of the market’s most sensitive cases in the politico-financial arena. Iweins is defending former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer regarding investigations for potential breach of professional secrecy and active bribery, as well as acting for Bernard Tapie’s lawyer in criminal investigations into an arbitration case. Press law is another specialism.

The ‘very professional and efficientWhite & Case LLP has particular experience of representing banks before French courts or in the context of international and multi-jurisdictional investigations. The practice’s varied caseload includes defending a European aircraft manufacturer in the Rio-Paris crash proceedings. Michel Beaussier heads the practice. Ludovic Malgrain is ‘an astute lawyer with a practical approach to resolving complex white-collar crime issues effectively’. Jean-Pierre Picca is another name to note.


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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

    The People's Republic of China has initiated an overhaul of its social security system, reformed the personal taxation regime and has extended the scope of these laws to foreigners residing in China.
  • 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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