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France > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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.

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