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August Debouzy’s ‘extremely reliable and trustworthy’ team ‘provides high-level service’ and is recommended for complex and sensitive matters. The practice, which fields over 30 lawyers, is involved in transaction-related work, strategic litigation, site closures and key issues such as Sunday work and the negotiation of working time collective agreements. Orange is a client. Virginie Devos is ‘extremely skilled at nailing some incredibly difficult legal issues’. Other key figures include Emmanuelle Barbara, Fabienne Haas, Marie-Hélène Bensadoun, Eric Manca, Catherine Le Manchec and Anaïs Qureshi.

Bredin Prat has great experience in advising on employment aspects of large M&A transactions, such as assisting GE with the sale of its equipment and receivables finance businesses. Headed by Pascale Lagesse, the 13-lawyer practice is also highly regarded by French and international clients for undertaking major workforce reduction and restructuring projects. Litigation is another area of expertise, in which the practice is handling a key matter regarding employees’ status in relation to new digitally created services. Recently promoted partners Cyril Gaillard and Laetitia Tombarello are recommended along with counsels Nicolas Bouffier, Jérôme Cordier and Alice Mony-Decroix.

CMS provides ‘first-class support’: the firm ‘responds very quickly, gives very understandable advice and its international network is very efficient’. The 60-plus lawyer team is ‘very customer-oriented and able to understand the culture and needs of its clients’. Combining a full set of expertise, it represents many leading French and international corporations and multinationals in everything from day-to-day matters to highly strategic issues such as elections, downsizing, M&A and sensitive litigation. The team advised Coca-Cola Services France on a restructuring project and acted for Auchan France in its strategic partnership with Système U. Nicolas de Sevin and Laurent Marquet de Vasselot particularly stand out within the 15-partner practice. Other names to note include Ghislain Beaure d’Augères, Caroline Froger-Michon, who is ‘able to make French-specific requirements understandable to a German party’, and Vincent Delage, who ‘understands the strategic stakes and is able to coach his clients in complex situations’.

Capstan Avocats, member of Ius Laboris provides ‘an excellent level of service, including very quick responses when matters are urgent, and constructive advice’. The firm is made up of some 200 lawyers who advise France’s largest companies as well as many leading international corporations. It is retained to advise on the most complex employment matters, including restructuring, litigation and high-profile M&A. Key figures among the 40 partners include: Pascal Lagoutte, Guillaume Bordier, Jean-Michel Mir and Bruno Serizay. Also recommended is Arnaud Teissier, who has ‘very high-level expertise’ and is ‘effective in court’. Anne Murgier, Jérôme Margulici and Maxime de Margerie were promoted to the partnership.

Chassany Watrelot & Associés (CWA) has large resources (some 65 lawyers worldwide), several offices in France and is the only French employment boutique with offices in North Africa. The practice advises many leading French and international corporations and leading private equity funds. It handles highly sensitive matters including restructuring, mass redundancies, Sunday work and religious issues at work. The practice recently assisted BHV and Galeries Lafayette with the signing of the first agreements in France regarding Sunday work. The team notably assisted PAI Partners with employment aspects of its business in the context of the intended but ultimately abortive buyout of Mondēlez’s sweets and coffee businesses. Philippe Chassany and Jérôme Watrelot are co-heads of the practice, in which Elisabeth Graujeman, Mohamed Oulkhouir, Julien Boucaud-Maitre and Sébastien Poncet are also recommended.

Flichy Grangé Avocats’ ‘highly efficient and precise’ 60-lawyer practice provides a comprehensive employment law service, including specialisms in areas such as retirement and accidents at work. It handles some of the market’s most sensitive restructuring and collective redundancy projects and disputes, as well as transaction-related issues. The team includes the highly experienced figures of Joël Grangé, Arnaud Chaulet, Marine Conche, Florence Aubonnet and Philippe Montanier. Other names to note are: Olivier Kress, Stéphanie Guedes da Costa, Laurent Gamet, Stéphanie Dumas, Nabila Fauché-El Aougri, Jeannie Crédoz-Rosier, Bruno Fieschi and Aurélie Cormier Le Goff.

Lyon and Paris-based Fromont Briens provides ‘excellent service’. The 170-lawyer employment law specialist is ‘very responsive and has deep knowledge of its clients’ business and understanding of the global context’. Clients range from SMEs to many leading French and international clients. The practice is involved in the most sensitive matters in relation to transactions, litigation, restructuring and downsizing. The firm has a complete range of expertise, including niche expertise in retirement, benefits expatriation and professional training. Key figures include: Philippe Clément, who ‘provides very appropriate advice’, the ‘efficient and practical’ David Calvayrac, Cédric Guillon, Gilles Briens and Grégory Chastagnol. Anne Le Quinquis has ‘strong commercial client focus and technical knowledge’, and Frank Wismer is ‘competent and responsive’. The following are also recommended: Marie-Laurence Boulanger, Jean-Martial Buisson, Catherine Millet-Ursin, Jean-Sébastien Capisano, Benjamin Desaint, Guillaume Desmoulin, Sabrina Dougados and Jean-Jacques Fournier. Leslie Nicolaï, Mathilde Gagey, Alexandre Roumieu and Jean de Calbiac were elected as partners. The firm is now a member of Littler Global.

Proskauer Rose LLP has experience of handling ‘delicate situations where high matters are at stake’, including ‘very sensitive litigation involving important financial amounts’. The ‘responsive and available’ team is often retained by the largest French companies, especially in the automotive and banking sectors, as well as international companies. Recent work includes strategic restructurings, such as a major IT outsourcing project, and transfer of undertaking in a significant M&A deal. Corporate governance, discrimination and harassment, health and safety, data protection, and compensation policy are all areas of strong expertise. Practice head Yasmine Tarasewicz and Béatrice Pola are top-level advisers. The following counsels are emerging talents: Nicolas Léger, the ‘brilliantCédric Jacquelet and Cécile Martin, who ‘understands the corporate world and provides concrete answers to situations’.

Actance represents many blue-chip French companies, such as La Poste, Schneider Electric and SagemCom. The 55-lawyer practice provides full-service expertise and is retained to handle the most sensitive matters: restructuring, site closures, insolvency, litigation and transactions. It represented the management and administrators during the closure of three sites following Fagor’s bankruptcy. Franck Blin, Philippe Chapuis, Pierre-Alexis Dumont, Laurent Jammet, Emeric Sorel and Loïc Touranchet are key figures.

Allen & Overy LLP provides ‘an excellent overall level of service’. The seven-lawyer team brings ‘highly competent and reliable advice when facing highly complex and demanding projects’. It assists many leading French and international groups during M&A transactions and deals with sensitive restructuring and litigation. The team assisted Accenture with collective status harmonisation following the acquisition of a worldwide management consulting services. Claire Toumieux heads the practice. Counsel Olivier Picquerey is ‘highly knowledgeable in French labour law, the requirements of multinational companies and cross-border aspects’.

Bird & Bird is acting for some major French and international groups in challenging restructurings – such as assisting Numericable with its reorganisation – as well as handling transfers of undertakings. Litigious work includes representing Biomnis in a collective action. Benjamine Fiedler and Alexandra Stocki head the team, which includes recently promoted partner Nathalie Devernay.

Clifford Chance provides ‘state-of-the-art legal services’, including ‘good responsiveness, effectiveness and understanding of cases’. The team advises many international companies, especially in the context of restructuring, site closure, mass redundancy and related litigation. It is assisting Allia with the closure of two plants in France. The practice also advises on transactions and assisted Brakes with the acquisition of Davigel. Practice head François Farmine has ‘good understanding of his clients’ situations’.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘strongly practical’ team is ‘highly responsive, solution-oriented’ and able to advise on local and multi-jurisdictional matters alike. The practice advises large international industrial and pharmaceuticals clients, and is at ease in dealing with cross-border projects. It is often retained to handle complex M&A, litigation and restructuring projects. The firm assisted Boehringer Ingelheim with the global swap of its consumer healthcare business with Sanofi’s animal health business. Bristol-Myers Squibb, EDF and UBS are also clients. Gwen Senlanne heads the team, which also includes counsels Christel Cacioppo and Laurence Harvey Wood. Half of the team, including Emmanuel Bénard, joined Orrick Rambaud Martel in 2016.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is ‘always responsive and gives appropriate advice’. The ‘deeply experienced’ team has a client base which includes many leading French corporations in the aviation, industrial and energy sectors. It is involved in highly sensitive matters in relation with litigation, site closure, restructuring and other crisis situations. David Jonindefends his clients’ interests in every circumstance’, and Foulques de Rostolan is ‘always accurate and responsive’. Other leading figures are Baudouin de Moucheron, Aurélien Boulanger, Guillaume Navarro and the ‘very experiencedFrançois Vergne, who is ‘excellent at negotiating’.

Jeantet is ‘recommended for complicated HR issues’. The ‘very responsive’ and ‘business-oriented’ team fields ‘good professionals who have extensive experience before the courts’. The firm assists many leading French and international corporations and has ‘deep knowledge of the automotive business’. It handles major downsizing and restructuring work, strategic litigation – including criminal employment law – and is one of the few firms with leading employment expertise in insolvency situations. Recent work includes representing SNCM (which has 1,400 employees) during its insolvency procedure and acting for Vallourec in a major collective redundancy project. The practice is headed by Jean Néret, whose ‘wide knowledge and large experience are precious’, along with Patrick Thiébart, Déborah David and Olivier Angotti.

The ‘very efficient’, ‘highly responsive’ team at Latham & Watkins produces ‘extremely professional work’. It is recommended for sensitive and restructuring issues, assisting many leading French and international corporations with their most strategic matters, including mass litigation. It recently handled downsizing projects, co-employment claims (by employees against the parent company of the direct employer) and traders’ bonuses issues. Agnès Cloarec-Mérendon is a top-level adviser and Matthias Rubner is also a key figure in the practice.

Orrick Rambaud Martel hired half of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s team in 2016. The firm provides ‘state-of-the-art professional service’. The ‘extremely responsive and flexible’ 13-lawyer team is ‘a great partner for complex cases’ and is ‘very risk-focused without being overprotective’. It has extensive experience in high-profile M&A and high-level litigation, collective bargaining and restructuring expertise. The firm is involved in strategic matters, especially in the financial services sector. It assisted Mondelēz with the sale of local European brands and downsizing in France, and acted for J.P. Morgan on the reorganisation of its French Branch. The practice is jointly headed by Christine Guillot-Bouhours and recent hire Emmanuel Bénard, who is praised for his ‘technical expertise, ability to provide great insights’ and ‘incredible ability to assemble great teams’.

TNDA: Tuffal-Nerson Douarre & Associésalways provides great-quality services’. The practice ‘helps its clients reach a decision’ across employment law and related health and safety or criminal labour law issues. The practice is led by: Véronique Tuffal-Nerson, Rémy Douarre, Sabrina Gabyzon, Nicolas Durand-Gasselin, Guillaume Verdier and of counsel Martine Rivereau-Trzmiel. Philippe Meylan and of counsel Armelle Walters-Renaud add complementary corporate law expertise.

Created in 2015, Vivant Chiss was founded by CVML’s former employment practice. The five-partner firm has vast experience advising many leading French and international companies on their most complex matters, including reorganisations, collective negotiations, redundancies and M&A transactions. It is notably advising Numericable-SFR on a major restructuring project in France and representing Manpower in a collective dispute regarding the financing of the works council. Antoine Vivant ranks among the best in the field. Romain Chiss, Florence Froment-Meurice, Erwan Jaglin and Clémence Souchon are also recommended.

Altana acts for many leading French companies across issues such as restructuring, mass litigation, M&A and insolvency work. The practice is led by the highly experienced Pierre Lubet, Marianne Franjou and Mickaël d’Allende.

The ‘responsive and solution-drivenBCTG Avocatssolves issues thanks to its practical business approach’. The eight-lawyer team advises several companies with leading brands, including multinationals and major French businesses. It handles complex matters, including sensitive mass litigation, major restructuring and site closure. Practice head Sabine de Paillerets-Matignon is ‘always willing to step in and help, and is creative in finding solutions’. Clément Sabatier is another name to note.

brL Avocats has ‘great expertise’. The ‘available, practical and highly responsive’ team advises many leading French and international clients in restructuring, site closure and collective redundancy projects, as well as M&A. The firm represented Kuehne + Nagel with a restructuring project and advised Yoplait on closing a logistics centre in the Paris region. The ‘highly experienced’ Guillaume Brédon ‘efficiently addresses his clients’ needs’. Nicolas Czernichow, whose analytical skills are particularly praised, is another key figure along with Jean d’Aleman and Thomas Godey; the ‘responsive and practical’ Thomas Humbert, Saïd Sadaoui and Véronique Martin-Bozzi are also recommended.

The ‘excellent, very responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Baker & McKenzie SCPcomes up with practical solutions’ and stands out for cross-border matters such as global restructuring projects. The 15-lawyer team also has a strong French practice and routinely takes on strategic restructuring and job reduction work. The practice is headed by Olivier Vasset, Gilles Jolivet and the ‘experienced and practicalDenise Broussal.

Coblence & Associés provides ‘high-quality advice and expertise’. The practice advises major French and international groups, such as France Medias Monde and Alcatel-Lucent. Work covers many issues, including strikes, mass redundancy and M&A. Elisabeth Laherre heads the practice, which also includes Chantal Giraud-van Gaver, Catherine Davico-Hoarau, Charlotte Hammelrath, Martine Riou and Laurent Guardelli.

DLA Piper provides ‘excellent customised support’. The team is ‘really practical and straightforward with a tactical approach to issues and disputes that is very helpful’. It advises many large industrial groups with restructuring, downsizing and sensitive litigation. Associated Press and Atmel are clients. The ‘very professional, responsive and precisePhilippe Danesi heads the practice, in which Bijan Eghbal, Marine Gicquel and Jérôme Halphen are also key members.

Headed by Philippe Rozec, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei’s eight-lawyer team assists many leading French industrial groups, banks and insurance companies with strategic matters, including restructuring and M&A. The firm notably assisted Credit Mutuel’s BFCM with the acquisition of GE’s leasing and factoring activities in France and in Germany.

Dechert LLP provides ‘excellent legal service when dealing with highly complex legal matters’ and is ‘a very reliable firm for defending its clients’ interests in the most efficient way’. The nine-lawyer team shows ‘very strong understanding of its clients’ business and issues’ and ‘can obtain excellent outcomes in court in sensitive cases’. It represents many leading Anglophone industrial groups during restructuring, site closures and employee litigation matters. Practice head Philippe Thomas shows ‘high business acumen and an ability to assess issues in companies’ best interests’. Associate Sabrina Chekroun has ‘excellent legal skills’.

Dentons regularly advises major French and international corporations on redundancy, restructuring and litigation issues, including assisting a company facing insolvency proceedings with its restructuring. BNP Paribas, Constellation and Lundbeck are also clients. Katell Déniel Allioux heads the firm’s European practice. Other key names are Julie Caussade, Frédérique Meslay-Caloni, Aurélie Fournier and senior counsel Jean-Louis Magnier.

Fidal has large resources with some 30 lawyers involved. The practice notably deals with restructuring, litigation and workplace accident issues and excels in compensation and benefits work. The firm recently assisted Mstar with the reorganisation of its French subsidiary. Schneider Electric and Leroy Merlin are also clients. Michel Hallopeau, Didier Millot, Grégory Olczak, Michel Duhaut, Olivier Hainaut, Patricia Blanche-Rotermund, Vincent Caron and Sylvain Niel are key members of the team.

Fieldfisher is handling a number of sensitive restructuring projects and mass litigation. Headed by Laurence Dumure Lambert, the practice recently obtained a major victory for Molex in a high-stakes litigation where its client was not recognised as joint employer. The firm is also assisting Caterpillar with the closure of a plant. Other aspects of the practice include M&A support work and a growing workload for high-ranking executives regarding contract termination.

Franklin’s ‘expert, trustworthy and available’ team advises many leading French corporations as well as some international groups. Headed by Claire Fougea, the four-lawyer team regularly deals with strategic matters, including M&A, mass litigation, restructuring and asbestos-related work.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is advising several leading banks on major restructuring projects, as well as some large French and international corporations. Sophie Brézin heads the practice, which also regularly provides M&A support and assisted Orange with the sale of Fime. Danone is also a client. Emma Röhsler is another name to note.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP advises many leading corporations, especially in the life sciences sector, where the practice recently assisted MSD France with the termination of its vaccine joint venture with Sanofi and the sale of a plant. Barclays and Medtronic are also clients. Thierry Meillat and Muriel Pariente are names to note along with practice head Dominique Mendy. Lorelei Gannat joined LLG Avocats, while Jean-Marc Albiol left the firm to open the Paris practice of leading US employment firm Ogletree Deakins.

KGA Avocats produces ‘very good quality work’ with ‘tailor-made and practical advice’, combining responsiveness with ‘always looks for the best possible solution’. The firm assists many large companies, banks and professional bodies. It recently advised on sensitive matters such as harassment, health in the workplace, collective negotiation and litigation. The practice is led by Stéphane Bloch, Michèle Dauvois, Hervé Duval and Patrick Berjaud, who ‘remarkably defends his clients and pleads with success’.

LPA-CGR’s 12-lawyer team represents major French and international clients. The practice is involved in several challenging restructuring projects, site transfers and mass litigation. It also deals with health and safety, manager termination and expatriation issues. Karine Bézille and Alexandre Bensoussan head the practice. Françoise Pelletier is another name to note.

Lionel Vuidard heads the team at Linklaters, which assists many leading French and international corporations and banks in sensitive and large-scale projects, including mass redundancies, employee transfers, working time issues and M&A. It recently assisted Apollo with the acquisition of Verallia. Nestlé, Accor and Société Générale are also clients.

Racine has more than 30 lawyers advising large French and international corporations. The practice has gained particular expertise in insolvency proceedings and notably assisted Perceva with the takeover of Cauval and its 1,660 employees at eight sites in France. Other recent work includes restructuring projects and high-stakes litigation. Alain Ménard and Frédéric Broud head the practice, in which Carla Di Fazio Perrin and Sarah Usunier are also key members.

Vaughan Avocats assists several large French and international corporations. The 30-lawyer team has great expertise in international mobility, health in the workplace, executive terminations and handling litigation. It is representing a budget airline in dealing with highly sensitive issues. The practice is led by Bruno Courtine, Alexis Moisand, Fabrice Perruchot, Thomas Fernandez-Boni and Sandra Thiry, as well as Paul van Deth, Aude Serres van Gaver, Jean-Charles de Bellefon, Albdekader Hamida and Bastien Ottaviani.

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Legal Developments in France for Employment

  • Legal Newsletter December 2010: EMPLOYMENT LAW

    (1) No pre-dismissal actions are possible during maternity leave (2) Putting a protected employee back into his previous position after an unsuccessful attempt to a promotion requires the employee’s agreement (3) Means of measuring the electoral base of sector-based trade unions validated by the French Constitutional Council
    - Bersay & Associés

Legal Developments in France

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

  • 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.

Press Releases worldwide

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