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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals

August Debouzy gives ‘precise, efficient and actionable answers’. The 30-lawyer team is especially recommended for handling collective bargaining, restructuring and other complex matters, and recently advised large French and multinational companies on site closures, strategic M&A and redundancy projects. It assisted Office Depot with restructuring and site closures. The seven-partner team is made up of Emmanuelle Barbara, who gives ‘high-end advice on challenging matters’; Virginie Devos, who is ‘personally committed to her clients’; Fabienne Haas; Marie-Hélène Bensadoun; Philippe Durand; Eric Manca; and Catherine Le Manchec.

Bredin Prat advises on leading M&A transactions and assisted Norbert Dentressangle with its acquisition by XPO Logistics. The 13-lawyer team has extensive experience in restructuring projects, litigation and complex collective bargaining matters, where it acts for leading French and international groups. Pascale Lagesse is a market-leading figure. Counsels Cyril Gaillard, Nicolas Bouffier, Jérôme Cordier, Alice Mony-Decroix and Laetitia Tombarello are other key names in the practice.

CMS’ 65-lawyer practice is retained by leading French and international companies for complex M&A transactions, restructuring, collective negotiations and litigation. The team is representing La Poste in a case concerning the remuneration policy applied to some 210,000 employees. Auchan and Kering are other clients. Key figures include the highly regarded Jean-Claude Anisten, Nicolas de Sevin and Laurent Marquet de Vasselot, as well as Pierre Bonneau, Raphaël Bordier, Nicolas Callies, Vincent Delage, Alain Herrmann, and recently promoted partners Caroline Froger-Michon and Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe.

Capstan Avocats, member of Ius Laboris assists many leading CAC 40 companies and advises on high-end M&A transactions, site closures, redundancy and restructuring, employee transfers and litigation. The 200-lawyer team is led by Pascal Lagoutte, Guillaume Bordier and Jean-Michel Mir. Bruno Serizay and Anne-Bénédicte Voloir are also key figures.

Flichy Grangé Avocatscloses the bridge between companies’ businesses and the legal framework’, and stands out for its complete range of expertise. The 60-lawyer team assists the largest French and international companies and is called on to manage the most complex transactions and restructuring projects in France; the team also expertly handles litigation and issues such as compensation and benefits. The 20-partner practice includes market-leading figures Hubert Flichy and Joël Grangé, who provides ‘outstanding strategic insights and defends his clients’ interests with the strength of a soldier and the precision of a surgeon’. Other top experts include Arnaud Chaulet; Marine Conche, who is willing to ‘take a position’; Florence Aubonnet, who ‘knows very well the nuts and bolts of French labour law relating to M&A’; Juliana Kovac; Olivier Kress; and Nabila Fauché-El Aougri, who is ‘highly responsive and sharp’. Stéphanie Guedes da Costa, Laurent Gamet, Stéphanie Dumas, Cyprien Pialoux and Jeannie Crédoz-Rosier are also recommended along with compensation and benefits expert Philippe Montanier and social security specialists Bruno Fieschi and Corinne Potier. Aurélie Cormier Le Goff joined the firm from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP produces ‘pragmatic solutions’ and has ‘the capability to mobilise resources when needed’. The 20-lawyer team advises on France’s largest M&A transactions and notably assisted EDF with its planned acquisition of Areva NP. The team also deals with challenging restructuring and litigation cases on behalf of large French and international groups. Emmanuel Bénard heads the practice, in which Gwen Senlanne is recommended for his ‘excellent advice and pertinent approach’.

Fromont Briens produces ‘excellent work’ and ‘tailored and extremely practical answers’. Some 160 lawyers assist SMEs and many large groups. The practice addresses high-profile litigation, M&A, restructuring and working condition issues – such as night-time work – and also has ‘high-level compensation and benefits expertise’. The 42-partner practice includes numerous notable names: Gilles Briens, Philippe Clément, David Calvayrac, Jean-Martial Buisson, Cédric Guillon and Grégory Chastagnol. Marie-Laurence Boulanger has ‘an ability to come up with pragmatic solutions’, Jean-Sébastien Capisano has ‘experience advising CAC 40 companies and handling complex matters’, and Benjamin Desaint has ‘excellent English skills and is very proactive’. Guillaume Desmoulin, Sabrina Dougados, Jean-Jacques Fournier, Anne Le Quinquis, Catherine Millet-Ursin and the ‘competent and responsive’ Frank Wismer are also recommended. Géraldine Boeuf and Cécilia Arandel were promoted to partner.

Proskauer Rose LLP advises on site closures, restructuring projects, crisis situations and high-stakes litigation. The 15-lawyer team assists high-profile names from various industries, including in the banking, fashion, industry and car fields, such as PSA Peugeot Citroën. Practice head Yasmine Tarasewicz ranks among the leading professionals in her field and Béatrice Pola is also highly recommended. The team also includes international counsels Cédric Jacquelet, Nicolas Léger, Cécile Martin and Fabien Ganivet.

Allen & Overy LLP advises large international and French groups, leading financial institutions and investment funds. Headed by Claire Toumieux, the eight-lawyer team advises on multi-jurisdictional acquisitions, sensitive restructuring and redundancy plans. It is also involved in strategic litigation regarding co-employment matters and discrimination issues. Accenture and Airbus are clients.

Bird & Bird’s ‘very experienced and business oriented’ 11-lawyer team assists French and international clients with major restructuring and collective redundancies projects. The practice also deals with M&A-related issues and advised Hanesbrands on the acquisition of DBA. CIF and SFR-Numericable are other clients. The practice is headed by Benjamine Fiedler and Alexandra Stocki.

The 60-lawyer team at Chassany Watrelot & Associés (CWA) advises on top M&A transactions and restructuring projects. It is also advising on highly sensitive Sunday work issues and has leading expertise in social security. The client base is top-notch and includes France 24 and Swissport. Philippe Chassany and Jérôme Watrelot head the practice, in which Elisabeth Graujeman, Juliette Pouyet, Laurence Cohen, Mohamed Oulkhouir and Benoit Dorin have been particularly active in key matters recently.

Clifford Chance is recommended for ‘high-level local and cross-border restructuring and sensitive top management matters’. The ten-lawyer team handles litigation and restructuring work. It recently advised Visteon Electronics and Fujifilm. Practice head François Farmine is ‘a great litigator with vast advisory experience’.

Coblence & Associés assists leading French and international corporations, especially in the technology and automobile fields. The practice is advising on sensitive mass staff reductions and restructuring projects. Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft EMEA are clients. The 13-lawyer team includes practice head Chantal Giraud-van Gaver, Elisabeth Laherre, Catherine Davico-Hoarau, Charlotte Hammelrath, Martine Riou and Laurent Guardelli.

Dupiré & Associés advises leading French companies and produces ‘tailor-made and high-quality work’, often in strategic restructuring projects. The 16-lawyer team is led by Rémi Dupiré, who has ‘a large network and excellent knowledge of the press sector’. Florence Achir has ‘excellent restructuring expertise’ and Brigitte Pelletier is ‘a very good litigator’.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. shows ‘high capacity to put together human resources in a short amount of time’. The 26-lawyer team assists many leading industrial companies with strategic litigation, criminal employment law, restructuring and M&A work. The practice recently advised on a highly sensitive restructuring project. The team is led by Baudouin de Moucheron, Aurélien Boulanger, David Jonin, Foulques de Rostolan, François Vergne and Guillaume Navarro.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’s ‘very responsive’ 20-lawyer team advises a prominent client base, including leading international groups in the fashion, healthcare and banking sectors, among them MSD France and Barclays. Recent work includes handling collective and individual litigation and restructuring projects. Dominique Mendy heads the practice, which notably includes Jean-Marc Albiol, Lorelei Gannat, Thierry Meillat and Muriel Pariente.

Jeantet AARPI provides ‘very competent and to-the-point advice’. The 20-lawyer team is involved in sensitive matters on behalf of French and international groups, including assisting some companies facing liquidation. The experienced Patrick Thiébart and Jean Néret head the team, in which Déborah David and Olivier Angotti are other notable names.

Latham & Watkins works ‘in a real partnership with its clients’ and assists leading French and multinational groups with strategic matters, including M&A transactions, restructuring, mass litigation, trader bonus and harassment issues. Axa and Airbus are clients. The 11-lawyer team practice is led by Agnès Cloarec-Mérendon, who shows ‘great professionalism and strategic vision’. Matthias Rubner is another key figure.

Paul Hastings LLP’s four-lawyer team ‘provides superb service’, handles ‘extraordinarily sensitive and difficult matters, and achieves great results’. The team assisted GE with the sale of its rail signalling division. Air Liquide and Nexter are also clients. Practice head Deborah Sankowicz and Stéphane Henry are recommended.

TNDA: Tuffal-Nerson Douarre & Associés is ‘a full partner’ of ‘remarkably efficiency’. The eight-lawyer team advises many leading French companies on their ‘most complex matters’. Key figures in the team include: Véronique Tuffal Nerson, who ‘can quickly and perfectly analyse a complex situation and find answers’; Rémy Douarre; and of counsel Martine Rivereau-Trzmiel, whose ‘client service and listening skills’ are particularly appreciated. In addition, Sabrina Gabyzon is also recommended along with the ‘rapid, efficient and pragmatic’ Nicolas Durand-Gasselin and Guillaume Verdier, who provides ‘pertinent advice and adapted solutions’. The ‘remarkable’ Philippe Meylan and of counsel Armelle Walters-Renaud utilise complementary corporate law expertise.

Altana’s ‘lawyers are very well connected and know the local market and specification’. The practice assists major French and international clients on redundancy and restructuring projects, as well as issues such as the termination of top executives and contract status requalification. The team is led by Pierre Lubet, the ‘outstanding’ Marianne Franjou and the ‘expert and pedagogue’ Mickaël d’Allende. Caroline André-Hesse is now at AyacheSalama.

The ‘excellent and responsiveBCTG Avocats assists leading French and international clients with key matters including site closures, terminations of top executives, and asbestos or other health and safety matters. Practice head Sabine de Paillerets is ‘hands-on and a pleasure to work with’.

brL Avocats’ ‘highly skilled’ 28-lawyer team ‘deserves its growing reputation’. It is recommended for handling complex issues pertaining to M&A, restructuring and collective redundancy projects. It recently assisted Vedici with the acquisition of Vittalia. Nestlé is another client. The practice is led by Jean d’Aleman, who has ‘a rare knowledge of companies’, along with Guillaume Brédon, Nicolas Czernichow, Thomas Godey and recently promoted partners Thomas Humbert, Saïd Sadaoui and Véronique Martin-Bozzi.

Baker McKenzie SCP delivers ‘an exemplary quality of service’ and is ‘very adept at explaining the complexities of French employment law and procedure’ to large US-originated companies. The 22-lawyer team also assists French companies and regularly advises on cross-border corporate projects. It also advises on restructuring and the termination of high-level executives. The practice is led by Olivier Vasset, who produces ‘high-level analysis’. The ‘pragmaticDenise Broussalunderstands her clients’ business concerns and the politics in the international environment’, and Gilles Jolivet gives ‘reliable advice’.

DLA Piper is ‘good at representing companies before tribunals’. The 20-lawyer team advises leading French and international clients, especially from the transport, hotel and services sectors. The practice is regularly retained to handle challenging work and is assisting Atmel with a co-employment mass litigation. Citibank is another client. Philippe Danesi heads the practice, in which Bijan Eghbal, Marine Gicquel and Jérôme Halphen are key figures.

Dechert has ‘a great understanding of its clients’ environment and issues’. The seven-lawyer team assists large industrial Anglophone companies and has recently been attracting major French clients. The practice ranges from restructuring work to individual litigation, such as sexual harassment, fraud and termination of executives. Practice head Philippe Thomasbrings his experience to resolve matters’. Senior associate Sabrina Chekroun combines ‘efficiency, technical skill and a solution-oriented approach’.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei assists high-profile industrial French clients and some companies in the insurance sector. Philippe Rozec heads the eight-lawyer team, which advises on major M&A transactions and deals with complex collective bargaining matters.

Dentons is ‘quick and willing to fully understand its clients’ environment in order to provide tailored advice’. The 17-lawyer team advises leading companies in the banking, industrial, luxury goods, hotels and healthcare sectors, handling matters such as M&A, traders’ remuneration issues, litigation and contract requalification matters. Heading the firm’s European practice is the ‘available and greatly experienced’ Katell Déniel Allioux, which is jointly led by the ‘responsive, clear and pragmatic’ Frédérique Meslay-Caloni and Julie Caussade. Aurélie Fournier and senior counsel Jean-Louis Magnier are also names to note.

Fidal uses its extensive resources to advise SMEs and large corporations.

Fieldfisher’s ‘extremely good’ practice advises large Anglophone groups on complex matters, such as assisting Caterpillar France with the closure of a plant. ‘Very talented’ practice head Laurence Dumure Lambert has ‘great technical knowledge’.

Claire Fougea heads the five-lawyer team at Franklin, which advises prominent French and international companies on issues such as M&A, managerial departures and restructuring. It is also handling mass litigations pertaining to asbestos and remuneration issues.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPunderstands perfectly its clients’ needs’, The eight-lawyer practice mainly assists international clients and has experience in restructuring and collective litigation issues. Clients include Salesforce and Osram. Sophie Brézin heads the practice, in which Emma Röhsler and of counsel Ntube Sone are also recommended.

Jones Day gives ‘proactive and practical advice on complex projects in a very responsive fashion’. The nine-lawyer team assists many leading French and US companies, including in the fashion, banking and technology sectors. It recently advised on a number of restructuring projects and M&A transactions, as well as managerial departures and litigation. The team is led by Jean-Michel Bobillo and Emmanuelle Rivez-Domont, who ‘understands the needs of multinationals perfectly’.

KGA Avocats shows ‘great commitment’ and ‘understanding of its clients’ issues’. The practice advises leading French and international corporations, banks and professional unions. The team is led by Patrick Berjaud, Stéphane Bloch, Michèle Dauvois and Hervé Duval, who joined the firm from IDAvocats.

La Garanderie & Associés advises leading French and international clients, especially from the luxury goods, audiovisual, insurance and banking sectors. The team is led by Dominique de La Garanderie, Marie-Alice Jourde, Guy Alfosea, Saskia Henninger, Mary-Daphné Fishelson, Bertrand Merville and Frédéric Sicard.

Lefèvre Pelletier & associés advises French and international groups on restructuring projects and working time issues. Françoise Pelletier heads the eight-lawyer team, which has recognised expertise in work-related health issues. Karine Bézille is another name to note.

Racine produces ‘precise and polished work’. The 25-lawyer team advises large French and international groups, as well as SMEs. The firm has particular expertise in assisting companies facing insolvency proceedings and also handles strategic work in connection with retirement, co-employment and restructuring matters. It also advised System U regarding its alliance with Auchan. Key figures in the ten-partner team include Alain Ménard, Carla Di Fazio Perrin, Frédéric Broud, recently promoted partner Sarah Usunier, and Luc Strohl.

The ‘highly responsive’ team at Raphaëlprovides the right advice at the right time’. It is especially recommended for ‘complex projects’ and has ‘strong expertise in dealing with restructuring and mass redundancy issues’; it also handles M&A transactions and sensitive litigation. The firm advises leading clients in the banking, communications, textiles and logistics sectors. The practice is led by Isabelle Ayache-Revah, the ‘efficient’ Marion Ayadi, and the ‘enthusiastic’ Philippe Rogez.

Reinhart Marville Torre assists leading French and international groups such as Axel Springer, BPCE and L’Oréal. The nine-lawyer team has experience in restructuring projects, M&A and challenging litigation. It also advises high-level directors and has recognised expertise in health, safety and industrial risks. The practice is led by Catherine Broussot-Morin, Agathe Moreau and Olivier Bluche, who is ‘a very good litigator who does not leave anything to luck’.

UGGC Avocats advises leading French groups as well as prestigious hotel chains. It notably assisted Groupe du Louvre with the employment issues arising from the sale of Louvre Hôtels. Vinci and DS Smith Packaging are other clients. The practice is led by Roseline Sauser, Sophie Uettwiller and Jennifer Carrel.

Vaughan Avocatscombines efficiency and a great ability to take into account companies’ circumstances’. The firm assists SMEs, as well as some large groups and executives. It recently advised on various site closures in France and wider Europe, and also advises judicial administrators in the context of insolvency proceedings. The team is led by Bruno Courtine, Alexis Moisand and Fabrice Perruchot in Paris, as well as Thomas Fernandez-Boni and Sandra Thiry in Toulouse. Paul van Deth, who produces ‘rigorous analysis’ became a partner, as did Bastien Ottaviani and Aude Serres van Gaver.

Winston & Strawn LLP has ‘deep knowledge of the French market and a good network’. The six-lawyer team assists major French and international clients with M&A, restructuring and litigation. The practice is led by the ‘responsive and accurateSébastien Ducamp. Barbara Hart is also recommended.

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Legal Developments in France for Employment

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Legal Developments in France

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