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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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France > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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August Debouzy’s highly experienced 26-lawyer team provides ‘great expertise’ as well as ‘practical advice’ to many leading French and international groups on their most challenging and large-scale projects such as plant closures, governmental investigations, mass redundancies and litigation and M&A transactions. Accenture, Alstom Power Systems, AstraZeneca, Delphi, Lapeyre and SNCF are clients. Emmanuelle Barbara particularly stands out, while Fabienne Haas, Marie-Hélène Bensadoun, Virginie Devos, Eric Manca, Catherine Le Manchec and Anaïs Qureshi are all highly recommended.

Bredin Prat’s ‘very highly rated’ 17-lawyer team advises leading French and international corporations on the full spectrum of employment matters, stands out for its ‘deep knowledge and ability on large and complex M&A deals’ and ‘provides responsive and pertinent advice in high stress situations’. The firm recently assisted Zodiac Aerospace with its proposed acquisition by Safran and worked on major restructuring and collective redundancy projects. Finally, the practice also deals with highly sensitive collective and individual litigation: it is representing Uber in a high-stakeselisa case questioning the employment status of some drivers. Air Liquide, Bureau Veritas and Coty are clients. Pascale Lagesse heads the practice and Cyril Gaillard is a key name for sensitive litigation, while for M&A matters, Laetitia Tombarello is praised for her ‘particular ability to grasp the business imperatives and holistic picture’.

CMS’ 68 lawyers advise large French and international corporations on highly sensitive matters including large restructuring projects, top M&A transactions, and challenging collective litigation. It recently assisted Auchan with its reorganisation into one unique brand, represented Footlocker France in a litigation brought before the French Constitutional Supreme Court which led to a landmark decision, and advised France’s public-sector employment agency on a major restructuring and collective litigation. Key clients include BOA, Havas and British Airways. Laurent Marquet de Vasselot and Nicolas de Sevin rank among the top experts in France. Ghislain Beaure d’augères, Pierre Bonneau and Caroline Froger-Michon are other key members of the 14-partner practice. Damien Decolasse was promoted to the partnership.

The ‘efficient and responsiveCapstan Avocats, member of Ius Laboris brings ‘very valuable support’ thanks to ‘practical and tailored advice’ and a ‘very strong expertise when dealing with complex matters’. The 200-lawyers boutique - including 52 partners - has offices in Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Montpellier, and a solid international network. The firm advises many leading CAC 40 and international companies on their most strategic issues including large-scale restructuring projects; the firm has also extensive experience handling mass litigation. More recently, it was also in high demand for advice regarding working hours, digital transition projects and new collaborative work models. Pascal Lagoutte, the ‘creative’ Bruno Serizay, who ‘has in-depth expertise and an agile mind’, Jean-Michel Mir and Guillaume Bordier are the key names. Alexandra Lance, Anne Murgier, Anne-Laure Périès, Delphine Stella-Bernad and Marie-Pierre Olive are among the most promising names within the firm's next generation.

Chassany Watrelot & Associés (CWA) fields 41 lawyers spread across three offices in France, but also has additional offices in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The firm is regularly retained by many of France's leading companies and large international groups seeking advice on high-profile restructuring, mass redundancy projects and related litigation. The firm also advises in the context of top M&A transactions and has strong compensation and benefits and social security expertise; it was recently involved in very significant social security contributions reassessments. Highlights included advising Avenir Telecom on its reorganisation plan and Maersk group on various reorganisation projects. Air France, Imperial Tobacco-Seita, Elior and Zimmer Biomet are clients. Philippe Chassany and Jérôme Watrelot co-head the practice. Elisabeth Graujeman, Julien Boucaud-Maitre, Sébastien Poncet and Juliette Pouyet are also key members.

Flichy Grangé Avocats is to be ‘recommended without moderation’. The large 70-strong boutique has an ‘excellent level of expertise’ that is particularly sought after for ‘highly technical issues in employment and social security law’. Its lawyers, who are ‘available, very responsive and have great listening skills’, assist leading French and international corporations, as well as leading international and French corporate law firms, in the context of high-profile M&A transactions and large-scale restructuring projects and regularly manage mass litigation. The practice is representing SNCF before the Court of Appeal in a lawsuit led by some 1,150 Moroccan employees demanding compensation for their differentiated status, and recently obtained a favourable outcome for Charbonnage de France before the industrial tribunal following 755 claims made by former employees regarding safety at work. The team is made up of some 22 partners including top experts Joël Grangé, Arnaud Chaulet, Marine Conche, Florence Aubonnet and Philippe Montanier. Juliana Kovac, Olivier Kress, Nabila Fauché-El Aougri, Stéphanie Dumas, Joumana Frangie-Moukanas, Jeannie Crédoz-Rosier and the ‘excellent, very accurate and very business-oriented’ Aurélie Cormier Le Goff were also recently involved in key matters. Florence Bacquet, Caroline Scherrmann and Camille Ventejou were promoted to the partnership in 2017 and are all particularly recommended for their advice to international companies.

Lyon and Paris-based and Littler Global's France exclusive member, Fromont Briensis a triple-A law firm with a great reputation and a huge number of experts’. The 180-lawyer boutique ‘has a very strong practice in any employment law issues’ and is ‘very much a partner to companies not just an adviser’. The firm represents many leading French and international companies, advising on the market's largest M&A deals and reorganisation projects including mass redundancy schemes, but is equally renowned for its leading social protection, remuneration and professional training expertise. The team shows ‘a real in-depth expertise in compensation and benefits’, ‘is able to take clear positions even on complex questions’ and brings ‘practical answers and does not try to play it safe’. Key names among the 42 partners include: Gilles Briens, David Calvayrac, Grégory Chastagnol who is ‘very sharp and brings a business approach with charm and leadership’, Philippe Clément, Cédric Guillon, who is an ‘excellent negotiator, very well connected, who gets the job done’, Jean-Martial Buisson who ‘knows how to explain the pros and cons of optional solutions’, Jean-Sébastien Capisano, the ‘outstandingGuillaume Desmoulin who is ‘a great leader in international projects’ and ‘gives efficient and strategic advice’, Benjamin Desaint who is ‘a very successful expert, great networker, fast thinker who knows how to handle international projects and cross-border cooperation’, and Sophie Pelicier-Leovenbruck who is ‘highly skilled, a team player, goes to the bottom of things and is a good writer’. Also recently involved in matters were Cécilia Arandel, Julie Béot-Rabiot, Laurence Chrebor, David Blanc, Jean-Jacques Fournier whose ‘good overall understanding of the situation and perfect mastery of employment law aspects’ are particularly valued, Leslie Nicolaï and Zora Villalard. Of special mention is Jean de Calbiac who stands out for his ‘unique expertise combining corporate and employment law’ and ‘blends technical knowledge, business acumen and the client's context to provide bespoke answers’. Nelly Jean-Marie and Mathieu Hugueville made partner.

The ‘highly responsiveProskauer Rose LLPunderstands multinationals, is extremely creative’ and provides ‘concrete solutions’. The largest US and European-based corporations, including retail, banking and automobile industry leaders, continually turn to the firm for their most sensitive matters: the 15-lawyer practice recently advised on strategic restructuring, collective disputes, employees transfers and high-profile governance and work council reorganisation issues. The team also has extensive experience in discrimination cases and has strong data privacy and employment expertise. It is also assisting several companies with digital transition projects, notably in the automobile area. Practice head Yasmine Tarasewicz ranks among the leading names in her field and Béatrice Pola is also top notch. The practice also relies on recently promoted partners Cédric Jacquelet and the ‘responsive and efficientNicolas Léger, as well as international counsel Cécile Martin, who provides ‘reliable judgement and finds solutions’ and has particular data privacy niche expertise.

Actance’s 55-lawyer team advises many listed companies including CAC 40 and SBF 120 companies, as well as high-profile international groups such as Crédit Agricole, Schneider Electric, Public, Kering, Dassault Systèmes, La Poste, BPCE, Henkel and Colgate. The practice advises on restructuring projects and collective agreements and recently assisted Natixis with the negotiation of a group's level one of a kind agreement on mobility, and Suez with a voluntary mass redundancy scheme. The team is made up of nine partners: Franck Blin, Philippe Chapuis, Eliane Chateauvieux, Pierre-Alexis Dumont, Laurent Jammet, Emeric Sorel , Loïc Touranchet, Lucie Vincens and Jean-Michel Renucci. Chloé Bouchez made partner.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei’s nine-lawyer team advises some of France’s most emblematic corporations, especially in the engineering, energy and transport sectors, on very challenging and strategic projects, including recent assistance with major restructuring matters. The practice also advises in the context of key M&A transactions. Philippe Rozec is highly recommended and counsel Elise Bénéat is another name to note.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘excellent and responsive’ nine-lawyer team provides ‘strong, pragmatic and solution-oriented advice’ and has particular expertise in high-profile cross-border projects and restructuring work including litigation. Large international groups such as LafargeHolcim, Siemens and Bristol Mayers Squibb are clients. Practice head Gwen Senlanne ‘adds value, has clear understanding of the differences between UK and French law, and is practical in achieving commercial goals’. Counsel Christel Cacioppo is ‘technically very strong’.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s ‘always responsive’ 23-lawyer team gives ‘excellent practical advice’ to many French leading companies and some large international groups from various industries, such as the luxury goods, leisure and hospitality, aviation and energy sectors. Recently, the practice has been dealing with highly sensitive restructuring and litigation issues including illicit subcontracting of workers, co-employment, unfair competition, site closure, employees transfers and strikes, but also advised on some large M&A transactions. Air France, EDF, LVMH and Engie are clients. Baudouin de Moucheron jointly heads the practice with Foulques de Rostolan, who ‘has longstanding experience and shows personal involvement’. Also highly recommended are Aurélien Boulanger, David Jonin, who designs ‘efficient litigation strategies’, Guillaume Navarro and François Vergne.

Jeantet shows ‘impressive knowledge of employers' obligations and duties’ and ‘perfect technique’. The ‘very responsive’ 20-lawyer team provides ‘very good legal strategy recommendation’ and advises prominent French and international clients on high-stakes matters, notably major work reduction plans, sensitive litigation, negotiation of Sunday and evening work, work accidents and social contribution issues. The firm has particular expertise assisting companies facing insolvency proceedings and assisted Tati with its restructuring. Valeo, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Foot Locker and Vallourec are clients. The team is led by Jean Néret, Patrick Thiébart, Déborah David and Olivier Angotti, whose ‘high professionalism and listening abilities’ are particularly praised.

Latham & Watkins, which shows ‘great ability to quickly analyse issues at stake’, is entrusted by many leading French corporations, as well as some large international groups and new major client wins to handle high-stakes matters. The ‘available and responsive’ eight-lawyer team was recently involved in two landmark M&A transactions and has great experience in handling mass litigation. Notably, the practice is defending a bank in a very sensitive case initiated by traders regarding bonuses and is dealing with complex and high-stakes co-employment, international contract status and social security contribution matters. Compliance is another area of expertise. Matthias Rubner, who is in sole charge following Agnès Cloarec-Mérendon retirement, has ‘deep and perfect knowledge of the German language and legislation’. Counsel Emily Grimshaw is also involved.

Orrick Rambaud Martel is recommended for managing ‘collective or individual employment issues with high social and financial impacts at stake’. The ‘highly responsive, efficient and adaptable’ 13-lawyer team advises leading French and international corporations and recently handled major restructuring projects, mass litigations, sensitive dismissals of top executives, high-profile M&A and bonus and employment contract requalification issues. Highlights included assisting ThyssenKrupp with the reorganisation of its elevator division in France, and representing Orange in a co-employment litigation case involving around 150 former Teleperformance’s employees. Mondelēz, Crédit Agricole, HSBC and Euro Disney are other clients. Practice head Emmanuel Bénard is ‘creative, serious and highly competent’ and the ‘expert’ Hélène Daher made partner. Christine Guillot-Bouhours is now at Degroux Brugère.

Vivant Chiss is entrusted by some of France's most prestigious companies such as L'Oreal and Guerlain and deals with highly complex collective issues including large reorganisation projects and job reductions, negotiations of collective agreements and public M&A transactions. The firm notably assisted Vivendi with its amicable take over bid on Havas. Manpower is another key client. Antoine Vivant ranks among the top names in the market and Romain Chiss, Florence Froment-Meurice, Erwan Jaglin as well as Clémence Souchon are also involved.

Allen & Overy LLP’s eight-lawyer team advises large French, European and international clients on M&A transactions and the firm has a high-level stand alone practice, handling complex negotiations of collective agreements, exit of high-level executives and management’s remuneration packages, as well as social security contribution, restructuring projects and litigation matters. The firm notably assisted Endemol Shine with its acquisition of Shine France. Primark is also a client. Practice head Claire Toumieux enjoys strong recognition and counsel Olivier Picquerey is also involved.

The ‘responsive and easy goingAltana advises many leading French and international clients including banking, pharmaceutical, luxury good, retail and industrial and engineering corporations. The eight-lawyer team shows ‘excellent expertise and analytical skills’, handles both advisory and litigation matters and recently advised on top executive and traders issues, restructuring, collective dismissals, employee transfers and contract requalification matters. The client roster includes Crédit Suisse, Pfizer, Airbus, Hédiard and Limagrain. The team is jointly led by Marianne Franjou, as well as Pierre Lubet and Mickaël d’Allende who both show ‘great responsiveness, business acumen and flexibility with a high level of technique’.

The ‘extremely responsiveAyacheSalama provides ‘high technique and business-oriented advice’. Headed by Caroline André-Hesse, the four-lawyer team assists several leading French corporations such as Lagardère Active with M&A and private equity transactions, complex restructurings, collective litigation and executives' contract terminations. The practice notably advised Advent and Oberthur Technologies on the acquisition of Safran Identity & Security.

BCTG Avocats has a ‘great team who is very hands-on and always looks for the best solution’. The six-lawyer practice regularly represents high-profile French, US and Asian corporations in sensitive mass litigation proceedings and advises on co-employment and restructuring issues. Other areas of expertise include outsourcing projects, Sunday work negotiations, asbestos exposure and managers’ departures. Practice head Sabine de Paillerets is ‘very much involved and wants the best for her clients’.

brL Avocats provides ‘high quality work’ and its lawyers are ‘highly responsive, always practical and come up with creative solutions’. The firm advises some of France’s most prominent companies from various industries, including retail and luxury goods, while some leading international corporations also seek out the 37-lawyer boutique for advice on strategic restructuring work and sensitive issues such as Sunday work, litigation and collective negotiations. Expertise also exists in the context of M&A transactions, where the group notably assisted Elsan with the acquisition of MediPole Partenaires. Social security, health and safety and training capabilities are also available. The client roster includes AGCS, Philips Lighting, Vinci and Conforama. Jean d'Aleman, Guillaume Brédon whose ‘highly pertinent and practical approach’ is greatly appreciated, the ‘serious and available’ Nicolas Czernichow and Thomas Godey are the key names. Thomas Humbert, Saïd Sadaoui and Véronique Martin-Bozzi are other names to note.

Baker McKenzie stands out for its worldwide expertise that allows the firm to manage global M&A and restructuring projects undertaken by multinationals. The 17-lawyer Paris team is often handling French aspects of global projects and recently dealt with site closures, expatriation and mass redundancies. Many large French and US industrial groups are clients. The team is led by Olivier Vasset, Denise Broussal and Gilles Jolivet.

Bird & Bird has an ‘exceptional’ team that ‘delivers expert and perfectly tailored business advice’ with a ‘fast turn around’. The 15-lawyer practice particularly assists leading international and French IT, telecoms and pharmaceutical corporations with restructuring and collective employment law issues and recently advised Albany International on collective redundancy issues. SFR-Numericable, Danaher, HanesBrands and Aptalis Pharmaceutical are key clients. The team is co-headed by Alexandra Stocki and Benjamine Fiedler, who provides ‘exceptional negotiating skills for high-stakes and critical business initiatives and brings incalculable value to clients’ organisations’. Other key names include Nathalie Devernay and counsel Chris Ivey, who ‘is truly irreplaceable, detailed and highly precise, yet highly commercially attuned and practical’.

The ‘extremely well-connectedClifford Chancegoes the extra mile’ and is a ‘great adviser to succeed in conducting complex reorganisation projects’. The ‘always highly responsive’ eight-lawyer team provides ‘very practical and positively creative advice in complex situations’ and assists numerous industrial clients, including several automobile equipment companies, with large and sensitive restructuring projects, including mass redundancies and litigation. The team is notably representing Schaeffler as shareholder of Continental in a groundbreaking case seeking its client’s civil liability for the closure of Clairoix’s plant and also assisted Fujifilm Holdings France, Fujifilm Medical Systems France and Fujifilm Graphic Systems France with the merger of the three companies. ‘Very committed’ practice head François Farmine is ‘a fantastic professional who provides creative solutions’, ‘makes his clients’ business his own affair’ and ‘is also a nice person with whom it’s nice to work with even for long hours in a stressful context’.

The ‘very responsive’, ‘reliable and trustworthyCoblence & Associés provides ‘tailored, concrete and concise’ advice to a loyal client base made up of many audiovisual, media and IT blue-chip French and international clients. The team handles key advisory and litigation work and recently dealt with strategic restructuring and M&A projects. Radio France, PSA, Allianz and Daimler are clients. Headed by the ‘highly availableElisabeth Laherre who has ‘exceptional expertise’, the 14-lawyer team stands out for its high partner involvement: Chantal Giraud-van Gaver who is the market’s reference for assistance to executives, Catherine Davico-Hoarau, Charlotte Hammelrath, Laurent Guardelli and Martine Riou are the names to note.

Cohen & Gresser LLP provides an ‘excellent level of service’ that demonstrates ‘a great understanding of what is at stake for the client’, shows ‘great business focus’ and delivers ‘advice that is perfectly adequate and efficient’. The three-lawyer practice advises high-profile French, US and German clients on highly strategic reorganisation and mass redundancy projects, litigation and M&A deals and also has strong expertise in advising companies and top management on mobility, remuneration and termination issues. Bayer SAS and HealthCare and Euro Cargo Rail are key clients, as well as some prestigious brands in the luxury goods sector. Practice head Angéline Duffour impresses with ‘great technical knowledge’ and ‘astute advice’. ‘Smart and always available’ counsel Anna Milleret-Godet is also one to watch.

DLA Piper provides ‘excellent service’ and is entrusted by many large Anglophone and UK corporations. The 21-lawyer team deals with sensitive matters including restructurings, plant closures, mass redundancy issues as well as related litigation and also advises in the context of M&A transactions. Adobe, Associated Press, Atmel and easyJet are clients. Practice head Philippe Danesi is ‘very available and delivers clear and concise advice to an international audience’. Bijan Eghbal, Marine Gicquel and Jérôme Halphen are the other key members.

Dechert LLPis capable of producing advice for an international group in a speedy and comprehensive way’. The eight-lawyer team advises many leading US and international corporations on strategic work including restructuring and post-merger projects, collective litigation, workforce transfers and also has particular harassment and discrimination expertise. Accenture, Kerry, Texas Instrument and Wright Medical are clients. The ‘very business drivenPhilippe Thomas heads the practice and ‘very thorough’ associate Sabrina Chekroun ‘crafts strategies adapted to clients' needs’ and is recommended for ‘her strategic vision and high creativity when dealing with complex matters’.

Dentons’ 12-lawyer team shows ‘great expertise and professionalism’ in advising key clients in the banking and financial services, luxury goods, hotel and leisure and healthcare sectors. The practice is involved in some key restructuring, mass redundancy and contract requalification matters. The client roster includes BNP Paribas, Constellation, Plaza Athénée and Warner Chilcott. Katell Déniel Allioux, Frédérique Meslay-Caloni and Julie Caussade head the practice. Aurélie Fournier and senior counsel Jean-Louis Magnier are also involved.

Dupiré Avocats provides ‘high added value advice’ to leading French corporations, especially in the press and luxury goods sectors, ‘fully collaborates with its clients' strategy and is ready to take on measured risks to fulfil it’. The firm was recently involved in strategic restructuring projects and Sunday work negotiations. It assisted Altran with the closing of a subsidiary and the establishment of its European work council. Mondadori France Magazines, Unibail-Rodamco and Libération are clients. Rémi Dupiré, who is ‘one of the few experts in French employment press law’, ‘combines remarkable knowledge with a strong practical sense and deep understanding of the business issues at stake’. Marie-Adelaide Favot is an ‘excellent pleading advocate’.

Fidal has one of the market’s largest teams with some 300 lawyers involved and stands out for its geographical coverage thanks to 90 regional offices. The group’s comprehensive expertise includes labour law, health and safety, retirement and benefits, remuneration and employee savings as well as criminal labour law know-how and support. It advises large French and international corporations as well as SMEs and recently assisted with working time negotiations, religious belief issues, site closures and restructuring projects. Coopérative Lur Berri, Thiriet, Baudelet and Kubota are clients. Stéphane Béal heads the practice. Patricia Blanche-Rotermund, Grégory Olczak-Godefert, Michel Duhaut, Didier Millot, Anna Ferreira and Jean-Marc Chonnier were recently particularly visible.

Fieldfisher’s four-lawyer team advises several major international companies as well as some French companies on sensitive restructuring projects, plant closures, as well as remuneration issues and departure of executives. It is advising Caterpillar on the closure of a plant and representing the same client in an equal-pay dispute involving about 700 employees, as well as Molex in a large-scale litigation. Laurence Dumure Lambert ‘is expert in her appreciation of French employment law and in providing strategic advice’.

Franklin’s well-experienced four-lawyer team is regularly instructed by leading French corporations as well as some large industrial US companies seeking advice on sensitive matters including site closures, restructurings, downsizing and M&A projects. In recent highlights, the practice handled a highly strategic profit-sharing plan dispute. Claire Fougea heads the practice, which also includes of counsel Marion Briere Segala.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘very good’ seven-lawyer team frequently advises a prominent client base of French and international clients on challenging restructuring and litigation matters, but also assists in the context of M&A transactions and has particular expertise in managing multijurisdictional issues. Highlights included assisting UBS France with the acquisition of Banque Leonardo SA, EDF’s UK subsidiaries in relation to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction project, and Stagecoach with the closure of its business in France. Computer Sciences Corporation and Danone are other notable clients. The highly dynamic Sophie Brézin heads the team and Emma Röhsler ‘is very professional, clever, to the point and nice to work with’.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP advises many highly-profile Anglophone clients, as well as some major French corporations, including leading names in the life sciences, luxury goods and financial services sectors. The 14-lawyer team is adept at advising on restructuring, site closure, contract status and mass litigation issues and recently assisted key client MSD with the sale of one of Schering-Plough's industrial sites in France as well as Bpifrance with the setting up of a new employees' collective status scheme. Dominique Mendy heads the practice, which also includes Thierry Meillat and Muriel Pariente.

KGA Avocats' ‘practical’ team ‘puts itself into its clients' shoes and is prompt in giving straight advice’. The practice advises major corporations on strategic issues and also represents executives and several international embassies. It notably deals with high-stakes individual litigation and clients appreciate the team's ‘ability to solve issues through negotiation’. Stéphane Bloch, the ‘highly available, efficient and accessible’ Patrick Berjaud and Michèle Dauvois are in charge.

LPA-CGR avocats advises on employment aspects of M&A transactions and also handles restructuring projects and international mobility matters. The 13-lawyer team assists several large industrial French companies and recently advised Duc on its acquisition by Plukon Food. La Française de l’Energie, Michael Kors and BNP Paribas are clients. Practice co-heads Karine Bézille and Alexandre Bensoussan are recommended, along with Françoise Pelletier.

Linklaters has an ‘available, efficient and knowledgeable’ practice that delivers ‘swift good quality work’. The eight-lawyer team is highly adept at advising on high-profile domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and recently assisted L’Oréal with the sale of The Body Shop International. The practice also handles stand-alone work including mass litigation, restructuring projects and working time disputes. On the contentious front, it represented Exide Technologies in a mass litigation involving 69 former employees following a factory closing. Lionel Vuidard is acknowledged for his ‘in-depth expertise, responsiveness and client service’. Counsel Géric Clomes is the other key member of the practice.

MGG Legal’s ‘technically excellent’ 11-lawyer practice is ‘very responsive and effective’, stands out for its ‘thorough analysis’ and ‘takes clear positions’; the group also provides ‘service in English that is relevant, appropriate and very carefully and delicately prepared to support clients’. The firm has a large international client base while also advising some key French companies on a wide range of strategic topics, including Sunday work, employee transfers, closing down of operations, reorganisations, individual and mass litigation, protected employees' termination, and M&A deals. It recently represented Mariage Frères in Sunday work litigation. Marijke Granier-Guillemarre is ‘reliable and answers quickly’ and Loïc Héron is ‘extremely congenial, has excellent knowledge and a good and commanding presence to represent clients in meetings’. Sébastien Le Coeur made partner.

US firm Ogletree Deakins opened its Paris office in March 2017, thus becoming the first international employment-focused firm to set foot in France. The eight-lawyer Paris practice assists many leading international corporations, including some leading internet players, as well as some major French groups with strategic issues and is involved in several high-stakes litigation concerning incentive schemes and the definition of work contracts. The team also advises in the context of restructuring and M&A projects. Karine Audouze, who joined from Olswang Paris after its closure, is ‘very able and experienced’. Jean-Marc Albiol, who previously spent most of his career at Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, is ‘always pro-active and business-oriented, provides an approach to complicated matters that is always practical’ and ‘takes excellent care of a diversified French and international client base’.

Pech de Laclause Bathmanabane & Associés’ ‘responsive, available, efficient and precise’ six-lawyer team advises leading French corporations, especially leading engineering groups, on complex restructuring projects, strikes, social security investigations and is notably involved in a very sensitive illegal employment case. Jean-François Tréton and Pascal Bathmanabane, whose ‘quality of judgment and diagnostics of the situation are very valuable’, are the key contacts.

Racine’s ‘highly performing’ 32-lawyer team, which is based in Paris and in the regions, demonstrates a ‘high level of service’ and ‘strong knowledge of the law’. The practice is especially recommended for complex matters such as managers’ remuneration and employees’ incentives issues and also has particular expertise in advising distressed companies facing insolvency proceedings: it notably represented Isochem during its difficulties and potential sale. In other work, the group is handling a sensitive mass litigation concerning temporary work payment contributions and advised on a site closure. It also assisted Mediawan with its acquisition of Groupe AB. Finally, the team is often retained by high-level executives. The practice is jointly led by the ‘practical’ Frédéric Broud who shows ‘great ability to understand clients’ needs and expectations’, Sarah Usunier, Carla Di Fazio Perrin and Alain Ménard.

Raphaël’s ‘available and experienced’ ten-lawyer team ‘remains extremely close to its clients, is able to comfortably work in English and with foreign law firms’ and provides ‘qualitative services’. Leading French banks notably turn to the firm for strategic matters including restructuring projects and high-level executive terminations. Recent highlights include assisting BNP Paribas Personal Finance with the absorption and merger of several of Laser's subsidiaries, as well as Gefco with a unit reorganisation. CACIB, Société Générale and BETC are key clients. The practice is jointly headed by Isabelle Ayache-Revah and Marion Ayadi, who both ‘give high level analysis and provide key support in making important decisions’, as well as the ‘practical and available’ Philippe Rogez.

Reinhart Marville Torre’s ‘professional, available and responsive’ ten-lawyer practice frequently assists large French and international companies such as L’Oréal, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp and AEG as well as some SMEs and non-profit organisations with challenging individual litigation, working time issues, co-employment disputes and restructuring projects. It recently advised non-profit entity Coallia on the termination of its activity. The ‘extremely able, precise and available’ Catherine Broussot-Morin and Soazig Preteseille, who is praised for her ‘professional and interpersonal skills’, are the key contacts. Olivier Bluche is a go-to-lawyer for high-profile CEO termination issues and recently assisted Eramet with the termination of its former CEO. Agathe Moreau is highly experienced in dealing with work accidents and related illnesses, gross negligence and criminal liability matters.

TNDA: Tuffal-Nerson Douarre & Associés’ 12-lawyer team stands out for ‘its very hands-on approach, proven expertise and true understanding of the human dimension at stake in a file’, ‘is convincing during negotiations’ and provides ‘tailored advice that unlocks situations’. The group advises many leading French and international corporations as well as banks and associations on sensitive and high-stakes employment issues and recently assisted with the restructuring of a company placed under safeguard proceedings. Health and criminal employment law issues are also dealt with. Of counsel Martine Rivereau-Trzmiel who ‘is highly involved in matters and provides a great tactical approach and support from the beginning to the end’, the ‘greatly available and excellent negotiatorNicolas Durand-Gasselin, Guillaume Verdier, who provides ‘strong support’ and ‘clear issues analysis’, and Véronique Tuffal-Nerson are highly regarded. Also recommended for their complementary expertise are criminal partner Rémy Douarre, whose ‘fine analysis, acute and vast knowledge and excellent advice’ are particularly appreciated, as well as Philippe Meylan and of counsel Armelle Walters-Renaud for corporate support.

UGGC Avocats’ ten-lawyer team assists several leading French and international corporations with restructuring projects, litigation and employment aspects of M&A transactions. The practice is led by Sophie Uettwiller and the ‘knowledgeable, concise and straight to the point’ Jennifer Carrel.

Vaughan Avocats advises many large French and international corporations on key matters including high-profile M&A transactions as well as site closure and mass redundancy plans. The 30-lawyer practice also provides ‘very professional and efficient services’ and ‘concrete and tailored advice’ on international mobility issues. The team recently assisted De Sangosse with a redundancy plan. Key names among the ten-partner practice include Bruno Courtine, Jean-Charles de Bellefon, Bastien Ottaviani - Thomas Fernandez-Boni and the ‘responsive and practical’ Sandra Thiry.

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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

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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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