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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 > Environment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

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

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Environment clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Boivin & Associés’ ‘efficient, responsive and discreet’ 20-lawyer team produces ‘in-depth, reliable and spot-on analysis’ and shows ‘great mastery of the environmental regulation, practice and jurisprudence’. Leading industrial groups turn to the practice for complex regulatory issues, crisis-management situations and high-stakes litigation. The firm represented Toulouse-based AZF plant in the high-profile AZF explosion case. Borealis, L’Oréal, SNCF Réseau and Société du Grand Paris are clients. Jean-Pierre Boivin is a master in his field and is ‘highly technical, extremely available and committed’. Manuel Pennaforte, Malik Memlouk, Frédéric Defradas and Steve Hercé are also recommended.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. provides a ‘very good level of service’ to many leading French industrial companies, including high-profile oil, energy and chemical groups. The five-lawyer team handles highly sensitive work, especially in the nuclear field and is regularly involved in lawsuits pertaining to classified sites and water and waste issues. The team recently defended ANDRA following a series of lawsuits introduced by NGOs regarding the implantation of a future radioactive waste disposal site. Other areas of expertise include mining law. Chimirec, Total and BIC are also clients. Top expert Jean-Nicolas Clément, who gives ‘good and practical advice’, recently assisted the French Ministry of Environment with the drafting of several soil pollution decrees.

Jones Day provides ‘very good service’ featuring ‘deep skills, short response times and a very professional, appropriate and practical approach adapted to the different stakeholders’. The firm advises the largest French and US industrial corporations on M&A transactions, product safety and REACH regulation, as well as environmental and crisis management and frequently handles high-end work related to site pollution and remediation litigation. Highlights included assisting Total with the $3.2bn sale of Atotech B.V, and Wabtec Corporation with its $1.8bn offer for Faiveley Transport. EDF and Lincoln Electric are also clients. Practice head Françoise Labrousse and counsel Armelle Sandrin-Deforge are ‘highly skilled, very responsive and available, as well as very nice and client-oriented’.

King & Spalding LLP provides an ‘excellent level of service’ including ‘high responsiveness and deep team involvement and dedication’. The five-lawyer practice represents many leading French and international industrial and mining groups and has high-level expertise advising on remediation and authorisation issues over industrial and polluted sites. The practice was recently involved in strategic litigation including a high-profile EU Court of Justice case and also advises on compliance issues and on major infrastructure and wind power projects. Recyclex, Saint-Gobain and Veolia are clients. Practice head Joëlle Herschtel is ‘the best in her field’ thanks to her ‘tenacity and determination’, ‘deep legal knowledge, perfect understanding of the industrial challenges, longstanding relationships with administrative authorities and a fine ability to identify all strong legal points which are real assets to win a litigation’.

LPA-CGR avocats’ ‘greatly available’ team provides ‘top quality services’ as well as ‘swift efficient work’ and shows ‘in-depth expertise in pollution issues and the sale of industrial sites’. Some of the largest French and international industrial companies turn to the firm for strategic M&A work, remediation and environmental liability issues as well as regulatory and litigation matters; complementary expertise exists in the energy and property sectors. Highlights included assisting Solvay with the sale of Acetow, as well as Rio Tinto with the redevelopment of more than a hundred industrial and mining wastelands. Arkema, Ball, Bolloré and Engie are clients. Practice head Frédérique Chaillou is top notch, ‘always available and able to adapt to situations and understands clients’ expectations’. Senior counsel Vincent Sol, Fabrice Cassin and Hélène Gelas are also involved.

Atmos Avocats - formerly called Huglo Lepage & Associés - produces ‘very good work’ for large French and international industrial groups as well as for public sector local entities. The ‘responsive, precise and specialised’ 20-lawyer team deals with pollution, waste management and electricity plant construction issues. Alexandre Moustardier, Marie-Pierre Maître, François Braud whose ‘practical vision makes him a great partner’ and Julien Girard are the key members. Corinne Lepage and Christian Huglo left to set up Huglo Lepage Avocats.

DS Avocats often advises in the context of M&A and site acquisitions. The 20-lawyer team has strong litigation expertise and is led by Frédéric Lévy, Patricia Martin, Yvon Martinet, Laura Ceccarelli-Le Guen, as well as recently promoted partners Gwladys Beauchet and Grégory Gutierrez . Arnaud Constant handles environmental criminal law issues.

One-man firm David Desforges, Avocat à la Cour ‘is technically excellent, very commercial and astonishingly responsive’. His expertise is sought after for ‘highly complex strategic and permitting advice’, while his ‘strong communication skills and good appreciation of US multinationals' expectations and culture’ are also valued. Large French and international industrial clients call upon his services for land remediation, complex regulatory issues and mining law, while some governments and international organisations also seek assistance. Highlights included assisting the World Bank with Niamey's first waste water and domestic sludge treatment plant, and Wendel with assessing legal consequences of a pre-1970 land contamination.

Fidal fields one of the market’s largest dedicated teams with some 23 lawyers spread across 14 regional offices. The team has ‘great expertise in assessing environmental risks’ and represents many leading French and international industrial groups in various sectors including from the energy, oil and gas, chemistry and rail industries; instructions often pertain to regulatory matters, site closures and remediation projects. The group is also dealing with groundwater pollution issues. Practice head Christophe Puel is the key contact along with Bruno Wertenschlag, Thibaut Geib and Antoine Carpentier.

Fieldfisher assists many leading industrial groups, notably in the waste, automobile and aerospace sectors, with traditional environmental issues such as site remediation and recently worked on several cases raising new extended legal environmental liability issues. The two-lawyer practice notably represented Igol in terminating its activities, deals with renewables energy projects and also handles complex regulatory issues where competition, banking and parent guarantees and environmental regulation issues are mixed together, especially in the waste sector. The client roster includes Ashland, Cooper Standard, Honeywell and Safran. Marie-Léonie Vergnerie is the key name in the practice with associate Vanessa Kurukgy being the other main figure.

Foley Hoag has ‘undeniable site pollution expertise’ and advises leading French and international industrial groups, as well as some public-sector entities. The six-lawyer team also deals with classified installations and waste and environmental risk management issues and often acts for Engie in post-site cession environmental matters. Recent other work includes assisting Charbonnages de France with the termination of former coal mines in France. The practice is also working on several high-voltage electricity connection issues. Elis is a key client. ‘Available’ practice head Carine Le Roy-Gleizes provides ‘reliable analysis’ and Corentin Chevallier and Frédéric Scanvic are also involved.

Frêche & Associés advises leading French industrial and energy groups. The five-lawyer team has particular expertise in the nuclear sector and also deals with sensitive pollution and waste management issues. Practice head Thomas Garancher is highly recommended. Hugues Vignon is another key contact.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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Legal Developments in France

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