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‘Always available and responsive’, the 20-lawyer team at Boivin & Associés produces ‘precise and comprehensive advice’ with ‘analysis that shows perfect technical knowledge’ and ‘a strategic vision of the long run’. The firm is renowned for its environmental and public law expertise, where it acts for leading private sector companies as well as some public sector entities. The practice handles strategic projects and litigation, and notably represented AZF in the high-profile case of the same name concerning a chemicals factory which exploded in 2001. It is also dealing with major road and rail projects. Jean-Pierre Boivin, Manuel Pennaforte, Malik Memlouk, Frédéric Defradas and Steve Hercé are the key names.

DS Avocats regularly advises on environmental aspects of M&A and handles litigation. The practice represented Compagnie d’Aménagement des Coteaux de Cascogne in dealing with the various proceedings raised against the Sivens dam project. The 20-lawyer practice is led by Yvon Martinet, who has ‘great knowledge of the nuclear sector and provides clear opinions’, as well as Frédéric Lévy, Patricia Martin, Laura Ceccarelli-Le Guen and pre-partners Gwladys Beauchet and Grégory Gutierrez. Arnaud Constant handles criminal aspects of environment law.

The ‘serious, competent and efficient’ Huglo Lepage & Associés Conseil has ‘excellent knowledge of industrial environmental issues’. The 20-lawyer team, which shows ‘great listening skills and understanding of issues’, has a large range of expertise and notably deals with waste and pollution matters. It advises companies and some local public sector entities. The practice is led by Alexandre Moustardier, whose ‘commitment, sharpness and experience contribute to his successful handling of matters’, along with Corinne Lepage, Christian Huglo, Marie-Pierre Maître, François Braud, Gwendoline Paul, Adrien Fourmon and Julien Girard, who shows ‘constant availability, high involvement and sharp and practical expertise in the construction sector’.

Jones Day provides ‘very good service’ and has particular expertise in dealing with health and safety and product safety issues. It also advises large industrial clients with remediation and site contamination issues, especially in the context of M&A The team advised Total in connection with the sale of Bostik. Chevron and Calgon are also clients. Practice head Françoise Labrousse is ‘highly skilled, very responsive and client-oriented’. Counsel Armelle Sandrin-Deforge is also highly involved.

King & Spalding LLP provides ‘experienced and always appropriate advice’ through ‘deep understanding and knowledge of industrial challenges’. The practice is especially strong in site remediation of old mines and administrative litigation, as well as being involved in a very strategic EU gas emissions case. Clients include Recyclex, Saint-Gobain and Veolia. Practice head Joëlle Herschtel is ‘an exceptionally good lawyer who is deeply involved in every case and fights against every argument raised by the counterparty’.

LPA-CGR’s 15-lawyer team is ‘close to its customers, expert, adaptable and quick’. The practice is retained by many of France’s largest industrial corporations for handling high-profile industrial, pollution and remediation matters. Arkema, Bollore, Engie, Renault, Rio Tinto and Solvay are clients. Practice head Frédérique Chaillou is ‘a brilliant lawyer who continuously strives to improve her services quality, her customers’ satisfaction and the good understanding of her clients’ needs’. Vincent Sol is another leading figure; Fabrice Cassin and Hélène Gelas are also names to note.

Fidal has great experience of advising on risk assessment and is expert in REACH legislation. The 20-lawyer team advises on a broad range of matters, including M&A and pollution. Clients include leading industrial, construction, chemicals and oil companies. Practice head Christophe Puel ‘has a good network with public sector bodies’. Antoine Carpentier, Frédéric Cruchaudet, Astrid Rebillard and Bruno Wertenschlag are other names to note.

Foley Hoag has ‘high-level expertise’ and deals with classified sites, pollution, waste and mining law issues. The firm advises French and international companies, as well as some public sector entities. It is assisting Charbonnages de France with the closure of coal mines. Engie is a client. The practice is led by Corentin Chevallier, Frédéric Scanvic and the ‘efficient and available’ Carine Le Roy-Gleizes.

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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.

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