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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 > Industry focus > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Energy
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy 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


Allen & Overy LLP advises blue-chip French energy operators on strategic regulatory, M&A and project work and recently assisted Areva with the spin-off of its nuclear reactors manufacturing business, and an Engie-led consortium with two landmark offshore wind farms projects in France. Total is also a client which the practice is advising on solar projects abroad. The firm is further assisting with large power projects in Africa, South America and Europe alongside sponsors or governments. Alexandre Ancel heads the practice and Romaric Lazerges provides public law expertise. Addtionally, Rod Cork, Christine Poyer-Rufenacht and Adrian Mellor are recommended for project finance work, while Marc Castagnède and Frédéric Moreau are key contacts on the corporate side.

Clifford Chance is ‘the best in town and gives clients real value for money’. The firm provides ‘superb in-depth analysis and knowledge of project finance’ and its ‘ability to link legal and commercial aspects is outstanding’. The Paris hub stands out for its top capabilities on both domestic and international projects and is involved in several of France, Europe and Africa’s landmark power, hydropower, gas, renewables and pipeline projects including major domestic offshore projects and brownfield transactions. Abroad, the practice is assisting the Maltese Government with a 215MW gas-fired power plant and a LNG storage and degasification facility project. The first-class team is led by Anthony Giustini, Nikolaï Eatwell and Daniel Zerbib. David Préat is a key name for public law matters in France and abroad. Also strongly recommended are Delphine Siino Courtin and Benjamin de Blegiers, who is ‘a must when it comes to M&A transactions in the energy and infrastructure sector’. Richard Tomlinson is another name to note.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has ‘strong understanding of Africa, notably in the energy sector’. The ‘well-resourced’ 32-lawyer team, which has ‘good commercial acumen’, is highly involved in the French and African energy sectors acting for leading French energy operators and many international investors and banks. It is notably advising on some of France’s most ambitious renewables and electricity interconnection projects and in Africa, the firm is involved in large traditional power projects while also assisting clients on renewables projects. Highlights included advising Sumitomo as part of a consortium's successful bid for Radès’ 450MW combined cycle thermal power plant in Tunisia, as well as EDF, IFC and the government of Cameroon on Nachtigal’s 420MW hydroelectric power plant project. The firm also remains a strong oil and gas adviser, especially in Africa, and recently assisted Etablissements Maurel & Prom with its acquisition by Pertamina. Finally, it is ‘the best law firm regarding mining work in Africa’ thanks to its ‘great knowledge and experience that are major assets when dealing with complicated situations’. BP, Engie and Perenco are clients. Christophe Lefort heads the energy and infrastructure practice. Nina Bowyer co-chairs the firm’s Africa practice, alongside the very experienced Stéphane Brabant who ‘gives to-the-point advice, is very precise and 99% on target’. Rebecca Major is another key name, while Eric Fiszelson, Régis Oréal, and recently promoted partner Rachel Campbell are also involved. Leïla Hubeaut joined Dentons.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is second-to-none for energy regulatory issues in France and is retained by leading operators to provide assistance before the energy regulatory authority. It successfully represented French main energy distributor Enedis in a high-stakes lawsuit initiated by property developer Valsophia challenging Enedis’ de facto monopoly. The team also represented Engie in a litigation against GRTgaz before the energy regulatory authority. Michel Guénaire is the key contact for regulatory energy work. The firm also advises sponsors and governments on large power and renewables projects in Africa and is assisting SNEDAI with the financing and construction of a 2x350MW coal-fired plant in Ivory Coast, and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania with a gas-to-power project. John Crothers, François Krotoff and Stéphane Vernay are highly recommended. Recently promoted partner Marie Bouvet-Guiramand and counsel Victor Grandguillaume are also noteworthy.

Linklaters provides ‘excellent service’ and is highly involved in energy projects in France and Africa acting for sponsors or lenders as it has ‘a good understanding of lenders' and development finance institutions’; the firm is notably advising on strategic electricity interconnection projects as well as on the financing, development and investment in renewables and gas-fired plants. Highlights included advising a group of French banks as arrangers on the €300m financing of a 180MW wind and solar PV portfolio in France developed by Valeco, as well as SOCAR Trading on its 26% stake investment in a LNG re-gasification terminal project company in Abidjan. The firm also combines top M&A, regulatory and competition law expertise. Engie and Neoen are clients. Bertrand Andriani heads the Paris project practice and co-heads the firm’s Francophone Africa group. Paul Lignières heads the public law practice and co-leads the firm’s global infrastructure practice and Francophone Africa group. François April is also a key name in the practice, while counsel Mark Barges is also recommended. Competition lawyer Pierre Zelenko and M&A partner Bruno Derieux are also involved.

Orrick Rambaud Martel has ‘very strong industry knowledge’. The 20-lawyer team is among the market’s strongest for large power projects in Africa, while recently developing its involvement in French, African and other foreign renewables and off-grid projects; it provides a comprehensive expertise to sponsors, public sector entities and lenders alike. Highlights included assisting the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Energy with the construction of the Inga 3 hydroelectric 4,800MW project, and Azito Energie and the sponsors with Ivory Coast's independent Azito gas-fired power plant 250MW expansion. Pascal Agboyibor and Yves Lepage head the practice. Simon Ratledge, who brings UK law expertise, ‘has keen knowledge of structures’. The firm also handles highly strategic regulatory and energy work in France and is notably assisting the French ministry of ecological transition with France’s six offshore wind farm projects and with the tender process for the Dunkirk’s offshore wind farm project. Senior counsel Noël Chahid-Nouraï and Jean-Luc Champy are the key contacts.

The ‘client-orientedBCTG Avocatsprovides high quality work’, is ‘expert in renewable energies’, has ‘great expertise in public, environmental and energy law’ and ‘a high success rate in litigation’. The ‘creative and available’ team, which is ‘responsive and understands its clients’ objectives and constraints’, is involved in some of France’s largest offshore wind farm projects for key client EDF Energies Nouvelles. It is notably assisting Eolien Maritime France in dealing with highly sensitive litigation where authorisations delivered for the St Nazaire, Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-mer offshore windfarm projects are at stake. The team also advises on M&A, corporate, financing and other related matters and assisted EDF Energies Nouvelles with its potential acquisition of a majority stake in Futuren. Valorem and Voltalia are also clients. The team is led by Paul Elfassi whose ‘high expertise and renewables energy sector knowledge’ is second-to-none, Catherine Dupuy-Burin des Roziers who has ‘major experience in complex projects’ and Diane Mouratoglou. Also recommended is counsel Alain de Rougé who is praised for his ‘drafting and negotiating skills’. Former counsel Paul-Henri Dubois is now at Meridian.

CMS provides ‘highly tailored services’ that show ‘excellent understanding of clients' issues’, has top regulatory expertise and is regularly involved in groundbreaking disputes in that respect. It is notably representing Engie in a strategic litigation challenging gas regulated-tariffs before the French Administrative Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. The practice is also assisting sponsors with electricity interconnection and renewables projects, while also advising on gas infrastructure and supply contracts. Recent highlights include assisting Ailes Marines with Saint-Brieuc's offshore wind farm project, and GRTgaz in a dispute with Bonatti pertaining to the Hauts-de-France pipeline. Christophe Barthélemy is ‘an amazing and very practical lawyer who has huge experience and large political connections’. Also involved is counsel Céline Cloché-Dubois.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei provides ‘exceptional quality work’. The ‘responsive and available’ practice ranks among the market's few go-to-firms for highly strategic M&A and regulatory matters in France. It recently advised on several landmark transactions such as assisting Areva with the sale of Areva NP and Areva TA, as well as CNP Assurances with the joint acquisition of a 49.9% stake in Réseau de Transport d’Electricité. The practice is also ‘excellent’ for project finance work in the energy sector advising sponsors and lenders and notably assisting CIC and Auxifip with the €150m acquisition financing of a majority stake in a 330MW cogeneration facilities' portfolio held by Dalkia. Bank of Tokyo, Neoen, Solaire Direct and Green Yellow are clients. The practice is co-headed by Christine Le Bihan-Graf who features among the market's top regulatory advisers, and ‘brilliant’ project finance expert Jean-Renaud Cazali who has ‘very high level expertise’. Corporate partners Patrick Jaïs and Thomas Bréart de Boisanger are other names to note.

King & Spalding LLP routinely advises on some of North Africa's largest downstream and upstream oil and gas matters: it notably assisted Dea Erdoel with the Reggane gas upstream development project in Algeria, as well as with dealing with the Algerian and Mauritanian aspects of the sale of its upstream oil and gas industry to Letter One. The practice is also equally strong in France for oil and gas and renewables regulatory and infrastructure work and advised Dong Energy on its investment in an EDF Energies Nouvelles' joint venture for the development of three offshore wind farm projects. Other work included obtaining a series of judicial victories in France for a private operator in the oil and gas sector and handling arbitration proceedings against Italy and Spain in the renewables markets. Practice head Mehdi Haroun stands out. Also recommended are counsel Ruxandra Lazar and senior associate Nora Djeraba.

LPA-CGR avocats has ‘high level wind energy expertise’ and ‘ensures thorough follow up of its litigation files’. The firm, which has an excellent reputation for regulatory and public law issues in the renewables field, is involved in several of France’s largest offshore projects: it is notably assisting the Iberdrola/Res consortium with Saint Brieuc's offshore wind farm project. The team also advised on a highly strategic M&A transaction in the renewables sector. Many leading energy operators and investors are clients including La Compagnie du Vent, DIF Infrastructure IV and Dalkia. The practice is led by the greatly recognised Fabrice Cassin and the ‘extremely responsive’ Hélène Gelas who has ‘great expertise and perfectly understands concrete issues faced by industrial clients in the wind energy market’.

Norton Rose Fulbright has strong expertise in advising lenders and sponsors on energy projects. The 20-lawyer team is involved in many power and renewable projects in Africa such as assisting the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) with solar project NOOR Midelt Phase I (400MW hybrid projects), and Total with the feasibility of an LNG re-gasification infrastructure project in Ivory Coast. The practice also advises on renewable projects in France and is assisting RTE with France-UK's 220km Fab Link electricity interconnection project. EMEA energy practice head Anne Lapierre is well recognised. Also recommended are Alain Malek, Christophe Asselineau and Arnaud Bélisaire.

Simmons & Simmons LLP provides ‘high quality work and responsiveness’. The team has strong know-how in Africa, often assisting sponsors while also handling work for financial institutions in Morocco. Frequently working alongside the London and Beijing offices, the Paris practice is advising on some of Africa's largest mining and renewables and power projects and notably assisted Resource Capital Funds and Africa Finance with an investment into Alufer Mining in Guinea, one of the largest recent mining investments in the region, and China Three Gorges International Corporation with the 4,500MW Inga 3 hydro power project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. EDF, First Quantum Minerals, NordGold and Shell are clients. ‘Dedicated, always available and reliable’ practice head Yves Barattealways keeps his clients in mind’ interests’ and Simonetta Giordano, who recently joined from Clifford Chance, adds corporate expertise.


Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Food
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • André Coutrelis - Coutrelis & Associés
    • Nicole Coutrelis - Coutrelis & Associés
    • Katia Merten-Lentz - Keller and Heckman LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Food 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


Coutrelis & Associés specialises in European law with a particular focus on the food, agriculture, competition and drug sectors. The team consists of Nicole Coutrelis and André Coutrelis and eight associates and provides regulatory counsel and compliance advice, as well as contentious support before the national and European courts. In recent highlights, the group handled matters related to the launch of new food products such as ‘novel’ and ‘fortified’ foods as well as regarding the use of vitamins, enzymes, GMOs and additives such as sugar substitutes and green tea extracts. On the contentious front, the practice defends major food manufacturers in health claims before the administrative authorities.

Product Law Firm’s Antoine de Brosses and the ‘incredibly commercial’ Gilles Boin ‘are experienced lawyers who have been dealing with the large consumer food market for many years’. Recognised by some as the ‘industry leader in France’, the seven-partner team provides ‘detailed, fast and effective advice’ to major domestic and international clients through its multidisciplinary offering. Clients especially note the team’s regulatory and contentious strength.

Keller and Heckman LLP stands out for its ‘excellent product liability work and food crisis management capabilities’. Along with providing EU regulatory advice to clients pertaining to novel food additives and marketing-related issues such as labelling and nutrition claims, ‘highly responsive, available and attentive’ practice head Katia Merten-Lentz, who divides her time between the Paris and Brussels offices, and her team also represent major food and alimentation players in litigation proceedings arising from unfair competition, product liability and misleading advertisement claims. Nathalie Henin, who gained substantial expertise acting as a regulatory and scientific affairs director in the food and agrochemical industry is also noted. Air France and the International Chewing Gum Association are noteworthy clients. Laëtitia Guillet left the firm.

Koehler-Magne Serres handles significant transactions in the food and beverages industry as part of the firm’s broader corporate and M&A practice and practice head Lionel Koehler-Magne has significant experience in dispute resolution. In recent highlights, the team handled a number of fund restructurings for major food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, the acquisition of a company in the Middle East through a joint venture, and the negotiation of distribution agreements. François Serres specialises in cross-border corporate transactions and the setting up of partnership agreements and joint ventures.

Healthcare and life sciences

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Stéphanie de Giovanni - CMS
    • Eveline van Keymeulen - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Sophie Pelé - Dechert LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Healthcare and life sciences 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


Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘top tier’ multidisciplinary team is ‘responsive, extremely knowledgeable about the healthcare industry, the client’s needs and the relevant technology’ and ‘provides thoughtful and appropriate advice’. Clients especially note practice co-head and expert patent litigator Laëtitia Bénard and counsel Eveline Van Keymeulen who focuses her practice on EU life sciences regulatory advice. The team is currently representing Merck’s subsidiaries in a patent litigation filed by several parties pertaining to a drug used for the treatment of cancer, while practice co-head Alexandre Rudoni is advising a pharmaceutical company on regulatory issues arising from the de-certification of its medical devices in the EU. On the corporate side, Rudoni collaborated with the M&A practice to assist Bayer Santé Familiale with the sale of its consumer business to SBM Développement, and the group also advised a pharmaceutical company on regulatory issues arising from the setting up of its business in France. Other notable clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Novartis.

Dechert LLP’s healthcare and life sciences offering consists of a multidisciplinary team led by corporate specialist Alain Decombe. Sophie Pelé recently made partner in the regulatory practice and worked alongside competition expert Mélanie Thill-Tayara to advise Roche on the ‘off-label’ use of its drug Avastin. In other work, Decombe acted for Ipsen in its cross-border acquisition of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’ global oncology assets, Anne-Charlotte Rivière assisted French health insurance plans start-up Alan with its seed fundraising and insurance license, and Jacques Sivignon, who heads the firm’s litigation department in France, handled a number of disputes for a major global pharmaceutical company. The impressive client roster also includes Allergan and Johnson & Johnson. Marianne Schaffner joined Dentons in 2018.

Dentons provides advice ‘of the highest quality’ to clients in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Practice co-head Jean-Marc Grosperrin and senior of counsel François Vignaud recently advised Pfizer on the sale of its global infusion therapy business to ICU Medical and Servier instructed the group to handle its acquisition of a stake in Swiss biotechnology company GeNeuro as part of the two companies’ strategic international partnership. In other noteworthy work, Julien Le Guyader advised Bioxis on its distribution agreements with a Chinese clinic as well as on the sale of 18% of its stake to Juvamed. Other key clients include Allergan, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Actavis. Anne-Laure Marcerou impresses with ‘her expertise in the sector and her pragmatic, methodical approach’, practice co-head Pascale Poupelin is ‘a rare specialist in both public and private law’ as well as a ‘great agent for thorny negotiations in the pharmaceutical space’ and Olivia Guéguen is another name to note. Marianne Schaffner was a new arrival from Dechert LLP in 2018.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’s multidisciplinary team is headed by Cécile Derycke and advises on the whole array of contractual, corporate, intellectual property, competition and real estate issues. The group is leading the global defence of a provider of certification services in product liability proceedings arising from the allegedly inappropriate certification of French breast implant manufacturer PIP, and Stanislas Roux-Vaillard is acting for Lilly in a generic attack on its oncology product Alimta. On the corporate front, Dominique Mendy advised Merck on the termination of its vaccine joint venture with Sanofi, and Mikael Salmela was instructed by a global neurovascular company to oversee the reorganisation of its distribution business in Europe after its acquisition of a privately held company. Winston Maxwell, Eric Paroche and counsel Patrice Navarro are other names to note.

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI’s healthcare and life sciences department frequently represents big pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients: Servier recently appointed the team to advise on its research agreement with Transgene, and practice head Emmanuelle Trombe advised Innate Pharma on its acquisition of the Anti-C5aR antibody from Novo Nordisk. Other notable work highlights included assisting ImCheck Therapeutics with a financing matter, acting for a foreign fund in its investment in a retail pharmacy chain, as well as providing several clients with regulatory advice pertaining to clinical studies and licensing agreements for research and development projects. The group recently welcomed data privacy and protection expert Romain Perray from ANDCO Avocats; transactional specialist Anthony Paronneau and associate Anne-France Moreau are other names to note.

The healthcare team at Reed Smith consists of eight partners and acts for biotechnology, pharmaceutical and start-up companies in issues pertaining to intellectual property, product liability, regulations and distribution law. Corporate partner Isabelle MacElhone, competition partner Marc Lévy, who recently joined the firm with Natasha Tardif following the closure of King & Wood Mallesons’ Paris office, Marie Albertini and Daniel Kadar are key names. Intellectual property partner Marina Cousté is also active in healthcare matters.

Alain Gorny and Diane Bandon-Tourret head the healthcare and life sciences department at Sea Avocats and collaborate closely with Hervé Gabadou’s e-health and IT team. Among the team’s varied caseload are several product liability actions, a large-scale class action suit, regulatory advice on internal laboratory policies and financial participation by private establishments in publically led healthcare projects, as well as the defence of a medical products manufacturer in criminal proceedings. Also notable is the group’s work with regards to market access and negotiations with national authorities.

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s ‘very technical and pragmatic’ team ‘has in-depth knowledge of the sector, genuinely cares for its clients’ and provides ‘practical and business-oriented legal opinions’. In recent notable corporate work, Christian Taylor and Simonetta Giordano advised Wright Medical and Tornier SAS on the sale of their hip and knee implants business to Corin Orthopaedics, and assisted Balt International with its acquisition of two companies constituting a medical device distributor in Germany. Competition expert Ombline Ancelin is currently representing Centrale des Opticiens in three separate proceedings against a healthcare network of opticians pertaining to alleged violations of competition and commercial law as well as a private damages claim. Clients also instructed the group to handle liability litigation, tax issues arising from promotional activities, and software implementation work. Tax partner Jean-Luc Cuadrado and Jacques-Antoine Robert are also recommended by clients. Alexandre Regniault heads the team. Guillaume-Denis Faure was a new arrival in 2018 from Winston & Strawn LLP.

August Debouzy combines the expertise of its intellectual property, corporate, competition, litigation, employment and regulatory practices to service clients in the generics, medical device and cosmetics industries. On the contentious front, Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan is representing Lima in a damages claim brought by several hip prosthesis users, and François Pochart successfully represented Teva in a series of patent infringement claims against Warner Lambert and two Pfizer subsidiaries. Florence Chafiol assisted with the data privacy and protection issues of a new medical device that is also subject to an e-health application in France, and Julien Wagmann advised start-up Glowee on its venture capital funding. Regulatory expert Vincent Brenot and employment partner Virginie Devos are other names to note.

Bird & Bird has ‘a highly skilled team to handle patent litigation in the pharmaceutical field’ and its ‘very creative, business and client-oriented’ lawyers ‘always provide an excellent service’. On the corporate side, Emmanuel Porte recently joined the firm from Redlink and advised on a number of partnerships and fundraising matters for the development of novel therapeutic methodologies. In notable contentious work, Annet van Hooft successfully represented a major pharmaceutical company in ICC arbitration proceedings arising from the licensing for the commercial production of a blockbuster drug. Additionally, Ariane Mole frequently advises on data protection regulations and the new obligations attached to the GDPR. Yves Bizollonalways gives sound and practical advice in a timely fashion’ and jointly heads the patent litigation team with Anne-Charlotte le Bihan; commercial partner Alexandre Vuchot is also recommended.

The ‘always perfect’ healthcare and life sciences offering at CMS advises on competition, contractual, intellectual property and corporate law issues with ‘astounding pertinence and an outstanding understanding of the problems clients may encounter’. Pharmaceutical regulatory expert Bernard Geneste successfully represented a French company specialised in orthopaedic implants in appeal proceedings against a decision by the French Economic Committee for Medicinal Devices regarding a price decrease for some devices, and Anne-Laure Villedieu advised a foreign medical device manufacturer on IP agreements with a research institution and a laboratory. Counsel Stéphanie de Giovanni is known for her ‘responsiveness and accurate advice’ and assisted a client with the setting up of a clinical trial. The group also has significant capacities in data privacy and protection work. Laurent Romano is the name to note in the Lyon office.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés’ team advises healthcare and life sciences clients on a vast array of issues in the fields of competition, intellectual property, insurance and commercial law. Cécile Théard-Jallu and Jean-Marie Job recently assisted DietSensor with the parallel launch of a new connected nutrition scanning device in France and the US, and Blandine Fauran collaborated with intellectual property partner Francine Le Péchon-Joubert to assist a pharmaceutical laboratory with allegedly unlawful and misleading advertising in the context of a convention. Other notable work included assisting a pharmaceutical company with a claim for the misappropriation of data files and libel related to the change of regional distributor. Senior manager Lionel Attal has extensive experience in commercial contracts and is a notable contact alongside public law partner Frédéric Destal.

Regulatory expert Olivier Lantrès heads Fieldfisher’s multidisciplinary healthcare and life sciences department: in recent highlights, head of the corporate team Philippe Netto collaborated with Lantrès to advise Dômes Pharma on its acquisition of a foreign company, and Brigitte Daille-Duclos handled a series of product liability claims pertaining to allegedly defective medical devices. Counsel Sébastien Pradeau and associate Caroline Savoie were part of the team which obtained the suspension of an injunction against a pharmaceutical company following an inspection by the French Drug Agency; and other work included assisting an international client with the drafting, negotiation and signing of contracts pertaining to a Europe-wide clinical trial. Anne-Laure-Hélène des Ylouses heads the competition and EU law department and distribution contracts specialist Franck Veisse is another name to note.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s healthcare and life sciences group has strong intellectual property, corporate and competition law expertise and is led by Grégoire Triet, Anne Tolila and Dimitri Dimitrov, respectively. Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry advised biopharmaceutical company Annapurna Therapeutics on its merger with Avalanche Biotechnologies, and Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier teamed up with Emmanuel Larere to represent Ono and Bristol-Myers Squibb in a multijurisdictional patent litigation pertaining to an innovative cancer treatment. In other recent highlight work, Arnaud Michel represented Merck and five of its subsidiaries in trade mark infringement and unfair competition proceedings regarding the use of the name ‘Merck’ in France, and Dimitrov assisted a manufacturer of medical devices with the review of its contracts in light of French distribution law provisions. Other notable clients include Johnson & Johnson, Shionogi and Guerbet.

HBC Avocats specialises in corporate governance and contractual work for clients in the healthcare and life sciences sector. In recent highlights, the group advised biotechnology company OSE Immunotherapeutics on a global licensing and partnership agreement with Servier for the development and commercialisation of the Effi-7 antibody, and assisted AFM-Téléthon with intellectual property and licensing aspects of its creation of YposKesi, a French company dedicated to the production of genetic and cellular treatments for rare diseases. The firm’s client roster also includes names such as Valneva, Xoma and Cytoo. Founding partner Jonathan Burnham is the key contact.

Jones Day’s healthcare and life sciences offering is globally led by environment and health and safety expert Françoise Labrousse, while the cross-departmental team in France is headed by corporate and private equity partner Renaud Bonnet; further strengthening its comprehensive service offering, the group recently welcomed patents expert Thomas Bouvet from Véron & Associés . In recent highlights, the corporate group advised Nanbiotix on two private placements in Europe and the US, while the environment unit defended a global corporation in criminal proceedings related to two legionella outbreaks. Emmanuel Baud heads the intellectual property team and recently assisted Merck with French aspects of a multijurisdictional patent litigation regarding its blockbuster drug Solvadi. Other key clients include Sanofi, Novartis and Abbott.

Viguié Schmidt & Associés is the result of the recent merger between Viguié Schmidt and SLVF and its healthcare offering focuses on regulatory issues, commercial disputes, competition law and product liability claims. Practice heads Etienne Gouesse and Iñaki Saint Esteben recently assisted Sanofi with a series of liability actions brought by patients suffering neurological diseases which were allegedly caused by the client’s hepatitis vaccine as well as with a commercial dispute brought by an Israeli distributor seeking compensation following the termination of its contract. Other work highlights included defending Lilly in proceedings brought by an egg hatchery company pertaining to the alleged contamination of the client’s chicken feed, and defending Abbott in a product liability compensation claim. Other notable clients include Johnson & Johnson, Shire and Abbvie.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s team of four partners covers all legal aspects pertaining to the healthcare and life sciences space including financing, joint venture agreements, real estate and contentious matters, among others. Recent work includes assisting Azimut with the sale of a controlled stake in natural health products manufacturer Ponroy Santé to a private equity fund. Managing partner Gilles Bigot and Mathilde Lefranc-Barthe are advising Laboratoire ZTP on the creation of a centre for medically-assisted procreation. In other work, Anne-Carine Ropars-Furet recently teamed up with Bigot to handle a wrongful dismissal dispute on behalf of a former director and shareholder of a medical laboratory in Paris, and counsel Julie Vern Cesano-Gouffrant recently assisted a player in the medical biology sector with the negotiation of a partnership agreement. Biopath, Vivalto and the Red Cross are also notable clients. Guillaume-Denis Faure joined Simmons & Simmons LLP in 2018.

Adamasis equipped with strong technical, regulatory and contractual expertise in the field of healthcare, pharmaceutical law and medical devices’, and clients also value its ‘integrated offer embodied in its vast network of specialists’. Practice head Barbara Bertholet, whose ‘double competence in healthcare and intellectual property makes her the perfect spearhead for medical devices matters’, represented a German medical device manufacturer before the French commercial court regarding the former distribution of its products to French hospitals, and a multinational pharmaceutical company instructed her team to advise on a criminal investigation pertaining to competition and regulatory issues. Jean-Baptiste Chanial handles licensing and regulatory issues as well as personal data protection work for pharmaceutical clients.

The healthcare lawyers at Altanaare very professional and effective’ and led by litigation specialist Armand Aviges who intervenes in product liability and class action suits on behalf of major French and international pharmaceutical industrial clients. Other noteworthy work highlights included defending a major pharmaceutical company in a product liability class action and against numerous individual claims, and Frank Valentin defended a European pharmaceutical company in a patent infringement suit brought by a global competitor. Jean-Nicolas Soret specialises in M&A and joint ventures and is also a key contact. Arnaud Fayolle departed the firm to take up a deputy chief executive officer position with a former client.

Baker McKenzie’s fully-dedicated healthcare team is headed by Julie Yeni and receives regular support from the firm’s corporate department and data privacy practice. In recent highlight work, the group assisted ICU Medical with its acquisition of Pfizer’s Hospira infusion system business, and advised a global leading medical technology company on regulatory repercussions of the phasing out of direct sponsorship of healthcare professionals. The practice’s recent caseload also includes advising a multinational pharmaceutical company on negotiations with third party distributors, and a series of product liability claims pertaining to allegedly defective vaccines. AbbVie, Abbott and Medtronic are other notable clients.

Clifford Chance is known for its ‘excellent service, fast and efficient responses, broad expertise in life sciences and detailed knowledge of the industry’. Counsel Marion Roquette-Pfister advised Pfizer on its market access strategy and price negotiations with the French authorities and also collaborated with the corporate team to advise Cinven on its acquisition of Labco from a consortium of investors. On the regulatory side, ‘very knowledgeable and always available’ counsel Olivier Gaillard advised Insmed on compliance issues regarding new transparency and anti-gift rules, and Thomas Baudesson handled a number of disputes arising from alleged defects in vaccines and other medicinal products as well as commercial litigation proceedings pertaining to the termination of distribution agreements. Litigation expert Marguerite Aynès was recently promoted to counsel.

Sonia de Kondserovsky and Jean-Christophe Tristant lead DLA Piper’s healthcare department which recently attracted a number of new high-profile clients such as Becton Dickinson, Servier and Pierre Fabre. 2017 highlights included advising Lion Biotechnologies on regulatory and data privacy issues related to the conduct of clinical trials in Europe as well as handling a series of disputes including a patent infringement and unfair competition claim on behalf of a client in the skincare field. The group also assisted a pharmaceutical company with several product supply agreements and with a worldwide corporate restructuring covering over 36 jurisdictions. Associate Marie-Charlotte Mevel plays a key supportive role in the team and is also a key contact.

Known for its ‘business acumen and availability’, Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent’s healthcare practice focuses on corporate governance and contractual advice to private and public institutions, medical laboratories and individual practitioners. Catherine Paley-Vincent heads the team and recently defended a number of doctors in civil and criminal medical liability cases, advised companies and individuals on compliance with ethical regulations, and assisted a biological laboratory with the launch of a new veterinary product. Clients also instructed the group to oversee the setting up and management of governance structures, namely in connection with telemedicine and connected health projects in the context of genetic tests.

Hoyng Rokh Monegier’s ‘extremely strong’ team has deep expertise in advising major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on contentious patent issues and pharmaceutical regulatory matters. Led by ‘unflappable and very experienced’ Brussels-based patent law expert Benoît Strowel and regulatory specialist Anne Servoir, who recently joined from pharmaceutical law boutique firm Intuity, the practice is representing Zeltiq Aesthetics in several patent litigation proceedings pertaining to Cryolipolisys, a treatment process designed to eliminate fat cells through cooling. On the regulatory front, clients instructed the firm to advise on market access strategy, negotiations with national authorities, and tax issues relating to marketing and advertising activities by pharmaceutical players in France. Other noteworthy clients include Sanofi, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck and Audevard Laboratories.

Christophe Hénin is the name to note at healthcare and life sciences boutique Intuity: he advises pharmaceutical companies, laboratories and medical device start-ups on a vast array of issues. The team’s main strengths lie in regulatory advice, competition law and litigation pertaining to product liability.

Headed by Jean-Patrice Labautière, K&L Gates LLP’s team has particular strength in the M&A and private equity spaces. Assisting Sanofi with the termination of a joint venture with Merck in Europe, and advising US medical technology company Axonics on its €35m fundraising are a few of the team’s recent successes. Also noteworthy is corporate partner Nicola Di Giovanni who recently advised on the sale of severeal retirement homes. Other key clients include Ardian, Riverside and Remedica.

Lmt Avocats provides regulatory and litigation advice to major healthcare clients. In recent contentious highlights, the group represented Boehringer Ingleheim in an unfair competition claim against Novartis with regards to one of the defendant’s veterinary products, and acted for clients in a number of advertising issues including false claims and regulatory breaches. Notable counsel work includes transactional mandates, the opening of healthcare establishments in foreign jurisdictions, and the negotiation of patent licensing contracts. The names to note are Antoine Lemétais and Olivier Samnyn.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘excellent’ team was kept busy in 2017: the recommended Marta Giner Asins recently advised Pfizer on competition and antitrust issues with regard to its commercial structure and, on the corporate side, Stephane Sabatier is acting for a major German biopharmaceutical group in the contemplated merger of two of its subsidiaries as part of its efforts to reorganise its French operations. The team also continues to handle intellectual property and tax aspects of Roche’s acquisition of Marseille-based biotechnical company Trophos. Of counsel Arnaud Sanz is also a key contact.

Pech de Laclause Bathmanabane & Associés was recently particularly active in assisting start-ups, laboratories and pharmaceutical companies with regulatory issues pertaining to data protection and e-health projects. Also notable is the team’s advice to several pharmaceutical laboratories regarding the transparency obligations of the new ‘anti-gift’ legislation, and Michèle Anahory’s work for a biotech company with regards to market access issues and the launch of a new product; Anahory has lonstanding experience in advising on price fixing matters and partnership contracts in the context of research projects, as well as in representing manufacturers in regulatory inspections.

The core of Squire Patton Boggs’ healthcare and life sciences practice is liability litigation on behalf of medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, including criminal investigations and proceedings as well as class actions. Practice co-head Valérie Ravit is representing Huntsman in a multijurisdictional product liability litigation pertaining to the coating of food supplements and drugs, and practice co-head Carole Sportes defended Siemens in a large-scale action before the French Court relating to cases of Lyme disease. Other work included representing AIG in several medical malpractice disputes against an entity formerly insured by AIG.

IT, telecoms and the Internet

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the Internet
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Data protection
    • Ahmed Baladi - Gibson Dunn
    • François-Xavier Boulin - BCTG Avocats
    • Olivier Haas - Jones Day

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT, telecoms and the Internet 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


Boutique firm Alain Bensoussan-Avocats specialises in new technologies and recently promoted Chloé Legris, Sarah Lenoir, Anne Renard and Eve Renaud to directors and further strengthened its offering by hiring data protection head Florence Mulliez, who previously held an in-house position at electronics and technology retailer Darty. In recent contentious work, the firm represented a foreign communications operator in a dispute with a French operator pertaining to a pricing problem surrounding text messages between the two networks, and a group of telecoms companies appointed the team to handle two litigious actions brought by their customers arising from the hijacking of their telephone lines. Also noteworthy is the practice’s advice on digital transformation projects, data privacy compliance mandates as well as robotics and artificial intelligence matters. The team is led by Alain Bensoussan and also includes Naïma Alahyane Rogeon and Céline Avignon.

Baker McKenzie’s IT lawyers ‘demonstrate efficiency and flexibility to mould their expertise according to clients’ needs’. The IT and communications department is jointly headed by the recommended Laurent Szuskin and Rémy Bricard and recently advised a major financial services client on contractual aspects of a major project including the implementation of cloud platforms for the provision and optimisation of internal IT services. Other notable work highlights included assisting clients with GDPR compliance, connected devices and Internet of Things (IoT) projects, as well as disputes pertaining to licensing rights, audits and aborted IT projects. Noteworthy clients include Valeo, Oracle and Google. Data privacy expert Denise Lebeau-Marianna joined DLA Piper, but the group recently welcomed Yann Padova from The Energy Regulation Committee; he now leads the firm’s personal data protection team.

The IT and communications department at Bird & Bird handles IT litigation, cloud computing, big data, telecoms and fintech issues for clients such as Sodexo, Equinix, Mylan and Essilor. Practice head Stéphane Leriche specialises in technology partnerships and transactions while Ariane Mole leads the data protection sub-team with Merav Griguer, who recently joined from Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés. The Lyon-based Géraldine Arbant assisted Mylan with the development of a mobile application for medical use, and dispute resolution partner Marion Barbier represented a client in negotiations for a new agreement with one of its customers following the breach of a licensing agreement through its booking platform. In other highlights, the team assisted a major optical lens manufacturer with the implementation of multijurisdictional whistleblowing measures, including advice on data protection and labour law regulations. Cathie-Rosalie Joly joined from Ulys.

DLA Piper’s seven-partner offering is jointly led by the recommended Jonathan Rofé and global ICT practice co-head Stéphane Lemarchand and recently bolstered its data privacy capabilities with the hire of Denise Lebeau-Marianna from Baker McKenzie. Among recent work highlights are a series of digital transformation projects as well as the re-tendering of a global IT infrastructure outsourcing supply contract, and dispute resolution expert Fabienne Panneau represented a publishing house in its appeal against a decision by the French Supreme Court which ordered the client to pay €7m to its IT provider. In terms of data privacy work, Florence Guthfreund-Roland and Lebeau-Marianna assisted an IoT service provider and a pharmaceutical company with their respective GDPR compliance programmes. Additionally, head of the commercial contracts division Gregory Tulquois advised on contractual aspects of innovative B2C applications and the establishment of a logistics division as part of a global retail giant’s expansion into the French market, including advice on contracts with service providers and regulatory aspects of its new IT business activity. The department’s impressive client roster includes names such as Amazon, Vodafone, Michelin and Airbus.

Latham & Watkins’ IT and telecoms offering is led by transactions and contracts specialist Jean-Luc Juhan and experienced litigator Myria Saarinen. A household name client instructed a team led by Juhan to oversee the reorganisation of its telecom infrastructures, the renegotiation of an outsourcing contract and various information technology projects related to e-marketing; on the contentious side, Saarinen successfully represented a healthcare company in litigation which arose from the termination of a public procurement contract for a healthcare IT project and a counterclaim on the grounds of wrongful termination. The practice also provides day-to-day advice on data privacy matters, digitalisation and cloud-based projects, commercial agreements with distributors and third parties, and IT issues arising from corporate transactions in the technology space. LVMH, L’Oréal and Amazon are among the key clients.

Aramis recently welcomed of counsel Noémie Weinbaum from a deputy legal manager at Natixis to strengthen its regulatory fintech and data privacy offering. The team provides ongoing advice to Wirecard, which recently involved the negotiation of a global partnership agreement with Orange Bank for the provision of contactless payments to its customers, and practice head Benjamin May advised Carrefour on the migration of its internal messaging service to a cloud-based platform. On the regulatory side, the practice assisted La Banque Postale with its application before the French regulator – the ACPR – concerning a new license for an electronic money institution related to the launch of its new payment platform.

Astura is known for assisting French and international clients with the drafting and negotiation of IT contracts, IT litigation and personal data protection mandates. Recent work highlights include advising a retailer on a carve-out contract as part of its acquisition of a delivery business from another major retailer, and acting for a natural gas transmission system operator in a pre-litigation matter pertaining to the transfer of SAP software licenses. Several clients also benefitted from the team’s advice on GDPR compliance. Matthieu Mélin heads the practice.

August Debouzy’s team ‘is extremely good and consistently delivers a top-rate legal service’. The IT and telecoms offering, which recently gained eight new associates, ‘brings a huge amount of experience in corporate contracts’ and operates under the leadership of ‘outstanding professional’ and ‘formidable negotiatorMahasti Razavi and the ‘exceptionally user-friendlyFlorence Chafiol who ‘is on top of her field’. The team advised Bureau Veritas on a sensitive SaaS agreement with IBM and a global partnership agreement with AT&T, and Microsoft instructed the group to advise on a connected-car agreement with Renault. Transactional work included advising a consortium on an IT carve-out agreement as part of its acquisition of Areva’s nuclear propulsor and research reactor activities, and on the litigation front, the group defended Orange in a dispute brought by SFR-Numericable arising from the alleged breach of several agreements allowing Numericable to use Orange’s infrastructure to install fibre optic cables.

Behring’s ‘brilliant’ IT team ‘is able to address the whole range of IT subjects with a specific expertise in both new technologies and patents’ and includes lawyers who ‘are flexible in their approach, listen to their clients and are very easy to work with’. Founding partner Anne-Solène Gay’s ‘combined expertise in IT and IP and her technical skills’ make her ‘one of the best TMT lawyers one can find in Paris’; she continues to advise Swiss Post’s business process management services division on all IT contract negotiations and personal data protection matters, and assisted a major financial services client with IT aspects of its acquisition of an online factoring company. On the telecoms side, Orange Ivory Coast engaged the practice to advise on interconnection costs and the implementation of analytical accounting obligations, and Gay represented a telecoms provider in a claim against a major telecoms company arising from the unauthorised deployment of fibre optic cables in the client’s underground ducts.

A continuation of its strong media and entertainment practice, De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés’ IT and telecoms offering provides clients with advice on regulations, transactions and commercial agreements as well as on contentious matters. Julien Horn and Louis de Gaulle worked alongside new hire Philippe Moncorps, who arrived from an in-house position at TF1, to represent a major television network in copyright and trade mark infringement proceedings against a leading telecoms provider related to the expiration of broadcasting licenses. On the fintech front, Anne-Hélène le Trocquer advised BPCE on an agreement with Apple regarding the implementation of a contactless payment system, and assisted the same client with the takeover of a start-up. Other notable work highlights included assisting with a subsea telecoms cable project in Latin America, anti-counterfeiting campaigns and the development of IT tools. Other notable clients are Adobe, Microsoft and Dassault System.

Noted by clients for its ‘high expertise in IT businesses and fast feedback’, Derriennic Associés’ information and communications technology practice is led by François-Pierre Lani. Pierre-Yves Margnoux, who ‘provides a first-class level of expertise’, is defending Alcatel in litigation proceedings against SIEA arising from allegations that an optic fibre network built by the client is defective and causing customers to terminate their contracts with the claimant. On the regulatory side, Georges Jenselme is advising a global transport company on open data legislation and he is also defending a global IT services provider against a damages claim brought by an agri-food group concerning an allegedly defective IT human resources tool built by the client. Counsel Alexandre Fievée is another key contact alongside fellow counsels Emmanuel Benoît and Géraldine Pacaut.

The media and TMT department at Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP acts for major names in the IT and telecoms spaces. In recent highlights, the group handled a data protection project linked to its French operations for a global IT corporation, and advised a multinational internet retailer on distribution issues and contractual negotiations. Also notable is the team’s work in the field of fintech where it oversaw the implementation of software licensing matters. The names to note are technology partner Gaëtan Cordier, who dedicates a substantial fraction of his practice to intellectual property advice, and Dan Roskis, who specialises in competition and media law.

Féral-Schuhl/Sainte-Marie’s managing partner Richard Willemant ‘stands out for his mastery and perfect understanding of the industry sector, his efficiency, responsiveness and availability’ and recently teamed up with founding partner Christiane Féral-Schuhl to represent a leading television provider in a series of claims against hardware distributors which fraudulently receive audio-visual streaming. Etienne Papin regularly assists clients with IT and internet projects, litigation cases and GDPR compliance matters and in the telecoms sphere, Olivier de Courcel advised a leading telephone operator on an audit and express renegotiations of several agreements. Founding partner Bruno Grégoire Sainte Marie is also a key contact and specialises in product compliance, contractual aspects of manufacturing and distribution and general commercial law issues arising from the sale of IT and technology equipment in France.

Fieldfisher’s expertise applies to both contentious and non-contentious issues including the full gamut of contractual negotiations, e-commerce, IT-related corporate transactional support and data protection advice. Bruno Ducoulombier leads the intellectual property and IT department and frequently advises clients on cloud service and licensing agreements, while Anne-Laure-Hélène des Ylouses was part of a cross-office team overseeing the launch of a new connected healthcare product. Another key contact is Christopher Mesnooh, who acted for a major internet company in its data privacy strategy, and is representing Qvidian in a complex IT transaction with a major French banking group. Other notable clients include Hub One and Vygon.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.has a very strong understanding of the IT and technology space as a whole with vast experience in dealing with start-ups and fast-growing companies’. Practice co-head Olivier Cousi focuses on telecoms work and recently advised the national telecoms authority of Benin on the country’s legal framework and the introduction of new legislative provisions, as well as assisting the government of Cape Verde with arbitration proceedings against the national telecoms provider concerning regulatory compliance. In other work, ‘outstanding lawyer’ and counsel Julien Guinot-Deléry and practice co-head Thierry Dor provide ongoing advice to La Gazette Drouot on IT projects and contentious issues arising from its responsibility for publishing online content. Other key clients include Vodafone, Natixis, Facebook and Total, who instructed the practice to advise on data protection matters.

The ‘very pragmatic and reactive’ TMT team at Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP covers corporate, employment, litigation and competition law in the IT, telecoms and technology space. Recommended dispute resolution expert Christine Gateau is handling a number of litigation cases pertaining to the right to be forgotten and data privacy issues, while also guiding clients through the French regulatory landscape. On the new technology front, Winston Maxwell regularly advises on data privacy issues arising from the development of connected vehicles, as well as on licensing and contractual matters pertaining to new IT tools for fintech clients. Also noteworthy is domain name expert David Taylor who recently acted for Facebook, eBay and several of its subsidiaries in the recuperation of domain names in numerous jurisdictions. Jane Seager was recently promoted to partner and Patrice Navarro became counsel.

Boutique firm ITLAW Avocats specialises in IT, data protection and intellectual property under the leadership of founding partner Claudia Weber. The team recently assisted clients with contractual issues pertaining to data privacy and the development of various IT tools. Other work highlights included advising clients in a variety of industry sectors on digital transformation projects and contentious matters, as recently shown by the group’s defence of a hospital operator in a series of disputes against a group of practitioners wishing to collect the personal data of their patients and transfer it to a new management software. A real estate company also appointed the firm to oversee its action against a former subcontractor responsible for the maintenance of its IT services arising from the latter’s abrupt decision to terminate its maintenance of an essential operating software.

The ‘excellent team’ at Jones Day stands out for its ‘professionalism, business knowledge and response times’ and is headed by telecoms expert Rémy Fekete who represents clients such as Orange, Sigfox and Eutelsat; he also advised CBS on a major output deal with Canal+ and oversaw a complex telecoms towers transaction in South America for Millicom. Counsel Olivier Haas leads the group’s notable data privacy practice and recently acted for Solvay in the definition and implementation of their data protection compliance strategy in light of the incoming GDPR, and also assisted a leading food company with legal issues related to a smart data project which included the creation of a data lake of its industrial and customer data.

K&L Gates LLP’s Etienne Drouard has substantial experience in advising clients on data protection while Claude-Etienne Armingaud specialises in cross-border transactions and outsourcing contracts in the fields of fintech, IoT and big data. Notable transactional work included Armingaud’s advice to Bridgestone on its €12m share deal with Eliocity, which also entailed assistance with IT, IP and data protection due diligence. On the data protection front, the practice’s caseload includes advice to Carglass on the implementation of its GDPR compliance programme, and assisting BNP Paribas with its personal data privacy policy. The department’s client roster also includes JCDecaux, Microsoft, SNCF and SloClap.

Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats has strong expertise in advising its diverse client roster on all matters pertaining to new technologies, IT, e-commerce regulations and data protection. Alongside its contract negotiation work for clients such as SNCF, Nikon and Thomas Cook, the group also handles contentious mandates and is representing Sopra in its ongoing dispute with Oracle regarding an alleged breach of license agreement. The telecoms space also makes up a significant portion of the group’s caseload: highlights included defending Free in a competition dispute brought by Bouygues concerning Free’s agreement with Orange, and Caisse des Dépôts received assistance regarding the creation of a new Triple Play fibre optic entity. Marie-Hélène Tonnellier and Térence Cabot are the names to note.

Osborne Clarke’s team is headed by managing partner Béatrice Delmas-Linel and Claire Bouchenard, who provides ‘expert industry knowledge and pragmatic, to-the-point advice’. Xavier Pican, who recently joined from LPA-CGR avocats, advised Eiffage on all IT aspects of an innovative smart city project, and Lise Breteau is acting for a fintech company in the management of its e-payment services and other projects. Clients also recommend ‘very responsive’ associate Grégoire Dumas who is working alongside Bouchenard to advise Integral Ad Science on its GDPR and cookies compliance, and guiding Ubisoft through several IT procurement and service agreements. SNCF, Salesforce and Publicis are also noteworthy clients.

Altana’s ‘very good’ IT team recently welcomed new practice co-head Frank Valentin and four of his associates from De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés to strengthen its capacities in anti-counterfeiting campaigns for software and technology companies. Founding partner and corporate expert Pierre-Gilles Wogue advised the Figaro group on its acquisition of web-based professional networking platform Viadeo, and practice co-head Pierre Lubet recently acted for Hediard and Do&Co on the IT and data protection aspects of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament. The team also assisted clients with the implementation of IT tools, represented victims of cyber attacks and fraudulent scams, and counselled a major online retailer on the implications of premium domain names. Other notable clients include Microsoft, Amazon and Exacompta.

Artemont recently gained a number of new clients who instructed Farid Bouguettaya’s team to oversee data privacy policies and the negotiation of co-development agreements for the procurement of IT and technology products. Recent contentious highlights include a licensing dispute and the representation of a luxury brand in its pursuit of fraudulent purchases on its e-commerce website. Le Musée Yves Saint-Lauren, Soditech and Take & Buy are some of the practice’s noteworthy clients.

BCTG Avocats’ client roster includes a number of household names in a wide array of industry sectors such as retail, consumer goods and luxury. The group’s data protection offering rest on the shoulders of of counsel François-Xavier Boulin who advises a global sports goods name on data privacy aspects of its digital marketing and commerce strategy; he also represented a mobile games developer in pre-litigation against another developer which released a product infringing one of the client’s held rights. Practice head Gaëlle Bloret-Pucci acted for a number of clients in the roll-out of digital platforms and is a key contact alongside associates Pierre Trusson and Georgina van der Heijden.

Bersay & Associés acts for domestic and international clients both in contentious and non-contentious mandates under the leadership of Emmanuel Schulte who specialises in IT, e-commerce and commercial law. Recent IT work includes the negotiation of a wide array of contracts, the launch of a mobile application for a cloud-based transport optimisation platform, and the defence of a client against license and software infringement claims. Counsel Martine Georges-Naïm is an expert in the telecoms space; she is assisting a foreign national telecoms regulator with a market review and recently advised service providers on regulatory questions pertaining to 3G and 4G network access. For data privacy issues clients can rely on counsel Delphine Touboul who recently guided a leading retailer through a compliance audit, and oversaw the centralisation of employee information as part of a number of company-wide projects.

Benjamin Mourot heads Bignon Lebray’s IT offering and recently assisted a joint venture with the setting up of its new IT infrastructure. Of counsel Elise Dufour oversaw the introduction of digital document management tools as part of a hospitality client’s digital transformation process, and acted for clients in website design and regulatory issues. Also noteworthy is Julien Lecat who is representing a start-up in negotiations with an IT solution provider, and represented an online payment solutions provider in a dispute arising from a security breach. The team is also adept at connected e-health matters and data privacy issues.

The ‘responsive and available expert team’ at CMS provides a service that one client describes as ‘always perfect’. In recent highlights, the French Ministry of Education appointed the practice to defend its partnership with Microsoft in a dispute against associations requesting its dissolution in the context of the protection of open source software in France, and Conduent instructed the group to oversee the negotiation of major outsourcing agreements. Practice head Anne-Laure Villedieu advised a digital player on commercial, e-commerce and data protection issues, and is also representing software company Sage in a series of disputes with the company responsible for its IT solutions and a number of Sage’s clients seeking compensation following the host’s failure.

DS Avocats’ expertise extends to contractual negotiations and IT projects in heavily regulated industry sectors such as healthcare, fintech and insurance. The names to note are Arnaud Tessalonikos and counsel Gacia Kazandijan, who is responsible for the firm’s Canadian desk. On the contentious front, the team provided pre-litigation advice to clients involved in disputes pertaining to questions of regulatory compliance and infringement rights; counsel work revolves mainly around the negotiation and amendment of agreements, the drafting of data privacy policies and the development of e-commerce structures.

Dentons is advising Nokia on its compliance with German and French data protection regulations concerning its recording of street-level data, and the Airbus group appointed the group to handle its longstanding software infringement and unfair competition case involving Dassault, IBM and OpenCascade. In other highlights, David Masson acts for a leading designer of invoicing software and services in several projects involving the negotiation of IT contracts and the termination of license agreements, and a major pharmaceutical client engaged the group to handle issues pertaining to the development of a mobile application. Counsel Isabelle Leroux has vast expertise in intellectual property work and domain names; she is also a key contact alongside counsel Clément Monnet.

Franklin has an established presence in the telecoms space where it provides advice on corporate transactions, competition law, public law and dispute resolution, as well as on digitalisation projects, software development and telecom infrastructure rollout programmes to corporate and private equity clients. The team also advised a leading energy company on a multinational cloud contract and assisted a major global technology security company with its French encryption law issues. Also notable are regulatory expert Jérôme Michel and dispute resolution partner Yann Colin, who handled a number of commercial disputes and damages claims for clients in the telecoms space. Bradley Joslove left the firm in June 2018.

Gibson Dunn recently launched a new technology, cybersecurity and consumer protection practice following the hire of Ahmed Baladi, counsel Vera Lukic and three associates from Allen & Overy LLP. Renault engaged the team to advise on a multiservice agreement with an international IT services provider, as well as on data privacy and artificial intelligence issues regarding the development of connected vehicles. Baladi is also acting for Tag Heuer in its development of a luxury smart watch which includes negotiations with Google for the use of an Android license, while also counselling a major technology company with regards to sanctions imposed on it by the regulatory authorities. In other work, the team assisted numerous clients with the design and implementation of their data protection policies in light of the incoming GDPR.

The ‘fantastic’ team at Herald Avocats consists of ‘lawyers with clear knowledge of the market and the capacity to find effective solutions quickly’. The group recently handled negotiations and pre-litigation issues pertaining to the implementation of software solutions, advised on regulatory issues and assisted with the transfer of intangible assets, including intellectual property and personal data collections, in the context of corporate transactions. On the contentious front, the team also represented clients in contract breach and copyright infringement cases. The name to note is Anne Cousin, whose ‘ability to strategise’ impresses clients.

Nicolas Herzog is the founding partner of H20 Avocats and head of the IT practice which recently handled a number of significant contentious mandates pertaining to the loss of personal data. In other highlights, the team defended a major telecoms provider against counterfeiting claims filed by an open source software provider, and acted for a pharmaceutical laboratory in negotiations pertaining to the indemnities of its cybersecurity insurance policy with regards to the failed implementation of an IT tool. Of counsel Isabelle Védrines is another name to note.

Sabine Lipovetsky and Fabrice Perbost lead Harlay Avocats' IT, IP and life sciences practice, which focuses on regulatory, transactional and contentious issues. Areas of expertise include advising on GDPR matters, e-marketing and outsourcing.

Alexandra Néri leads Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s IP and TMT practice in Paris and specialises in representing IT, technology and telecoms companies in contentious mandates. Of counsel Sébastien Proust regularly advises household technology names such as Google on privacy policies with respects to consumer law and the use of big data; Google also appointed the group to handle two separate disputes against the main unions representing copyright holders in the movie and music industries pertaining to search engine results and access to counterfeit webpages. In other highlights, the team assisted a data company with the reorganisation of the international distribution network for the online sale of its products and acted for clients in the transfer of IT systems as part of corporate transactions. Céline Bey joined Gowling WLG.

Cabinet Isabelle Renard advises clients on data protection, IT contracts, regulations, and IT projects. Founding partner Isabelle Renard was appointed by a French real estate group and a transport regulator to design GDPR compliance programmes, and also assisted several fintech companies with regulatory issues.

François Klein and Laurent Badiane are the partners in charge of KGA Avocats’ IT, internet and data offering. The practice predominantly advises on regulatory issues, but also assists with open source software licenses and GDPR compliance. Recent highlights include advising a major sports club on the implementation of an exclusion list and providing pre-litigation advice to a foreign government in an effort to recuperate access to its official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The approach taken by Lawwaysis really outstanding and focuses on providing solutions rather than stressing the obstacles’. Clients value practice head Gilles Rouvier’s ‘determination to completely understand the technological aspects of legal issues to better understand their risks and provide the appropriate strategy’. Polaris appointed the group to negotiate an SaaS agreement with a global cosmetics group, and Rouvier advised bitcoin company Ledger on data protection issues. Other work highlights include overseeing the IT aspects of transactions, the negotiation of agreements in the fintech and medical technology spaces, and the development of mobile applications.

Nadège Martin recently made partner and leads the technology and innovation department at Norton Rose Fulbright: she has broad experience in acting for public and private sector clients in litigation, contractual negotiations, e-commerce agreements and data protection. The group regularly defends major international corporations and financial institutions against software copyright and infringement claims brought by developer companies such as Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle. Other recent work highlights include successfully representing clients in several criminal cases against hacker group Anonymous as well as handling e-reputation, cybersecurity and data breach matters. Other key clients include American Express, Carrefour and El Telecom.

Pinsent Masons LLP has particular expertise in data privacy regulation issues, but the TMT practice’s recent caseload also includes an e-reputation dispute against a journal and the negotiation of IT contracts. Team leader Annabelle Richard assisted a global industrial manufacturer with its GDPR compliance strategy and whistleblowing scheme, while Diane Mullenex advised on European commercial aspects of a corporate deal between a digital video client and a smart TV manufacturer, and assisted a communications service with telecoms regulations. Also noteworthy is the representation of a digital service provider in a liability and damages claim against a French telecoms operator pertaining to a security breach which allowed third parties to illegally connect to the defendant’s network. Legal director Melina Wolman specialises in litigation and is also a key contact.

Taylor Wessing handles IT disputes, data protection compliance, contract negotiations and cross-border projects for clients such as IBM and entities in the entertainment, retail and biotechnology spaces. In recent highlights, the group assisted several clients with the setting up of online sale platforms, advised a hardware manufacturing company on regulatory and data protection issues regarding the launch of its cloud-based cognitive healthcare solutions project, and represented a data storage company in a contentious mandate arising from an incident which damaged hard drives and computer racks of one of its clients. Valérie Aumage’s IT and data privacy team is regularly supported by dispute resolution partner Philippe Glaser, who has substantial experience in advising on data integration systems, financing hardware and software solutions.

Walter Billet Avocats impresses with ‘perfect expertise, efficiency, availability, speed and knowledge of the sector’. Alan Walter ‘is just excellent at what he does’ and provides a ‘top-level service’, according to one client. Noted for its track record in acting for start-ups, the firm was recently instructed to handle contractual negotiations pertaining to the development of online platforms and to oversee the digitalisation of entire business models on behalf of clients active in a vast array of industry sectors, including healthcare and construction.

White & Case LLP is ‘a great global law firm’ and provides clients with a ‘very pragmatic, global vision’. The Paris IT, telecoms and technology offering consists of five partners including the recommended Bertrand Liard, who continues to represent Facebook in contentious mandates regarding consumer protection, unfair competition and data protection issues. In the fintech space, the group advised several clients on IT agreements related to M&A transactions and on the launch of mobile applications in France. In the telecoms field, the team handled Orange’s acquisition of a 65% stake in Groupama Banque, which will become Orange Bank, and acted for a foreign telecoms player in arbitration proceedings arising from its shareholding in another foreign company. Counsel Clara Hainsdorf is a key figure in the team and recently teamed up with the M&A practice to counsel automobile company Faurecia on IT aspects of two cross-border M&A mandates.

Luxury goods

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Luxury goods
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Luxury goods 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


August Debouzy’s luxury sector group advises clients such as Ferrari, Repossi and John Taylor on the full spectrum of IP issues, employment law, real estate matters and tax regulations. In recent work, counsel Véronique Dahan continues to assist a jewellery house with the protection and enforcement of its intellectual property rights, and Mahasti Razavi and counsel Renaud Christol handle all distribution and partnership agreements, consumer law and commercial law issues for a luxury fashion brand. Clients also seek out Florence Chafiol and Razavi’s IT and technology expertise for data privacy and protection issues, and the labour law group works alongside the white-collar crime unit to guide clients across governance obstacles and regulatory pitfalls. Other noteworthy names include tax specialist Xavier Rohmer, experienced litigator and arbitrator Kami Haeri and Fabienne Haas who is part of the employment practice.

Bird & Bird’s luxury team ‘is one of the best in Europe in the areas of privacy, intellectual property and distribution’, thereby impressing with a ‘business approach that is practical and of very high quality’. Among recent successes are Ariane Mole’s advice to a high-end couturier on the deployment of a mobile payment service across its French stores, and IT specialist Stéphane Leriche’s assistance to a ready-to-wear leather company regarding a tactical agreement with a global management consulting firm. On the distribution side, Alexandre Vuchot assisted a fashion company with the setting up of its first franchised outlet in France; and contentious work included advice on trade mark and design infringement matters. Other key names are IP specialists Marc Schuler, Anne-Charlotte le Bihan and Géraldine Arbant who is based in Lyon.

The luxury group at Dentons services clients such as Kenzo in intellectual property, tax, real estate and commercial litigation mandates. In recent highlights, tax specialist Sandra Hazan is advising J. Mendel on private equity injections, and senior counsel Gérard Delile continues to act for Fondation Le Corbusier in ongoing copyright, trade mark and design infringement cases pertaining to iconic furniture pieces designed in the late 1920s. Senior counsel Odile Caron focuses on contractual work, specifically in the context of commercial and distribution agreements, and is a key contact alongside corporate specialist Jean-Marc Grosperrin and David Masson, who heads the firm’s intellectual property offering.

Gaëtan Cordier is part of Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP’s international intellectual property team and jointly chairs the global luxury goods group with employment partner Déborah Attali. Covering a wide array of practice areas in the luxury sector, the team continues to act for a leading corporation in all of its supply chain, franchising and sponsorship agreements, and has recently been advising Gucci on intellectual property issues regarding its operations in France and Italy. On the litigation front, Cordier represented a couturier in trade mark and unfair competition proceedings against two major online retailers pertaining to the sale of counterfeit goods across several jurisdictions. Also notable is Attali’s day-to-day employment counsel to a wide range of luxury clients.

The luxury goods team at Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. includes partners from the employment, intellectual property, real estate and corporate departments to advise clients such as Tiffany & Co, Guerlain and Louis Vuitton. The group’s recent caseload includes several litigation cases such as intellectual property infringement proceedings on behalf of Dior, and Moët Hennessy’s employment dispute pertaining to the moral harassment of employees by trade union delegates. Distribution specialist Joëlle Salzmann is acting for Expanscience in the updating of its selective distribution network in several European jurisdictions and overseeing several actions against unauthorised dealers. Also noteworthy is Antoine Choffel’s competition and antitrust expertise which he recently exhibited on behalf of a household cosmetics name in an appeal against a decision by the FCA to fine home and personal care product manufacturers for coordinating their commercial policies.

Artemont’s ‘young, dynamic and innovative’ team is also ‘a talented and highly valuable offering in the field of luxury goods’. Clients retain the practice to manage their intellectual property portfolios, while others regularly instruct the group to handle contractual issues such as sponsorship agreements, trade mark licenses and partnership arrangements. On the contentious side, recent work highlights include litigation cases arising from trade mark, design and copyright infringement claims, as well as image rights issues. Kering, Saint-Lauren and Salvatore Ferragamo are notable clients. The ‘excellent and highly-experienced’ Philippe Clément and ‘rising star in the intellectual property space’ Farid Bouguettaya head the practice, which also includes distribution law specialist François Berthod.

Candé Blanchard Ducamp has an established presence in the luxury sector and focuses on intellectual property and unfair competition litigation. In addition to handling significant trade mark, copyright and design infringement proceedings, the team was recently also appointed by a household name perfume manufacturer to end the commercialisation of a counterfeit collection of perfume products in France and abroad. Founding partners Patrice de Candé, Julien Blanchard and Claire Herissay-Ducamp are the key contacts.

Meridian’s Vincent Vilchien and Julien Canlorbe ‘are agile operators both as litigators and counsellors’ and lead the firm’s luxury group. A high-end luxury products manufacturer recently appointed the group to oversee the design and construction of solar panels as well as the negotiation of leasing agreements for the installation of renewable energy plants as part of the company’s dedication to sustainability. Associate Emilie Mounic plays a crucial role in the team’s intellectual property offering which includes litigation, the transfer of property and copyrights, and the negotiation of coexistence and license agreements.

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