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France > Insolvency > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Ashurst LLP has an ‘excellent’ LBO restructuring practice and has been involved in the market’s largest cases on behalf of sponsors, lenders and distressed companies. Recent highlights include assisting the senior lenders with JOA’s restructuring, advising Meubles Rapp on the safeguard proceedings and judicial reorganisation of its operational companies, and acting for Peaked Hill Partners in its offer for Arc International. Practice head Jean-Pierre Farges is ‘a great lawyer’ and ‘real strategist’: ‘he is aggressive with exceptional insight, and a pleasure to work with.’ Finance expert Laurent Mabilat and Pierre-Emmanuel Fender are also key partners.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is always present in the most high-profile cases involving listed and non listed companies. The firm has market-leading expertise in lender-side advice, while also receiving instructions from investors and debtors. Recent highlights include acting for the senior lenders during Alma’s restructuring and advising the banking pool following ARC International’s conciliation proceedings. The experienced Philippe Dubois heads the team, which notably includes Matthieu Barthélemy and Joanna Gumpelson.

Orrick Rambaud Martel has ‘very good industry knowledge’, ‘knows how to anticipate things and be proactive’ and has ‘excellent commercial sense’. Often assisting investment funds or banks, the firm advises on the largest restructuring cases. Recent highlights include assisting Baja Ferries regarding its takeover offer for some assets of the SNCM, and advising Davidson Kempner on the debt restructuring of Latécoère. Practice head Saam Golshani is ‘outstanding and very good at negotiating and dealing with challenging situations’.

Santoni & Associés advises creditors, investors and debtors on the market’s largest cases. The firm assisted the senior lenders committee with Partouche’s safeguard proceedings and acted for JOA in its restructuring. Marc Santoni ‘ranks among the market’s top experts’; Bérangère Rivals and Lionel Lamoure are other names to note.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s top-end practice is assisting SNCM in connection with its bankruptcy, advising Latecoere with its debt restructuring, and supporting Arc International during its takeover and restructuring. The 13-lawyer team is jointly led by Jean-Dominique Daudier de Cassini, who is widely regarded as the best in his field, and Philippe Druon. Fabienne Beuzit was promoted to partner and counsel Anne-Sophie Noury is another key figure.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s ‘great practice’ is routinely involved in the market’s most high-profile cases on behalf of sponsors and investors. Recent work includes assisting Apollo Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital with the Latécoère case, advising Transdev as majority shareholder regarding SNCM’s insolvency proceedings, and acting for BUT in its successful bid for certain assets of Fly and Atlas. Practice co-head Alexandra Bigot has ‘succeeded in putting together a good team’, which notably includes European counsel Vincent Pellier and recent arrival Lionel Spizzichino, who joined from Paul Hastings LLP and is now practice co-head.

Bredin Prat is regularly involved in top restructuring and insolvency cases, often acting for investors or distressed companies. The practice is advising the French state in the bankruptcy proceedings of SNCM. The firm also handles related litigation. The practice is led by the ‘brilliantOlivier Puech and Nicolas Laurent.

Bremond & Associés shows ‘total availability’, ‘in-depth knowledge of the law and players involved’ and provides ‘good strategic judgements’. The firm is regularly involved in some of the market’s most high-profile cases, often acting for shareholders and creditors but also attracting mandates from debtors. It recently assisted the mezzanine creditors with Ludendo and La Grande Récré’s debt restructuring. The practice is led by Guilhem Bremond, who has ‘excellent interpersonal skills and great strategic judgement’, Delphine Caramalli, who ‘brings excellent analysis of situations’, and Virginie Verfaillie.

In 2015, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier hired François Kopf from Dethomas Peltier Juvigny & Associés to head its practice; Kopf has emerged as a market reference in recent years – ‘he is a true lawyer able to fight, who has strong pleading skills in addition to technical skills’. He is involved in key insolvency, restructuring and litigation matters, as well as acting for investors and debtors. He is representing Advent in Gérard Darel’s bankruptcy proceedings and acting for Ascometal in bankruptcy.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. advises creditors, investors and distressed companies. It is representing Partouche and its majority shareholder in debt renegotiation and acting for La Mutuelle des Etudiants on the filing of a twelve-month safeguard. Leading figure Gabriel Sonier heads the practice in tandem with Caroline Texier. Banking specialist Eric Cartier-Millon and corporate adviser Jean-Gabriel Flandrois are also names to note.

Lantourne & Associés delivers ‘very high quality work’. The eight-lawyer team shows ‘excellent legal mastery combined with real strategic vision’. It assisted La Provence with Nice Matin’s employees’ takeover. The team is led by Kristell Cattani along with Maurice Lantourne, who has ‘great expertise and strategic sense’, and Flavie Hannoun, whose ‘great practice knowledge and tenacity’ are particularly appreciated.

Linklaters LLP’s five-lawyer team is praised for its ‘excellent response times, proactivity and business-oriented advice’. Aymar de Mauléon de Bruyères heads the practice, which is involved in a number of leading cases, acting for investors, creditors and distressed companies. The firm notably represented Alcentra and Babson Capital in Vivarte’s debt restructuring.

Racine is involved in several high-profile restructuring and insolvency cases, often advising debtors. The practice is notably representing the court administrators regarding Tilly-Sabco’s insolvency proceedings and advising the pool of banks on Gascogne’s debt restructuring. Antoine Diesbecq and Laurent Jourdan head the practice, which also includes Emmanuel Laverrière and finance expert Barna Evva.

Altana is ‘rapid, proactive, reliable and highly available’. The firm advises debtors and investors, and has ‘fine knowledge of insurance companies’ bankruptcy processes’. Michel Jockey and Pierre-Gilles Wogue are the key contacts.

Clifford Chance advises distressed companies and their shareholders, as well as lenders. The practice is regularly involved in cross-border matters. It is notably representing Austrian glass manufacturer Stoelzle-Oberglas in the restructuring of its French subsidiary STM. The practice is led by the highly experienced Reinhard Dammann and finance specialists Daniel Zerbib and counsel Gilles Podeur.

DLA Piper’s practice head Pierre-Alain Bouhenic is ‘expert in complex structuring and likes to solve complex matters for his clients’. The ten-lawyer team ‘works extremely hard’ and often advises investors. Recent work includes assisting Biolandes with the acquisition of Gascogne. The highly experienced team also includes David Chijner, who is recommended for complex restructurings, and Noam Ankri.

FTPA recently merged with SEH Legal, a firm made up of ‘real professionals who are passionate by their missions and who listen to their clients’. The newly formed ten-lawyer team is led by Bruno Robin, Edouard Fabre and Sandra Esquiva-Hesse, who ‘shows high dedication’.

Poulain & Associés is a long established player with strong credentials. The practice is involved in a large number of cases. It is advising ABK regarding six rehabilitation proceedings and advised an investor on its bid for some of Bata France Distribution’s assets. Jean-Paul Poulain is ‘a very good professional’. Jean-Charles Barbaud and litigator Edouard Bloch are also names to note.

Veil Jourde’s ‘exceptional’ Georges Jourde is retained to handle complex matters. Bertrand Chauchat and Nassim Ghalimi are also strong names.

White & Case LLP’s ‘up-and-coming’ practice often advises lenders and investors. It notably represented the lenders during Gérard Darel’s debt restructuring. Céline Domenget-Morin heads the team.

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