France > Private equity > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
Index of tables
Private equity: fund formation
Other recommended firms
- Xavier Comaills - Clifford Chance
Arnaud David -
King & Wood Mallesons
Nathalie Duguay -
King & Wood Mallesons
Clifford Chance’s high-profile practice covers the structuring and fundraising of a wide variety of funds, including LBO and venture capital, infrastructure, distressed debt and property funds. The firm recently assisted European Capital with the structuring of a pan-European private debt fund. AEW Europe, Amundi and Sofinnova Partners are also clients. Xavier Comaills is a leading name in the field. Tax partners Alexandre Lagarrigue and Eric Davoudet are also involved. The firm hired Véronique de Hemmer Gudme from King & Wood Mallesons.
King & Wood Mallesons has an impressive track record in the formation and fundraising of LBO, infrastructure, mezzanine and real estate funds. The nine-lawyer team advises many leading investment funds, including Antin Infrastructure Partners and Azulis Capital. It recently assisted Five Arrows with the creation of a €700m LBO investment fund. Arnaud David and Nathalie Duguay head the practice.
Dechert produces ‘high-quality and rigorous work’. ‘Proactive and efficient’, the team ‘always has good suggestions and knows how to reconcile its clients’ wishes with legal requirements’. The firm advises many fund managers on the creation of venture capital, SME, LBO, debt, infrastructure and real estate funds, as well as funds of funds. ACE Management, ACG Capital, Amundi PEF, European Investment Fund and Impact Partenaires are clients. Practice head Olivier Dumas is ‘rigorous, nice and defends his clients’ interests’. The ‘committed and dedicated’ Antoine Sarailler is also recommended.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. provides ‘an excellent level of service’. The practice advises a broad range of funds, including private equity and property funds, on structuring, regulatory and fundraising matters. Highlights included assisting the European Investment Bank with its first equity participation in a French fund through a €50m commitment to the Capenergie 3 investment fund. Partech Partners, Amundi and CNP are clients. Ann Baker heads the practice alongside Stéphane Puel, who ‘provides a deep network and support on intricate or policy matters’.
Index of tables
Private equity: LBO
Other recommended firms
Latham & Watkins impresses clients through its ‘execution capabilities’, ‘great listening ability and international expertise’. The partners in the practice are ‘deal-makers and problem-solvers’, who show ‘great ability to deal with pressure’ and are supported by leading tax and finance expertise. The team recently assisted Ardian with the acquisition of Siaci Saint Honoré and acted for Bridgepoint on the €1bn sale of Infront. The practice is led by Thomas Forschbach and Gaëtan Gianasso, who has ‘great technical skill and is a fine negotiator’. Olivier du Mottay and Denis Criton are also names to note.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has ‘a leading market position’ and advises an impressive client base of high-end private equity funds and is constantly involved in the market’s largest transactions. Highlights included assisting 3i with the €1.2bn sale of Labco, and acting for Vedici and CVC on the buyout of Vitalia. Advent International, Apax Partners, Astorg, Montagu, Oaktree and Sagard are also clients. Practice head David Aknin is a market-leading figure. Jean Beauchataud is also recommended along with Alexandre Duguay, Emmanuelle Henry and Frédéric Cazals, who is ‘rapid and produces fine analysis’.
Ashurst LLP’s ‘efficient and proactive’ 15-lawyer team is praised for its ‘virtuosity in executing deals’. The practice, which can rely on leading finance expertise, regularly advises on large LBO transactions. Recent highlights include assisting Bridgepoint with the sale of Compagnie du Ponant and assisting Charterhouse with the acquisition of a majority stake in Comexposium. Chequers is also a client. The practice is led by Guy Benda, Bertrand Delaunay, Yann Gozal and the ‘brilliant’ Nicolas Barberis, who is ‘a real asset in negotiations’ and has ‘a bright future ahead’.
Clifford Chance advises various leading investment funds on large transactions and notably assisted Cinven with its agreement to acquire Labco, as well as advising Sagard and Ergon Capital on the sale of Corialis. Butler Capital, Permira, Perceva and Wendel are also clients. Fabrice Cohen, Gilles Lebreton, Thierry Schoen and Laurent Schoenstein are the key figures.
King & Wood Mallesons shows ‘creativity and great judgement’, as well as ‘a strong ability to think outside the box’. The firm is a leading player in the mid-cap and upper mid-cap market, while also being able to attract instructions on the largest transactions. Recent highlights include assisting Astorg Partners with the sale of Gras Savoye and acting for Lion Capital on the sale of a part of its stake in Picard. The firm has a complete range of expertise in the private equity sector, including top fund formation, tax and finance expertise. It advises a large client base of fund managers that includes Capzanine, Equistone, Eurazeo PME, Five Arrows, Nixen and Sagard. Maxence Bloch heads the private equity practice, which includes experienced partners Christophe Digoy, Jérôme Jouhanneaud, William Robert, Pierre-Louis Sévegrand-Lions and Thomas Maitrejean, ‘a real deal-maker who strongly protects the interests of his clients’. Pierre-Louis Périn leads the venture capital practice.
Linklaters LLP often advises on large LBO deals, such as assisting Apollo Management with the acquisition of Verallia and advising ICG on the buyout of Staci. BC Partners is also a client. Fabrice de La Morandière heads the practice, which notably includes Vincent Ponsonnaille, Marc Petitier and Alain Garnier.
Mayer Brown provides ‘high-end service’. The 20-lawyer team is conversant in the ‘latest LBO techniques’, shows ‘excellent judgement and knowledge of the market’ and forms ‘a comprehensive practice’, which can leverage complementary tax and finance expertise. The practice advises a large and prominent client base of leading fund managers such as Eurazeo, Activa Capital, Argos Soditic and Chequers. It is a leading player in the mid-cap market and also regularly picks up large-cap deal mandates. Recent highlights include assisting longstanding client LBO France with its €500m buyout of IKKS and the €500m sale of Worldwide Flight Services. The firm is also recognised for its strong management package expertise. The practice is led by Xavier Jaspar, Guillaume Kuperfils and tax expert Laurent Borey. Olivier Aubouin, Thomas Philippe, Emily Pennec and Alexandre Dejardin are also recommended. Serge Levine joined CVML.
Scotto & Associés is ‘able to provide great advice in record times on strategic projects’ and has ‘exceptional expertise’ in advising management teams during LBO transactions. Recent work includes advising on the market’s largest LBO transactions in 2015, including assisting the management during Verallia’s €2.94bn buyout by Apollo and acting on Compagnie du Ponant’s €520m acquisition by Artemis. The practice also advised various management teams on LBO exit deals via IPOs. Lionel Scotto le Massese heads the 19-lawyer team, in which Nicolas Menard-Durand, Claire Revol-Renié and Isabelle Cheradame are also recommended.
Venture and growth capital
Index of tables
Private equity: venture and growth capital
Other recommended firms
Dechert provides ‘an excellent quality of service’, shows ‘high professionalism in handling complex transactions and has a global vision of all matters at stake, including non-legal matters’. The practice advises venture and investment funds, including New York-based management firms, as well as investees. It also handles some LBO work, where it often advises management teams. Recent highlights include assisting Accel Partners and Lead Edge as subscribers in connection with the closing of a large series C convertible preferred round for BlaBlaCar. The ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’ Matthieu Grollemund heads the practice and has ‘unique US/French experience’ and ‘a business acumen that is rarely found in lawyers’. The ‘experienced and constructive’ François Hellot and recently promoted partner Anne-Charlotte Rivière are also recommended.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s ‘professional, available and efficient’ practice is an established leader in the field of venture capital, where it handles a high volume of deals each year on behalf of investors and companies. The practice recently assisted Finsecur with a €25m investment by EDRIP and Bpifrance. The ‘smart and responsive’ Pierre Karpik ranks among the best advisers in the market. Karen Noël is another name to note. Olivier Edwards joined Orrick Rambaud Martel.
Jones Day is a recognised leader in venture and growth capital. The firm advises on the fundraising and financing of the market’s hottest tech and life sciences companies, acting on either side. The practice assisted Condé Nast, Balderton Capital, Ventech and Idinvest Partners as incumbent co-investors with Eurazeo in connection with Vestiaire Collective’s new €33m round of financing. Elaia Partners, XAnge PE and Bpifrance are also clients. The team is led by Charles Gavoty and Renaud Bonnet, who is ‘always excellent, whatever the situation might be’.
Chammas & Marcheteau ranks ‘among the best firms in venture capital’. The ‘competent and responsive’ team advises major investment funds and recently assisted Bpifrance with its €24m investment in Teads. The practice also handles some LBO deals. The team is led by Lola Chammas, Camille-Maya Hurel, Nicolas Lecocq and Denis Marcheteau, who ‘understands issues from an economic perspective before providing legal answers’.
In 2015, McDermott Will & Emery AARPI hired a recognised team from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP to boost its private equity practice. Department co-head Henri Pieyre de Mandiargues, Carole Degonse and Grégoire Andrieux all have extensive experience of advising investment funds, companies and the management in LBO and venture capital transactions. They join practice co-head Emmanuelle Trombe and recently promoted partner Anthony Paronneau, who regularly advise biotech companies on fundraising.
Pinot de Villechenon & Associés’ ‘responsive and available’ team produces ‘an excellent quality of work’ in mid-cap LBOs and is a key player in the venture capital field, advising investment funds and start-ups. Recent highlights include assisting Actility with its €22.5m fundraising. The key figures are ‘deal-maker’ Morgan Hunault-Berret, who ‘quickly understands matters’, as well as Erwan Tostivint, Isabelle Burel-Blasoni, practice head Gilles Roux – who is ‘especially recommended for complex LBO transactions’ – and Tristan Segonds, who is ‘pleasant, rigorous and responsive’.