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France > Project finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Project finance
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals: energy
  4. Leading individuals: France energy regulatory
  5. Leading individuals: : mining, oil and gas

Leading individuals: energy

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Leading individuals: France energy regulatory

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Leading individuals: : mining, oil and gas

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Allen & Overy LLP is ‘the go-to firm’ for power and energy projects in Africa. The 17-lawyer team advises international lenders and sponsors on the financing of large-scale conventional power, hydro and other renewable energy projects. It is also involved in high-profile work in France, across Europe and Asia. The firm is assisting the lenders with the financing of a 108MW wind farm project in Romania. Practice head Tim Scales is ‘a big name in the African project world, who knows the market inside out’. Rod Cork, Adrian Mellor and Christine Poyer-Rufenacht are other key figures.

Clifford Chance has the ‘best lawyers in town’ for French project finance work and is involved in major domestic road and infrastructure projects, as well as mandates internationally. It is assisting the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with the financing of the Adana health campus. The firm also has an impressive energy project practice, where it often advises lenders. It is involved in many conventional power, hydro and renewable energy project financings in Africa, such as assisting the lenders with the 120MW Kribi power plant expansion financing in Cameroon. Key figures in the team for international projects include Anthony Giustini, who jointly heads the firm’s Africa practice, Delphine Siino Courtin, who jointly heads the firm’s North Africa practice, as well as Nikolaï Eatwell and recently promoted partner Richard Tomlinson. For domestic project finance work, David Préat stands out for public law aspects, while Daniel Zerbib and recently promoted partner Benjamin de Blegiers are ‘outstanding individuals either on the banks or sponsor side’. Nicholas Wong relocated to the Singapore office.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is involved in high-profile international power and energy projects in Africa. The practice is also advising the IFC on a water production and treatment facilities project at Kigali in Rwanda, and is handling high-end projects in Brazil and the UK, as well as several airport rehabilitation projects globally. The firm also ranks among the key players for energy and infrastructure projects in France. John Crothers, François Krotoff and Stéphane Vernay are the key contacts for international projects. Thomas Courtel and Bénédicte Mazel are recommended for projects in France.

Linklaters LLP leads an impressive project finance practice in the energy field in France and Africa, where it advises lenders and sponsors alike. It is notably advising the lenders on the $1.4bn multi-currency project financing of the Jorf Lasfar IPP expansion in Morocco. The 14-lawyer team is also regarded as a leading player in PPP in France and also advises on international infrastructure projects. The ‘technically excellent’ Bertrand Andriani co-heads the firm’s Francophone Africa group with Paul Lignières, who shows ‘very high analytical ability, high intellectual rigour and a perfect understanding of banking and financial issues’. François April is also a key name in the practice. Counsel Mark Barges is another name to note.

Orrick Rambaud Martel is instructed on the largest infrastructure projects in France and is assisting Bouygues with Monaco’s sea urbanisation project, as well as acting for the lenders on the Ports of Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer project bond financing. The firm also ranks among the leading players for large energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa, assisting states and sponsors. It is advising the Energy Ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the construction of the 4,800MW Inga 3 hydropower project. Key figures in the practice include Yves Lepage, who is deputy head of the firm’s global energy and infrastructure practice, and Pascal Agboyibor, who heads the Africa practice. Senior counsel Noël Chahid-Nouraï, Jean-Luc Champy and Amaury de Feydeau are key names for projects in France.

White & Case LLP is ‘expert in finance while also paying attention to the technical aspects of the projects’. The 20-lawyer practice is particularly strong in the energy sector, where it advises on large-scale power, hydro and wind projects, particularly in Africa. It is advising the co-arrangers on the financing and construction of a 372MW thermal power plant project in Ivory Coast. The practice is also equally strong in infrastructure projects in France, across Europe and Africa, and is assisting the lenders with the €550m financing and construction of the Adana healthcare campus. Paule Biensan heads the practice, which also includes Jacques Bouillon, the ‘very competent, pragmatic and pleasant-to-work-with’ Victoria Westcott, and recently promoted partner François-Guilhem Vaissier.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is representing sponsors of various large hydropower and mining projects in Africa, as well as African transport infrastructure and energy projects. It is assisting the government of Cameroon, EDF International, Rio Tinto Alcan and the IFC on the development and financing of the Nachtigal 420MW hydropower project. Senior counsel Jean-Pierre Vignaud, Andrew Bernstein and Barthélemy Faye are the key contacts.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘quick and to-the-point answers’ on French and English law. The firm regularly assists commercial and development banks, as well as sponsors, on the financing of infrastructure, renewable energy and oil and gas projects in France and Africa. The practice notably assisted InfraVia with financing the purchase of a 20% stake in Noordgastransport, which manages gas pipeline networks from the North Sea. Key figures in the team include Régis Oréal, Eric Fiszelson, Louis de Longeaux and public law expert Christophe Lefort, who ‘combines excellent technical knowledge and an amazing ability to respond to a heavy workload and analyse complicated issues’. Of counsels Laure Bonin and Rachel Campbell are also names to note.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP ranks among the top firms for advising public entities and sponsors on large projects in France, but also handles large infrastructure projects in Francophone Africa. The practice is notably advising the governments of Niger and Benin on a $4.3bn West African rail project. Public law experts Ludovic Babin and Bruno Cantier are recommended along with finance specialist Olivier Fille-Lambie.

Jones Day has strong French PPP expertise and is regularly retained by major sponsors. The practice recently advised on various new projects in the university sector, including assisting Bouygues Construction with a new campus project in Aubervilliers. Philippe Delelis and Nicolas Brice are recommended on the public law aspects, as are Frédéric Gros and recently promoted partner Sophie Chevallier on the financing side. Of counsel Denis Bandet advises on international mining and infrastructure projects.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP delivers ‘very professional and high-quality services’, and is frequently retained for high-profile projects in France, as well as a growing volume of international mandates. The practice is assisting the sponsors with the Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer Port projects and advising the lenders on a 285MW coal-fired power plant project in New Caledonia. It is representing a consortium with the Adana healthcare campus project. The practice is led by finance expert Amir Jahanguiri, ‘a fantastic lawyer, fully dedicated who manages deals efficiently’, and public law expert Thierry Laloum. Michaël Armandou was promoted to partner.

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