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France > Project finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP ranks among the market’s top firms for large international power projects in Africa. Current work includes assisting the government of Benin with a power purchase and concession agreement for a combined 1,200MW gas-fired power project, as well as acting for the lenders on the €4.2bn financing of three natural gas power plants in Egypt. The practice also handles infrastructure projects elsewhere overseas and in France. Rod Cork, Christine Poyer-Rufenacht and Adrian Mellor are the key names for international projects and public law expert Romaric Lazerges is recommended for French projects. Tim Scales relocated to London. Since publication, Driss Bererhi has joined the firm as a partner, having previously been at Bird & Bird.

Clifford Chance has ‘excellent’ expertise and is particularly recommended for the most complex projects. The firm often advises export credit agencies and commercial lenders on the financing of Africa’s largest power projects and also assists state entities; acts on projects in France and Europe, covering oil and gas, conventional energy and renewables, as well as transport and other infrastructure in France and Africa. Highlights included advising the Maltese government on the development and financing of a 215MW gas-fired power plant and an LNG storage and degasification facility, as well as assisting the lenders with the financing of the 450MW Azura-Edo IPP project in Nigeria. Anthony Giustini, Daniel Zerbib and public law expert David PrĂ©at are market-leading figures, as is the ‘very responsive and highly knowledgeable’ NikolaĂŻ Eatwell. Delphine Siino Courtin, ‘dealmaker’ Benjamin de Blegiers and Richard Tomlinson are also recommended.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has ‘strong experience in infrastructure projects in Africa’. With almost 30 lawyers, the practice is involved in several port and airport projects and is also advising energy producers and sponsors on hydropower and other energy projects. It is assisting EGL and the three contracting states in the African Great Lakes region with the 147MW Ruzizi III hydropower plant, as well as acting for the Kingdom of Jordan in the Red Sea-Dead Sea water desalination and pipeline project. StĂ©phane Vernay has ‘good knowledge of African local practices and has a pragmatic approach’. John Crothers and François Krotoff are also top professionals. The firm also ranks among the best in France for PPP work through Thomas Courtel and BĂ©nĂ©dicte Mazel, who both show ‘high technical project expertise and ethical sense’. Laetitia Lemercier and Marie Bouvet-Guiramand were elevated to the partnership.

Linklaters has one of the market-leading practices for energy projects in France and Africa. The practice handles greenfield and brownfield renewable energy projects in France, often acting for the sponsors, and is also advising on electricity interconnector projects. In Africa, the team is advising on major renewable energy and power projects. It is assisting Platinum Power with five hydroelectric projects in Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Other work includes advising on a series of airport procurement projects in Europe and overseas. Practice head Bertrand Andriani, François April and public law expert Paul LigniÚres are key figures and counsel Mark Barges is another name to note.

Orrick Rambaud Martel is involved in some of the largest hydropower projects in Africa and is representing Golar in one of the first floating LNG facility projects in Africa (located off the coast of Cameroon). It is also advising on renewable energy and infrastructure projects. The practice is jointly led by Yves Lepage and Pascal Agboyibor, who has ‘extensive experience and shows a fine understanding of international and local issues at stake for his clients’. Simon Ratledge, who joined from Simmons & Simmons LLP, is a strong addition for international energy projects. The practice also ‘meets the market’s highest standards for project finance and public law work’ in France, where it is a leader in the field through senior counsel NoĂ«l Chahid-NouraĂŻ and Jean-Luc Champy for the public law aspects, as well as for the financing through the expertise of Amaury de Feydeau, who has ‘strong skills and is easily available’.

White & Case LLP shows ‘a great level of expertise and an overall understanding of the technical and commercial aspects of a deal’. The firm ranks among the best players for infrastructure PPP projects. It recently assisted the arrangers with the A28 French toll road refinancing; the practice also undertakes international energy and infrastructure project finance work, especially in Africa. It assisted SENAC with the Dakar new toll road and advised the lenders on a 146MW solar plant project in Chile. Paule Biensan heads the practice, in which Jacques Bouillon, Victoria Westcott and François-Guilhem Vaissier are also recommended.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is ‘a top firm for high-level PPP projects’ in France. The ‘quick and efficient’ team routinely assists sponsors and lenders on France’s largest infrastructure projects and is also very active in Africa and Turkey. It recently advised sponsors on a series of major healthcare PPP projects in Turkey. The firm also assisted the Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency with the Tangier Med 2 container terminal project, as well as acting for SociĂ©tĂ© d’Exploitation du Transgabonais and Comilog on the Transgabonais railway rehabilitation project. Amir Jahanguiri is ‘a reference in project finance who always knows the latest techniques’. Public law expert Thierry Laloum is ‘outstanding and a strategic thinker who is very tough in negotiations’. MichaĂ«l Armandou is another name to note.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is particularly active in Africa, where it ‘has great African PPP expertise’ and strong experience in large hydropower projects, as well as oil, gas and mining work. The practice notably assisted the Senegalese government with the PPP financing and construction of the new Blaise Diagne airport. BarthĂ©lemy Faye, senior counsel Jean-Pierre Vignaud and Andrew Bernstein are the key figures.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has ‘a very experienced team that brings solid and constructive advice’. The firm assists lenders with major infrastructure projects in France and Africa. It is also particularly active in the energy sector alongside sponsors and lenders with hydropower and renewable energy projects in France and Africa. The practice notably assisted EDF, the IFC and the government of Cameroon with Nachtigal’s 420MW hydroelectric project. RĂ©gis OrĂ©al, the ‘very efficient’ Eric Fiszelson, Louis de Longeaux and public law expert Christophe Lefort are the key figures in the practice. Laure Bonin, LeĂŻla Hubeaut, Rebecca Major and of counsel Rachel Campbell are other names to note.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is a strong name for large infrastructure projects, especially in the transport sector where the team is involved in the largest deals in France and Francophone Africa. It has strong experience of advising public sector clients as well as assisting some lenders and sponsors. It is assisting the governments of Niger and Benin with the $4.3bn West African rail loop project. The practice is also advising on renewable energy projects in France and Africa. Ludovic Babin, Bruno Cantier and finance expert Olivier Fille-Lambie are highly recommended.

Jones Day has leading expertise in the domestic market. The firm advised on some of the largest public projects to be launched recently. It assisted the lenders to the winning consortium on the financing of the privatisation of Nice Airport, as well as assisting Vinci Autoroutes with winning the bid for the A355 motorway project. Public law experts Philippe Delelis and Nicolas Brice form a great team with financing experts Frédéric Gros and Sophie Chevallier.

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