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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Real estate
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Clifford Chance handles high-end investment and pan-European portfolio acquisitions and leasing work, having built an impressive client base of leading French and international players. It assisted AEW Europe with the €1.3bn financing and acquisition of the Celsius shopping centre portfolio and advised DTZ Investors on purchasing assets located in Paris’ Triangle d’Or. The practice is supported by strong complementary tax and finance expertise. It advised Qatar Holding and Harrods Estate with the negotiation of a retail lease of Virgin’s former Champs-Elysées premises. Practice head François Bonteil is highly regarded. The firm hired ‘the professional and business-oriented’ Alexandre Couturier from King & Spalding LLP to reinforce the practice. Counsels Anne-Sophie Plé and Karen Bortolotti are also key figures.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei’s 25-lawyer team advises an impressive client base on the market’s largest property investment and finance transactions, and can call on leading experts for complementary tax and finance advice. Recent highlights include assisting Carmila with the €931m acquisition of a shopping centre portfolio and acting for Blackrock Real Estate on the financing and joint acquisition of the L’Ilot des Mariniers building. The team is led by Pierre Gebarowski, Guillaume Rossignol, Paul Talbourdet, tax expert Emmanuel Chauve and the experienced Emmanuel Fatôme, who is ‘superb for real estate finance matters’.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s ‘excellent’ practice is ‘responsive to clients’ demands’ and shows ‘sensible commercial acumen’. The 35-strong team includes 16 lawyers dedicated to the area and has a comprehensive range of expertise. The practice assists a leading client base spanning listed European property groups, sovereign funds, financial institutions, developers and industrial companies. The firm advises on high-profile investment deals in the office and retail sectors, and also handles leasing and property development work. It assisted Goldman Sachs with the acquisition of La Défense’s Tours Pascal and advised L’Oréal on the negotiation of a lease for 12 office floors in the So Ouest Plaza tower. Key figures include ‘star partnerFrédéric Nouel, Renault Baguenault, Bertrand Oldra, Christopher Szostak, as well as Stanislas Dwernicki, who demonstrates ‘a good understanding of business issues’, and Eric Martin-Impératori, who is ‘an excellent technical lawyer with the ability to close transactions’. Nicolas Planchot was made partner. François d’Ornano is now at Jeantet AARPI.

Allen & Overy LLP shows ‘great professionalism, high responsiveness and a high level of expertise’ in real estate tax issues and transactions; it is also recommended for its strong property finance practice. It advised Ivanhoé Cambridge on the €1.24bn disposal of Tours T1 & B in La Défense and PSA’s historic Parisian headquarters. CNP and Unibail-Rodamco are also clients. The practice is headed by Jean-Dominique Casalta and leading property tax specialist Jean-Yves Charriau. Finance expert Julien Roux shows ‘incredible negotiating skills’ and is recommended along with M&A adviser Frédéric Jungels and counsel Xavier Jancène.

Baker McKenzie SCP provides ‘outstanding service on major and quite complicated real estate transactions’. It advises leading international and French corporate occupiers and property investors on landmark transactions in the office and commercial sectors, and has ‘excellent knowledge of the hospitality sector’. The firm assisted Wereldhave with the €850m acquisition of 11 real estate companies and acted for LaSalle Investment on the financing and acquisition of Black Grafton, operating La Tour Blanche in La Défense. Practice head Marc Mariani has ‘in-depth knowledge of the market and is able to provide prompt and efficient assistance on urgent and complicated matters’. Also recommended are ‘deal-maker’ Florence Defradas, who ‘defends very well her clients’ interests’; the ‘highly reliable’ Hervé Jégou; Pierre-Marie Ouchet, who has ‘impressive knowledge of financing of complicated real estate transactions’; and recently promoted local partner Eva Leygonie, who is ‘able to think outside the box’.

Fairwaycombines all the strengths of top-tier lawyers with the very personable and cost-effective approach of a boutique firm’. The 28-lawyer team advises leading French, Anglophone and German property investors, as well as some German banks and corporate occupiers. The practice assisted Gecina with the €1.3bn share deal acquisition of T11B and PSA Grande Armée office buildings, and advised Generali on the construction and leasing of a 50,000sqm tower in Paris-La Defense. Key figures in the team include: Aubry d’Argenlieu, who is ‘probably one of the top real estate minds in Paris, combining a top-calibre understanding of the legal aspects of a deal with fantastic negotiating skills’; Emmanuel Cazin, who ‘perfectly knows how to balance firmness and flexibility to favour a deal’; Frédéric Lefébure, who ‘makes his clients quickly understand how wide is the window for negotiations’; and finance expert David Franco, who is praised for his ‘exceptionally deep understanding of financing’. Pierre-Emmanuel Fonteilles gives ‘very good, useful and valuable advice’, and Marie-Claire Guéna stands out for ‘her high involvement and fine analysis’. Juliette Bril deals with environmental aspects of deals and the firm also fields one of the market’s top property tax teams through the ‘precise’ Emmanuel Galifer, Christine Daric and Olivier Mesmin, who shows ‘no weakness’. The firm recruited highly respected litigator Sabine du Granrut, who joined from her own firm.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is ‘committed to achieving the highest standard of work and client service’ and ‘runs the extra mile for its clients’. The 11-lawyer practice is involved in large development projects, advises tenants on the negotiation of large office leases and has strong investment and property finance expertise. USB, Carlyle and Eiffage are clients. Practice head Pierre Popesco is ‘extremely dedicated and always provides an exemplary service’. Pierre-Nicolas Sanzey and Florence Chérel are also key figures.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘excellent, rapid and efficient’ practice assists the market’s largest investment funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Grosvenor with their investments in the office, hotel and retail sectors. It advised Pitch Promotion on its joint acquisition of the Ilot des Mariniers building. The practice is led by Benoît Marcilhacy and Pascal Schmitz. Alexandre Couturier joined Clifford Chance.

Lacourte Raquin Tatar’s comprehensive 20-lawyer team has an impressive client base spanning leading French and international funds, investors and developers such as Unibail-Rodamco and Hines. Highlights included advising Oxford Properties on the financing and acquisition of an office building in Paris and acting for AXA Investment Managers on the signing of a long-term lease agreement in the Majunga tower. The highly experienced Thierry Lacourte and Jean-Jacques Raquin lead the practice, in which Cyrille Bailly, Emilie Capron, Damien Grosse, Alexis Le Lièpvre and Cédric Bonnet are also key figures.

White & Case LLP’s six-lawyer team advises on high-profile investment deals, especially in the hotel and commercial sectors, and notably advised Marriott International on the €344m sale of Marriott Champs-Elysées. It also acted for Unibail-Rodamco on the leasing of 12 office floors in the So Ouest Plaza tower to L’Oréal. Practice co-heads Frank Peter and Brice Engel are highly regarded.

Archers recently assisted Thor Equities with the acquisition of Benetton’s Parisian flagship store. Other clients include leading institutional names, investment funds and asset managers. Arnaud Moutet is highly recommended, as is Jean-Maurice Gaillard, who has made the firm ‘a leading player in property financing’. The team recruited financing expert Paul-Henri de Cabissole from Jeantet AARPI.

Ashurst LLP provides ‘high-quality service’ and recently handled the sale of various large pan-European portfolios, such as assisting GE Real Estate with the sale of joint venture investments to Blackstone. The real estate finance practice is also top level, where clients such as Barclays turn to the firm for large and complex transactions. Practice head Philippe None shows ‘a perfect understanding of the legal, economic and operational matters at stake’. Head of property finance Hassan Javanshir is a leading reference in his field.

DLA Piper advises on investments, asset management, financing and development work. The 20-lawyer team assists leading players such as Axa Reim and Ag2R La Mondiale. It also assisted IVG Institutional Funds with the sale of an office building. Antoine Mercier heads the practice, in which Lionel Rosenfeld, Antonia Raccat and Olivia Michaud are also key figures.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has ‘great market knowledge and adapts its advice to its clients’ demands’. The team assists major investment funds and other players on pan-European and domestic transactions. It advised on the sale of Paris’ Hotel Terminus Nord and represented Lone Star during the negotiation with HSBC of one of France’s largest lease agreements in Coeur Défense. Practice head Erwan Le Douce-Bercot shows ‘great understanding of his clients’ businesses’.

Gowling WLG, France advises high-profile clients on property investment transactions and has recognised expertise in the structuring of investment vehicles. Groupama Immobilier and AEW Europe are clients. Arnaud Guérin is recommended for investment vehicle work and Pierre Appremont is one of the top property tax partners in France. Danhoé Reddy-Girard advises on financing. Constance de la Hosseraye is now at Taylor Wessing.

Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés reorganised its team following a series of departures. It hired François-Régis Fabre-Falret from CGR Legal, who reinforced the investment practice, and Géraldine Pedelièvre from De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, who has strong asset management expertise; the firm promoted Aurélie Dauger to the partnership. The practice provides a broad range of expertise to leading banks, property companies and industrial groups. Silke Nadolni heads the practice, which also includes Marie-Odile Vaissié, Chloé Thiéblemont, Hélène Cloëz, Sidonie Fraiche-Dupeyrat and tax expert Sandra Fernandes. The firm recently assisted AG2R La Mondiale with the €145m acquisition of an office building.

Linklaters LLP shows ‘excellent knowledge of property issues’ and mainly handles investment and pan-European portfolio transactions for international investors. It advised TIAA-CREF on the sale of all shares in Provence 110, a company owning a 12,000sqm commercial building that is fully let to Printemps. Practice head Françoise Maigrot has ‘excellent knowledge, experience and technical skills’.

Paul Hastings LLP provides ‘high-quality service’ and is noted for the ‘high level of lawyers’ involvement’. The practice assists leading French and international property companies and investors with large investment transactions, such as assisting an international investor with the joint acquisition of the Benetton building and acting for Yves Saint Laurent on the development of its new head office. Practice head David Lacaze has ‘great expertise and an extensive financial practice’.

Racine’s lawyers are ‘accessible and master the legal environment in the fields of construction and real estate’. The firm assists leading investors and developers, as well as high-end corporate occupiers, and recently acted for Richemont on the acquisition of a retail and office building. It also advised Kanam on the sale of PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s historic headquarters. Practice head Nicolas Boytchev is highly regarded. Other key figures in the team include Jean-Philippe Lorizon, Nelson Segundo and the ‘proactive, solution-oriented and pragmatic’ Carol Santoni.

SBKG & Associés advises on property investment, asset management and litigation. The firm is retained by various German property funds and Asian clients and was recently highly involved in hotel-related mandates, in addition to which it completed some major deals in the office sector. It assisted Kanam Grund with the sale of a €900m office portfolio and acted for Invesco on the purchase of Hotel Terminus Nord in Paris. Vincent Lassalle, David Gordon Krief and Julien Mayeras head the practice.

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Legal Developments in France for Real estate

Legal Developments in France

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