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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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France > Real estate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Real estate
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Guillaume Aubatier - Ashurst LLP
    • Alexandre Couturier - Clifford Chance
    • Julien Roux - Allen & Overy LLP (real estate finance)
    • Chloé Thiéblemont - LPA-CGR avocats (real estate finance)

Who Represents Who

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The remarkable De Pardieu Brocas Maffei has one of the ‘most comprehensive practices for handling transactions with property, corporate and tax aspects’ in France. The 25-lawyer group has ‘strong expertise and deals with all leading players showing strong execution skills’. It routinely advises many leading French and international property investors and banks on an impressive number of high-profile building and property portfolios investments and financing transactions every year, but also deals with commercial leases and asset management. The team recently handled a series of landmark transactions, such as assisting Natixis Assurances with the acquisition of a 49.9% stake in the "Tours Duo" project, Norges with the acquisition of the "6-8 Haussmann" office building, and Tishman Speyer Management OPCI with the acquisition and financing of the CBX tower in La Défense. The team includes many of the market’s leading names including Emmanuel Fatôme, Pierre Gebarowski, ‘an iconic lawyer for property acquisition and financing who displays strong technical skills and a strategic view on deals’, Guillaume Rossignol and the ‘brilliantPaul Talbourdet, who has ‘an extremely broad legal knowledge, points out real issues only and provides efficient solutions’. Tax property experts Emmanuel Chauve and Alexandre Blestel also rank among the best in their fields. Corporate partners Yannick Le Gall, Nicolas Favre and Guillaume Touttée are other names to note.

The impressive Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is ‘among the top law firms in Paris, comes first for large deals’, is ‘very professional, delivers on time, and gives good insights on the market’s latest developments’. The large 49-lawyer team serves many high-profile European listed property companies, French and international investment funds, developers, industrial operators, high end-users and lenders and is consistently involved in the market’s largest investment deals. Highlights included assisting AccorHotels with the spin-off of its business line HotelInvest; Norges Bank Investment Management with the €1bn share-deal acquisition of a real estate complex located at Place Vendome and rue Saint Honoré in Paris, which is the largest ever transaction by value on a single asset in Paris to date; and Union Investment Real Estate with the off-plan acquisition of the "Grand Central" building. The team also assisted Total with the off-plan lease of its new headquarters. The highly recognised Frédéric Nouel, Stanislas Dwernicki, Eric Martin-Impératori and Renault Baguenault de Puchesse head the practice. Other key names in the team include Bertrand Oldra, Christopher Szostak who ‘anticipates clients’ needs and is a very trustful and pro-business adviser that you are glad to have on your side at the negotiating table’, the ‘always availableHugues Moreau and Nicolas Planchot. The firm is also second-to none for property finance work: the team is ‘excellent, commercial and always finds solutions’ and includes two of the market’s most well-known figures, namely the ‘efficient, discreet and commercialKamel Ben Salah, who is ‘extremely well connected and has strong negotiating skills’, and Rémi Tabbagh. Laetitia Lemercier is also involved.

The ‘very responsive and accurateAllen & Overy LLP provides a ‘very good level of expertise and client-oriented advice’. The practice assists many leading French and international property companies and recently advised on some landmark tower-development projects including assisting Ivanhoé Cambridge with the Duo Towers project, and Groupama Immobilier with the development of the Link Towers to become Total's new headquarters. Practice head Jean-Dominique Casalta is ‘client-oriented, hands on and knows how to lead negotiations’. Also recommended are counsel Xavier Jancène and the ‘business-oriented and highly talented’ senior associate Antoine Chatry. The firm is also a ‘strong player in real estate finance’, where it assists leading French, German and US banks. Julien Roux is ‘a talented lawyer who is able to answer very precisely all questions asked, provides smart advice on very flexible hours and is able to run a tight schedule without blinking’. Also recommended is counsel Caroline Delavet who ‘pays attention to each detail and lets nothing slip out of her sight’. Tax partner Jean-Yves Charriau is now at Lacourte Raquin Tatar.

The very strong Clifford Chance is second to none for advising leading French, Anglophone and more recently Asian investors on high-end office, retail and logistics building and portfolio transactions and further stands out for its ability to coordinate large-scale pan-European transactions. The 12-lawyer team has an impressive track record and was recently involved in many high-profile transactions: it assisted AEW Europe with the share-deal acquisition of 102 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, as well as Icade with its tender offer for Eurazeo's majority stake in ANF Immobilier and resale of a Marseille-based property portfolio. LaSalle Investment Management, Prologis, PGGM, Union Investment Real Estate and AXA Investment Managers are other notable clients. François Bonteil is one of the market’s most sought after advisers, while Alexandre Couturier is following in his footpath.

Fairway A.A.R.P.I. has ‘one of the best teams in Paris’ for sophisticated transactions. The 30-lawyer real-estate boutique is made up of ‘trusted advisers’ who provide ‘quick and accurate responses’, are ‘straight and efficient’ and ‘always find solutions’ and the team also has ‘an excellent level of expertise’ and the ‘willingness to make deals happen in the best possible conditions for all stakeholders’. The practice advises many of the market's leading French property investors as well as some as major international investors, high-profile French industrial companies, as well as banks and developers on investment, development, letting, tax, financing and connected environmental issues. It recently assisted a North American investor with the establishment of a partnership with Stam Europe for the purchase of warehouses in France, Tikeuhau Capital with the acquisition of a 230 property assets portfolio from EDF and Sofilo, Primonial REIM with the club-deal acquisition of a 146 asset portfolio, and Vivendi with the acquisition of two-thirds of the surface of Ile Seguin in Boulogne Billancourt. ‘A star lawyer’, Aubry d’Argenlieu is a ‘trusted adviser and a skilled negotiator who is always thinking at 360°’; Emmanuel Cazin shows ‘excellent technical skills and good understanding of business aspects’; and Frédéric Lefébure and the ‘efficient and responsivePierre-Emmanuel Fonteilles are recommended along with Marie-Claire Guéna, who is ‘sharp, efficient, and always delivers the right advice’. For property finance work, David Franco is ‘respected by the market’s senior partners’. Tax partner Emmanuel Galifer is ‘excellent, easily understandable, elaborates solutions and is clearly one to watch and consider’. Juliette Bril deals with environmental law issues, while Sabine du Granrut is a strong name for litigation.

Neslihan Gabriel-Denizkurdu recently joined from De Pardieu Brocas Maffei.

Lacourte Raquin Tatar provides ‘very good quality of services’ thanks to a large team that can provide a complete range of expertise and who is backed up by corporate, public law, finance and leading tax complementary skills. The firm advises a prominent client base made up of leading French and international property funds on top investment and property development transactions. Highlights included assisting Hines and AG Real Estate’s JV with the development and sale of the future Hekla Tower in La Défense, Oxford Properties with the acquisition of the Window building in La Défense, and Amundi Immobilier regarding its partnership with Panhard Group for the acquisition of the Swen retail parks portfolio. The practice also advises on large office and commercial lease negotiations. ‘Brilliant’ practice head Jean-Jacques Raquin is one of the market’s most sought-after advisers and has ‘a very good knowledge of the market’. Cyrille Bailly is another key contact in the practice, while the ‘reliable and conscientiousEmilie Capron, Damien Grosse and Nicolas Jüllich are highly recommended. The ‘highly responsive’ and ‘business-oriented’ Alexis Le Lièpvre is recommended for property, lease and construction litigation. The firm also further strengthened its practice with the hire of Guillaume Jeannet from Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. and leading property tax specialist Jean-Yves Charriau, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP with a team of five lawyers.

Archers A.A.R.P.I. routinely advises leading French and international investors on key transactions: notably, the group assisted Altarea Cogedim with the acquisition of Orange's Centre National d’Étude des Télécommunications building near Paris, as well as Thor Equities and Invesco with the sale of 102 Avenues Champs Elysées. The ten-lawyer team also ranks among the top players for property finance work. Arnaud Moutet, Jean-Maurice Gaillard and Paul-Henri de Cabissole are the key contacts.

Ashurst LLP provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ and ‘excellent level of service’: ‘every aspect of the transaction is dealt with in a very comforting way’. The 13-lawyer practice shows ‘very impressive teamwork’, ‘goes the extra mile to satisfy clients’ and ‘negotiations are led in a strong cooperating way’, while ‘the group also covers the technical and commercial aspects of a deal very well’. The firm regularly advises major international property and asset management investors on large office building, retail and logistics financing, acquisitions and sales. It assisted Korea Post with the acquisition of a property from Natixis, and TH Real Estate with the acquisition of the Enox retail park. The practice also has strong leasing expertise and recently advised WeWork. La Française AM, Casino, EQT Partners and EDF are clients. Practice head Philippe None is ‘commercially very strong to make the right deal for his clients’. ‘Quick thinker’ Hassan Javanshir, who leads the property finance practice, is ‘very protective and exact’ and ‘has excellent legal and economic knowledge’. The ‘effective and absolutely reliable’ Guillaume Aubatier ‘works to-the-point’ and is ‘an excellent negotiator’. And Emmanuelle Pontnau-Faure, who was previously director at PwC Société d'Avocats, provides tax expertise.

Baker McKenzie provides ‘excellent level of services’ revealing ‘an ability to understand the needs of foreign clients’ and ‘creativity in overcoming difficulties and disagreements with stakeholders’. The firm has a wide array of expertise and was recently particularly involved in lease negotiations while also dealing with property investment, development, fund formation, financing and partnerships work. It assists key players including major French developers and investors, as well as international investors including Chinese and Korean clients. Highlights included helping Poste Immo with the creation of new property development joint venture Arkadea, as well as Etoile Properties and Korea Investment & Securities with the financing of Novartis’ future French headquarters. Aew Europe, Lasalle Investment Management and Gecina are clients. Marc Mariani heads the practice which also includes Pierre-Marie Ouchet and ‘deal maker’ Hervé Jégou, whose ‘high technique and tenacious approach during negotiations’ are particularly appreciated.

DLA Piper has ‘very good quality expertise’ and a large team of some 22 dedicated lawyers. The practice advises leading Anglophone investment funds and some major French investors undertaking major office and logistics asset acquisitions or sales. Financing, leasing and development work is also handled. The firm recently advised Blackstone on the sale of a Parisian office complex, and Carlyle on the acquisition and financing of an eight-asset logistic portfolio. Cegeral, Eurosic and Generali Real Estate are clients. Practice head Antonia Raccat is a strong asset along with Antoine Mercier. Olivia Michaud and Lionel Rosenfeld are also involved.

Dentons provides ‘very good overall services for investments in France and Central Europe’. The ‘highly responsive’ and ‘deal-oriented’ team ‘delivers on time’, has ‘perfect knowledge of the market’ and a ‘real ability to manage negotiations in a complex environment’. The firm advises some high-profile property investors with acquisitions and sales of major office, retail and logistic assets and notably assisted LaSalle Investment Management with the setup of a joint venture with Ardian to acquire the Europa office building, and SAGIMMO with the acquisition of the Reflex office building in La Défense. The practice also has leasing, development, financing and tax property expertise. The client roster also includes Europa Capital and RTE. The practice is co-headed by Alexandre Poupard, Maxime Simonnet and Véronique Lagarde, who is praised for her ‘excellent professional and interpersonal skills, and high-level technique’. Pascal Schmitz was a new arrival in 2018 from King & Spalding LLP.

Franklin has a large team of some 18 lawyers who provide a comprehensive range of expertise including property investment, leasing, financing and tax expertise. The firm regularly represents leading international investors and recently advised on several high-profile office building and asset portfolio acquisitions; however, the practice also acts for major French banks and assists leading asset managers and high-end users with lease negotiations. Henry Ranchon and François Verdot are the key names. David Blondel is the key contact for financing, while the recent hiring of Olivier Mesmin and Christine Daric from Fairway A.A.R.P.I. added state-of-the-art property tax expertise to the team. Jérémy Chiche made partner.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP went through major changes in 2017 after losing some of its key members, namely Pierre Popesco, Florence Chérel and Benjamin Bill to CMS. The highly regarded David Lacaze, who joined from Paul Hastings LLP in late 2016, is now in charge of a four-lawyer team which is retained by leading French and international investors for major financing and investment property transactions. The practice recently advised on some key transactions in the retail, hotel and office sectors. Amundi Immobilier is a key client. Also involved are top property tax expert Eglantine Lioret and finance specialist Eric Fiszelson. Formerly counsel at White & Case LLP, Anne Petitjean joined the firm as partner in February 2018.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’s six-lawyer team advises major French and international property investors on office building and property portfolio investments, assists companies with major office and commercial leases, and is also active in the hotel sector. It represented 25 Hours in the negotiation of a hotel management agreement relating to Terminus Nord Hotel in Paris. Sagax, AEW Europe/Ciloger, CDC and Groupama Gan Reim are other key clients. Practice head Corinne Knopp is ‘always business-oriented and an excellent negotiator’. Counsel Laure Nguyen advises on urbanism and environment issues and Michaël Lévy recently joined from Bersay & Associés.

Jones Day provides ‘very good service’ including ‘deep skills, short response times, and an appropriate and practical approach’. The ‘knowledgeable, deal-oriented and available’ team advises major property investors and developers on investments and commercial lease negotiations and recently assisted Henderson Park with the €356m acquisition of the Meridien hotel in Paris and dealt with commercial lease litigation involving a high number of tenants in the retail sector. AGC Equity Partners, Unibail Rodamco, Mercialys and Lone Star Funds are also clients. Practice head Erwan Le Douce-Bercot is ‘calm and creative, does not take things for granted, has very good negotiating skills’ and is ‘client oriented’. Of counsel Carol Khoury is ‘highly skilled, very responsive and client oriented’.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘technically very good’ five-lawyer team ‘always provides an excellent quality service’ and shows a strong ‘knowledge of cross-border investments’ while ‘answers are always clear and precise’. The practice advises French and international investors on large assets and portfolio transactions in the office and commercial sectors. Highlights included assisting Orion Capital Managers with the sale of the Domus shopping centre in Rosny sous Bois, and STAM Europe with the €160m disposal of its OPCI Madeleine. Benoît Marcilhacy is a top adviser. Pascal Schmitz joined Dentons in 2018.

The ‘extremely reliable and efficientLPA-CGR avocats has ‘excellent knowledge’ and covers a broad range of matters including property investment, development, hotel and leisure, leasing and financing matters; notably it is also considered a ‘strong player in the real estate financing’ sector. Primonial REIM is a key client which the practice assisted on a series of large transactions including the landmark joint acquisition of Cœur Défense. The team also advised Deka Immobilien on the acquisition of a landmark building in Lyon. Accor, Mata Capital and Gecina are all clients. Silke Nadolni heads the practice and the ‘expert, responsive and hard-working’ Florence Defradas, François-Régis Fabre-Falret, Sidonie Fraiche-Dupeyrat and Philippe Raybaud are other key members. Finance expert Chloé Thiéblemont has ‘indisputable legal skills and is creative in elaborating smart and constructive solutions whenever needed’. Géraldine Piedelièvre advises on commercial leases and asset management and Alexae Fournier de Faÿ, who made partner in 2017, ‘is definitely a rising star’.

Linklaters advises leading French and international property investors on major building and logistics asset investments in France and Europe, but also handles property finance work. The team recently assisted Ardian Real Estate European Fund with the setting-up of a joint venture for the acquisition of the 145-149 Anatole France in Levallois-Perret. TIAA Henderson and CBRE Global Investors are clients. Françoise Maigrot is highly recognised and counsel Sylvain Canard-Volland is another name to note.

Mayer Brown is retained by leading French banks to handle major property finance transactions. The practice recently assisted CACIB, BNP Paribas, ING and BNP Paribas Fortis with a €370m development financing deal for Cora's 58 shopping malls located in France and Belgium. Jean-Philippe Lambert and Jean-Pierre Lee also assisted a group of individuals with the sale of Vendôme Saint-Honoré building. Privat Vigand is the key contact.

Racine advises a prominent client base of leading French and international property investors and developers and was recently involved in several key office and commercial building transactions; the team’s leasing expertise also stands out and it is instructed by major asset managers and some leading luxury brands on the negotiation of large office building spaces or high-end commercial leases. Additonally, the practice is recommended for its ‘adapted and responsive’ litigation expertise. Cartier, Chloé, Gecina, Generali, Kanam and Gaumont Pathé Cinemas are clients. The team is co-headed by the ‘trustworthy and knowledgeable’ Nicolas Boytchev and Carol Santoni who is ‘very good in lease negotiations’. The firm also has strong tax property capabilities in Fabrice Rymarz and urban-planning law expertise.

The ‘remarkableWhite & Case LLP’s ‘very dedicated and efficient’ six-lawyer team has ‘a tremendous talent for smoothly shaping a transaction fully in line with clients' expectations’. The firm advises a prominent client base of property investors and asset managers on property and portfolio investments and recently assisted CDC with the sale of CNET’s former site in Issy-les-Moulineaux and AEW Europe with the €188m acquisition of the Primavera shopping centres portfolio. The firm also advises on property fund structuring. Allianz Global Investors, Amundi, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Klépierre are clients. The practice is led by Frank Peter and the ‘fantastic’ Brice Engel who ‘is very helpful in making deals happen’.

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Legal Developments in France

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