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The ‘quick, efficient and practical’ Clifford Chance ‘outperforms others on a consistent basis’. The 12-lawyer team ‘functions as a business partner, bringing in all necessary expertise and making sure everything is taken care of’. The firm advises leading French and international investors on headline investments in the office, logistics and hotel sectors., including many portfolio acquisitions. Recent highlights include assisting Logistis investment fund with the €200m acquisition of the Corridor portfolio and advising Westbrook Partners on the sale of a trophy building located on Avenue des Champs Elysées. Practice head François Bonteil ranks among the best in his field. Alexandre Couturier and the counsels Anne-Sophie Plé and Karen Bortolotti are also recommended.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei ranks among the ‘best-in-class law firms: it shows in-depth knowledge and ability to react quickly in any competitive bid or process’. The 25-lawyer team is second to none in real estate finance and also handles top-level investment work. Highlights included advising Blackstone on the financing and acquisition of GE’s real estate asset portfolio, as well as assisting AXA IM Real with the €800m acquisition of Tour First. The team includes several market-leading figures: Emmanuel Fatôme, Guillaume Rossignol, Paul Talbourdet, tax expert Emmanuel Chauve and Pierre Gebarowski, who is ‘very strong technically and has the ability to find practicable solutions for all parties’.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. ‘provides outstanding legal and business-oriented advice that shows high responsiveness and understanding of clients’ needs’. The ‘large and available’ team of almost 40 lawyers has full-service expertise, spanning investments, portfolio deals, finance, tax and property fund matters. The practice assisted AccorHotels with the disposal of an 85-hotel portfolio and advised BNP Paribas and CACIB on the €410m financing of the acquisition of Tour First in La Défense. Key partners include: Frédéric Nouel, who gives ‘to-the-point advice’ and is one of the best in the field; Stanislas Dwernicki; Eric Martin-Impératori; Renault Baguenault, who is ‘dedicated to servicing his clients’; Bertrand Oldra, who ‘understands his clients’ needs and seeks to find solutions’; Christopher Szostak, who is ‘always available, gives detailed analysis and is able to handle the most complex transactions’; and Nicolas Planchot. Finance experts Kamel Ben Salah and Rémi Tabbagh are also highly regarded.

The ‘highly responsive’ team at Allen & Overy LLP has ‘excellent expertise’ and ‘strong industry knowledge’. The firm advises many prime French and international investors on the market’s most prominent transactions. Highlights included assisting Dexia with the sale-and-leaseback of the CBX Tower in La Défense and advising Ivanhoé Cambridge on the disposal of the Ardeko building. CNP Assurances and Meadow Partners are also clients. The practice is led by Jean-Dominique Casalta, who ‘gets deals done’, and one of France’s top property tax specialists in Jean-Yves Charriau, who has ‘outstanding in-depth real estate industry knowledge’. Finance expert Julien Roux is ‘commercially minded and client-oriented’. Counsel Xavier Jancène is another active figure in the practice.

Ashurst LLP has ‘a very qualified team which works closely together’. Leading real estate funds and asset managers turn to the firm for its strong investment expertise. Recent work includes assisting several Korean investors with completing major acquisitions, such as advising Samsung SRA on the €350m acquisition and financing of office tower So Ouest. The firm also has a strong property finance team, whose ‘commercial awareness is exemplary’. Deka Immobilien, Barclays and GE Real Estate are clients. Practice head Philippe None produces ‘creative and bespoke solutions’. Head of property finance Hassan Javanshir is ‘incredibly thorough and personable, and proposes workable solutions when the situation appears intractable’. Guillaume Aubatier, who shows ‘outstanding capability in both negotiations and due diligences’, was made partner.

Baker & McKenzie SCP advises major French and international investors, including Middle Eastern clients. The practice has a broad range of experience, including investment, portfolio and finance expertise. Highlights included advising BNP REIM with the establishment of two commercial property joint ventures with Mercialys and acting for a Middle Eastern investor on the acquisition of 49-53 Avenue des Champs Elysées. AEW Europe and Club Med are clients. Practice head Marc Mariani and Pierre-Marie Ouchet are the key figures.

Fairway AARPI provides ‘a high-level quality of service’ and has ‘impeccable credentials’. The 30-lawyer boutique provides a comprehensive range of expertise and is regularly retained to advise on large and complex investment, financing and tax transactions. Its client base includes many leading property companies and investors. The practice recently advised on a commercial property joint venture agreement with Monoprix, and assisted HSBC REIM with the acquisition of an office building from Blackstone. Aubry d’Argenlieu is ‘a star lawyer and a very calm and respected negotiator who is able to resolve complicated issues, thinks outside of the box and has an incredible network’. Other key figures are Frédéric Lefébure and the ‘pragmatic and efficient’ Emmanuel Cazin. On the financing side, David Franco is ‘solid, very pragmatic in negotiations and has an extremely good eye for detail’. The tax team is also excellent and led by Emmanuel Galifer, ‘an able communicator who understands the needs of clients quickly and is able to provide good solutions’. Juliette Bril deals with environmental matters. Olivier Mesmin and Christine Daric joined Franklin in July 2017.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘an outstanding overall level of service’ and ‘always shows a perfect understanding of its clients’ priorities and concerns’. Able to ‘handle difficult and intricate matters perfectly’, the team shows a good range of expertise, spanning investment, portfolio, development and leasing matters. It advises many leading French and German property investors, such as Amundi Immobilier, UBS RE and AEW Europe, as well as some major corporate occupiers. The team notably assisted Deka with the €165m acquisition of the Millénaire 2 office building. Practice head Pierre Popesco is valued for his ‘personalised approach to deals and ability to provide original legal solutions in difficult situations’. Urban planning and public law expert Florence Chérel is ‘highly professional and responsive’. The practice should also benefit from the arrival of the experienced David Lacaze from Paul Hastings LLP, following Pierre-Nicolas Sanzey’s departure to Stephenson Harwood.

King & Spalding LLP ‘always provides excellent service’ and has ‘a profound knowledge of the law and market standards’. The team is ‘strong and very helpful during tough and complicated negotiations’. It assists many leading international investors with major investment and portfolio transactions. The firm advised STAM Europe on the sale of the Printemps real estate portfolio and acted for Deka Immobilien on the sale of Le Triangle office building in Lyon. The team is led by Benoît Marcilhacy and Pascal Schmitz, who has ‘great knowledge of the business and market practices’.

Lacourte Raquin Tatar provides a full range of high-level expertise, notably with particularly strong investment expertise. Recent work includes assisting Amundi Immobilier with a joint venture agreement for the purchase of the Gecimed portfolio and advising UBS on the sale of the Alto Tower development project. Altarea Cogedim, Oxford Properties and Perella Weinberg are also clients. Thierry Lacourte and Jean-Jacques Raquin head the 22-lawyer team. Other key names include: Cyrille Bailly, Emilie Capron, Damien Grosse, Alexis Le Lièpvre, Vincent Guinot, Cédric Bonnet and Nicolas Jüllich. Since publication, Guillaume Jeanet has joined from Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I..

Linklaters ‘provides deal certainty’ and ‘delivers on time’. The team is regularly involved in large pan-European portfolio transactions. It recently assisted TIAA Henderson with the sale of a seven-asset logistics portfolio. The firm also advises on large investment transactions, such as acting for Beacon Capital Partners on the sale of Tour First. Practice head Françoise Maigrot is ‘truly service oriented’. Associate Sylvain Canard-Volland is also highly involved.

White & Case LLP shows ‘a tremendous sense of client service’ and provides ‘real added-value advice’ on large, sophisticated investment and portfolio transactions. It notably assisted CBRE Global Investors with the €1.3bn sale of a shopping mall portfolio in France and Belgium. Klépierre and Predica are also clients. Frank Peter and Brice Engel are the practice co-heads.

Archers has ‘top real estate finance expertise’ and advises many lenders, as well as handling transactions for investors. The practice recently assisted Amundi Immobilier with the acquisition of Le Mazagran office building. The ten-lawyer team is led by Arnaud Moutet, the ‘very precise and hardworking’ Paul-Henri de Cabissole and ‘extremely brilliant dealmaker’ Jean-Maurice Gaillard, who is recommended for ‘out-of-the-ordinary structuring of deals’.

DLA Piper is attracting many new high-profile clients among French and Anglophone investors. The 21-lawyer team runs a solid investment practice and recently advised Blackstone on the acquisition of logistics parks. The firm also handles financing, leasing and development work. It has a strong involvement in the hotel sector and in industrial facilities. Axa Reim, AG2R La Mondiale and Eurosic are clients. Antoine Mercier heads the practice, in which Lionel Rosenfeld, Antonia Raccat and Olivia Michaud are also recommended.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP provides ‘a very good level of service’: ‘advice is appropriate and readily identifies the key issues and risks’. ‘Always swift to respond’, the four-lawyer practice can call on the firm’s global resources and is often involved in cross-border transactions on behalf of US and other international investors. Recent work includes portfolio and hotel transactions, such as assisting Constellation Hotels (Qatari Investors) during the acquisition of Hotel Intercontinental Paris – Le Grand Opéra. Corinne Knopp heads the practice, which also advises Caudwell Properties, Sagax and large retailers.

LPA-CGR is ‘a true partner for its clients’ and has ‘superb expertise’, showing ‘agility, ability to adapt to difficulties and uncommon contexts and readiness to serve’. The team includes some 50 lawyers and covers the full spectrum of matters. It recently assisted Primonial REIM with the acquisition and financing of Les Miroirs tower and advised Real IS on the sale of its pan-European Clover portfolio. Silke Nadolni heads the practice. François-Régis Fabre-Falret, the ‘technical’ Denis Chardigny, Philippe Pelletier and Chloé Thiéblemont are also key figures along with Hélène Cloëz, Sidonie Fraiche-Dupeyrat and Géraldine Pedelièvre. Florence Defradas recently joined from Baker & McKenzie SCP.

Mayer Brown has strong expertise in the hotel sector and recently assisted Almus Capital with the sale of the Sofitel Le Faubourg hotel in Paris; Andrew Armfelt is the key contact. The team often assists banks in real estate finance deals, where it produces ‘an outstanding quality of work: clients feel protected to have the team on its side of the negotiation table’. ‘Skilful negotiator’ Privat Vigand ‘always keeps his clients’ interests in mind’. Alexandra Plain moved to Gowling WLG.France.AARPI.

Racine has ‘great knowledge of development and construction work’ and is also highly sought by leading companies and developers for the negotiation of commercial and office leases. The firm assisted Union Investment with the early lease termination agreement with Accor and the signing of a new lease with BPCE for its France Avenue office building. Cartier and Lancel are also clients. The team is also developing its investment practice, where it advised Kanam on the sale of the French assets of a large pan-European portfolio. Practice head Nicolas Boytchev and Carol Santoni are the key names.

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