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Index of tables

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Who Represents Who

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Bredin Pratprovides a uniquely high level of service that cannot be found anywhere else’. The ‘strong, competitive and very responsive’ 20-lawyer team ‘intelligently guides clients through a variety of situations while staying closely attuned to its clients' risk preferences’; it is also recommended for ‘high-value M&A’, ‘has demonstrated its ability to handle complex litigation work under a very tight timeline and a lot of pressure’ and ‘maintains a very good relationship with tax authorities’. The firm has an impressive M&A tax track record and is advising on the market’s most high-profile transactions: recent highlights include advising Areva on the sale of Areva NP, Luxottica on its combination with Essilor, Zodiac Aerospace on its proposed acquisition by Safran, and Carmila on its merger with Cardety and subsequent IPO. The practice also successfully defended Guy Wildenstein who was cleared of alleged tax fraud by the Paris first degree criminal court in the high-profile Wildenstein case. The team is made up of some of the market’s most recognised leading figures who are ‘all superb advisers’: Yves Rutschmann heads the practice, Pierre-Henri Durand is a key name for M&A work, and Julien Gayral is praised for his ‘in-depth analysis and excellent intellectual reasoning’. Sébastien de Monès is another key contact and Anne Robert made partner.

CMS stands out for its comprehensive range of expertise and is able to deal with any tax issue. The firm represents an impressive client base made up of the largest French and international corporations and recently advised on some of the market's most prestigious M&A transactions such as assisting Airbus with the creation of Airbus Safran Launchers, and Foncière de Paris with the tender offer initiated by Eurosic. Litigation is another practice staple and landmark victories were recently obtained. Acting for several French blue-chip companies such as Total, Engie, Vivendi, Danone, Axa, LVMH, Eutelsat, Technip, Suez-Environnement, Sanofi, Orange and Michelin, the practice successfully challenged the 3% taxation on dividends which was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice. It also won a favourable judgment for Vivendi. VAT, transfer pricing, patrimonial tax and real estate taxation are other strong areas of expertise. The team includes several of the market's very best advisers, Stéphane Austry for litigation, Bruno Gibert and Edouard Milhac for international taxation, Richard Foissac for French taxation, Frédéric Gerner for direct taxation and Laurent Chatel for local taxation. Also recently involved in matters were Patrick Danis, Pierre Carcelero, Anne Grousset, Lionel Lenczner, Anne-Sophie Rostaing, Julien Saïac and Jean-Christophe Sauzey. Annabelle Bailleul-Mirabaud, Ludovic Duguet and Thomas Laumière made partner.

The ‘very "haut de gamme"Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is recommended for ‘high value complex matters’, its ‘quality of advice is outstanding’ and goes hand-in-hand with ‘perfect response times and business acumen’. The impressive six-lawyer team stands out for its ability to attract the market's most high-profile M&A and tax litigation instructions and recently earned a series of victories in several landmark cases. Representing a group of CAC 40 companies, the firm won twice before the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice in the 3% tax on dividends case. Acting for Orange, the firm was successful before the Conseil d’Etat in a €10bn tax reassessment case. And on the M&A front, the practice assisted Air Liquide with its €12bn acquisition of Airgas. Gauthier Blanluetis quite unique’ and is universally acknowledged as being among the market's finest experts. Nicolas de Boynes is following in his footsteps.

Arsene is praised for its ‘high expertise: a combination of individual and collective experience mixed with very up-to-date knowledge of complex issues’. The ‘very professional’ 100-lawyer boutique ‘answers questions with precise, concise and clear explanations’ and ‘has a very good knowledge and understanding of various tax topics’. The firm is particularly recognised by top LBO funds and managers for its tax LBO expertise. Lately, the practice has increasingly been involved in some key M&A transactions in France and abroad for leading French corporations. Finally, the tax property expertise also ranks high, while the firm also deals with sensitive litigation. Highlights included assisting DCNS with the establishment of DCNS Energies, Lagardère Active with the acquisition of Shopcade, and Rockspring with the sale of its French logistics portfolio. Among the firm's leading names are Frédéric Donnedieu de Vabres, Denis Andres for M&A tax, Antoine Glaize who heads the transfer pricing practice, François Lugand who heads the tax real estate practice, Laurent Partouche for M&A and private equity, Alain Recoules who leads the global indirect tax team, Roland Schneider for national and international taxation and Olivier Vergniolle. Also recommended are Mirouna Verban, Nicolas Jacquot, Alexandre Rocchi, Vincent Desoubries and the ‘professional, technical and clear’ Franck Llinas. Benoit Bec and Stéphanie Hamis made partner.

Baker McKenzie has a large 33-lawyer team which provides highly prominent clients such as Johnson Controls, Accenture, Club Med and Pierre et Vacances with its large array of expertise. Its tax litigation team is second-to-none in France and it obtained a series of astonishing victories in 2017, including obtaining a groundbreaking victory from Paris’ first level of jurisdiction for client Google in challenging the French tax authority's allegations of permanent establishment in France. It also represented Total, M6 and Carrefour in diverse tax controversies. Eric Meier, who ranks among the best in his field, Régis Torlet and Ariane Calloud are all highly recommended. The transfer pricing and international tax practice, including Caroline Silberztein, is also highly regarded and frequently entrusted by many CAC 40 clients. In other work, the group was also recently involved in several high-profile cross-border M&A and corporate transactions. Practice head Véronique Millischer and Guillaume Le Camus are highly experienced.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP stands out for advising on tax implications of complex M&A, equity and debt capital markets transactions. The seven-lawyer team recently advised on numerous high-profile transactions and notably assisted General Motors with the sale of Opel/Vauxhall, LVMH with its acquisition of Christian Dior Couture, Gecina with its proposed acquisition of Eurosic, and Essilor with its proposed combination with Luxottica. In the capital markets arena, it advised Tikehau Capital on a €702m rights offering and Crédit Mutuel-CM11 on a $2.5bn bond offering. Anne-Sophie Coustel comes highly recommended.

Clifford Chance’s 13-lawyer team combines top M&A, property and fund structuring tax expertise and advises many leading French and international financial institutions, investment funds and corporations. Highlights included advising CACEIS on the restructuring of its European activities, GE Capital on the sale of GE Money Bank, Ardian France on the structuring of its first real estate fund, and Carlyle Group on the sale of the future Grand Central building in Paris. The practice also handles sensitive litigation and tax investigations. Eric Davoudet and Alexandre Lagarrigue are strong advisers. Counsels Jitka Susankova and Britta Hardeck are other names to note. Charles-Henri de Gouvion Saint-Cyr joined Goodwin.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier is a safe bet for complex M&A and property tax structuring. Vincent Agulhon ‘is excellent’ and Loïc Védie made partner.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei stands out for its ‘excellent technical level’ and ‘very nice and agreeable team’. The 13-lawyer practice is absolutely second-to-none regarding tax property issues and constantly advises on the largest transactions including on listed property companies’ M&A. Highlights included assisting Eurosic's shareholder Batipart with the Eurosic-Gecina merger, Cardety with its merger-absorption of Carmila, and Natixis Assurances with the acquisition of a 49.9% stake in the Towers "Tours Duo". Emmanuel Chauve stands out for his remarkable expertise and experience in property tax and Alexandre Blestel is another key name in the field, praised for his ‘high efficiency and skill in managing complex matters’. The firm also handles M&A and private equity tax transactions, while the recent hiring of a four-lawyer team from Ashurst LLP brings further strength in private equity and insolvency tax. Former Ashurst LLP practice head Nadine Gelli is ‘reliable, precise, technically excellent with great negotiation skills and excellent knowledge of the private equity field’. Bernard Boutemy and Sarah Espasa-Mattei are now at Jeausserand Audouard.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP routinely advises on the structuring of some of the market’s most high-profile domestic and global M&A and LBO deals. The seven-lawyer team is also highly active in the energy sector and assisted EDF with the contemplated acquisition of a majority stake in Areva NP. Lately, the practice has been involved in high-stakes disputes before the French and EU courts regarding state aid, French dividend withholding tax, BEPS and tax fraud issues. Boehringer Ingelheim, Carlyle, Solvay and Ergon Capital are clients. Practice head Cyril Valentin and Vincent Daniel-Mayeur are highly regarded.

Latham & Watkins is at the market's forefront for large LBO tax matters while also advising on some high-profile M&A deals. Debt and equity capital markets are also dealt with at the highest level: the team recently advised on the tax aspects of a series of major IPOs and is the market's reference for high-yield issuances. The seven-lawyer group acts for leading PE funds and corporations. Highlights included advising FMC Technologies on its merger with Technip, ICG on its €2.8bn LBO of DomusVi, and the Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board on its joint acquisition of Cerba HealthCare. Xavier Renard and Olivia Rauch-Ravisé are strongly recommended.

According to some clients, Mayer Brown has the ‘best tax practice for private equity in Paris’ and is highly recommended for ‘complex M&A, especially when things get complicated’. The 15-lawyer team ‘is excellent, very homogeneous in quality and establishes top-class reports’. The firm assisted Altice with Cable Vision and Suddenlink's IPO, Eurazeo with the acquisition of Carambar, Kerneos with its sale to Imerys, and Primonial and its management with the structuring of a €560m LBO acquisition by Bridgepoint. The firm also advised on key property transactions and private equity fund structuring. Finally, it is recognised for its ability to reach positive outcome in sensitive management package LBO-related tax reassessment cases and also advises on transfer pricing and international taxation. Practice head Laurent Borey stands out ‘for being an incredible tax expert and a deal facilitator who knows all the aspects of a transaction’ and is ‘excellent at mastering numbers’. Benjamin Homo and Olivier Parawan are also key members. Christopher Lalloz is ‘precise and available’. Elodie Deschamps was promoted to the partnership.

Allen & Overy LLP is highly recognised for its financial tax expertise that is entrusted by leading banks during large and complex M&A and capital markets transactions; the practice also advises sponsors and is strong in property tax. It recently assisted Bawag with the acquisition of a large mortgage loans portfolio from GE Money Bank, BNP Paribas Asset Management with the setting-up of its first pan-European long term investment fund (ELTIF), and Foncière des Régions with its capital increase. The tax team was recently reshuffled following the departure of Jean-Yves Charriau to Lacourte Raquin Tatar and the arrival of Guillaume Valois from DLA Piper who adds strength in the private equity sector. Mathieu Vignon is recommended.

Franklin bolstered its team in July 2017 by hiring Olivier Mesmin and Christine Daric from Fairway A.A.R.P.I. who are ‘both top of their game’ for tax property work. The practice offers a ‘combination of quality of advice, cost and client service’ and advises on some of the market's most high-profile property transactions. The firm also has top expertise in patrimonial tax through Jérôme Barré, who is a leading name in his field.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. provides tax advice on a wide range of issues including M&A, real estate and investment funds. The 14-lawyer team has ‘long term real estate structuring experience, particularly on collective funds and investments in France or in other European countries’ and is also strong in the insurance and financial services sectors. The firm recently assisted Morgan Stanley International with the combination of all of its French activities within Morgan Stanley France, as well as AEW Europe with the acquisition of the Interstellar portfolio. Amundi, Swiss Life Reim and Mercialys are other key clients. Olivier Dauchez and Christian Nouel are highly experienced and Laurent Modave is praised for ‘his clarity, assistance in decision-making, and knowledge of the property industry’. Bertrand Jouanneau is also recommended.

Jones Daysteps into the shoes of its clients to provide highly skilled and customised advice’. The five-lawyer team advises on the tax aspects of large-cap M&A transactions, high-end IPO and capital markets work and also deals with property, fund formation and privaty equity tax work. Highlights included assisting Safran with its tender offer for Zodiac Aerospace, Wabtec with its $1.8bn offer for Faiveley Transport, as well as BNP Paribas and CACIB with Tikehau Capital’s IPO. Emmanuel de la Rochethulon has ‘wide and deep experience’. Siamak Mostafavi left the firm.

In 2017, Lacourte Raquin Tatar strongly enhanced its practice by hiring a five-lawyer group from Allen & Overy LLP, which ranks among the market’s most sought-after teams for property tax advice and includes the highly regarded Jean-Yves Charriau and David Sorel. The new eight-strong team is a reference for property tax transactions and is entrusted by the market’s largest property players to advise on top transactions. It recently assisted four life insurance companies as investors with Carmila’s IPO, Vinci Immobilier with Monaco's Testimonio II property project, and Ivanhoe Cambridge with the emblematic Duo Towers project in Paris. Allianz, Poste Immo and Unibail-Rodamco are other key clients. Julien Souyeaux has ‘expert knowledge and is always available’.

Linklaters provides strong tax expertise in complex public and private M&A deals, LBOs, corporate reorganisations, property acquisitions and capital markets and finance transactions. The practice recently assisted Cerberus with its acquisition of GE's €5bn French banking and consumer finance business, Bank of America Merrill Lynch with a €4bn bridge facility to finance Safran's public offer on Zodiac Aerospace, as well as BNP Paribas, Barclays Bank and Société Générale with Air Liquide's €3.3bn rights offering, and CGG with its debt restructuring. The nine-lawyer team is led by the highly recognised Edouard Chapellier as well as Cyril Boussion.

Orrick Rambaud Martel has strong expertise in advising on the tax aspects of top M&A transactions. The practice notably assisted RTE with EDF’s sale of an equity stake in RTE, and AXA République with the sale of the company’s shareholding in HIT which controls Sanef. The firm also regularly acts in major companies' debt restructurings. Practice head Anne-Sophie Kerfant is highly recommended, while the recent hiring of Charles Briand from Ernst & Young Société d'Avocats adds further strength to the team.

Paul Hastings LLP’s ‘highly responsive’ three-lawyer team provides strong transactional tax experience including ‘cutting-edge expertise in the private equity sector’ and has ‘the ability to be solution-driven during negotiations’. Advising private equity funds or management boards, the team was recently involved in leading LBO transactions and assisted the management with Safran Identity & Security (ex-Morpho)’s LBO acquisition by Advent International. The firm is also frequently instructed to handle complex tax litigation, notably for management boards regarding LBO issues. In M&A, the practice advised Ausy on Randstad’s €420m acquisition offer for the French company. Allard de Waal heads the practice in which senior associate and ‘solution-oriented’ Thomas Pulcini are able to ‘work on very complex issues and explain matters in a really excellent way’.

A member of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, PwC Société d'Avocats is equipped with a large array of expertise spanning corporate tax, international taxation and transfer pricing, indirect tax, financial services sector taxation, property tax, patrimonial tax and litigation. Leading French and international and private equity funds are clients. The firm recently assisted PSA with the acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall. Anne-Valérie Attias-Assouline is the managing partner.

Best in classShearman & Sterling LLP provides a unique ‘combination of experience, technical skills and strategic vision’. The three-lawyer team is a top choice for tax advice on complex private and public M&A as well as private equity transactions; the client roster includes the largest French, US and Asian companies as well as private equity funds. The practice recently worked on some high-profile M&A transactions and also handled top international DCM work. Highlights included assisting Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited with its investment in New Areva, Jin Jiang with its majority investment in Accor, and Bolloré with a €500m bond issuance. Practice head Niels Dejean ‘is very analytical, rigorous, opinionated and business-oriented which brings huge value to his advice’. Counsel Anne-Sophie Maes is also recommended.

Deloitte's member Taj provides a comprehensive range of tax expertise and regularly advises on prominent M&A transactions: the group assisted Safran with the sale of Safran Identity & Security (ex Morpho). Sophie Blégent-Delapille is the managing partner, Thomas Perrin heads the corporate tax practice, Christina Melady is in charge of individual taxation, Michel Guichard supervises the VAT and customs taxation practice, and Lucille Chabanel leads the R&D tax practice. Arnaud Mourier is highly recommended for transactional taxation.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has strong private equity and M&A tax expertise and regularly advises on large transactions. The team recently assisted Vinci with the remaining sale of IndiGo, Sagard with the sale of Flaktwoods, and Advent with the acquisition of Morpho and combination with Oberthur. The practice also has strong experience in dealing with debt restructuring matters for clients such as Camaieu. The six-lawyer stand-alone practice is also instructed by leading US and UK investment funds, advises managers on personal estate and income matters and takes on litigation. Stéphane Chaouat is a strong pair of hands, while Edouard de Lamy is up and coming.

White & Case LLP’s six-lawyer team regularly advises on tax aspects of key financing and capital markets transactions, but also has strong property tax expertise and advises on large private equity and M&A transactions. Highlights included advising Eurazeo on the acquisition of Mondelez's confectionery products business; FRHI, QIA and Kingdom on the $2.6bn sale of luxury hotels Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel; and Michelin on its $500m convertible bonds offering. AEW Europe, Ciments Francais, CNP Assurances, IK Investment and Suez Environnement are clients. Practice head Norbert Majerholc and Alexandre Ippolito are recommended.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has high-level tax expertise spanning complex tax reorganisation, high-profile M&A and LBO transactions, property tax, tax consolidation and sensitive tax litigation. The five-lawyer team advises top companies and investment funds and recently assisted Henderson Park with the acquisition of the Meridien Hotel in Paris, CMA CGM with the acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines and Qualium with the acquisition of Vulcanic. Marie-Hélène Raffin and Pierre Ullmann are highly regarded. Special European counsel Philippe Grudé is also a strong adviser.

August Debouzy advises companies on tax restructuring and M&A and private equity transactions. The firm notably assisted CEA as part of a consortium with the acquisition of Areva TA's shares held by Areva SA, and XL Airways with the acquisition of La Compagnie. The 12-lawyer practice is also sought after for litigation and complex negotiations with the tax administration. Xavier Rohmer and Philippe Lorentz are in charge.

AyacheSalama regularly assists private equity funds with tax aspects of major LBO transactions, while also assisting companies and managers. The practice advised Galeries Lafayette on the acquisition of Bazarchic, as well as the managers during Consolis' LBO. Crédit Immobilier de France, Domino’s Pizza and France's Première Football Ligue are other notable clients. The six-lawyer team is led by Bruno Erard and Jacques Messeca, who has recognised expertise in sport taxation.

BG2V demonstrates ‘strong expertise and responsiveness and builds qualitative relationships with clients and stakeholders that lead to success during negotiations’. The five-lawyer team is recommended for M&A and property tax transactions and recently also handled a high-profile tax fraud case. Jean-Marc Valot is ‘always here to listen’ and has ‘great property tax and litigation experience’. Jean-Sébastien Dumont, who joined from Redlink, shows ‘high professionalism and creativity to solve complex situations’ and has ‘excellent negotiating skills’.

Brandford Griffith's Roland Poirier has strong expertise in advising on complex M&A deals and tax reorganisation issues. Many leading family-owned companies are clients. The firm recently advised on several transactions in the wine sector including on the sale of Chateau de Sancerre by its client Campari.

The ‘very goodCohen & Gresser LLP is particularly strong in international tax, transfer pricing and tax planning issues and also handles contentious tax issues. The four-lawyer practice advises companies as well as wealthy French, US and international individuals, families and estates. Notably, the group represented Edmond Guerrand-Hermes in a $1bn estate dispute involving France and the US, and assisted Impala with the sale of Arjo System. Foraco and Seiko France are other key clients. Franck Le Mentec provides ‘practical and very useful advice’ and was recently appointed international tax expert by the US Department of Justice in a large fraud case.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés is entrusted by leading French and major international corporations. The 12-lawyer team provides full-service expertise with particular strength in handling sensitive tax litigation, but is also recommended for property tax and private client issues. The firm recently assisted Icade with its high-profile merger with Holdco Siic. Henri-Nicolas Fleurance, Vincent Schmitt and Gilbert Ladreyt are highly experienced. Senior counsel Frédéric Paquet is another name to note. Blaise Philippe Chaumont left the firm.

Dechert LLP provides ‘first-class service’, ‘always respects deadlines and shows responsiveness and a high quality of professional advice’. The ’very professional, quick and efficient’ seven-lawyer team advises on corporate and private equity transactions as well on the structuring of the management’s tax packages including tax carried interest issues. The practice is ‘efficient on mid-market LBOs’, is particularly recognised for its private equity fund expertise and also deals with litigation and tax reassessment issues. It recently advised Lafayette and its shareholders during its acquisition by Rothschild & Cie, and assisted Partech with the structuring of Partech International Ventures VII. Five Arrows is another key client. Bruno Leroy is ‘very professional and meticulous’ and the ‘creativeSabina Comis stands out for ‘her high level expertise, comprehensive vision of tax issues and ability to provide tailor-made solutions and convince all the stakeholders’; she also has ‘real technical expertise advising on tax fund structuring’.

Dentons provides a ‘very good level of services and excellent depth of knowledge’. The ‘very responsive’ ten-lawyer team combines a broad range of expertise spanning M&A, real estate, transfer pricing, tax planning, banking and finance, individual taxation and tax litigation matters and has strong sector expertise in the luxury products and healthcare sectors. It recently advised Belgian developer City Mall on the acquisition of a hotel in Nice. Chanel, Electrolux, Laboratoires Théa and AIG are clients. Benoît Giraux heads the Paris team, while Sandra Hazan is in charge at a European level. Other key names in the practice include Jean-Luc Calisti, the ‘very impressive and responsive’ Jessie Gaston who is ‘calm under pressure and able to provide technical advice while taking a commercial and practical view on issues’, Vincent Lacombe, Julien Le Guyader and of counsel Jérôme Le Berre.

Ernst & Young Société d'Avocats combines some 734 tax lawyers (including 64 partners), including 489 professionals in the Paris office. The firm is a key player which is also at the cutting edge of the market's innovations: it recently welcomed one of the market's first tax robots into its team. The indirect tax practice is led by Jean David Vasseur, the transactional tax practice is headed by Lionel Benant, the international tax practice is supervised by Eric Verron, the international tax services and transfer practice is in the hands of Jan Martins, the business tax services practice is led by Xavier Dange, the tax technologies transformation practice is under the responsibility of Gwenaelle Bernier, the advisory services practice is run by Colin Bernier and the financial services office practice is managed by Mathieu Dautriat.

Fairway A.A.R.P.I. has strong property tax expertise and regularly advises on the market's top investment transactions. The practice recently assisted a North American investor with the establishment of a partnership with Stam Europe for the purchase of warehouses in France. Emmanuel Galifer is ‘excellent, easily understandable, elaborates solutions and is clearly one to watch and consider’.

Fidal stands out for its large workforce of some 380 lawyers and geographical network of 90 offices. The firm advises leading French and international companies as well as SMEs on areas including corporate and M&A tax due diligence and structuring, VAT, patrimonial tax and local tax. It recently assisted Schoeller Allibert with the reorganisation of its French entities, and an international corporation with the merger of 14 French companies. CeGeREAL and Union Invivo are clients. Didier Laforge and Thierry Nicolas head the practice and Marc Cretté, Patrice Graillat, Benjamin Litchlé, Mikael Maheust as well as Nadia Sabin-Lefrançois are also noted. Stéphane Couchoux heads the philanthropy and foundations practice.

Gibson Dunn assists leading corporations and investment funds with the tax structuring of M&A, private equity and venture capital and real estate transactions. The two-partner team also represents clients in complex tax audits and litigation. It recently defended a high-profile US entity in a complex tax management-package dispute. In recent non-contentious work, the group assisted Merck & Co with the termination of its joint vaccines operations in Europe with Sanofi Pasteur; HarperCollins Publishers with its acquisition of a 50% stake in their French joint venture Harlequin held by Hachette Livre; and Allianz as a shareholder with the €2.5bn takeover of Foncière de Paris by Eurosic. Ariel Harroch and Jérôme Delaurière are in charge.

Goodwin hired Marie-Laure Bruneel at the beginning of 2017 from De Pardieu Brocas Maffei. The firm is a leading powerhouse in the French private equity and LBO market and the three-lawyer tax team is a key element within the successful practice. The tax department assists private equity funds as well as some managers and is further developing its involvement in the fund formation and real estate tax areas. The practice recently assisted PAI Partners and the management of Cerba with the sale of Cerba HealthCare, as well as IK investment Partners with the acquisition of a majority stake in Colisée. LFPI, Equistone and Naxicap are other notable clients.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPdelivers high-quality service and work’. The ‘very professional’ six-lawyer team is ‘capable of handling high-profile matters and delivers to the point advice demonstrating great attention to clients' needs’. The practice regularly advises on top-level tax property work and recently assisted Carlyle with the development of the Grand Central-Saint Lazare retail and office project and off-plan sale, as well as Deka Immobilien with the €60m acquisition of the Grande Armée retail building in Paris. The firm also advises on major M&A transactions as well as financing and infrastructure project deals: notably, it assisted Maurel&Prom with the tender offer launched by PIEP for 24.53% of Maurel&Prom's shares held by Pacifico. Practice head Eglantine Lioret ‘delivers business-oriented solutions, is very sharp and practical which really helps clients to get deals through’ and of counsel Valérie Farez shows ‘extensive knowledge of cross-border taxation’.

K&L Gates LLP’s Bertrand Dussert provides ‘very professional and accurate services’. The two-lawyer tax practice often advises in the context of M&A transactions and recently assisted Sanofi Pasteur MSD with the de-merger of its vaccines business with Merck. The firm also assists clients with tax controversy and wealth taxation matters. Ipsos is a client.

Racinealways provides excellent quality service’, is ‘very helpful during tough negotiations’ and its ‘answers are always clear and precise. The eight-lawyer team has a particularly high-profile property tax practice, while M&A and private client tax matters are other strong areas. It notably assisted InfraRed with the disposal of the Hachette Tower, and EDF with the acquisition of a large Italian property assets portfolio. In the M&A area, the team advised Mediawan on the acquisition of Groupe AB. Finally, the firm is regularly instructed by shareholders and managers to assist with compensation, profit sharing, management packages and tax audit and litigation matters. Bridgepoint, Tristan Capital Partners, Blackrock and Deka Immobilien are key clients. Fabrice Rymarz and Xavier Rollet are strongly recommended.

Reed Smith made headlines in 2017 after hiring two well-recognised teams to restart its tax practice. The firm was firstly joined by former King & Wood Mallesons Paris tax members including Sylvie Vansteenkiste, Raphaël Béra and Fanny Combourieu, although the group subsequently left for DLA Piper. Secondly, Jean-Pierre Collet, Florence Bilger and David Colin, who were formerly at Winston & Strawn LLP, also joined the firm, adding strong property tax expertise. The client base includes many leading private equity funds and several major corporations. Sophie Borenstein is now at KGA Avocats.

STC Partners is ‘able to integrate clients' specific business and strategic aspects into its advice’. The ‘highly responsive’ and large 20-lawyer team has ‘excellent technical expertise in corporate tax’ and is able to offer a broad range of expertise, spanning M&A and LBO transactions, corporate tax management strategies and tax audits. It advises several leading French and international companies, as well as investment funds and also assists private individuals on estate matters and managers with remuneration issues. Highlights included advising SPI fund on its investment in DCNS Energies and Chinese fund Fortune Fountain Capital on its acquisition of Starwood Capital and L. Catterton's shares in Baccarat. The practice is co-headed by Bertrand Araud, Pierre Bouley, who demonstrates ‘great listening abilities and is able to overcome technical or negotiations-related issues’, Christian Couderc, Denis Fontaine-Besset, Hervé-Antoine Couderc and Nicole Goulard.

Scotto & Associés is the market's leading reference for assistance to the management during LBO transactions. The five-lawyer team recently advised on most of the market's largest transactions while also being involved in smaller LBO deals. It notably assisted the management during Kerneos’ acquisition by Imerys as well as the management in the acquisition of Acetow by Blackstone. The practice is also called upon by managers to handle sensitive litigation, notably in relation to LBO transactions, and has a strong private client practice. Jérôme Commerçon is in charge.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a ‘good team’ that provides ‘nuanced advice addressing clients' expectations’. The three-lawyer group is particularly recommended for tax M&A structuring, as well as tax optimisation and litigation matters. It regularly advises on large and complex cross-border French and US transactions and recently assisted Sigfox with a €150m record financing round, and Ceva Santé Animale with its acquisition of certain assets of Merial's animal health portfolio. The ‘highly responsive’ Thomas Perrot ‘understands matters at stake and has large general tax knowledge’.

Vaslin Associéslistens carefully to its clients' needs and concerns’ and provides ‘swift and precise answers’. The 14-lawyer boutique is dedicated to assisting private clients notably made up of high-level French executives from leading French and international corporations and leading family-owned companies. The firm is mainly based in Paris and has outposts in Geneva, Brussels and London. Marc Vaslin, Amandine Allix-Cieutat and Vincent Lazimi are reliable professionals.

Headed by ‘high level expert’ Yann Grolleaud, Villey Girard Grolleaud A.A.R.P.I.’s ‘good’ three-lawyer tax practice handles M&A transactions for major corporations and investment funds, and also advises some high-profile French family-owned groups. It recently assisted Abénex with the acquisition of Hygeco, and Conforama with the acquisition of a 17% stake in Showroom Privé. The practice is also regularly instructed by investment funds for assistance with strategic issues such as management packages and litigation. It recently handled several key disputes in relation to LBO transactions, tax residence and tax assessment matters.

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  • The new French regulation applying to national insurance contributions for managers and shareholders

    French insurance contributions on executive and shareholder remuneration (pay + dividends) have been substantially increased by the National Insurance Funding for 2013 Act, No. 2012-1404, of 17th December 2012. Until 31st December 2012, all dividends were subject to national insurance contributions on unearned income but henceforth, under Article L136-3 of the National Insurance Code, amended by Act No. 2012-1404, certain dividends   are considered as pay received by executives and shareholders and are therefore subject to the national insurance contributions on pay. The Act also abolished the ceiling on health insurance contributions payable by the self-employed and all this means that businesses must rethink the way that they have been structured until now.
  • CHINA - PERSONAL TAXATION AND SOCIAL SECURITY : CHINESE AND FOREIGN NATIONALS ON AN EQUAL FOOTING

    The People's Republic of China has initiated an overhaul of its social security system, reformed the personal taxation regime and has extended the scope of these laws to foreigners residing in China.
  • MOROCCO TO BECOME THE LEADING FINANCIAL PLACE IN AFRICA

    The Kingdom of Morocco is supporting the ambition of becoming the leading financial place for Africa. In this context, a wave of draft laws is to be passed and implemented within the following months, amongst which, the Law No. 53.08, setting up a new financial authority, and the Law No. 54.08, reforming public offering rules, are of paramount importance to Moroccan and foreign issuers, and financial institutions.
  • ACQUISITIONS IN CHINA : ASSET OR SHARE DEAL?

    The opportunities offered to foreign investors by the Chinese mergers and acquisitions market are increasing every year: in 2010, transactions involving foreign companies came to 60.1 billion euros, an increase of 21.2% compared with 2009. Seen from the West, where markets are declining, all sectors of the Chinese economy seem to be undergoing promising development and the statistics indicate that the Middle Empire will be a lasting springboard for growth.
  • Prime de Partage des Profits

    Le dispositif L’article 1er de la loi de financement rectificative de la Sécurité sociale pour 2011 oblige les sociétés commerciales de 50 salariés et plus, dont les dividendes par part sociale ou par action sont en augmentation par rapport à la moyenne des deux années précédentes, à verser une prime à l’ensemble de leurs salariés
  • BULGARIA MARKET OVERVIEW

    Types of investors The private equity (PE) funds that are active in Bulgaria are not raised or registered in the country. Some Bulgarian PE funds were raised recently, but there are no statistics as to the sources of their funding, their number, the funds that were accumulated, etc.
  • RECENT DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING COMMITMENTS

    THE PROCEDURE IS CLARIFIED, BUT MAY COMMITMENTS APPLY WITHOUT LIMIT?
  • Landmark decision by French Competition Authority in conditioned LPG case

    cartel case closed after discovery that leniency application was largely based on forgeries and rejection of collective dominant position objection.
  • 2012 supplementary budget

    The second supplementary budget published in the Official Gazette September 19, 2011 provides for two key measures that affect the deferral of tax losses and taxation of capital gains realized on the sale of equity securities .
  • Actualité législative fiscale

    Au delà des mesures applicables à l’ensemble des contribuables (telles que la limitation du report des déficits ou la réforme du mode de calcul des plus values sur cessions de participations),le plan de réduction des déficits annoncé le 24 août dernier par le gouvernement comprend des mesures qui intéressent spécifiquement les acteurs du secteur financier.

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