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France > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Tax
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals: international tax
  4. Leading individuals: litigation
  5. Leading individuals: private clients
  6. Leading individuals: property
  7. Leading individuals: transactional/corporate tax

Leading individuals: international tax

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Leading individuals: litigation

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Leading individuals: private clients

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Leading individuals: property

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Leading individuals: transactional/corporate tax

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Bredin Prat has extensive experience advising on tax aspects of the largest M&A transactions and recently assisted PSA Peugeot Citroën with the structuring of a financial partnership with Banco Santander. The 20-lawyer team is equally strong in the property sector and acts for leading corporations or high-ranking managers regarding tax reassessment, permanent residency and management packages issues. GE and Klépierre are clients. The practice is headed by market-leading figure Renaud Streichenberger and the ‘excellentYves Rutschmann. Sébastien de Monès, Pierre-Henri Durand, Edouard Sicot and Julien Gayral also stand out.

CMS has ‘excellent technical expertise’ and ‘high international tax and controversy know-how’. The 200-lawyer team stands out for its impressive resources and comprehensive range of expertise, and is consulted by the largest French and international companies and investment funds to handle high-end work. The team is often retained to handle tax controversy work and is representing Vivendi in tax litigation. M&A, private equity and property tax expertise are other areas of work, and the practice recently assisted Blackstone with the acquisition of Vitalia. Stéphane Austry is second-to-none for strategic litigation. For international taxation, key names include Bruno Gibert, Stéphane Gelin, Pierre-Sébastien Thill, Thierry Granier and Edouard Milhac, who has ‘high technical skills and great experience when it comes to dealing with the authorities’, as well as François Hellio and Julien Saïac, who are ‘both admirable for international matters and able to provide a straightforward analysis of nested rules applicable in several countries’. Also recommended are: Christophe Frionnet for corporate tax issues, as well as Laurent Hepp, Luc Jaillais and Dimitri Leboff for direct taxation, and Laurent Chatel for local taxation; Gaëtan Berger-Picqexcels in VAT matters pertaining to real estate deals’. Recently promoted partner Frédéric Gerner is ‘excellent for direct tax matters’; Anne-Sophie Rostaing was made partner in 2016.

Allen & Overy LLP shows ‘great professionalism, high responsiveness and high-level expertise’ in property tax, and also has leading expertise in the financial services sector and M&A. The practice assisted Unibail-Rodamco with the €850m disposal of a shopping centre portfolio and represented Airbus in its €794m sale of part of its participation in Dassault Aviation. Jean-Yves Charriau and Mathieu Vignon head the practice.

Arsene Taxand provides ‘a very good service’, thanks to a team of some 100 tax lawyers that ‘understand clients’ needs’. The firm has comprehensive expertise but is especially strong in private equity and property work. It recently assisted the managers with Europcar’s IPO and advised Goldman Sachs on the structuring of a cross-border acquisition. The practice is also handling complex litigation. Key figures among the 19 partners include Frédéric Donnedieu de Vabres and practice co-heads Denis Andres, the ‘quick, reliable and straight-to-the-point’ Antoine Glaize, Marc Brocardi, the ‘creative and pragmatic’ François Lugand, and Alain Recoules. Vincent Desoubries, Franck Llinas, Laurent Partouche-Sebban and Roland Schneider are other names to note. Patrice Corbin de Granchamp and Alexandre Rocchi were promoted to the partnership in 2016.

Baker McKenzie SCP stands out for its ‘constant strategic thinking and commercially minded advice’. ‘The overall level of service is very good in terms of skills and competences on transfer pricing matters’, while corporate tax is another strong area of expertise, and the 33-lawyer team ranks among ‘the best of the best’ in the tax controversy field, where it represents leading corporations and major online companies. The firm favourably acted for Carrefour in a tax reassessment case regarding the payment of royalties to be paid by affiliates. The firm also handled strategic work involving China. The 16-partner team is led by Véronique Millischer, Guillaume Le Camus and Caroline Silberztein, whose ‘expertise and authority are remarkable’. Practice co-head Eric Meier and local partner Régis Torlet lead ‘the market’s best litigation practice’, an area in which local partner Ariane Calloud is ‘outstanding and has unique ability to focus on the minute detail while constantly considering the strategic objectives’.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘nothing short of excellent’. The eight-lawyer practice advises on the largest M&A and capital markets transactions, and is highly regarded for its expertise in French tax audits. It assisted Lafarge with the €6.5bn sale of certain assets to CRH. The team is led by Anne-Sophie Coustel, who ‘covers every angle in her preparation for interactions with the tax authorities’, senior counsel Gilles Entraygues and consultant Pascal Coudin.

Clifford Chance provides ‘a very high level of expertise and efficiency’. The 13-laywer team is especially strong in the M&A and property fields. It assisted Airbus with the creation of the Airbus Safran Launchers joint venture. The practice is also active in taxation relating to the banking and financial services sector, and also handles litigation. Large corporations and investment funds are clients. Practice head Eric Davoudet has ‘very good technical skills’ and ‘a great strategic vision’. Alexandre Lagarrigue and Anne Lemercier are also recommended.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier is strongly recommended for corporate reorganisations, high-profile M&A transactions and property work, and also handles tax litigation. The six-lawyer team recently assisted Casino with the reorganisation of its Latin American operations. Practice head Vincent Agulhon is ‘an all-round tax lawyer with an excellent technique, who is always looking for solutions’. Counsel Loïc Védie is another name to note.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei has leading expertise in property tax and tax litigation – the practice is handling cases challenging the French tax regime at EU level. Highlights included advising Morgan Stanley Real Estate on the sale of Tours Pascal in Paris-La Défense. The 12-lawyer team is led by Bernard Boutemy and Emmanuel Chauve, who ranks among the market-leading figures for property tax. Alexandre Blestel, Marie-Laure Bruneele and Sarah Espasa-Mattei are other key figures.

The ‘excellentGide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has leading expertise in the property-related tax and also handles high-profile corporate, capital markets and litigation work. It advised OMEA Telecom on the sale of Virgin Mobile. The 13-lawyer team is led by Laurent Modave, Christian Nouel and the ‘excellentOlivier Dauchez, who has ‘unique experience handling China-related work’. Counsel Bertrand Jouanneau is also recommended. Guillaume Jolly is now at BDGS Associés.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP gives ‘accurate advice’ and ‘understands the commercial aspects of transactions’. The nine-lawyer practice advises on large corporate transactions and is also top notch for handling financial and property tax matters. It recently assisted Engie with the acquisition of Solairedirect. The team is also involved in a number of strategic litigation cases and recently obtained a landmark decision. The ‘very accurate and technically competent’ Cyril Valentin heads the practice. Antoine Colonna d’Istria is also recommended along with Vincent Daniel-Mayeur, who ‘thinks out of the box’.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s ‘outstanding’ ‘tailor-made’ practice is especially recommended for strategic and complex transactional and litigation issues. The five-lawyer team was recently involved in several groundbreaking cases alongside CAC 40 companies and obtained a number of landmark decisions from France’s highest courts. The practice assisted Vivendi regarding the worldwide consolidation regime. M&A and capital markets expertise is also top notch. The firm advised Alcatel-Lucent on its combination with Nokia. Gauthier Blanluet has ‘unique legal knowledge and credibility among tax authorities’; Nicolas de Boynes is ‘responsive and creative’.

Ashurst LLP has ‘strong business acumen and deep financial knowledge’. The four-lawyer team has strong expertise in insolvency and restructuring cases and assisted Peaked Hill Partners with the restructuring of Arc International. The practice also advises on corporate transactions, especially in the private equity field. Practice head and ‘problem-solver’ Nadine Gelli is ‘thorough, hardworking, responsive and provides great insight’.

Jones Day has broad expertise but is especially strong in the financial services sector through the ‘very experiencedSiamak Mostafavi; the team advises leading financial institutions on the most complex structured finance and derivatives transactions. It assisted Safran with the creation of the Airbus Safran Launchers joint venture. Emmanuel de la Rochethulon is recommended.

King & Wood Mallesons delivers ‘excellent, appropriate advice’. The 13-lawyer team has strong expertise in the private equity field, advising on transactions and fund formation, where clients include Apax Partners. The practice recently advised Antin Infrastructure Partners on the structuring of a €2bn cross-border infrastructure fund. Sylvie Vansteenkiste heads the firm’s international practice. Raphaël Béra and Fanny Combourieu are also names to note along with Anne Quenedey, who is ‘pragmatic and able to analyse all the aspects of a deal’.

Latham & Watkins is particularly strong in the private equity field and notably assisted Bridgepoint with the €300m acquisition of eFront. The six-lawyer team also advises on capital markets and finance transactions, including high-yield deals. Olivia Rauch-Ravisé and Xavier Renard head the team.

Linklaters LLP provides high-end advice on M&A, LBO and finance-related transactions. The firm recently advised Santander Consumer Finance on the acquisition of a 50% stake in SOFIB. The practice also advises on large property transactions. Edouard Chapellier heads the eight-lawyer team. Thomas Perrot joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Mayer Brown has ‘a deep knowledge of the latest tax standards’ and ‘knows all the main players’ in private equity. The 11-lawyer team advises the largest LBO funds and fund managers. The practice also advises on large M&A deals and tax litigation. Highlights included assisting Altice with its acquisition of Portugal Telecom. The ‘very creative and hardworking’ Laurent Borey heads the practice, which also includes Christopher Lalloz, Benjamin Homo, who has ‘great technical skill’, and Olivier Parawan, who is ‘an expert of high quality’.

Headed by Allard de Waal, Paul Hastings LLP’s three-lawyer practice handles large M&A and LBO transactions. The team advised General Electric on the sale of its rail signalling division to Alstom.

Shearman & Sterling LLP advises on the largest M&A and private equity transactions and recently assisted Algeria’s national fund with the acquisition of a 51% stake in Omnium Télécom Algérie. The team advises many leading French and international corporations. Niels Dejean ranks among the best tax advisers in France. Counsel Anne-Sophie Maes is another name to note.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP routinely advises on the largest M&A, private equity and restructuring transactions. The practice assisted Montagu and Astorg Partners with their €1.7bn acquisition of Sebia. The six-lawyer team also deals with litigation and patrimonial tax. Stéphane Chaouat heads the practice, in which Edouard de Lamy is another key figure.

White & Case LLP advises on high-profile M&A, LBO, property and capital markets transactions. It assisted Cobepa with the acquisition of Exclusive Networks. Norbert Majerholc heads the five-lawyer practice, in which Alexandre Ippolito is also recommended.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises on major LBO and M&A transactions, and assisted Unipex and IK Investment Partners with the sale of Lucas Meyer Cosmetics. The five-lawyer team also advises on group reorganisation and financing matters. Marie-Hélène Raffin and Pierre Ullmann head the practice. Counsel Philippe Grudé is another name to note.

DLA Piper advises on high-profile M&A transactions and assisted Fosun with its tender offer for Club Med. The practice also advises on companies’ restructuring and insolvency situations, and handles litigation. The six-lawyer team is led by Hervé Israël and the ‘technical and prompt’ Guillaume Valois.

Dentons promoted Jessie Gaston to the partnership and hired Jean-Luc Calisti, who previously led Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team and shows ‘complex and creative tax litigation expertise’. The 11-lawyer practice ‘can be fully trusted in its technical skills and commitment’, and has a large range of expertise. The group recently assisted Allianz Real Estate with the acquisition of a 90 % stake in Nicetoile Shopping Centre. Chanel is another client. Sandra Hazan heads the firm’s practice at international level. Vincent Lacombe has specialist expertise in the energy and natural resources sector.

Fairway has ‘an excellent level of experience in the field of property tax’ and assisted CBRE Global Investors with the €1.3bn sale of its Celsius portfolio. The three-partner practice is made up of Olivier Mesmin, who has ‘no weakness’, Christine Daric and Emmanuel Galifer, who shows ‘flexibility and force of conviction in designing tax property structures’.

GGV Partnerschaft mbB Rechtsanwälte Wirtschaftsprüfer Steuerberater has ‘a very high level of expertise’. The five-lawyer team is ‘highly available, answers swiftly and can deal with French, UK and German tax issues’. The practice is especially strong in the property tax and litigation. It represented Lufthansa before the French Supreme Court. Pascal Schultze and Pascal Ngatsing head the department.

Gibson Dunn advises on large M&A, private equity and property transactions. The practice assisted Coty with the acquisition of Bourjois. Ariel Harroch and Jérôme Delaurière are highly recommended.

Gowling WLG, France’s ‘rapid, efficient and always available’ team has strong property tax expertise. It advises top players such as Amundi, AG Real Estate and Predica. The practice also handles litigation and advises some trusts and private clients. The ‘extremely competent’ Pierre Appremont is highly regarded; Frédéric Mege is another name to note. Eglantine Lioret joined Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Lacourte Raquin Tatar produces ‘high-quality work and expertise’. The five-lawyer team is especially strong in the property sector and advises on complex M&A and restructuring issues. Vinci Immobilier, Allianz and SNCF are clients. Practice head Jean-Claude Balas has ‘a high knowledge of his clients’ files’.

Orrick Rambaud Martel brings ‘real added value to cross-border transactions’. The four-lawyer team ‘handles international issues’ and ‘can manage very complicated matters’. The practice advises on transactional tax, stock-option and employee benefits, and patrimonial matters. It assisted Club Mediterranée with tax aspects of different tender offers. The firm also provides assistance in the context of restructuring and insolvency cases. Practice head Anne-Sophie Kerfant is ‘very precise, responsive and proficient’.

STC Partners’ seven-partner team advises on corporate and patrimonial tax. The firm is involved in major M&A and LBO transactions. It recently assisted Mahindra & Mahindra with its acquisition of a 51% stake in Peugeot Scooters. The practice also has strong expertise advising managers in LBO transactions. The partnership is made up of Bertrand Araud, Pierre Bouley, Christian Couderc, Denis Fontaine-Besset, Agnès Avigès and Hervé-Antoine Couderc, as well as Nicole Goulard, who joined from Jeantet AARPI. Jérôme Talleux joined Fidal.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘committed and solution-driven’ seven-lawyer team has high-level property tax expertise and recently assisted Colony Capital with the sale of two companies owning a real estate property in Paris. Jean-Pierre Collet heads the practice, in which Florence Bilger and David Colin are other key figures. Franck Lagorce joined Pinsent Masons LLP.

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Legal Developments in France for Tax

Legal Developments in France

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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