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Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 3


CMS provides ‘a good level of services’ and has ‘an amazing network within the French administration’. The firm has strong public law contract and PPP knowledge and is also involved in major broadband and transport projects alongside sponsors. It notably assisted Altitude Infrastructure with the refinancing of six broadband network concessions. The team also has strong energy regulatory and urban planning law expertise. CDC, Fin Infra, TDF and SFR are clients. The practice is jointly led by Jean-Luc Tixier, François Tenailleau and Christophe Barthélemy, who is ‘an amazing lawyer, very practical and has huge experience and strong political connections’.

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Derivatives, structured finance and securitisation
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 1


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Employment - ranked: tier 1


CMS’ 68 lawyers advise large French and international corporations on highly sensitive matters including large restructuring projects, top M&A transactions, and challenging collective litigation. It recently assisted Auchan with its reorganisation into one unique brand, represented Footlocker France in a litigation brought before the French Constitutional Supreme Court which led to a landmark decision, and advised France’s public-sector employment agency on a major restructuring and collective litigation. Key clients include BOA, Havas and British Airways. Laurent Marquet de Vasselot and Nicolas de Sevin rank among the top experts in France. Ghislain Beaure d’augères, Pierre Bonneau and Caroline Froger-Michon are other key members of the 14-partner practice. Damien Decolasse was promoted to the partnership.

Leading individuals

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Mergers and acquisitions
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 2


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Project finance
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 1


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Real estate
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 1


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Tax - ranked: tier 1


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.

Leading individuals

Bruno Gibert - CMS (transactional/corporate tax) (transfer pricing and international tax)

Edouard Milhac - CMS (transactional/corporate tax)

Stéphane Austry - CMS (tax litigation)

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The regions
The regions - ranked: tier 1

CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre Lyon

CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre Lyon is among the largest firms in Lyon with some 100 lawyers who provide expertise in business, tax and public law. The firm advises all sizes of companies including local groups and French and foreign corporations with affiliates in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Jean-Philippe Clément, François Coutard, Emmanuel Faury, Charles-Yves Rivière and Xavier Vahramian head the Lyon office.

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France: Banking and finance

Transactional work
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 1


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France: Capital markets

Capital markets: Debt - ranked: tier 2


CMS’ ‘efficient and proactive team’ provides ‘an excellent level of service’. The group handles domestic and cross-border work and has particular strengths handling EMTN programmes and Euro private placement instructions, though covered bonds, liability management mandates and bond issues by public entities are also key areas of expertise. Practice head Marc-Etienne Sébire ‘has been a reference in the Paris market for years’ and ‘goes the extra mile without being obsessed by the clock’. ‘Constantly reliable’ counsel Rosetta Ferrère is noted for her ‘rigour and ability to deal with a heavy workload’. Highlights included advising the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations on updating its €18.5bn EMTN programme; acting for the joint lead managers on Publicis Groupe’s issue of €500m Eurobonds; and assisting Crédit Mutuel Arkéa with its first issue of senior non-preferred notes with a total value of €500m. Société Générale, BNP Paribas and the Banque Fédérative du Crédit Mutuel are other clients.

Next generation lawyers

Marc-Etienne Sébire - CMS

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France: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 1


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France: Industry focus

Industry focus: Energy - ranked: tier 2


CMS provides ‘highly tailored services’ that show ‘excellent understanding of clients' issues’, has top regulatory expertise and is regularly involved in groundbreaking disputes in that respect. It is notably representing Engie in a strategic litigation challenging gas regulated-tariffs before the French Administrative Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. The practice is also assisting sponsors with electricity interconnection and renewables projects, while also advising on gas infrastructure and supply contracts. Recent highlights include assisting Ailes Marines with Saint-Brieuc's offshore wind farm project, and GRTgaz in a dispute with Bonatti pertaining to the Hauts-de-France pipeline. Christophe Barthélemy is ‘an amazing and very practical lawyer who has huge experience and large political connections’. Also involved is counsel Céline Cloché-Dubois.

Leading individuals

Christophe Barthélemy - CMS (energy regulatory)

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Healthcare and life sciences
Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 2


The ‘always perfect’ healthcare and life sciences offering at CMS advises on competition, contractual, intellectual property and corporate law issues with ‘astounding pertinence and an outstanding understanding of the problems clients may encounter’. Pharmaceutical regulatory expert Bernard Geneste successfully represented a French company specialised in orthopaedic implants in appeal proceedings against a decision by the French Economic Committee for Medicinal Devices regarding a price decrease for some devices, and Anne-Laure Villedieu advised a foreign medical device manufacturer on IP agreements with a research institution and a laboratory. Counsel Stéphanie de Giovanni is known for her ‘responsiveness and accurate advice’ and assisted a client with the setting up of a clinical trial. The group also has significant capacities in data privacy and protection work. Laurent Romano is the name to note in the Lyon office.

Leading individuals

Bernard Geneste - CMS (regulatory)

Next generation lawyers

Stéphanie de Giovanni - CMS

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IT, telecoms and the Internet
Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the Internet - ranked: tier 3


The ‘responsive and available expert team’ at CMS provides a service that one client describes as ‘always perfect’. In recent highlights, the French Ministry of Education appointed the practice to defend its partnership with Microsoft in a dispute against associations requesting its dissolution in the context of the protection of open source software in France, and Conduent instructed the group to oversee the negotiation of major outsourcing agreements. Practice head Anne-Laure Villedieu advised a digital player on commercial, e-commerce and data protection issues, and is also representing software company Sage in a series of disputes with the company responsible for its IT solutions and a number of Sage’s clients seeking compensation following the host’s failure.

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France: Intellectual property

Trade marks, designs and copyright
Trade marks, designs and copyright - ranked: tier 3


CMS’ intellectual property practice recently welcomed trade marks and unfair competition specialist José Monteiro as of counsel from an in-house position at L’Oréal. In noteworthy 2017 highlights, practice head Anne-Laure Villedieu represented the National Geographical Institute, a public administrative body, in IP proceedings against Michelin pertaining to the alleged counterfeiting of several of the client’s maps, and senior associate Sabine Rigaud is part of the group advising the French Olympic committee on intellectual property-related issues on an ongoing basis. The practice’s recent caseload also includes complex cross-border infringement cases related to opposition and revocation claims, the transfer of portfolios and intangible assets, and the drafting and negotiation of partnership agreements. Other key clients are Deliveroo, Snapchat and Trainline.

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France: Private equity

Fund formation
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 1


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Further information on CMS

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about CMS in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Dubai


Offices in Tirana



Offices in Vienna


Offices in Brussels, Antwerp, Brussels, Brussels, and Brussels

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Offices in Sarajevo


Offices in Sofia and Sofia


Offices in Beijing, Beijing, and Shanghai


Offices in Zagreb

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague


Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, and Munich


Offices in Algiers


Offices in Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona


Offices in Paris, Strasbourg, and Lyon

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong and Hong Kong


Offices in Budapest

Latin America: International firms


Offices in Rome and Milan


Offices in Beirut


Offices in Luxembourg


Offices in Casablanca


Offices in Podgorica


Offices in Utrecht and Amsterdam


Offices in Muscat


Offices in Warsaw and Poznan


Offices in Lisbon


Offices in Bucharest


Offices in Moscow


Offices in Singapore, Singapore, and Singapore


Offices in Ljubljana


Offices in Zurich and Geneva


Offices in Kiev and Kiev


Offices in Belgrade


Offices in London EC4N and London EC3A

North West

Offices in Manchester


Offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen

South East

Offices in Reading

South West

Offices in Bristol

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield S2 and Sheffield S2

Legal Developments by:

  • Access to justice: protective costs orders in planning challenges

    Third parties and competing developers have no rights of appeal to the Secretary of State against planning decisions. Disappointed applicants can appeal to the Secretary of State and can have the merits of the application reconsidered. The only remedy available to a disappointed third party is a challenge by way of judicial review in the High Court on a point of law. The sense of frustration and disempowerment this creates has not been helped by the increasing complexity of the planning process and the use of consultation to legitimise decisions that many perceive may already have been taken.
    - CMS Group

Legal Developments in France

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

    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

  • 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.
  • Réforme fiscale

    À la une Parmi les mesures annoncées par le Premier Ministre dans le cadre du plan de réduction des déficits, deux d’entre elles sont susceptibles d’affecter de nombreuses entreprises