Administrative and public law in France
Clifford Chance has an impressive track record when it comes to advising on France's largest PPP and infrastructure projects, including handling complex post-performance and execution issues. Headed by one of the market's most respected figures, David Préat, the practice recently advised clients in the transport, renewables and energy sectors on landmark greenfield projects. It notably assisted Eiffage Concessions as a bidder for the Route Centre Europe Atlantique (RCEA) motorway project, and a Transdev-led consortium as a candidate to operate the future Charles de Gaulle Airport express rail link (CDG Express). The team is also advising EDF Énergies Nouvelles on a floating offshore wind test project. The firm also assisted banks with motorway and rail refinancing projects, and advised sponsors on several domestic high-speed broadband network projects. It is also assisting the Transport Ministry with complex issues raised by the government's abandonment of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project, as well as with the potential privatisation of Paris airports owner and operator ADP. Finally, the firm also advised on large-scale offshore brownfield projects. Counsel Gauthier Martin is the other key name in the practice.
The ‘incredible’ Linklaters is ‘the firm to call when there is a legal problem with no solution in sight: it will always find one’. The ‘customer-oriented’ five-lawyer team ‘does outstanding work’ and provides ‘very sharp analysis that achieves set objectives’. The team acts for leading clients in the public and private sectors alike, and is regularly instructed by banking institutions to advise on highly strategic regulatory and Brexit-related issues. The practice is also in high demand to advise on international sanctions and foreign investment authorisations in the context of high-profile M&A transactions. It is also advising on some of the largest domestic wind and transport infrastructure projects. Highlights included assisting the lenders to Oc’Via, a special purpose vehicle created by Bouygues, with the Nîmes-Montpellier high-speed rail link project, as well as advising Fondation Notre-Dame on restoration work on Notre-Dame Cathedral and financing issues relating to that project. The firm is also representing French motorway concessionaire Eurotoll in suing the French state for the payment of damages following the termination of the Eco-tax project. Practice head Paul Lignières shows ‘great creativity and possesses incredible legal expertise that finds solutions whatever the problem’. Also recommended are managing associates Marianna Frison-Roche and Pierre Sikorav.
At Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, the ‘service is fast, very efficient and enjoyable’. The six-lawyer team comes recommended for its ability to deal with ‘the most important and complex public contracts issues where huge amounts are at stake’ and ‘reach smart deals between its clients and its financial partners’; it is also ‘clearly the best on the market at developing a victorious strategy’ when dealing with litigation and post-contract performance issues. The firm has an impressive track record advising lenders and sponsors on France's largest infrastructure projects, and is regularly instructed to handle very complex contract performance issues, including leading negotiations with the French state and dealing with high-profile contract annulment situations. The practice recently advised on several landmark transport and road infrastructure projects, including assisting the lenders to a consortium led by Keolis with the consortium's bid to operate the CDG Express airport link project; the lenders to Vinci and Eiffage's motorway tunnel concessionaire SMTPC with the new urban motorway Schloesing Tunnel project in Marseille; and the lenders to Vinci Concessions with the RCEA motorway project. The practice is also advising on highly sensitive contract performance and litigation issues pertaining to some of France's top infrastructure projects. Finally, the team also advises on infrastructure projects abroad. Practice head Thierry Laloum has ‘an extraordinary and deep knowledge of this field and perfectly masters the art of negotiations: he is cautious, anticipates issues and is also very creative’, and comes up with ‘long-term tailored strategies that lead clients to win their cases’. Special European counsel Charles-Antoine Erignac is also a key contact, while associate Anne-Laure Barel is ‘strongly recommended’. Another name to note is complementary project finance partner Amir Jahanguiri, who is ‘an astonishing and incredible lawyer’.
Allen & Overy LLP
The ‘client-oriented’ Allen & Overy LLP ‘understands clients' needs, focuses on the most important aspects of a deal and follows a practical approach’. The firm has a ‘strong PPP track record’ and often advises lenders on France's largest infrastructure projects. Among others, the practice is advising Bouygues' consortium's lenders on the consortium's bid for the construction of a new university complex in Saclay, as well as the lenders to a consortium composed of ADP, SNCF Réseau and CDC regarding the CDG Express airport rail project. It was also retained by a consortium to assist with bidding for the new RCEA motorway project and is advising on several major broadband and energy projects. The seven-lawyer team also has strong regulatory expertise, especially in the energy and media sectors where it regularly assists M6 and Eni with highly strategic issues. Finally, it also advises on major M&A and privatisation transactions. ‘Excellent’ practice head Romaric Lazerges is ‘very good at listening and building good relationships with his clients’. Counsel Antoine Coursaut-Durand is also recommended, while banking and finance specialist Driss Bererhi provides complementary expertise.
CMS has ‘outstanding knowledge of public law and excellent practical business sense’. The ‘very responsive and dedicated’ team ‘maintains solid relationships with national and local governments as well as administrative courts’. The firm's strong public law contracts and projects practice advises a number of key players, including leading engineering groups and private and public sector operators. The practice is handling several high-profile projects, including assisting SNCF Mobilités with the Paris-Nord railway station renovation project, and CDC with the financing of the construction of a luxury hotel within the Château de Versailles. The team also deals with major contentious issues and notably represented Axxès, as a co-contractor of Ecomouv’, in litigation against the French state following the termination of the Eco-tax project. Practice co-head François Tenailleau ‘is recognised as a top adviser in his field’ and deals with his clients' issues in ‘a practical and creative manner’. Other practice co-head Claire Vannini is a specialist in public economic law issues and advises on major state aid and regulatory disputes. She is notably assisting Corsica Linea with handling high-stakes state aid issues following its acquisition of some of SNCM's assets and its operations of France-Corsica maritime services. Christophe Barthélemy is a top name for complex energy work, while Jean-Luc Tixier provides urban law and property development expertise.
Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier's five-lawyer team deals with high-end work on behalf of leading French sponsors and companies, as well as public sector entities. The practice has leading regulatory expertise and is often retained to advise on high-profile privatisation and M&A transactions involving major public law issues. It is advising Vinci regarding its offer for the acquisition of a majority share in ADP in the context of its privatisation. The practice also advises on major public procurement projects and deals with related complex litigation and contentious execution issues. It is assisting SNCF Réseau with the building and operation of the CDG Express railway line project, as well as acting for the French railway operator in handling issues raised by the construction of the Tours-Bordeaux high-speed railway line, including administrative court cases. Lately, the firm has also handled major work in the energy sector: it successfully represented EDF in a dispute over regulated electricity tariffs brought by Engie and Anode before the Conseil d’Etat. Practice head Henri Savoie and counsel Patrick Mèle are highly recommended.
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei has a strong track record of advising on complex public economic, state aid and regulatory issues in highly regulated sectors. Headed by the highly regarded Christine Le Bihan-Graf, the five-lawyer team is strongly established in the energy sector and is also appointed to work on highly strategic matters in the transport area. It is assisting blue-chip clients in various sectors in the context of privatisation projects. The team also handles regulatory issues linked to infrastructure transactions, and as such advised IPM Korea and Samsung on the acquisition of 39.24% of Dunkerque LNG, the owner and operator of the Dunkerque liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, from EDF. Benefiting from the firm's banking and finance expertise, the practice is also noted for PPP and infrastructure work. It recently assisted the lenders with the financing of a large high-speed internet network in the east of France.
Dentons provides ‘sharp and in-depth analyses from which clients are able to make fully informed decisions and be well prepared to defend their own interests’. The three-lawyer team has exceptional public law contract expertise, and has been instructed by the government, major public sector entities and sponsors to advise on France's most high-profile projects and public procurement contracts. In addition, it has strong litigation capabilities and is regularly consulted on future legislative reforms and on devising new legal schemes. The practice recently advised the transport authority for the Paris region (STIF) on the awarding of concession contracts for the operation of four new automatic metro lines as part of the Grand Paris Express transport project, as well as assisting RATP Dev and Keolis' consortium with the awarding of the contract for the operation of the future CDG Express airport train link project. The team also advised on an investment project for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Other highlights included advising on major university and school projects, as well as assisting the Transport Ministry with awarding the concession contract for the RCEA highway project. Practice head Marc Fornacciari provides ‘fine analyses and is highly committed to his clients’. Also recommended are counsel Dorothée Griveaux and associate Nicolas Vital, who both ‘show great workload and analysis abilities that efficiently address clients' needs’.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has strong experience handling major greenfield and brownfield energy and infrastructure work. Headed by Pascal Cuche, the five-lawyer team was recently involved in high-profile offshore and power plant projects in France and also advised on leading LNG, heat, storage and gas sector transactions. The team, which has strong regulatory expertise, also completed work in other fields, including advising on a major privatisation project, high-stakes railway sector litigation and infrastructure M&A deals. Finally, the practice is also advising on some high-profile domestic PPPs. Leading French and international infrastructure and utilities companies and sponsors are clients.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. delivers ‘strong customer services’. The ‘always readily available’ 20-lawyer team has ‘expert knowledge’ in its field, and ‘the more you work with them, the more you feel you should always follow their advice’. The practice offers a wide array of expertise spanning public law contracts and projects, regulatory and privatisation issues, urban law and litigation. It is regularly retained by the state, as well as by sponsors and private sector companies. The firm is advising on several large-scale infrastructure projects, including assisting the Transport Ministry with the CDG Express airport rail project. It is also advising SNCF Réseau on major railway reform and dealing with contentious work such as representing Nice Eco Stadium in a dispute with the City of Nice. Thomas Courtel is highly recommended, and ‘great professional’ Bénédicte Mazel and Alexandre Gauthier are also key members of the team. Emmanuel Vital-Durand has a strong reputation for urban-planning work. Finally, energy is another area of expertise for the practice; Michel Guénaire regularly advises leading energy and power operators such as Exeltium and Engie on strategic matters.
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is recognised for its expertise in advising governments on large-scale transport projects in France and Africa. The five-lawyer team, which regularly works in combination with the firm's strong banking department, has been involved in the most high-profile of the country's transport projects. It is notably assisting the French government with the awarding of the concession for the €1bn A45 motorway project, and ADP with the CDG Express airport rail link project. The practice has also become increasingly involved in energy projects domestically and in Africa; it recently assisted ABB as a candidate for a contract relating to the 1.4GW France-Britain electricity interconnector project. Finally, the team is advising Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel on the renewal of its catering and merchandising operations. Bruno Cantier and Ludovic Babin are highly recommended. Counsel Perrine Limousin is also a key contact.
Jones Day's five-lawyer team assists the French state and other public sector entities, as well as major French sponsors, with high-profile public law procurement contracts, strategic regulatory issues and litigation. It recently handled highly complex privatisation, energy, banking and public financing regulatory work. The practice is assisting state agency Agence des participations de l'État (APE) with the privatisation of airport operator ADP, as well Confédération Nationale du Crédit Mutuel with managing its conflict with Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. The firm also advised on large new broadband network projects, as well as on some leisure and waste management projects. It assisted CDC, as an investor in Altitude Infrastructure and Marguerite Fund's joint venture, on the joint venture's participation in a high-speed broadband network project in the Haute Garonne region. The practice also handled significant disputes, notably in the transport and telecoms sectors. It is representing RATP in high-profile litigation with Mobit, an Italian consortium of transport companies, regarding the award of a transportation concession contract by the region of Tuscany, which required a preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Bouygues, EDF, Engie and Orange are also clients. The practice is co-headed by the highly recommended Philippe Delelis and Nicolas Brice.
Orrick Rambaud Martel's ‘responsive and available’ team is advising the French state, sponsors and lenders on France's largest infrastructure projects, particularly in the transport and energy areas. The practice notably assisted the lender to a consortium with its bid for the concession contract for the CDG Express railway project, as well as Colas Projects with the tender for the RCEA motorway project. In the energy sector, the firm is advising the Ecology Ministry on negotiating governmental tariffs with the developers of six offshore wind farm projects. The highly experienced practice is also called upon to handle challenging post-contract situations, such as advising Aéroport du Grand Ouest (Notre-Dame-des-Landes) on the cancellation of the airport project by the French state. The team is co-headed by the highly recommended Jean-Luc Champy and senior counsel Noël Chahid-Nouraï. Also recommended are of counsels Geoffroy Berthon , who is ‘a high-quality lawyer who provides accurate and rigorous analysis, and whose practical approach is very valuable’, and Philippe Zeller.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is praised for its ‘perfect ability to handle complex matters’. The six-lawyer team is acting for many leading state-owned entities and private sector companies, notably in the transport, public sector housing, energy and telecoms areas. The firm is working on sophisticated regulatory matters, such as advising state agency APE on the privatisation of Française des Jeux. The team also has strong litigation expertise and won several high-profile cases recently. It successfully represented Suez before the Administrative Court of Appeal in its challenge to the decision to award a €400m concession contract to operate a wastewater treatment plant in the Ile-de-France region to Veolia; the court ruled to suspend the execution of the contract. The firm is also involved in landmark infrastructure projects and is notably advising SNCF Réseau, ADP and CDC on the CDG Express airport rail project. Frédéric Salat-Baroux has ‘a great deal of perspective on various subjects and great knowledge of the administrative courts’ in addition to ‘impressive negotiation skills’. Counsel Marc Lordonnois is ‘one of the best lawyers for concession contracts and knows this business perfectly’.
Adamas' ‘reliable and responsive’ 40-lawyer team shows ‘great proficiency and the ability to propose solutions’. It advises major municipalities, harbours, ski resorts and governmental departments, as well as private sector energy suppliers, property developers and a key player in the transport sector. Public contracts and projects, state aid issues, urban planning and litigation are all areas of strength. The firm, which has its main office in Lyon, a major office in Paris and a smaller presence in Bordeaux, is assisting Lyon Métropole with many strategic projects, such as the Anneau des Sciences bypass project and the Lyon Part-Dieu urban development project. The practice also has strong regulatory expertise in the electricity and energy sectors. It is defending a key client, electricity grid operator Enedis, in sensitive disputes over various issues, including regulated tariffs and the Linky smart electricity meters. The cities of Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux are clients, as well as Grand Port Maritime du Havre, SNCF, EDF and Keolis. The practice combines 11 partners and is led by Romain Granjon, whose ‘strategic approach to litigation’ is particularly noted; Gilles Le Chatelier; Jean-Marc Petit; Laurent Sery, who has ‘good technique’; Guillaume Chaineau; and Xavier Heymans.
Ashurst LLP has strong expertise in public law contracts and recently advised on several high-profile domestic transport projects. The firm is notably assisting the Transport Ministry with the development of freight transport services, including a rail freight transport project between France and Italy. It also assisted a Fayat-led consortium with its bid for the landmark RCEA motorway project. The four-lawyer team also completed major work for Veolia Eau, notably assisting with its bid for Bordeaux Métropole's major water treatment concession contract. Finally, the practice is increasingly advising on large renewable energy projects. EDF, Engie, Elicio and Wpd are clients. ‘Available, responsive and thorough’ counsel Jacques Dabreteau and Michel Lequien are also recommended.
August Debouzy advises several high-profile private sector companies, as well as key public sector transport operators. The nine-lawyer team deals with a broad range of matters and has strong litigation and public law contract expertise. It is notably handing disputes pertaining to the awarding of several major public procurement contracts and is also dealing with sensitive criminal investigations in the public sector. The practice is notably defending Veolia in a dispute with the French state and Suez over the award of the contract for the operation of one of the biggest water treatment plants in Europe to the client. Philip Morris, Microsoft, Total, RATP and Havas are clients, and the team also acts for key players in the defence sector. Practice heads Vincent Brenot and Emmanuelle Mignon are highly recommended, as is counsel Hélène Billery.
Baker McKenzie advises many leading French and international public and private sector clients, including blue-chip names in the transport, post, energy, media and healthcare sectors. The 14-lawyer team is regularly retained to deal with challenging regulatory and litigation issues. It also has good contentious and non-contentious public law contract expertise and is notably representing Métropole Européenne de Lille in a PPP dispute with Eiffage's subsidiary Elisa regarding the construction of the new Stade Pierre-Mauroy arena. Practice co-heads Emmanuel Guillaume and Arnaud Cabanes are leading experts. Alexia Robbes has strong urban-planning expertise and advises on major property development projects, including office tower projects. Finally, the firm is increasing its involvement in major African projects thanks to the ‘experienced, dedicated and highly efficient’ Richard Mugni, who recently advised Bolloré Transport & Logistics' subsidiary Sitarail on the running and renovation of the Abidjan-Kaya railway link.
Bredin Prat is praised for its ‘responsiveness, skill, creativity and strong strategic advice’. The firm provides multi-disciplinary advice, notably in relation to complex regulatory issues, and represents clients in litigation before the French courts and the CJEU. The five-lawyer team has been retained by public sector entities to assist with the reform of their status. It is also one of the few firms able to provide European public law advice and is regularly advising on new legal issues. The practice is notably advising EPSF on the current reform of the French national rail safety agencies and negotiating a co-operation agreement with the European Union Agency for Railways. The team is also acting for G.H. Mumm in a dispute with FranceAgriMer regarding public subsidies granted in the wine sector. Many leading French companies and entities, as well as international blue-chip digital corporations, are clients, notably APE, Airbnb, Groupe PSA, CCI Paris Ile-de-France and Uber. Yann Aguila heads the practice, and counsel Guillaume Froger is also highly recommended.
Goutal Alibert & Associés
Goutal Alibert & Associés is entirely dedicated to advising public sector entities and their agents. The firm houses some 30 lawyers, spread between six offices in France, who regularly assist some of the country’s largest cities with conducting high-profile infrastructure and urban development projects, as well as dealing with litigation. The practice, which has expertise in a range of areas, including public sector employment law, recently defended a number of public agents facing criminal investigations. Some prestigious cultural institutions are also clients. The practice has ten partners, including Yvon Goutal and Florence Alibert.
Gowling WLG has extensive experience advising on domestic PPPs and major public law contracts, and is retained by high-profile private operators and sponsors. It is currently advising on major airport, port, broadband, school and healthcare infrastructure projects, and is also assisting clients in dealing with public law contract litigation and other issues, including recently in relation to a major railway project. Finally, it is also assisting Société du Grand Paris with managing judicial proceedings in relation to the construction of the Grand Paris Express metro lines. CDC, Vinci Construction, SFR and Urbaser Environnement are clients. Emmanuel Paillard and Jérôme Pentecoste head the team and counsel Julie Vuagnoux is also recommended.
King & Spalding LLP is praised for its ‘availability, proficiency and ability to build a strong case’. The team also shows ‘great consideration for its clients’ needs and expectations and adjusts its advice accordingly’. It is mainly active in the oil and gas, mining and energy sectors, where it shows ‘remarkable expertise’. Recently, the firm successfully represented major hydrocarbon and mining operators in challenging decisions made by the French state. It is also representing an oil company in litigation relating to hydrocarbons permits and concessions, and advising on a gold-mining project in French Guiana. The team is also assisting Spanish utility company Endesa with the development of its activities in France. Vermilion is another key client. Counsel Ruxandra Lazar is a ‘remarkable lawyer who shows exceptional client commitment and expertise and never leaves anything to chance’.
Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats' strong and experienced 18-lawyer team has a proven ability to work on complex public sector infrastructure projects, especially relating to telecoms and ports. Often representing public sector entities, the firm recently advised on high-profile transport and telecoms project execution issues. It also assisted with new strategic infrastructure projects such as the building of public sector database centres and nuclear waste storage. Finally, the firm has strong regulatory expertise in the telecoms sector, which extends to projects in Africa, and is often retained by leading private telecoms operators. Paris La Défense, SNCF and Région Grand Est are clients. Jean Latournerie, Laurent de la Brosse, Térence Cabot and Marion Delaigue co-head the practice.
LPA-CGR avocats is praised for its ‘client-friendly approach’ and ‘willingness to find workable solutions’. The 18-lawyer team is particularly recommended for its ‘great knowledge of the energy sector and high level of added-value expertise’. Its combined knowledge of public domain rights, permitting and urban law issues regularly earns the firm high-profile wind energy project instructions. The firm is also assisting public sector entities with the Grand Paris major transport development projects. Finally, the practice has expertise in obtaining permit authorisations connected with skyscraper projects. It notably defended Ivanhoé Cambridge's building permits for the high-profile Tours Duo and Tours Hermitage projects. Fabrice Cassin and the ‘highly available’ Hélène Gelas are experts in the renewables sector. Hélène Cloëz is ‘the market's best for building permits and related litigation concerning major projects in France’. Olivier Ortega is now at LexCity avocats.
McDermott Will & Emery AARPI advises a prominent client base made up of state-owned and private sector companies, including key names in the telecoms, energy and airport sectors such as ADP and Engie subsidiary Shem. The practice has strong regulatory and litigation expertise. It is notably representing key client Orange in a dispute with SFR regarding the building of a broadband network in the Paris suburbs. The practice also advises on high-profile M&A transactions and notably assisted Dunkerque LNG with the disposal of EDF’s 65.01% stake in the capital of the company. Sabine Naugès and Laurent Ayache are in charge.
Twenty-five-lawyer boutique PARME Avocats advises major French cities and local public entities, as well as private sector engineering companies and property developers. The firm notably advises on public procurement contracts. It recently assisted with several major public transport infrastructure projects, including advising Fayat on the awarding of the landmark RCEA motorway project, and Ville de Paris on the new T3 tramway project. The firm also has solid urban-planning expertise, and advised on key public sector and retail projects, such as assisting Financière Immobilière Bordelaise with the extension of La Coupole commercial centre in La Defense. Finally, the firm also advised on thermal power and heating projects. The firm's seven-partner team includes practice head Xavier Matharan, Mathieu Noel and Emmanuel Guillini.
Schmitt Avocats has ‘blue-ribbon public law and tender offer expertise’. The highly experienced eight-lawyer team also handles litigation and is particularly strong in the defence and aerospace sectors. The practice represents many leading companies and operators. It successfully defended French government space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales against challenges to the regularity of its public tender procedures, and Total Marketing Services in a claim for damages against the French state following the abandonment of the Eco-tax project. The firm is now assisting Siemens with its tender offer to Société du Grand Paris and RATP for the contract for the building and maintenance of automatic-drive train systems for the future Grand Paris Express subway. The firm also has strong urban-planning and development expertise and is advising on Grand Paris' connected projects. AEW Europe and Auchan are clients. Olivier Schmitt and Antoine Tabouis ‘obtain impressive outcomes advising on public tender work’. Also recommended are Emmanuel Bachelier, Elias Berkani and Romain Douineau.
Seban & Associés
With 74 lawyers in the practice, Seban & Associés is one of France's largest firms dedicated to assisting the public sector. The firm can provide the full spectrum of expertise, covering public law contracts, urban law and development issues, as well as ancillary areas such as environmental, criminal and private law. The Paris-headquartered firm is also developing its national presence and now has additional offices in Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Nantes, while several new openings are planned for 2019. Recently, the firm worked on projects relating to the major Grand Paris development and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It also handled a large amount of work in the social housing sector, assisting key players with major reorganisation matters. Energy is another strong field of expertise, where the team advises public sector entities on electricity and gas purchases and storage, as well as new smart city and mobility scheme projects in France and its overseas territories. It assisted Sipperec - a public entity combining several energy network operators in the area surrounding Paris - with concluding a major geothermal concession contract for the Ile-de-France region. The firm is also assisting 17 departments with the establishment of high-speed broadband networks in France. Many departments and major cities such as Strasbourg, Lille and Société du Grand Paris are clients. The practice is co-headed by Didier Seban, Marie-Hélène Pachen-Lefèvre, Thomas Rouveyran, Guillaume Gauch and Alexandre Vandepoorter. Also providing complementary expertise are private law partner My-Kim Yang-Paya, criminal law partner Matthieu Hénon, environment specialist Solenne Daucé and Claire-Marie Dubois-Spaenlé, who advises on property work.
UGGC Avocats' experienced 12-lawyer team advises on major public procurement contracts and projects and related litigation. The practice recently assisted Conair in responding to the Home Affairs Ministry's tender offer for the acquisition of fire-fighting aircraft. The practice also represents key clients in the transport sector and advises on regulatory and other public law issues. Acting for Imperial Tobacco, the firm obtained the partial annulment of the new neutral cigarettes packaging regulation by the Conseil d'État. Another time, the practice successfully obtained recognition of the French state's ownership of fragments of Chartres Cathedral before the Paris Court of Appeal. SNCF is also a client. Practice head Thierry Dal Farra is highly regarded. Other key members of the team are Philippe Hansen, Franck Lepron and new addition Henri Paul, who joined as of counsel after serving at the Court of Auditors, bringing a deep knowledge of French administrative bodies.
Veil Jourde has strong regulatory expertise and is a popular choice for leading French companies in the energy, media, transport and press distribution sectors. The firm is advising on high-profile matters concerning deregulation in key industrial sectors. The team also handles public law and state aid issues. Emmanuel Glaser is recommended.
White & Case LLP recently advised lenders on several major domestic motorway projects, including advising the lenders to Arcos on the A355 motorway concession project. Headed by Jacques Bouillon, the practice also advises on the renovation of luxury hotels, such as the Paris Ritz Hotel, and also regularly assists with large public infrastructure projects abroad. François-Guilhem Vaissier is also a key contact. Counsel Orion Berg handles regulatory work and assists clients in their dealings with public authorities in the context of government-led investigations. The firm won a significant victory on behalf of Plastics Europe before the Constitutional Council, which ruled that a new law which suspended the sale of bisphenol A food packaging was unconstitutional.
Thirty-lawyer boutique AdDen avocats has offices in Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice and Lyon, and is soon to open another in Nantes. The firm is noted for its expertise in urban law and commercial development issues, and advises many leading developers undertaking major commercial projects. The firm is also advising on railway station projects, notably as part of the Grand Paris project, as well as smart city projects and the renovation of a major office tower. The boutique also assists with public procurement contracts and projects. Laurent Férignac, Nicolas Nahmias and Elsa Sacksick are recommended. Other key contacts are Simon Daboussy, Jean-Joseph Giudicelli, Laurent Givord, Audrey Lebeau, Anne Davy and newly promoted partner Leïla Gosseye.
Headed by the ‘very knowledgeable’ Etienne Amblard, Aramis' two-lawyer team has strong public law contract expertise. Representing public and private sector clients, the practice is advising on major projects in the transport and telecoms sectors. It is notably assisting Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin with the eponymous railway tunnel projects, as well as French Polynesia's Post and Telecoms Office (OPT) with the awarding of the Manatua project, consisting in the setting up of an international high-capacity submarine cable system in the Pacific. Litigation is also a strong feature of the practice, which is handling several disputes. SNCF Mobilités, the City of Paris and Egis Airport Operation are clients.
Bersay & Associés set up its public law practice at the beginning of 2018 after hiring Martin Tissier, who previously worked at his own firm, BOT Avocats. Tissier's team has strong public law contract and regulated-sector expertise. The firm is notably assisting several local public sector entities, including Haute-Garonne Numérique and SPL Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Numérique, with major broadband network infrastructure development projects across the country. The firm is also advising on several energy sector projects.
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés acts for public and private sector entities. The firm is notably involved in several key transport infrastructure projects in French Guiana. It is advising the French Guiana Authority on several development and modernisation projects, including the creation of a cross-border river link with Suriname and the construction of the first road in the hinterland. The practice is also involved in two high-profile projects in the railway sector, and regularly advises on key matters in the sport, IT and healthcare sectors, including dealing with litigation. Frédéric Destal and Jean-François Vilotte head the practice, and Agnès Macaire and Louis de Gaulle are also recommended.
DS Avocats has urban law expertise combined with strong knowledge of project, public contract and general public law. The 37-lawyer practice advises public and private sector clients, including leading telecoms and transport companies, property developers and large municipalities. It is notably assisting with several large infrastructure and development projects, including advising the town of Boulogne-Billancourt with the adaptation of its urban-planning rules for the new Bolloré campus. TDF, Servier and Conseil départemental des Hauts de Seine are clients. Frédérique Olivier and Frédéric Levy head the practice. David Guillot, Laura Ceccarelli-Le Guen, Jean-Marc Poisson, Monique Ambal and Michaël Moussault are also recommended, along with newly promoted partners Nathalie Sultan and Fabrice Van Cauwelaert.
Twenty-lawyer boutique firm Earth Avocats advises major private and public sector entities and operators. The firm handles work in various sectors including transport, energy, healthcare and culture. It notably advises on public law contracts, projects and regulatory issues, and deals with litigation. The practice recently assisted Régie des transports métropolitains, which manages public transport in Marseille, with its all-electric buses project, as well as Réseau de transport d'électricité with the construction of converter substations. Several hospitals are also clients, as well as SNCF Réseau, Eau de Paris and Grand Paris Aménagement. Founding partner Yves-René Guillou, Thomas Laffargue and Florence David are the key names in the practice.
Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP combines public law contracts and regulatory expertise. The ten-lawyer team, which assists French and international companies, recently handled strategic regulatory and litigation matters in the transport and education sectors, and was also involved in matters in the audiovisual and environment fields. The practice is also involved in projects in Africa. SNC-Lavalin and Guy Dauphin Environnement are clients. The experienced Bruno Richard, environment sector specialist Louis-Narito Harada and of counsel François Lichère are key names. Boris Martor is now with Bird & Bird.
Foley Hoag's five-lawyer practice assists French and international companies, and is particularly recommended for complex matters in regulated sectors such as energy and waste management. It is involved in several sensitive litigation proceedings dealing with high-voltage electricity lines and regulatory issues in the energy transport sector. The firm also advises on urban planning and zoning and is handling waste management public procurement disputes. Frédéric Scanvic and Corentin Chevallier are the key advisers.
Franklin has strong regulatory expertise, and is notably assisting key clients in dealing with high-stakes regulatory disputes in the telecoms and energy sectors. The firm is also advising a high-profile French company, several major financial institutions and a number of property developers on public procurement, construction, public domain rights and urban law issues. SFR and Enedis are clients. Jérôme Michel leads the practice, and of counsel Jean-Pierre Delvigne is the other key member of the team.
FTPA shows ‘outstanding flexibility and client care’, displays ‘great contract drafting skills’ and is ‘always able to find solutions to problems’. The four-lawyer team is particularly proficient in public law contracts, on both the advisory and the litigation sides, and recently handled work in the transport and construction areas. Universities, hospitals, government entities, public law entities and private sector operators are clients. The practice also has a strong presence in the art and cultural sectors and notably advises prestigious cultural institutions and museums. Practice head Raphaël Crespelle ‘has a great talent for suggesting practical solutions’.
Gibson Dunn has strong expertise in public economic law issues. Headed by Nicolas Baverez, the highly experienced four-lawyer team takes on highly value-added and niche work. The practice has strong litigation expertise and is experienced in successfully lodging prejudicial constitutional questions (QPC). The team has a strong footprint in the insurance and banking sectors, where it is handling landmark cases. Finally, the team is highly knowledgeable in privatisation matters and is currently acting on a high-profile case in this area. The firm is appointed by private operators as well as the French state, governmental bodies and state-owned entities. Nicolas Autet and Maïwenn Beas (both of counsel) are also recommended.
Herald Avocats' five-lawyer team has strong public sector and urban-planning expertise. The firm notably advises towns on the defence of building permits and major property developers on obtaining urban-planning authorisations. The practice is also assisting clients with urban law matters relating to the construction of an office tower and a luxury hotel. The practice also has good knowledge of public law contracts and projects. It is representing Philips France in an administrative dispute with the Agen hospital over the supply of medical devices. La Poste, the Department of Yvelines and the City of Issy-les-Moulineaux are clients. Marc Bellanger heads the practice, and Donatien De Bailliencourt is also recommended.
Joffe & Associés
Joffe & Associés has a well-established client base made up of private and public sector companies and notably advises some of France's most strategic players in the transport and telecoms sectors. Headed by Mathieu Gaudemet, the four-lawyer team assists clients with complex regulatory issues and high-stakes litigation. It also advises on complex infrastructure projects and urban-planning law matters. In the rail sector, the practice recently assisted SNCF Réseau with the implementation of a major 2014 legislative reform transforming France's national railway company into a state-owned corporation, as well as advising SNCF Mobilités on renegotiating major public transport contracts with various regional authorities. In addition, the firm successfully defended Keolis in a major public procurement dispute. Orange, Airbus Helicopters, Gespace France, Deutsche Leasing and Club Med are clients.
KGA Avocats has a strong footprint in the defence and aerospace sectors, where the firm advises prominent names in the industry. The seven-lawyer team also assists many leading private and public sector sponsors, companies and entities. The practice is notably retained for its strong public law contract expertise and is also particularly adept at handling related execution and litigation issues. Its range of expertise also encompasses regulatory and compliance issues. The practice is co-headed by the highly recommended Eve Derouesné and the ‘efficient and totally committed’ Marc Sénac de Monsembernard, who shows ‘great tactical sense in litigation and is focused on reaching a practical outcome’. The latest addition to the team, the highly regarded Matthias Fekl, previously served as Home Affairs Minister in Bernard Cazeneuve's government.
Lacourte Raquin Tatar has particular expertise in urban planning and development law. Headed by Vincent Guinot, the six-lawyer team is advising on some of Grand Paris' most ambitious development projects, as well as major office, commercial and industrial property development projects, including assisting with building permits. The practice is notably advising BNP Paribas Immobilier on the construction of a residential building above the ring road at Porte des Ternes in Paris, and Ceetrus on its participation in SNCF Mobilité's project for the redevelopment of Gare du Nord station.
‘Efficient, reliable and available’ three-lawyer boutique Pamina Avocats has a ‘high level of expertise and provides good advice’. The firm was created in 2017 by former Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle partners Rémi Sermier and David Epaud, who both have extensive experience advising on major regulatory and public contract work, and ‘a very high level of expertise in air transport’. The firm advises a prominent client base which includes leading names in the airport and transport sectors; Air France is a key client. It is advising France Galop on payment services compliance, and defending Keolis before the French and EU courts regarding alleged state aid received in the Ile-de-France region. Finally, the firm regularly handles Africa-related work; it advises the state of Mali on telecoms matters, and is assisting DP World with a port concession contract with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Reinhart Marville Torre's three-lawyer team assists private sector operators and companies, as well as some public law entities. Headed by Lionel Levain, the practice recently handled matters in the transport, energy and port sectors. The team has solid expertise advising on public procurement and handling related litigation. It is assisting a Smovengo-led consortium with major difficulties related to the awarding and performance of the Paris bike-sharing system procurement contract. The firm is also handling litigation in the gas and hydrocarbon sector, notably representing Française de l'Energie and Gazonor in a dispute with the Environment Ministry regarding the granting of exclusive hydrocarbon exploration licences. Moventia, CRM Services, Lov and Région Ile-de-France are clients.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Watson Farley & Williams LLP is highly active in the renewable energy sector, where the firm advises investors and developers on greenfield and brownfield solar and wind projects in France and Africa. The team notably assisted the European Investment Bank with the €30m financing of an innovative 11MW biomass gasification project in Thouars. The firm is also advising on several public sector infrastructure projects and is regularly retained by the Defence Ministry in that area. Laurent Battoue heads the team, and Arnaud Troizier is also recommended.