Banking and finance: Bank regulatory in France

Allen & Overy LLP

The financial services regulation team at Allen & Overy LLP occupies a leading place in the market, specialising in banking, financial, asset management and insurance regulatory matters. Antoine Sarailler and his team's arrival from Dechert LLP has also increased the department's coverage in the fund management sector. Recognised for its expertise in Brexit-related matters, the team is experienced in advising UK-based clients in the financial services sector on their relocation to France. The practice is equally specialised setting-up innovative loan funds in new financing transactions such as bespoke infrastructure loan notes or revolving credit facilities. Brice Henry heads the practice and is highly regarded for his experience in structuring and marketing financial products. Counsel Mia Dassas is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Brice Henry

Other key lawyers:

Antoine Sarailler; Mia Dassas

Key clients

AXA Investment Managers

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Natixis

Wells Fargo

Barclays Bank

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Caisse des dépôts et consignations

ISALT – Investissements Stratégiques en Actions Long Terme

FAMAE

EXTENDAM

Work highlights

  • Advising Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation on the acquisition of the control of the French postal office.
  • Acting as regulatory adviser to Wells Fargo, assisting it in the creation of its European broker in Paris.
  • Advised AXA Investment Managers on the regulatory structuring and the launch of a new cutting-edge pan-European loan fund designed to purchase revolving credit facilities in 15 jurisdictions.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is active in several market-shaping mandates. It notably represented Crédit Agricole in its successful case against the European Central Bank, which was the first decision of the European Court of Justice annulling ECB sanctions. The department is best known for its strong international expertise with recognised strength in EU/US regulatory matters, a key component of the group's full-service offering alongside transactional and contentious matters. The 'simply remarkable' Amélie Champsaur's work assisting the Vatican with the implementation of an EU compliant bank regulatory and anti-money laundering framework was another highlight. Sophie de Beer and Aurèle Delors are other key names.

Testimonials

The expertise of this practice is unique. It possesses great intellectual agility, a lot of expertise and a perspective on the internal functioning of banking groups.

Their expertise, curiosity, great knowledge of the banking and regulatory world is unparalleled.’

Amélie Champsaur is simply remarkable. Aurèle Delors is also very competent. Both are available to meet all legal challenges.

Amélie Champsaur – very well connected, responsive, technically excellent.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole

UniCredit

Natixis

ESMA

Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME)

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

Dexia

Euronext

Banco Santander

Work highlights

  • Represented Crédit Agricole in its July 2020 victory against the ECB, which was the first decision of the European Court of Justice annulling ECB sanctions.
  • Advised BNP Paribas on its 2019/2020 acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s global prime brokerage and electronic equities businesses and the acquisition of a Delta One book.
  • Advising the Vatican on the implementation of a full EU-compliant regulatory and supervisory framework.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's 'expertise across its international network' makes it a popular choice for global financial institutions including HSBC, Bank of China and Citibank. Active across banking, finance and insurance regulations, the department covers a wide range of licensing and perimeter issues, prudential supervision, FIG M&A, and fintech work. The practice continues to be a key figure on matters related to Brexit and has been kept busy by mandates arising out of the Covid-19 crisis. Frédérick Lacroix leads the financial regulations group, and was notably involved in the drafting of the Brexit emergency orders for the financial sector.

Practice head(s):

Frédérick Lacroix

Testimonials

Expertise across its international network. Always responsive.

Key clients

RCI Banque

Crédit Agricole and CACEIS

Watford Holdings Ltd.

HSBC France

Bank of China, Paris Branch

ABN Amro

Alstom

Citi

Work highlights

  • Advising RCI Banque on the issuance of a Tier 2 capital instruments in the form of a bond issuance under the new rules set out in CRR2 and on the eligibility of such instruments to the TLAC and to the MREL under BRRD 2 and SRMR 2.
  • Advising Crédit Agricole and Caceis on the combination of Cacesis, a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, and Santander Securities Services, a subsidiary of Santander, custody and asset servicing businesses.
  • Advising Watford Holdings Ltd. on its agreement to purchase 100% of the capital stock of Axeria IARD from the April group.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.'s practice focuses on French, UK and US law. The team acts for domestic and foreign management companies, banks, financial institutions and investment funds, with extensive experience in bank lending, capital markets and structured finance. The department continues to be a key name for fintech regulatory matters, focusing on legal foresight and structuring on behalf of start-ups, scale-ups and incumbent players. Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, who leads the practice alongside Stéphane Puel, is a force in regulatory disputes before French and European courts. Guillaume Goffin provides clients with 'detailed and pragmatic technical analysis'.

Other key lawyers:

Guillaume Goffin

Testimonials

Guillaume Goffin provides very detailed and pragmatic technical analysis.

In-depth knowledge of OPCIs and their corporate operations. Well-established teamwork. Great time saving and transaction security.

In the field of banking regulation, Cabinet Gide has a competent and professional team with the ability to find pragmatic solutions.

Professional competence; organisation of the relationship with the client; availability; efficiency.

The international dimension and the multiplicity of its fields of intervention provide the advantage of an integrated approach to cases, and of an authoritative name on the domestic and international market.

Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville has surrounded himself with competent people, very familiar with market practices, which make them credible and benchmark interlocutors in the context of banking.

Excellent practice that straddles financial and public law, able to understand clients’ objectives.

In-depth knowledge of regulated financial sectors and a strong sense of legal advice.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CACIB)

Bank of Ireland

Société Générale

Natixis

CIC

HSBC France

ING

Amundi

Morgan Stanley

Kepler Chevreux

Oddo

Primonial REIM

La Banque Postale

ENI SPA

Lombard Odier Europe

Crédit Suisse

French State

KKR

Westbrook Partners

Nuveen France

Younited Credit

ICAMAP

Banque Centrale de Mauritanie

Agence française de développement

Work highlights

  • Advised Memo Bank on obtaining approval from the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority and the European Central Bank.
  • Advising La Banque Postale Asset Management on the restructuring of its asset management activities.
  • Assisting Forge with legal and regulatory aspects in order to develop asset tokenisation solutions.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's broad coverage of the financial sector makes it well placed to advise a diverse client base. This includes companies across all the main financial sectors but notably in the banking, asset, private equity, sovereign wealth, insurance and market infrastructure spaces. With capabilities equally balanced between contentious and non-contentious work, the practice has also advised several of its clients on the planning, restructuring, migration and contractual aspects of Brexit. The wider team is retained for transactions, disputes and investigations. Regulatory specialist Vincent Hatton, disputes expert Antoine Juaristi and Régis Oréal, who is a name to note in transactional finance, are the key names.

Testimonials

Listening team, very available. Understands our business and the internal dynamics of our company.

A high level of technical expertise in securitization matters combined with a growing regulatory practice makes it a sound choice for advice on the regulatory process on structured products of the securitization type.

Very proactive and consider the wider implications for each instruction.

Key clients

Bpifrance

Generali

Western Union

UAE Exchange

CNP Assurances

Euler Hermes

Edebex

Revolut

Société Générale

BPCE/Natixis

Crédit Agricole

BNP Paribas

AXA

Work highlights

  • Advised Euler Hermes France on topics related to insurance law.
  • Acting for Generali Vie in the context of a litigation against an individual in relation to an investment in structured products.
  • Representing Generali Vie before the Civil High Court of Paris in a lawsuit regarding the execution of a life insurance contract.

Spitz Poulle Kannan

Boutique banking regulation firm Spitz Poulle Kannan is one of the leading players in this area. The team covers the full range of advisory, investigative, litigation and public affairs work and is well known for advising on complex financial products, including derivatives. The group also has close working relationships with regulators in France and Europe and is heavily involved in lobbying for legislative and policy development. Founders Arut Kannan, Jean-Baptiste Poulle and Nicolas Spitz are recognised experts in the field, and clients benefit from the firm's newly implemented policy of having a minimum of two partners review all work.

Testimonials

The team at Spitz Poulle Kannan brings together the best regulatory practitioners in the Paris market. In addition to the very high level of competence held by the partners, it is a reactive team, capable of delivering complex analysis within tight deadlines.

The key element which distinguishes the partners of this firm compared to others, is the very high level of technicality and competence.

‘Their legal opinions are clear and precise. It is a real competent small international law firm in which the request of a client is treated individually and with full attention.’

They demonstrate a good ability to deliver pragmatic advice adapted to their client’s situation. The team is accessible and knows how to create a partnership relationship with its customers.

Jean-Baptiste Poulle is an excellent expert, accessible and able to give practical and adapted advice despite the specific nature of the activity.

They have excellent knowledge of the regulations and participate in numerous market bodies, which puts them at the heart of information concerning, in particular, market practices.

I work regularly with Jean-Baptiste Poulle, Nicolas Spitz and Arut Kannan. I find in each of them this impressive technical skill, but also the sense of a partnership relationship.’

A relative island among French law firms in being highly expert in a range of regulatory fields that are largely under-served by the major French law firms.

Key clients

London Stock Exchange

EQT

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Euroclear

BNP Paribas

UniCredit

Morgan Stanley

Natixis

Groupe BPCE

Total

La Banque Postale

Perella Weinberg Partners

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Crédit Agricole

MUFG Bank Paris Branch

Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd.

Itau Unibanco

Work highlights

  • Advised Iliad, the first founding member of the Libra Association, on the regulatory framework and issuance of Libra securities.
  • Advising the European Banking Federation and its members in relation to a revised version of the Euromaster Agreement.
  • Acted for the administrators of Elite, PwC, in the Gibraltar insurance entity’s administration proceedings under French insurance law.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP distinguishes itself through its strong track record in market infrastructure mandates, having longstanding relationships with several clearing house including Euroclear and LCH. The department, which offers a full service in relation to regulatory matters, is particularly well versed in asset and fund finance, and is a member of the AFG, the French asset management association. Transactional work features prominently in the caseload with the team covering derivatives, share buy-backs, securitisation and repackaging deals. Practice head Hubert Blanc-Jouvan is a key name in the field and was a member of the consultative commission set up by the French regulator to advise on the legal framework applicable to market infrastructures.

Practice head(s):

Hubert Blanc-Jouvan

Testimonials

Ashurst’s regulatory team has extensive knowledge of market regulatory matters and has worked on these issues for many years. Their experience in this field is the best on the market.

Hubert Blanc-Jouvan is one of the most renowned regulatory lawyers in the market. He has a perfect knowledge of these questions and also has a transactional practice which allows him to understand and apprehend in a concrete way the needs of his clients.

Key clients

LCH

Euroclear

Jefferies

Bank of America

Credit Suisse

Aviva Investors

Intesa San Paolo

Ostrum Asset Management

TP ICAP

Natixis

JP Morgan

Goldman Sachs

FXCM

Raymond James

BNP Paribas

Barclays

The Norinchukin Bank

Jane Street

PGIM

Work highlights

  • Advising LCH SA on the extension of its clearing activities to financial derivatives traded on the Oslo markets.
  • Advising UK firms on the consequences of Brexit and the implementation of their plans to continue servicing EEA clients.
  • Advising a major US CLO manager on the setting up of a French subsidiary to be licensed as a portfolio management company acting as collateral manager for CLO transactions.

CMS

CMS houses a regulatory team specialised in financial product distribution networks, covering related commercial, anti-money laundering and data protection issues. Compliance work is another important part of the workload, with the group routinely reviewing internal procedures in the context of authorisation processes and litigation. The department is also home to a dedicated crypto-asset practice, jointly led by overall team head and alternative funds specialist Jérôme Sutour, and counsel Karima Lachgar. Notable work undertaken in this space has included advising several French authorities on the impact of blockchain, and the structuring of related regulations.

Practice head(s):

Jérôme Sutour

Other key lawyers:

Karima Lachgar

Key clients

HINES SGP

GOCARDLESS

N26

EQUISAFE

IM GLOBAL PARTNER

OCTO ASSET MANAGEMENT

Work highlights

  • Advising on the set up of N26’s French branch.
  • Assisting IMGP in the acquisition of SYZ Asset Management (a Luxembourg AIFM).
  • Advised Hines SGP on the set-up of a French asset management company approved under the AIFM Directive and also organised the transfer of the management of two funds (AIFs).

DLA Piper

Sébastien Praicheux 's arrival from Clifford Chance strengthens an already dynamic financial regulatory practice at DLA Piper. The firm's global coverage facilitates work on large cross-border projects including advising on anti-money laundering,  payment services, electronic money, and investment services, and the department also provides litigation support. The group acts for a diverse client list which counts credit, payment and electronic money institutions, investment firms and insurance companies among its number. Praicheux, who co-heads the group alongside Maud Manon, specialises in the full range of banking regulation work and also covers derivative products.

Practice head(s):

Sébastien Praicheux; Maud Manon

Key clients

Tylia Invest SAS (“Tylia Invest”)

Work highlights

  • Acting as advisors to Tylia Invest with respect to various regulatory requirements including on MiFID II obligations.

DS Avocats

DS Avocats offers a designated financial services group and a specialised fintech and crypto-finance team, with the former focusing on banking, securities and stock market matters, and the latter focusing on mobile payments, crypto-finance, insurtech and blockchain matters as core lines of work. Practice head Frédéric Bellanca  and his team assist with contentious and non-contentious matters, able to draw on the firm's wider expertise in disputes and transactional work. For highly technical matters, the practice joins forces with specialised tech consultants.

Practice head(s):

Frédéric Bellanca

Key clients

BNP Securities Services (France)

Crédit Agricole Group

Crédit Agricole Titres

Crédit Lyonnais

Crédit Industriel et Commercial (CIC)

Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale

Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI France)

LVMH

Natixis

S-Money

Crédit Agricole Indosuez France

Orange Bank

ING Bank N.V.

BPCE

Total

CA Consumer Finance

Fieldfisher

Arnaud Grünthaler is the key name at Fieldfisher, which is recognised for its expertise in asset management, financial services, insurance products and payment services. Experienced in the full range of banking and finance regulatory work, Grünthaler also leads the firm's fintech initiative, covering all aspects of services performed by financial institutions in the context of decentralised finance. The wider practice is involved in more traditional banking work, which includes insurance distribution, MiFID II implementation and cross-border lending and wealth management for credit institutions. Digitalisation of financial services continues to be an area of growth for the team, with blockchain matters, security token offerings and crypto-assets work all featuring in the caseload.

Practice head(s):

Arnaud Grünthaler

Key clients

L’addition (Adstellam)

Havas Blockchain

IOV (Internet of Value)

Logical Pictures

Talium

Be.long Ventures

Castelnode

Ark-Ecosystem

Global Soft

SmartChain

Work highlights

  • Advising Logical Pictures within the context of a €100m issue security token offering.
  • Assistance for the structuring of the offer of services by Global Soft, offering the possibility to holders of crypto-assets to pay to merchants/shops in euros and to register their trading on the Tezos blockchain.
  • Advising Havas Blockchain on the structuring of its services around blockchain topics.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP's team strikes a balance between transactional and regulatory work, with significant experience advising on large multi-jurisdictional projects. The four-partner team is well supported by the firm's tax, employment and IP/IT practice groups, providing a mix of French and foreign financial institutions with a holistic service. Regulatory dispute resolution work is also handled in-house and the department continues to have a presence advising non-regulated financial service companies. Dual-qualified in France and Germany, Sébastien Gros heads the practice, working on both transactional and non-transactional mandates.

Practice head(s):

Sébastien Gros

Other key lawyers:

Franck Dupret

Testimonials

Very competent, friendly and very available team. Very quickly appropriates the internal constraints of the client and the specificities of the client’s activity.

Great expertise, sympathy, availability, commitment understanding/knowledge of the banking sector.

Sébastien Gros’ team is distinguished by its concern for a job well done and legal orthodoxy. They are attentive to the needs of their customers and know how to show flexibility to adapt to their requests.

Unrivalled knowledge and expertise. Commercial application of advice has also been excellent.

Sébastien Gros and Franck Dupret have worked with our organisation for several years and the application of advice to the commercial realities has always been excellent.

The team has a strong and reliable expertise on both the regulatory and the business landscape. They are able to perfectly understand their clients’ products and strategies and adapt their legal advice to the business case.

I have a complete trust in Sebastien Gros and his team. Sebastien Gros and Franck Dupret are available whenever I need them, they always stick to the deadlines even when the deadlines are tight.

Strong acumen and acquaintance of the financial and regulatory environment combined with expertise in the banking sector and interaction with the regulatory bodies for precise and up to date advice.

Key clients

HSBC

BNP PARIBAS

CREDIT AGRICOLE

SOCIETE GENERAL

CNH Financial Services

EDENRED

EURONET/ RIA

MONEYGRAM

LA BANQUE POSTALE

OPEL BANK

Work highlights

  • Advising HSBC on several banking regulatory matters.
  • Advising a number of BNP Paribas Group entities on several banking regulatory matters.
  • Advising a number of Crédit Agricole Group entities on several banking regulatory issues.

Jeantet

Jeantet is particularly focused on contentious regulatory matters, notably representing Arkéa Direct Bank in litigation against the AMF Enforcement Committee. The department has longstanding relationships with French, foreign and multilateral banks, funds, insurance companies and investment service providers which also instruct it in non-contentious issues. Work of this type is typically centred around internal control systems, AML strategies and the distribution of banking products and financial instruments. Highly regarded in the field, Martine Samuelian leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Martine Samuelian

Testimonials

Responsible, tailored solutions, understanding of client’s business.

Available at any time.

Jeantet has a deep and hands-on approach to banking and finance work, with some key individuals having experience spanning decades. They have both a national and international approach to law and treat clients very seriously.

Key clients

ARKEA DIRECT BANK

Work highlights

  • Acting for Arkéa Direct Bank client in the course of a litigation before the administrative Court against the AMF Enforcement Committee.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's team stands out for its experience in relation to 'crypto currencies and new technologies combined with expertise regarding financial products', aptly identifying the department's broad offering. The practice is focused across three core areas comprised of traditional regulatory work, fintech and payment services. Corporate governance, distribution of banking products and dealing with supervisory authorities forms the mainstay of its activity in conventional regulatory matters. On the fintech side the department provides legal advice to start-ups and industry leaders on transactions, tech issues and regulation. Developing e-money solutions is the key aspect of its payment services work, with a good track record advising banks and providers in this space. Hugues Bouchetemble and Hubert de Vauplane jointly lead the team.

Testimonials

Hubert de Vauplane has a great expertise in the regulatory environment, especially regarding crypto currencies. He is really well connected and has a strategic approach to all matters.’

Solution orientated approach. Expertise regarding crypto currencies and new technologies combined with expertise regarding financial products and a really good/fair fee structure.

Key clients

Banking & Finance Regulatory

Credit Agricole

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Islamic Development Bank (SID/ICD)

Bank Al Maghrib

World Bank

Binckbank

B* Capital

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation

Carrefour Banque

Euroclear SA/NV

Union Financière de France Banque

Eiffel Investment Group

Oney Bank

BNP Paribas

Natixis Assurances

Total / Sofax

Twenty First Capital

Fintech / Payments

Akuo Coop

Bitpanda

Blockpulse

Crédit.fr

Finfrog

FPF

HiPAy

HPC

Invest in Fuena

Kard

LGO

Look&fin

Merkle Data

Napoleon Capital

Pagantis

Pledg

Rolling Funds

SGH

SheeldMarkets

Sigma Gestion

Stairwage

Swan

Treezor

Upcollateral

YouPass

Work highlights

  • Advising Oney Bank on the regulatory aspects of the reorganisation of its European branches and subsidiaries.
  • Advising BNP Paribas on a two-year plan in connection with its full dematerialisation documentation process for all retail clients.
  • Advising Union Financiere de France Banque on the complete regulatory reorganisation of its clients on-boarding process.

Lacourte Raquin Tatar

Established in 2018, Lacourte Raquin Tatar's regulatory group is now a recognised force in the asset management space and has a growing presence in the fintech area. The team advises credit institutions, MiFID firms and portfolio management companies, and is highly rated for its ability to work with English and US clients. Non-contentious and transactional work are the pillars of the department's caseload, and areas of expertise include structuring and marketing collective investment schemes, compliance, and the marketing of financial products. Damien Luqué is the key name.

Practice head(s):

Damien Luqué

Testimonials

The interlocutors have a very practical approach and are used to working with English and American management companies.

The operational and factual aspect of the opinions provided allow informed decision-making.

Key clients

Lucky Oldstone

Russell Investments

LaSalle Investment Management

Sogelym Dixence

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa – Federa Finance Gestion

Arcade Capital

BNP Paribas

Work highlights

  • Advised BNP Paribas and Nickel on the partnership agreement with Carrefour Bank in the context of the termination of the “C-zam” offer and the transfer of C-zam’s clients in the benefit of Nickel.

Pwc Société d'Avocats

Pwc Société d'Avocats has become a prominent adviser in the Brexit field, with practice head Nicolas Mordaunt-Crook developing a strong profile in this space. The wider department works in close tandem with the firm's audit and assurance groups to address broad issues on regulatory banking projects. Acting for credit institutions, asset manager and investment firms, the team is also recognised for fund work, with good experience structuring AMF-authorised investment management companies. The group also handles disputes, notably enforcement procedures, professional liability and disciplinary proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Nicolas Mordaunt-Crook

Testimonials

Ability to provide excellent specialists in all areas of activity (Corporate Law, Regulatory, Tax, Labour, etc.) combined with the depth of an international network. Great reactivity of partners and advice.

Key clients

UBS

NOVAXIA ASSET MANAGEMENT

Banque Extérieure d’Algérie

SYMBIOTICS FRANCE.

Work highlights

  • Assisting UBS in the aftermath of the acquisition of Banque Leonardo with regulatory matters in connection with changes to previous JV arrangements, involving a decrease of Mafin’s shareholding interest in the management company (UBS LMdG).
  • Advised Novaxia in relation to three public offerings of shares in a company qualifying as an AIF fund, investing in private equity/real estate projects and eligible for French regulated savings accounts.
  • Advised Symbiotic on its application for authorisation as a French portfolio management company and transfer to the new entity of a Luxembourg-based fund.