Banking and finance: transactional work in France

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP is a leading name in banking and finance transactions and is frequently involved in complex and high-profile deals. Adrian Mellor leads the practice, which handles work encompassing the full range of bank and finance products, including refinancings, receivables financing, leveraged and acquisition financing, real estate finance, mezzanine financing, asset finance, structured finance and project finance. It handles transactions for lenders, sponsors and borrowers under both French and English law. Structured finance partner Fabrice Faure-Dauphin, real estate finance specialist Julien Roux, infrastructure finance expert Driss BererhiJean-Christophe David and counsel Thomas Roy all stand out.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Mellor

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Vinci

RCI Banque

Natixis

Société Générale

ING

Astorg

PAI Partners

Colony Northstar

Eurazeo

Sodexo

Santander

PBB

Infravia

Crédit Agricole

CM-CIC Factor/Factofrance

Engie

Total

CIC Private Debt

Idinvest Partners

Euronext

CIC

HSBC

JP Morgan

Acofi gestion

3i

Work highlights

  • Advising Biogroup on the senior add-ons (Term Loan B cove-light + RCF upsize) for build-up acquisitions financing of Bioépine, Bio Paris Ouest and seven other build-up acquisitions.
  • Advising Idinvest Partners on the unitranche financing of the acquisition of Parella by Qualium Investissement.
  • Assisting a syndicate of 15 international lenders with Accor’s first green multi-currency syndicated facility.

Clifford Chance

'Probably the best finance team in Paris for its exceptional technical skills, its business-oriented vision and its capability to cover a very wide range of sectors', says a client of Clifford Chance. The firm focuses mainly on large-cap and upper mid-cap transactions and has a strong focus on acquisition and leveraged finance, infrastructure finance, corporate lending, equity bridge financing and transactions involving high-yield bonds. It acts for lenders, borrowers and sponsors on transactions under English and French law. The key contacts are Thierry Arachtingi, who handles acquisition and real estate finance; Daniel Zerbib whose work focuses on the infrastructure and energy sectors; and Nikolaï Eatwell who has a broad practice in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Thierry Arachtingi; Daniel Zerbib; Nikolaï Eatwell

Testimonials

The  firm has a complete, responsive and competent team that is capable of solving every problem with unique expertise in every aspect of a transaction – structuring, derivatives, credit agreements – and is able to defend its clients’ interests while finding solutions that are acceptable to all parties‘.

Daniel Zerbib has unique expertise in complex financings. Counsel Fabien Jacquemard, is the best derivatives expert in Paris. He is able to understand the subject, find solutions and call upon a broad knowledge of the market. He is the best expert in that area, with unrivalled expertise and technical ability, and an ability to find relevant solutions in a very technical domain.

The qualities of the team are strongly related to the individuals, in particular Daniel Zerbib who has a well-established reputation, and counsel Chloe Desreumaux, who is a rising star of the team and – beyond her excellent technical skills – has the ability to manage complex and difficult cases, and also has an excellent relationship with clients.

Key clients

Ardian Private Debt

Ares Capital

Barings

BlackRock

Capzanine

EQT Infrastructure III

LBPAM

SCOR Investment Partners SE

CDC (Caisse des dépôts et consignations)

EIB

Ministry of Transport of Finance

BPI France

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

FIA Europe

LCH Clearnet S.A.

World Bank

3i

Apax Partners

Apollo

Ardian

Bridgepoint

DIF Infrastructure

Carlyle Group

CDC I Capital

Cinven

Clayton Dublier & Rice

KKR

InfraVia

Macquarie

Meridiam

Permira

Wendel

Airbus

AXA

Bouygues

Carrefour

EDF

Eiffage

L’Oréal

Pierre & Vacances

Ramsay Santé

SANEF

TOTAL

Vinci

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

BTMU

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

ING

IKB

JP Morgan

UniCredit

Rothschild

SMBC

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole

CACEIS

Natixis

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities PLC on the acquisition by AXA of Groupe XL, one of the global leaders in damage insurance for businesses and reinsurance, for a total amount of €12.4bn.
  • Advising the lenders, Capzanine and Barings, on (i) the unitranche financing of the acquisition of Questel by IK Investment Partners and (ii) the unitranche financing of other build-up acquisitions by Questel (including the recent acquisitions of Yoomap and Direct Validation).
  • Assisting Lisea and the sponsors (Vinci, Meridiam, Ardian et Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations) on the refinancing of the commercial debt (and its swap restructuring) raised for the high-speed railway between Tours and Bordeaux.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has 'a great team that is well known on the Parisian scene for its skill and its availability'. The practice has extensive experience in bank lending, capital markets and structured finance across many asset classes and it acts for borrowers, lenders and sponsors. The firm is particularly strong in domestic transactions, though it also highly capable in cross-border matters, notably in the US, Europe and francophone Africa. Structured finance and project finance partner Eric Cartier-Millon, real estate finance partner Kamel Ben Salah, and up-and-coming partners Laetitia Lemercier and Thomas Binet are highly recommended. Structured finance partner Rémi Tabbagh acts for credit institutions, insurance companies and investment funds.

Practice head(s):

Kamel Ben-Salah; Eric Cartier-Millon; Rémi Tabbagh; Laetitia Lemercier; Thomas Binet

Testimonials

Thomas Binet, our main contact in the banking and finance team, has always exceeded our expectations in terms of agility in complex transactions, responsiveness and good market knowledge. At ease with both technical and commercial aspects, he has developed a good practice in private debt within the team and is well adapted to funds like ours.

‘Thomas Binet is an outstanding partner.’

The firm has extensive market knowledge and partner availability, strong execution capabilities with qualitative work delivered in a timely fashion, and the ability to interact and co-ordinate with other Gide teams to cover the whole spectrum of legal topics involved in a transaction.

Rémi Tabbagh has the ability to quickly deliver comprehensive analysis. He is reliable, solution-driven and has good negotiation skills, as well as the ability to remain available and hands-on during the whole transaction.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

Bank of Ireland

Société Générale

Natixis

CIC

HSBC France

ING

Morgan Stanley

KKR

Work highlights

  • Advising the French ministry of transport on the concession and the financing of the concession regarding the Charles de Gaulle Express train (CDG Express).
  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers – BICIS, BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV, Société Générale de Banques en Côte d’Ivoire, Société Générale de Banques au Sénégal, Banque Atlantique Sénégal, CBAO and Orabank – on the refinancing in Senegal of the acquisition by a consortium including NJJ and Sofima of telecoms operator Sentel GSM.
  • Assisted Europcar with the refinancing of its indebtedness through a corporate loan, high-yield bonds issue and securitisation in France, UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles a diverse mix of work for banks and borrowers. It advises on English and French law transactions from Paris, ranging from large-cap deals to smaller transactions. Among its clients are large corporates including Danone, Air Liquide and Peugeot-Citroën, as well as leading banks such as BNP Paribas and Société Générale. As well as key disciplines such as acquisition financing and project finance, the firm also has a market-leading Africa practice. Regional head of finance for EMEA Eric Fiszelson and experienced duo Régis Oréal and Louis de Longeaux stand out, as Laure Bonin and Rachel Campbell.

Practice head(s):

Louis de Longeaux

Testimonials

The banking team at Herbert Smith Freehills is particularly coherent in the market. It serves a broad palette of clients and products while keeping a strong link between its associates. It is also made up of colleagues who are very invested in their work and very skilful.

Eric Fiszelson is an excellent professional who stands out for his qualities as a lawyer and his willingness to entertain innovative solutions. He is one of those rare lawyers who can be involved in a very broad spectrum of financings – corporate, LBO, real estate, project finance – which makes him invaluable in hybrid transactions.

The firm can rapidly mobilise a multi-disciplinary team by drawing on expertise within the firm in France and internationally, while ensuring that the client maintains just one point of contact.

The team has a great capacity for listening to the client. 

The firm has a dedicated bilingual team in French and English, which is helpful in executing a facility with a West African Sovereign. They proved to be committed to the objective and used a pragmatic and efficient approach.

Rachel Campbell is a good partner. She has a pragmatic approach and tries hard to meet the parties’ expectations.

Louis de Longeaux’s team is one of the emblematic teams specialised in financing transactions in Paris. Its knowledge of the market practice and its large experience gained when advising corporate and fund clients allows it to have a large view and experience of the various financing products that a corporate may envisage entering into.

Louis de Longeaux is very pleasnat to work with and knows how to make himself available.

Key clients

AIR LIQUIDE

BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH INTERNATIONAL Ltd

ATTESTOR CAPITAL LLP

TRAFIGURA Ltd

PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN

ACCORHOTELS

AFREXIM BANK

AGENCE FRANCAISE DE DEVELOPPEMENT (AFD)

AIRBUS

BUREAU VERITAS

ARKEMA

BNP PARIBAS Group (BNP Paribas CIB, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, BNP Paribas Securities Services)

BPCE/NATIXIS GROUP (Natixis, Natixis Lease, BPCE, BPCE International, Caisse d’Epargne network, Crédit Foncier de France)

CITIBANK

COMPAGNIE DES ALPES

CREDIT AGRICOLE Group (CACIB, Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring, Predica)

DANONE

DASSAULT SYSTEMS

ESSILORLUXOTTICA

GECINA

ICADE

INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA (ICBC)

JCDECAUX

LA BANQUE POSTALE

LAGARDÈRE

NOVARES

SAFRAN

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

SCOR

SOCIETE GENERALE (Société Générale CIB, Lyxor, Sogelife, Société Générale Equipment Finance, SG Côte d’Ivoire, SGBG)

TARKETT

Work highlights

  • Advised EssilorLuxottica on the €8bn bridge financing of the acquisition through a block trade and a public offer of GrandVision.
  • Advised PSA Peugeot Citroen on the renegotiation of a €3bn syndicated credit facility agreement.
  • Acted for Société Générale on the amendment and extension of a €2bn credit facility granted to the French construction group Eiffage.

Latham & Watkins

At Latham & Watkins, the finance practice has broad market exposure in leveraged finance, real estate and asset finance for lenders and borrowers, as well as market-leading capital markets expertise in areas such as high-yield bonds and US private placements. Among the firm's 'lawyers who understand business problems and come up with solutions' are Michel Houdayer who leads the practice, Xavier Farde who handles market-leading domestic finance transactions, and Lionel Dechmann who acts for equity sponsors, borrowers and lenders on private equity and LBO financings. Highly respected in the French market, the firm also handles a strong flow of large, cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Michel Houdayer

Testimonials

Competent lawyers who are always available and business-driven at every level of seniority.

The team is composed of highly experienced and skilled professionals. Thanks to their strong track record of advising sponsors and banks on transactions in the leveraged loan and bond market, they have a very strong insight and deep and very up-to-date knowledge of deal precedents, market practices and investors’ acceptance on legal documentation.

Their strong expertise in legal and tax deal structuring is very helpful when providing the best advice and assisting us structuring in new transactions. They are very deal oriented, able to defend the interest of their client while helping to make a deal happen in the best conditions for all the parties. What is also highly appreciated is the quality of all their people from the partners to the most junior guys. They are definitively my preferred lawyers in terms of expertise and professionalism.

Xavier Farde and Lionel Dechmann, two partners based in Paris and specialised in financing, are for me two very good professionals with a strong reputation and position in the French LBO market.

The firm has extensive and excellent market and product knowledge.

Xavier Farde has a strong command and understanding of client needs. He is a flawless project manager with the capacity to mobilise specific knowledge within the firm on very short notice. The firm is known for excellence in service rendered and excellence in commercial knowledge and capacity to build long-term trusted relationships.

Key clients

Ardian

Astorg

Bridgepoint

Eurazeo

Intermediate Capital Group

Ipsen

Permira

Vivalto

TA Associate

Unither Pharmaceuticals

Arkea Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels

BNP Paribas

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment

Deutsche Bank

Natixis

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Advised Ipsen S.A. on a revolving credit facility to refinance existing debt.
  • Advised Bridgepoint on the financing of the acquisition of a majority stake in Kyriba Corporation, a developer of cloud-based treasury management software solutions.
  • Advised on senior-term loan and revolving credit facilities and a second lien notes facility for Astorg’s and Montagu’s acquisition of a majority stake in Nemera.

Linklaters

'Fine technicians with a pragmatic approach', remarks a client of Linklaters. The firm acts for borrowers and lenders on transactions under French and English banking law, including acquisition and public takeover financings, leveraged finance, bilateral and syndicated plain vanilla credit facilities, real estate finance and bank/bond financing or unitranche structures, as well as restructuring and insolvency. The practice, which is led by Bertrand Andriani, has a strong presence in domestic financings, but is also active in cross-border matters involving the UK, US, Japan and other European jurisdictions. Kathryn Merryfield is noted for leveraged and investment grade acquisition finance, as well as general corporate syndicated finance.Counsel Rhéa Christophilopoulos is highly experienced in acquisition and investment grade financing.

Practice head(s):

Bertrand Andriani

Testimonials

The strength of the team is that it works closely with the finance practice of Linklaters in London. They leverage the market knowledge of Linklaters as a whole.

Bertrand Andriani is an exceptional banking lawyer. He has an incredible knowledge of the law and knowledge of market practice. He is very reactive and provides very succinct and commercial advice.

Kathryn Merryfield is a very hands-on partner. She has experience in English and French law deals.

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited

CGG SA

JP Morgan

AXA

BNP PARIBAS

APAX

Ardian Real Estate

LaSalle Investment Management SAS

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Barclays

Work highlights

  • Advised Ardian on the financing of the €252.4m acquisition of French radio station Europe 1.
  • Acted for the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners and the cash confirmation issuing banks on the financing and guarantee of EssilorLuxottica’s mandatory offer for the remaining publicly listed shares in eyewear company Luxottica Group S.p.A. (currently listed in Italy).
  • Advised the senior lenders in the context of the acquisition of Idex Group.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is noted for its 'responsive lawyers, teams of consistent quality, a strong international network and a commercial approach'. The firm is active in large-cap and mid-market deals, notably in acquisition finance, general corporate lending and debt refinancing. Its work includes highly innovative financing structures, which last year included a 'first out/second out' deal for the Bank of Ireland and Société Générale CIB. Practice head Raphaël Richard frequently acts for banks and other financial institutions on domestic and cross-border transactions, though the firm also acts for investment funds and large corporate borrowers on domestic and cross-border matters. Denise Diallo is a leading practitioner for transatlantic finance structures.

Practice head(s):

Raphaël Richard

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole

Société Générale

Natixis

HSBC France

Morgan Stanley

Deutsche Bank

JP Morgan

SPIE

Engie

Suez

Tereos

Michelin

Solocal

Delachaux

Bridgepoint

Cobepa

IK Investment Partners

Antin Infrastructure Partners

I Squared Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised BNP Paribas as well as UniCredit and Crédit Agricole CIB on a €50m secured super-senior revolving credit facility entered into by DOC Generici and other members of the group.
  • Assisted Tereos, a French sugar cooperative group which processes agricultural raw materials into sugar, alcohol and starch, and its subsidiary Tereos Finance Group I, with a refinancing of its existing unsecured bonds.
  • Advised a bank syndicate on the financing of the acquisition of Dorc by Eurazeo Capital from Montagu Private Equity.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP is a strong player in acquisition finance, corporate finance, real estate finance, infrastructure finance and the restructuring of existing financing transactions. Its practice, which continues to attract experienced partners to its ranks, acts for lenders, security agents, borrowers, financial sponsors, distressed investors, financial advisers and auditors. Pierre Roux leads on acquisition finance and  Hassan Javanshir specialises in real estate finance. The firm hired Audrey Dahan as partner from BNP Paribas to boost its capability in derivatives and structured finance. Tom Longmuir, formerly of Allen & Overy LLP, and Mark Barges from Linklaters both bring experience in project finance.

Practice head(s):

Pierre Roux; Hassan Javanshir; Hubert Blanc-Jouvan; Mark Barges; Tom Longmuir; Audrey Dahan

Key clients

LGT Private Debt France

J.P. Morgan Securities PLC

Nomura Bank International plc

Blackrock

Värde

CVC Crédit

Work highlights

  • Advised LGT Private Debt France on the unitranche debt financing of the acquisition of Moria group by Naxicap Partners from Bridgepoint Development Capital.
  • Assisted the lenders with the financing of the acquisition of Siaci Saint Honoré Group by Charterhouse Capital Partners and its management.
  • Advising Värde and members of Boscolo Group for the refinancing and financing of the capex works of eight luxury hotels.

Bredin Prat

Clients of Bredin Prat praise the firm's 'excellent legal expertise combined with a pragmatic approach'. The firm specialises in corporate borrowing in the form of syndicated loans, bank refinancing and restructuring in the context of distressed LBOs, as well as capital market transactions including high-yield bonds and international private placements. The firm, which has an emphasis on borrower-side work, has a strong domestic practice, but is also busy with cross-border matters. Practice head Raphaële Courtier handles banking, acquisition finance, LBO financing, capital market transactions, private placements and debt restructuring. Clients also praise the 'highly dedicatedKarine Sultan.

Practice head(s):

Raphaële Courtier

Testimonials

Works seamlessly with best-friend firms to provide a full solution to the client.

Karine Sultan is always a pleasure to work with, bringing workable solutions that take into account operational constraints.

Key clients

Aegide Domitys

Alstom

Apax

Axa

Cojo 2024

Crédit Agricole

Equistone Partners Europe

Fnac Darty

Iliad

Ramsay Générale de Santé

Ubisoft

Work highlights

  • Advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs International, MUFG Bank, Ltd and Société Générale (lenders and arrangers) on the financing of the acquisition of Medidata by Dassault Systèmes.
  • Acted for Equistone Partners Europe on the financing of the acquisition of the whole business of the sport shops Courir from Groupe Go Sport, a Rallye’s subsidiary. The equity value of this offer is €283m.
  • Advised Ramsay Générale de Santé (RGdS) on the financing of its tender offer on Swedish company Capio AB.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

The  highly regarded corporate finance practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton handles a range of bank finance and debt capital market products, as well as equity and equity-linked transactions. The Paris office has a strong flow of cross-border work in key areas such as acquisition finance, syndicated lending and leveraged finance, and frequently works in collaboration with its London office. The practice is busy with transactions in Africa, including the financing of PPP transactions in francophone Africa, and is frequently involved in deals for oil and gas companies, international and domestic banks, corporate borrowers and private equity houses. Valérie LemaitreBarthélemy Faye and Fabrice Baumgartner are the key contacts.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

'The banking team is one of the best, if not the best, in the market', says a client of De Pardieu Brocas Maffei. The firm has a deep bench with 11 partners, and its core strengths lie in real estate finance, corporate financing, syndicated lending, restructuring financing, and acquisition and leveraged financing for large French and international banks and debt funds. Christophe Gaillard, who handles syndicated loans and acquisition finance, and capital markets partner Olivier Hubert lead the practice. Emmanuel Fatôme is a key name in the corporate finance and real estate financing market.

Practice head(s):

Christophe Gaillard; Olivier Hubert

Testimonials

‘My main contact is Christophe Gaillard who is the first choice for clients in this sector. He deserves this recognition for the combination of his many qualities but also due to the team around him, in which each member is a very good professional.

‘I work mainly with Christophe Gaillard and his team. Christophe is an excellent lawyer who brings together a very high level of technical skill, a good understanding of business issues and good negotiating skills. He knows how to surround himself with colleagues of different levels of seniority who are very involved in the matters and who understand them very well.

Key clients

CA-CIB (CREDIT AGRICOLE GROUP)

SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

BNP PARIBAS

LCL

NATIXIS

CDC

ING

AAREAL BANK

DEUTSCHE BANK

DEKABANK

TIKEHAU CAPITAL

CREDIT FONCIER

ETAM

EIB

INVIVO

TERRENA

HSBC

IDINVEST

La BANQUE POSTALE

Chargeurs

Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits

Groupe Looping

Work highlights

  • Advising Chargeurs on a €230m syndicated credit agreement, with drawdown flexibility and no leverage covenant, to accelerate the profitable growth of Chargeurs.
  • Acting for Tikehau IM (alternative asset management and investment specialist) on the granting of new money financing to Conforama Group, a subsidiary of Steinhoff group.
  • Advising Cacib and other credit institutions on the setting-up of a €2.3bn syndicated corporate credit facility for Nexity.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Goodwin

Goodwin has seen a notable uptick in work relating to acquisition and equity bridge financing. The firm has a particularly strong domestic practice, but also handles cross-border matters  for lenders, sponsors and borrowers. Its recent work includes innovative financing such as a first loss/second loss structure that was the first of its kind in France. Among its standout clients are BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Natixis and BlueBay Asset Management. Arnaud Fromion and Frédéric Guilloux handle leveraged acquisition, corporate and telecoms finance and act for banks, debt funds, financial sponsors and corporate borrowers. Counsel Adrien Paturaud is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Arnaud Fromion; Frédéric Guilloux

Testimonials

The firm is proactive in negotiations, and Arnaud Fromion has an excellent ability to find innovative solutions. Frédéric Guilloux is a good, balanced negotiator.

The team managed by Arnaud Fromion is made up of high-quality specialists. This team is able to demonstrate great responsiveness and inventiveness to manage complex matters. Within this team, it is appropriate to single out Adrien Paturaud, who is an excellent professional.

Arnaud Fromion is a very experienced and creative lawyer. He is a lawyer who can find effective solutions to complex problems. He is perfectly supported by Adrien Paturaud who has many of the same qualities.

The firm has a great, great team – the best in Paris.

Arnaud Fromion and Adrien Paturaud are outstanding.

Key clients

BNP PARIBAS

Crédit Agricole CIB

Capzanine / Atalante

Natixis

Alcentra

NJJ Holding

Partners Group

IK Investment Partners

Les Nouveaux Constructeurs

BlueBay Asset Management

LGT Capital Partners

Ares

Holdco

Equistone Partners Europe

Sicame

Astorg Partners

Rallye SA

Work highlights

  • Advised BNP Paribas, HSBC, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Citibank, ABN AMRO and Unicredit on financing provided for the takeover of the Swiss-listed global logistics company, Ceva Logistics, by French container transportation and shipping company, CMA CGM SA.
  • Acted for private equity and private debt fund manager Atalante (also known as Capzanine), BNP Paribas Private Debt and AXA IM on the refinancing of the financial indebtedness of La Maison Bleue, a French nursery group.
  • Assisted private equity and private debt fund manager Atalante (also known as Capzanine), BNP Paribas Private Debt and Goldman Sachs with the acquisition of Actéon, the leading French global player in the design, manufacture and distribution of dental equipment, imaging technologies and consumables.

Norton Rose Fulbright

'The firm has bilingual commercial lawyers with great experience in aviation finance in particular and asset finance in general', remarks a client of Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm has English and French law capabilities in Paris, and is very strong in asset and project finance, though it also handles bridge financing and general corporate lending. Christine Ezcutari leads the practice and is also head of shipping for EMEA. She acts for banks on French law and international finance transactions including complex syndicated debt financings. George Paterson leads on aviation finance and leasing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Christine Ezcutari

Testimonials

One of leaders in renewable energy in France, with associates and counsels of high quality.

A team that is at the forefront of the renewable energy industry. It is very skilled, effective and friendly.

George Paterson provides excellent, commercially astute legal advice, which is delivered in an understated and client friendly manner.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

HSBC

IFC

Royal Bank of Canada

Société Générale

TOTAL

Crédit Agricole

Investec

Work highlights

  • Advised Liberty House Group on the $500m financing of the acquisition of the largest aluminium smelter in Europe.
  • Advised Société Générale on three French ECA-supported financing transactions with a total value in excess of €2.6bn.
  • Acted for the sponsors Lekela Power and Sarréole on the project financing and development of the wind power project located in Taiba n’Diaye, Senegal, which will be the biggest in West Africa.

Orrick Rambaud Martel

'They know very well what lenders and sponsors consider acceptable and can propose a wide range of solutions for each problem', says a client of Orrick Rambaud Martel. The firm has a skilled infrastructure practice and also has a major role in many restructuring and refinancing transactions. Practice head Hervé Touraine is largely based in Geneva, but the Paris office is home to experienced partners including Emmanuel Ringeval, who represents French and international financial institutions, corporates, private equity funds and alternative capital providers on domestic and cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Hervé Touraine

Testimonials

Emmanuel Ringeval is a very experienced and responsive contact, with excellent technical ability and market knowledge. He was always available for short-notice questions and takes a commercial view where it was needed.

We have longstanding and very detailed experience of the team, which has a strong mix of experienced partners and talented counsels and lawyers.

They can be trusted each time, and are able to create consensus around decisions and proposals for both sponsors and lenders.

Key clients

Ministère de l’économie des finances (French Ministry of economic and financial affairs)

Groupe Bertrand

Frans Bonhomme

Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

la Banque Postale

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Oaktree

Work highlights

  • Advised the French State on the refinancing of the “Sud-Europe-Atlantique” (SEA) high-speed rail line, totalling approximately €3bn.
  • Acted for Frans Bonhomme (a portfolio company owned by Centerbridge Capital) on the €200m refinancing of the indebtedness of Frans Bonhomme group through the issue of bonds subscribed by Hayfin funds.
  • Advised a pool of lenders on the €300m financing of a public service delegation contract for the rollout of a high-speed internet network in Haute-Garonne department, France.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP 'has a very professional and skilled team with capacity in LBO and equity bridges' that stands out for its 'very good technical skills and knowledge of the French market'. Olivier Vermeulen (who has 'thorough technical knowledge and a perfect view on where the market stands') leads the practice, which has a strong flow of domestic and cross-border work in acquisition finance, equity bridge finance, refinancing and leveraged finance. It handles innovative unitranche and mezzanine financing matters, and is seeing more work for alternative lenders, as well as major French and international banks.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Vermeulen

Testimonials

The team is highly professional, client-oriented and, even more important, focused on added value. People in the firm are dedicated, committed, technical and last but not least friendly, which makes collaboration with them a real pleasure.

Olivier Vermeulen has managed to create a great atmosphere among his team members that reflects well on the client and through each interaction we have with them. Not only we trust their advice and judgement, but we also appreciate spending time with them which makes a big difference.

Paul Hastings’ team has a thorough technical knowledge coupled with a very good view as to where the current market standards stand. This is extremely helpful in all negotiation phases.

I would like to single out one individual, Marc Zerah, who happens to be a perfect match for me. He not only has very strong technical skills, but he is also capable of sharing them well and being very pragmatic and helpful when negotiations tend to come to a dead end. Besides, he is an extremely energetic and dedicated professional which makes him a quite unparalleled asset when working under tight deadlines. According to me, he is clearly the rising star of this practice.

The team is very reactive and innovative, while being thoroughly knowledgeable of different jurisdictions. It has great ability to meet deadlines, even when short, and not at the expense of quality. Also, it has great ability to continue backing and following the transactions over their life.

Olivier Vermeulen, head of the team and managing director of the Paris office, has shown a lot of resilience and shares his experience, having hired a balanced and very skilled team around him. It has an excellent 360° view on all the potential aspects of a transaction from a legal structure and tax perspective. It also has great relationships with key players in the private equity universe.

The firm shows an excellent level of commitment from the associates to the partners, great efficiency and the ability to solve problems.

Olivier Vermeulen is a very committed and highly skilled professional. Most likely, it is the best firm to structure financings on the French market.

The firm has developed the French legal framework for Capital Calls financing, which is now the market standard. Based on their strong experience and credentials they are well connected within PE and financial communities.

A very competent and solution-driven team. They have always time to spend to educate counterparties. They are very helpful and have good human skills.

Globally, a reputable firm offering top notch legal advice to the lender community in France.

I am used to working with Olivier Vermeulen and Tereza Courmont. I must say that I am very impressed by the quality of their work. Both are passionate, proactive and smart professionals. We have now developed a trustful relationship, which is key in our job.

It has the ability to always find an issue or an original structure, and is very conscientious. It is able to spot every minor issue and has a deep analysis of the whole transaction, taking care of everything.

The team is always available and is able to explain every point clearly. It is a very nice team in which we have full confidence.

Olivier Vermeulen is a great partner – smart, committed, very quick, very pragmatic, very professional and rigorous.

Working with Olivier Vermeulen and his team allows us to gain in efficiency and gives us more time to concentrate on the structuring and the analysis.

It has a strong understanding of our internal requirements and long experience in the French market, as well as a high level of availability.

Olivier Vermeulen is very client-driven with a deep knowledge of the product. Tereza Courmont Vlakova is strongly at ease with deal documentation.

A very professional and reactive team at the partner, counsel and associate level. It has very good knowledge of the market and the capabilities to assist the client in selecting the best banks to provide the equity bridge facility. Tereza Courmont and Olivier Vermeulen have the ability to think out of the box to find and develop new solutions.

Key clients

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Ares Management Limited

Astorg

BlueBay Asset Management

Capza

Equistone Partners Europe

Eurazeo PME

Goldman Sachs

Intermediate Capital Group (ICG)

Keensight Capital

Naxicap Partners

PAI Partners

Tikehau Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Acted for Intermediate Capital Group, a leading UK-based specialist asset and fund manager, on the acquisition financing to support the purchase of Plastic Omnium Environment division (the France, Dutch and German-based European leader in waste containerisation) by Latour Capital and Bpifrance.
  • Advised Tikehau Investment Management (the leading France-based alternative capital provider with €22bn in assets under management) on a dozen unitranche acquisition financings, including the unitranche acquisition financing for the purchase of Odealim (formerly AssurCopro), by TA Associates.
  • Assisting PAI Partners with all of its fund financings.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a broad leveraged finance practice that covers hybrid and syndicated European term loan B deals, senior lien financings and the issuance of senior secured notes issuance. It is also active in acquisition finance and restructuring, with a large client base among sponsors, borrowers and lenders. Its key strength lies in Anglo-French cross-border financings, often in collaboration with its London office, though it has both English and French law capabilities in Paris. Olivier Jauffret, who frequently acts for sponsors and investment-grade borrowers, and James Clarke, who specialises in mid- and large-cap LBO financings, lead the practice. Counsel Cassandra Porgès is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Jauffret; James Clarke

Key clients

Montagu Private Equity

CVC

3i

TowerBrook Capital Partners (UK) LLP

Astorg

HLDE

Chequers

Ardian

CEVA Santé Animale

Sanofi

Rallye/Casino

CCMP/MacqPisto

ATOS

Work highlights

  • Advising 3i on the financing of its acquisition of Evernex.
  • Acting for Astorg and its portfolio company IGM Resins on a refinancing of its second lien debt and a repricing of its senior debt.
  • Assisting Ceva with the refinancing of its existing LBO financing with €2,150m covenant-lite secured first-lien debt.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has 'a responsive and effective team that listens to the needs of the client'. The group handles numerous cross-border matters, including many bank-to-bank syndicated lending transactions involving Egypt, South Africa and Turkey. Its domestic work includes financing deals for funds-of-funds. The firm mainly handles syndicated lending, project finance, trade and export finance, and acquisition finance. Global head of banking and finance Michael Foundethakis is the lead partner and he acts for lenders and borrowers on complex cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Michael Foundethakis

Testimonials

Very good at listening to the client. Expert team that systematically aims to find win / win solutions.

Law firm fully available to find and negotiate business oriented solutions while still protecting the bank position on legal aspects.

Specific stand out partner: Mickael Foundetakis. He is very professional, good at protecting the interest of the lenders but flexible to try and find solutions which work for all parties.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Commerzbank

Crédit Agricole

African Export-Import Bank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Ardian (formerly AXA Private Equity)

Natixis

EBRD (European Bank of Reconstruction & Development)

PROPARCO

Work highlights

  • Acted for African Export-Import Bank on the $2.065bn financing of the acquisition by Trans-Niger Oil & Gas Company of two onshore producing oil and gas licences in the Niger Delta and associated infrastructure, including the Okoloma gas processing facility, the Trans Niger Pipeline and the Afam IV Power Plant from Shell Petroleum Development Company, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Company Limited.
  • Acted for the lenders, led by Citibank and ICBC (and including JPMorgan, SMBC, Société Générale) on the first-ever bank financing of Türkiye Varlık Fonu/ Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF), the sovereign wealth fund of the Republic of Turkey.
  • Assisting Crédit Agricole, Standard Chartered Bank, MUFG Bank Limited and UKEF (the ECA of the United Kingdom) with respect to three facilities amounting to an aggregate amount of circa $873.8m financing to the Oman’s Ministry of Finance in order to finance the export of equipment required to construct three hospitals in Oman.

Dentons

Dentons has 'a strong team with growing capacity that is excellent in asset financing, securitisation and receivables financing'. The firm stands out for its work in project finance, fund financing and real estate finance, but it is also active in acquisition finance, refinancing and securitisation. It acts for major domestic and international banks, corporates and funds on mid-cap and large-cap transactions, and has a strong flow of cross-border work, particularly in Europe and the US. The key partners are PPP and project finance expert Jean-Marc Allix, the 'very proactive and willingPascal Jouannic and structured and acquisition finance specialist Philippe Max.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Marc Allix; Pascal Jouannic; Philippe Max

Testimonials

Pascal Jouannic is a reputed finance partner. He has a great knowledge of structured financing transactions and is a great business partner.

Philippe Max has excellent interpersonal skills and legal expertise. Philippine de Fouchier and Meryll Aloro are of great help too.

The firm has strong technical expertise with an acute view on key business items, and it is really easy to work with.

Jean-Marc Allix has a strong ability to manage both his client and interlocutors in order to save time while focusing on key issues during calls and negotiations, and dealing with other issues directly with his interlocutor in a very efficient way to deliver excellent work.

Philippine de Fouchier has a strong ability to stand up in cases where Jean-Marc Allix was not available. She inspires confidence thanks to her technical skills and is a rising star.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

CACEIS Bank

Charterhouse Capital Partners

Chenavari / AREO II S.à r.l.

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Faurecia

Inframed

Interflora

Keolis / RATP Dev.

Natixis

Société Générale

Vinci Airports

Vinci Construction France

Work highlights

  • Advising Faurecia on a €500m high-yield bond transaction.
  • Advising Vinci Airports on the 25-year PPP concession in respect of Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport, covering the airport’s financing, operation, maintenance, extension and upgrade.
  • Assisting Faurecia with an amendment and an 18-month extension of its existing revolving syndicated credit line of €1.2bn.

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, 'the team is extremely available, business-oriented and very efficient, and it has strong legal know-how'. The firm is particularly prominent in leveraged acquisitions for banks or senior debt funds, mezzanine debt providers and equity sponsors. It is also active in LBO debt restructuring deals, project finance, real estate finance transactions, derivatives and corporate finance. The firm has a strong domestic practice, particularly in leveraged finance, but also handles multi-jurisdictional deals. Head of finance, projects and restructuring Maud Manon and real estate and infrastructure finance partner Erwan Lacheteau are the main contacts.

Practice head(s):

Maud Manon

Testimonials

The team is really dedicated to the project and takes accountability for it. It acts as a real advisor and continuously takes a step back to reflect on the situation to make sure everything is covered, and then acts accordingly.

Corporate partner Simon Charbit has outstanding capacity to handle multi-angle projects, and shows constant care for the client. He can be relied upon to deliver on time with complete and bulletproof solutions.

Maud Manon is a great professional with very good business sense who is easy to work with.

The firm has strong expertise, and provides a broad range of services with international coverage.

Maud Manon is extremely skilled and fair-minded with a strong commercial focus and she is very easy to work with.

Key clients

Abénex

Ares Management

Barings Global Advisers Limited

BPI France

Bridgepoint

Capzanine

Carlyle Group

Crédit Industriel and Commercial

Eurazeo

Evernex group

ICG

Idinvest

Industry Capital

LBO France

LFPI

Maltem Consulting Group

Montagu Private Equity

Montefiore Investment

Pemberton

Work highlights

  • Advising Carlyle on the financing of the LBO acquisition of HGH Systemes Infrarouges and its subsidiaries.
  • Advising the unitranche lenders (Barings, Bluebay, Idinvest and Bridgepoint Credit) on the unitranche financing of the LBO acquisition of the HTL group.
  • Assisting The Blackstone Group with the acquisition of three pan-European diversified real estate portfolios.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is best known for acquisition, real estate, project and leveraged finance transactions, though it also has extensive capability in asset finance and capital markets work. The firm has English and French law capabilities in Paris and is frequently involved in cross-border matters, notably outbound commodities and export financings involving African jurisdictions. Key partners Sabine Bironneau, Olivier Fille-Lambie, Alexander Premont and Michel Quéré act for major domestic and international banks, as well as alternative lenders.

Practice head(s):

Sabine Bironneau-Loy; Olivier Fille-Lambie; Alexander Premont; Michel Quéré

Testimonials

A very reactive team providing high-quality work, and very reasonable in terms of fees.

They are able to change approach for the different types of lenders and clients.

Excellent legal knowledge and understanding of the practice for mid-to-large debts. High involvement of the partners and the associates, and very easy access to discuss any matters. High quality of work including meeting the deadlines.

Sabine Bironneau-Loy is highly involved at every stage of the transaction. and has a very good understanding of the issues and restrictions of the banking sector.

One of the best firms in Paris for banking and finance, it has excellent technical skills and great experience.

Key clients

21 CAPITAL PARTNERS

COLONY CAPITAL

NATIXIS

MERIDIAM

ENGIE

PROPARCO

CAPITALMIND

GROUPE IDI

BRED BANQUE POPULAIRE

CRÉDIT AGRICOLE CIB

TIKEHAU INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

BNP PARIBAS

CRÉDIT LYONNAIS

SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

Work highlights

  • Advised BNP Paribas on the financing of the takeover bid of Altran Technologies, the global leader in innovation and engineering consulting services, by Capgemini.
  • Acted for the sponsors – a consortium led by Engie and Meridam – on the financing of two solar photovoltaic plants in Senegal being developed under the IFC’s Scaling Solar programme.
  • Advising the financial institutions – including BNP Paribas – on senior-term loan facilities (TLA and TLB) in the context of the LBO financing of the acquisition of the Consort Group alongside a payment-in-kind facility.

Jones Day

Jones Day is known for its work on acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance and general corporate lending transactions, though it also has active practices in debt restructuring and securitisation. It also has a solid track record in the financing of high-growth companies. The firm frequently acts for lenders, among which are French and international banks, PE houses and asset management companies, though it also acts for sponsors and for corporates and investment funds as borrowers. Frédéric Gros and Diane Sénéchal jointly lead the practice. Of counsel Isabelle Maury is recommended for loans and hybrid financings.

Practice head(s):

Frederic Gros; Diane Sénéchal

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole CIB

Rabobank International

Caisse Fédérale de Crédit Mutuel

DEPFA Bank PLC

Société de Financement Local (“SFIL”) and Caisse Française de Financement Local (“CAFFIL”)

LGT European Capital

Ares Management Limited

Sagard

Work highlights

  • Acted for Athyrium as lender on the refinancing of Biom’Up’s existing debt, the financing of the production and marketing of its flagship product HEMOBLAST™ Bellows in the US and the EU, and the financing of its external growth.
  • Advised La Française REP and Samsung Securities on the €691m acquisition financing of the Crystal Park building.
  • Assisted Rabobank International with the debt-equity hybrid financing of Invivo.

Mayer Brown

Clients appreciate the 'direct contact with the partner in charge and the very proactive, responsive and business-minded approach' of Mayer Brown. The firm has a prominent role in mid-cap transactions, which include leveraged and acquisition finance, corporate finance, restructuring, asset finance and structured finance deals. The bulk of its work consists of cross-border, multi-jurisdictional matters for PE funds, debt funds, corporates, banks and governmental agencies. Patrick Teboul leads the practice and he advises funds and banks on a wide range of financing transactions. Partners Maud Bischoff and Alban Dorin are highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Teboul

Testimonials

Hervé Kensicher was the partner in charge and he showed very good responsiveness.

Key clients

Activa Capital

BlackRock

Bridgepoint

Colony Capital

Elis

Eurazeo

Francisco Partners

GreenOak Real Estate Advisors

HSBC

LBO France

L Catterton

LFPI

Meeschaert Capital Partners

Montefiore

Naxicap

New Alpha

Oaktree

Primonial

Qualium Investissement

Quilvest

Raise

Sagard

Stirling Square Capital Partners

Tyndaris

UI Gestion

Wells Fargo Bank International

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Caterpillar Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Francisco Partners on its preferred equity investment in French software business Talentsoft.
  • Acted for Group Elis on the private placement financing of bonds issued by Elis SA as a US private placement.
  • Advised HSBC on the provision of its €200m pan-European trade receivables financing facility to the global Garden Products Italy Group.

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI works predominantly in the growing European fund finance market and on the French acquisition and leveraged finance mid-market. It has specialist expertise in key areas, notably equity bridge financing and private equity deals. The practice is driven by sole partner Pierre-Arnoux Mayoly, who is ably supported by senior associate Shirin Deyhim. Mayoly is a key practitioner for lenders and borrowers active in the equity bridge market in Paris. He counts Tikehau Capital and Citi Bank among his clients.

Practice head(s):

Pierre-Arnoux Mayoly

Key clients

Five Arrows Direct Lending

Tikehau Capital

Capza

Andera Partners

RBC Royal Bank

Citi Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Five Arrows Direct Lending on its €48.5m fungible bonds issuance.
  • Assisted Tikehau Capital with its €95m issuance of bonds made available for the acquisition of Astek.
  • Advised Capza on its €9m financial operation for the acquisition of 99 Group.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP handles real estate financing, structured financing, leveraged and acquisition finance both domestically and internationally. It frequently acts for French and international financial institutions, corporations, sponsors, debt funds and investment funds on such matters, and also assists with direct lending deals for hedge funds and other alternative lenders. The practice's sole partner Pierre-Nicolas Ferrand has considerable experience of acting for French and international arrangers and investors in asset, real estate, renewable energy and acquisition finance transactions. Counsel Lachlan Poustie joined from Allen & Overy LLP and he handles project finance for development finance institutions, sponsors, commercial lenders and export credit agencies.

Practice head(s):

Pierre-Nicolas Ferrand

Key clients

HIG & Groupe Ecore

Frostkrone Group / Emeram Capital Partners

Sociéte Générale

HF Private Debt and Deutsche Bank

Siparex

Morgan Stanley

Trail capital

Guinea Alumina Corporation

JP Morgan

HSBC

Work highlights

  • Advised Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., as administrative agent, on an amendment to Sensata Technologies B.V. and Sensata Technologies Finance Company, LLC’s existing $1.34bn financing, consisting of a $420m revolving credit facility and a $918m senior-secured term loan B facility.
  • Acted for Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Natixis and Société Générale as joint bookrunners in connection with an issuance by Loxam SAS of high yield notes.
  • Advised Guinea Alumina Corporation (and its parent company, Emirates Global Aluminium, which is owned by Mubadala and Dubal) on the $1.6bn development and financing of a bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea.

Simmons & Simmons

Clients praise the 'deep market knowledge and strong negotiation skills' of Simmons & Simmons, which is 'a reference point for small to mid-cap deals in Paris'. It has a well-established real estate finance practice and prominent position in acquisition finance and corporate lending. It also handles equity bridge financing and fund financing transactions. Financial institutions, major corporates and fund managers call on the English and French law expertise in the Paris office, largely for international matters. Colin Millar, who focuses mainly on LBO transactions, and Céline Larmet are the key partners.

Practice head(s):

Colin Millar

Testimonials

The team has an excellent track record and it firmly defends its clients’ interests rather than its own. It is really engaged in defending points for its clients. It also brings value-added advice, gives its point of view, and advises on market practice to help add value to transactions. That brings us comfort.

Some firms don’t go all the way to defend their clients, sometimes simply because they are not sufficiently pugnacious. This team, however, knows how to weigh up the pros and cons and say whether the fight should be led or not.’

Simmons and Simmons is very professional and has a deep experience of real estate financing. It is a deal-making team and is able to react quickly and make sure deadlines are respected, ensuring the complete satisfaction of their clients.

Céline Larmet shows exceptional working capacity and has a great understanding of her clients’ needs. She is able to develop tailor-made solutions in order to put in place the most efficient financing facility for each acquisition.

Key clients

Crédit Lyonnais

Crédit Industriel et Commercial

Société Générale

Banque Palatine

Bpifrance Investissement

EMZ Partners

CM-CIC Private Debt

Spie batignolles

Valor Real Estate Partners

Savills Investment Management

Caisse d’Epargne et de Prévoyance Hauts de France

DWS

Work highlights

  • Advised Valor Real Estate, a pan-European real estate investment and asset management company focused exclusively on the logistics sector, on the acquisition, structuring and financing of four logistics platforms near Paris and Lyon.
  • Assisted Société Générale, Lyxor International Asset Management and BNP Paribas as mandated lead arrangers with the financing of the second LBO acquisition of Ellisphere, specialised in economic and financial information and data marketing solutions for companies.
  • Advised EMZ Partners on providing mezzanine pay-in-kind bond financing to My Media Holding in order to finance partially the acquisition of My Media Group, a leading independent media agency.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has 'excellent lawyers with high-level skills and a dedicated approach who are very proactive and listen to clients' needs'. The firm, which has French, English and New York law capability in Paris, climbs the ranking due to the strength of its shipping and aviation finance practice. It has also built up its profile in equity bridge financing and acquisition finance, and it also provides advice on structured finance, real estate finance, factoring, receivables and private placements. Alain Gautron, Edward Campbell and the 'extremely professional and efficientYann Beckers are the lead partners.

Practice head(s):

Alain Gautron; Edward Campbell; Yann Beckers

Testimonials

Yann Beckers and his team are responsive, calm and demonstrate a very good knowledge of their subject, which allows them to deal with difficult clients.

Yann Beckers knows his subject perfectly. He knows how to be both firm and calm in negotiations, which favours the advancement of discussions despite the difficult issues being addressed.

Yann Beckers is a first-ranking professional with an incredible combination of technical knowledge, human qualities and great sense of the client relationship.

Beyond the exceptional knowhow in banking and finance, Yann Beckers is a warm and considerate professional who really enjoys assisting his client and will make outstanding efforts to reach the client’s objectives. I have known Yann for more than ten years and he stands out as one of the best in the practice.

The team has a deep understanding of the corporate banker’s needs and is able to propose innovative solutions in a timely fashion. It is one of the best teams in Paris and proposes adequate documentation for financing transactions in a way that suits in-house lawyers at banks and corporates clients as well.

In addition to his sound knowledge of the law, which he applies for the practical benefit of our clients, Yann Beckers has an impressive capacity to handle legal concepts and techniques to build innovative legal and financial mechanics. He is a low-profile and a very nice person who is highly appreciated for his human and sensible approach.

Edward Campbell and Maria Miller are both responsive and capable.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

CIC

DVB Bank

BPCE Group

Natixis

Ingépar

CA-CIB

CIT Group Inc.

Air Côte d’Ivoire

Ponant

Acofi

Euler Hermès

Arkéa

Allied Irish Bank (AIB)

ICBC

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Miami-based cruise ship company SunStone Ships, Inc. on negotiating the construction and financing of ten small expedition cruise vessels for the Arctic and Antarctic.
  • Assisted Compagnie du Ponant with closing two French tax lease financings, coupled with Norwegian export credit support.
  • Advising Singapore-based Transportation Partners and their affiliated airlines on the acquisition and financing of a number of Boeing 737 aircraft and ATR 72 aircraft and aircraft engines.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

'The team stands out for its capacity to accompany clients on their journey into innovative areas, and its ability to adapt to its clients' needs', remarks a client of Watson Farley & Williams LLP. The firm handles a diverse range of work from small-cap to large deals and is particularly strong in asset finance, project finance, acquisition finance and capex financing. It has English and French law capability in Paris and frequently acts on cross-border matters for large banks and corporates. Practice head Laurence Martinez-Bellet who stands out for cross-border shipping finance transactions, Alexia RussellCharles Viggers and Philippe Wolanski are the main practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Martinez-Bellet

Testimonials

The team is known for its availability, professionalism and great skill but above all it has a capacity to understand commercial issues and to put forward strong proposals.

Charles Viggers and Alexia Russell are great experts in their field – always available, always looking for solutions and providing advice that takes into account commercial issues. They are more than just lawyers, they are true business partners.

I appreciate Alexia Russell’s dual qualification in English and French law, which is a rare characteristic and is very useful in asset finance.

Excellent partner availability and a superb all-round team. It is hard to beat its expertise and knowledge.

Consistently available throughout the whole of the transaction and the team provided to-the-point advice. It worked to even the tightest deadlines.

We have a strong relationship and the team’s advice is tailor-made. It has developed a strong and faithful partnership in our strategy of growth.

WFW is a very experienced firm in project finance and it has provided us with outstanding services on several projects in recent years. The team is very capable, always available and at our disposal in case of questions and comments, patient with us and our customers in negotiations or detailed explanations whenever necessary, always mindful or our interests in the transactions, and truly reliable throughout the process.

We worked with Alexia Russell and her team on various transactions and we were very satisfied with the outstanding services provided. They are proactive and always offer appropriate solution to problems faced during the transaction process.

The aircraft finance and banking team was exceptional. They linked in very well to their London office and provided a seamless solution across the offices. The team met very demanding deadlines and were solid in their deal implementation! Would use them again and again!

Charles Viggers was a great lead partner in the Paris office and was able to pull in the correct people within the office to cover off specific technical points. Philippe Wolanski’s knowledge of French banking and finance law was very good and he was able to explain difficult concepts well!

It has very strong experience in asset finance and the partners stay involved.

Laurence Martinez-Bellet has a very deep knowledge of the shipping market. She has very good communication skills too.

Response times are very good, so we can meet clients’ deadlines and WFW is always ready to go the extra mile in considering their advice on legal issues arising in the course of agreement negotiations.

Partners at WFW are highly skilled and have a large expertise as partners in one of the leading shipping legal firms. The large number of transactions they process give them a clear competitive advantage.

We have been working with partners Alexia Russell and Laurence Martinez-Bellet for many years. Their dedication and willingness to defend our interests are highly valued within our institution.

Key clients

AMP Capital

BNP Paribas

Bpifrance

BRED Banque Populaire

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Engie Solar

Ermewa

Investec

Société Générale

Total Eren

Work highlights

  • Advising BNP Paribas together with a syndicate of four other banks as lenders, on a $439m Sinosure-backed financing of 86 scrubbers for MSC.
  • Advising Total Eren on the refinancing of the acquisition of NovEnergia (IPP) having an installed capacity of nearly 670MW.
  • Acting for a syndicate of French banks on the €56m refinancing, arranged by Bred Banque Populaire and Bpifrance, of 30% of a solar portfolio operated by SUN’R.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's broad palette of work includes syndicated and bilateral lending, leveraged finance and acquisition finance, equity bridge financing, project finance, PPP transactions, private placements, shipping finance, high-yield financings, recapitalisations and corporate restructurings and workouts. Much of its work is cross-border, but it also has a steady flow of domestic transactions. Corporate and financial services partner Paul Lombard leads the practice and focuses predominantly on acquisition and leveraged finance, notably in transactions using innovative tools such as payment-in-kind financing and unirate bonds.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lombard

Key clients

PAI Partners

Eurazéo

IK Investment Partners

Ardian Private Debt

Intermediate Capital Group plc

Tikehau

Latour Capital

Five Arrows

Weinberg Capital

Alcentra (The Bank of New York Fund)

Work highlights

  • Advised the first lien lenders – Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, HSBC Bank plc, Jefferies Finance LLC, National Westminster Bank plc and Nomura International plc – on the financing arrangements for Astorg Partners-backed SGG Group’s acquisition of First Names Group.
  • Acted for payment-in-kind (PIK) bondholders Idinvest, Five Arrows Credit Solutions, Unigrains and Céréa on the €120m issuance of secured PIK bonds with attached warrants by Midco GB, one of the investment vehicles within the Burger King France group of companies.
  • Advised CMA CGM on a facility it entered into in connection with the tender offer for Ceva Logistics AG.

Archers A.A.R.P.I.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Maurice Gaillard; Paul-Henri de Cabissole

Key clients

Aareal Bank

Accor Hotels

Acofi (Debt Funds)

AEW (Debt Funds)

Cheyne Capital Management

Crédit Agricole CIB

Colony Capital

Helaba

Natixis

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank Aktiengesellschaft (PBB)

SCOR (Debt Funds)

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advised Natixis, Crédit Foncier, Bank of China, La Banque Postale, BECM and 13 other banks on the financing of the acquisition of the Vesta residential portfolio.
  • Assisted Accor Hotels with the acquisition and financing of its worldwide headquarters, the Sequana Tower, in Boulogne-Billancourt.
  • Advised Colony Capital on the acquisition and financing of the Maranatha hotels portfolio out of a bankruptcy situation.

CMS

Practice head(s):

Grégory Benteux; Jérôme Sutour; Laurent Mion; Alexandre Bordenave; Benjamin Guilleminot; Geoffrey Levesque

Key clients

SNCF Mobilites

CIC Lyonnaise de Banque

Natixis

Banque CIC Ouest

Banque Fiducial (Banque Themis)

Meridiam

Engie

Societe Generale

Credit Lyonnais

Arkea E&I

Work highlights

  • Advising SNCF Mobilités, Gares et Connexions as grantor of the concession contract relating to the refurbishment of Gare du Nord (Paris, France) and as shareholder of the contractor and advising on the underlying financing.
  • Advising Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels, Banque Palatine, Banque Populaire Auvergne Rhône Alpes, BNP Paribas and CIC Lyonnaise de Banque as lenders on the provision of a €12m facility agreement to Mathevon International.
  • Advising Natixis as lender on a €50m facility agreement secured with Dream Yacht Finance France.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

Practice head(s):

Matthieu Barthélemy; May Jarjour; Sylvie Perrin; Jean-Baptiste Santelli; Jonathan Souffir

Testimonials

Reliable and prompt

Sylvie Perrin is always contactable.

Stand out amongst French law firms – understand the deal immediately, commercial awareness, technically excellent but always producing the practical answer, and really responsive – a pleasure to work with.

Key clients

Acofi

Antalis

Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels

Arval

Astris Finance

Auchan Holding

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg

Banque Palatine

Banques Populaires

BNP Paribas

BPCE

Caisses d’Epargne

Covea

Crédit Agricole d’Ile de France

Crédit Agricole Immobilier

Crédit Coopératif

Crédit Mutuel-CIC

CSI Leasing

Demeter Partners

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Envision

Fonds Européen d’Investissement

Foresight

Forsa Energy

Gageo

Greenwish

HSBC

IDCM Partners

IdInvest

Immochan

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

KFW Epex

La Banque Postale

LCM Partners

Lendix

Mediobanca

Meridiam

Natixis

Nord LB

Omnes Capital

Philips

Préjeance

Société Générale

SQN

Stern & Co

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)

Tikehau

Touax

Transdev

Triodos

Work highlights

  • Assisting Auchan Holding with the legal structuring and implementation of its financings (syndicated loans, Euro PP, EMTN program etc.).
  • Advised Ceetrus on the financing of the construction of the emblematic commercial centre located in the new business district of Luxembourg city named ‘Cloche d’Or’.
  • Assisting the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) with the financing of various African banks pursuant to Islamic financing structures.

Testimonials

Excellent team in banking transactions, with experts acting as business partners.

Sophie Perus is an expert in banking transactions, with a high expertise in asset financing. She is proactive and able to understand clients business and needs.

Small and reactive team. Very knowledgeable and respected. 

Sophie Perus is fully involved in all files and handles them directly with her associates. She very strongly defends the interests of her clients and has other arguments than “It is market practice” which a lot of lawyers use in financial contract negotiations. She is pragmatic and respected by bankers.

Practice head(s):

Hélène Lefebvre

Key clients

Bayern LB

CA-CIB

Natixis

Triodos Bank BV

Work highlights

  • Advised debt fund Scor Real Estate Opportunistic Loans I, managed by Scor Investment Partners SE, on the junior financing of the acquisition and development of an iconic office property.
  • Advised Münchener Hypothekenbank as arranger on the financing of the acquisition of the ‘Retail 2’ retail property.
  • Advised Bayerische Landesbank as arranger on the financing of the acquisition of a retail property.

Franklin

Practice head(s):

David Blondel

Testimonials

‘The team demonstrates great reactivity and full support all along the transaction.

David Blondel and Olivier Borenstejn have great knowledge of financing transactions and they form a great team to work with.

Nice and professional.

Key clients

Credit Agricole d’Aquitaine / Crédit Agricole Pyrénées Gascogne

Credit Lyonnais

Natixis

Caisse d’Epargne CEPAC

Helia Conseil (Caisse d’Epargne Group)

Auxifip

Caisse d’Epargne Midi-Pyrénées (CEMP)

Banco Sabadell

CIC

Crédit Agricole CIB

Work highlights

  • Advised Crédit Agricole d’Aquitaine and Crédit Lyonnais on the acquisition financing for the purchase by Capzanine of an ownership interest in France-based electronic and electric systems maintenance group, Alphitan.
  • Advised a banking syndicate comprising Crédit Lyonnais; Crédit Agricole Sud Rhône Alpes; CIC Lyonnaise de Banque (acting as co-arrangers); BNP Paribas; and Caisse d’Epargne de Rhône Alpes on the acquisition financing of the purchase of Polypipe France by RYB Group.
  • Advised a banking syndicate composed of Crédit Agricole d’Aquitaine (also acting as arranger); Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels, and Crédit Lyonnais on the financing of the acquisition by Arkéa Capital Investissement and BNP Paribas Développement of ownership interests in Groupe Néméa.

HFW

Testimonials

The team of HFW – banking and finance – France provides a very high level of legal services through smart advice and very adapted documents. Under the leadership of Jean Marc Zampa, the team is very responsive and efficient. Olivier Chaline is always smiling while finding efficient solutions. Jean Edouard Courjon is able to produce documents in a very timely fashion. They have cross-border capabilities as well as in-depth knowledge of domestic legislation. This is a creative team which gets good results for business. All of them are great fun to work with and are very hard workers. 

Jean Marc Zampa is one of the best lawyers of the French market in Banking and Finance. His personal touch and desire to understand the bank’s needs and requirements, but also the bank’s clients goals and needs, allow him to always convince the bank’s clients to accept the proposed draft on a win-win situation. He makes clients benefit from his extensive knowledge and experience and makes sure they are always satisfied. His scale of financial proposals is very reasonable for this type of services. He is skilled, attentive to the client, solution-oriented and dedicated.

I deeply appreciate working with HFW for both Leveraged Finance and Corporate Loans.

Approachable and dedicated team, HFW is a pleasure to work with.

Diane de Mouy has in-depth and valuable experience of export finance. Her knowledge of the rules applicable to the French ECA are a huge value on the market, especially in the context of difficult negotiations.

LPA-CGR avocats

Practice head(s):

Alexae Fournier-de Faÿ

Testimonials

My team and I have been working with Xavier Clédat, Banking litigation partner at LPA-CGR for more than six years. Xavier obtained incredible results since he has won every one of the proceedings he assisted us with to this day.

Xavier is always calm and focused, making complex issues look simple to solve. His constant mood, his great courtesy and his ability to maintain excellent relations with magistrates makes him a very highly appreciated and respected professional. He is supported by a team of excellent associates that demonstrate the same qualities. Among others : Stéphanie Baudry, Nicolas Aynès (of counsel) and Sohel Hafiz have always been people of great kindness and availability, but also very capable and committed professionals. 

I worked with Alexae Fournier de Fay and she was really superb! We felt very well represented by her and she was always on top of the case.

High reactivity of the team, solid knowledge of law and market practice, excellence in the execution of deals.

Chloe Thieblemont – Partner.  Very high involvement from the start of the deal up to its end (and after when needed). High pragmatism in negotiation with very good arguments to obtain consensus between parties. Deal facilitator and capacity to think out of the box to find solutions. Always nice and enthusiastic, a pleasure to work with. Total trust in execution of deals.

Key clients

African Development Bank/Africa 50

World Bank

Mata Capital

Credit Agricole Corporate and investment banking

Societe Generale

Codic/Nexity

Binary Investments Europe Ltd

Eternam

Barings

Attijariwafa Bank

BCP/Chaabi Bank

Guidance financial

Harbert Fund Advisors

Europe Arab Bank

Natixis

Work highlights

  • Assisted Barings Real Estate with its multiple acquisitions in France.
  • Advised Eternam on the structure of a real estate club deal relating to the acquisition of a portfolio composed of more than 30 assets.
  • Advised Impact Field Marketing Group (IFMG) on a new financing of €40m to accelerate its international development.

Nabarro & Hinge

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Nabarro; David Lussigny; Jennifer Hinge; Pierre Chatelain

Key clients

Idinvest Partners

Alcentra

Sigfox

Zencap Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Idinvest Partners on the financing of the acquisition of Retis by Data Concept Informatique (DCI) and Naxicap partners.
  • Advised Sigfox on the subscription of a loan (€40m) granted by the European Investment Bank and the issuance of warrants.
  • Advising Alcentra on the financing of the acquisition of Axelliance Groupe by Ciprès.