Compliance in France

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is assisting many leading French and international corporations with the establishment of anti-corruption programmes, including high-profile names in the pharmaceutical, aviation and defence sectors. The 16-lawyer team is also advising several clients on audits by the new French anti-corruption agency, Agence française anticorruption (AFA), and on conducting internal investigations in connection with or independently from government-led investigations. It also offers antitrust compliance advice. Thomas Baudesson, newly promoted partner Charles-Henri Boeringer and Katrin Schallenberg are recommended.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises many leading French and international corporations, as well as major banks, on international anti-corruption, money-laundering, sanctions and embargoes issues. The firm notably assists with the establishment of compliance programmes and training, and advises clients on AFA-led audits. The practice also conducts internal investigations. Jonathan Mattout heads the compliance and investigation team. Also noted are Sergio Sorinas for competition issues and of counsel Raphaël Coeurquetin.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has ‘deep knowledge and experience of anti-corruption legislation and practices from both an international and national perspective’. The Paris-based team has strong domestic and international expertise and also benefits from the firm's leading US and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) capabilities, which are a major asset. The Paris practice advises leading French and international corporations on the implementation of anti-corruption programmes, and was also retained by several key clients to advise on the first AFA-led audits. Finally, a combined French and US team is assisting Airbus with various compliance issues and high-profile UK, French and US investigations. Key names include Bryan SillamanMichael Huneke, who ‘is a voice of reason when it comes to compliance matters’; and counsel Nicolas Tollet, who provides ‘outstanding support in designing anti-corruption programmes and whose knowledge of best practices and ability to deliver practical and customised advice are greatly appreciated’. The team was also strengthened by the arrival of Olivier Dorgans as counsel from Brown Rudnick LLP.


French white-collar crime, compliance and regulatory boutique Navacelle has extensive experience advising on the establishment of anti-corruption compliance programmes and on investigations led by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission, and the UK Serious Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority. Headed by the highly regarded Stéphane De Navacelle, the six-lawyer team is assisting major companies and banks in several high-profile and combined French, UK and US investigations. It is also acting as a monitor in one case and assisting with internal investigations.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright shows ‘excellent technical knowledge’ and offers ‘personalised legal advice that turns into practical measures’. Headed by the ‘dedicated and efficient’ Christian Dargham, who has ‘a very high level of expertise’, the ‘available and flexible’ team ‘speaks both the regulatory and business languages and is absolutely expert in the field of ethics and compliance’. The practice advises on the setting up of anti-corruption programmes and is also assisting companies and banks with French and multi-jurisdictional investigations, notably through the conduct of internal investigations. In addition, Nadège Martin provides data protection expertise, while Marta Giner Asins is the key contact for antitrust compliance issues.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has provided its Paris office with new compliance and anti-corruption expertise after hiring Kami Haeri, who now heads the litigation and white-collar crime practice, and counsel Valérie Munoz-Pons from August Debouzy. They both have extensive experience advising on compliance issues and international agency-led investigations. The eight-lawyer team is involved in high-end domestic and international regulatory investigations. It is also assisting high-profile clients, including a major aerospace company, with the establishment of compliance programmes and training.

Soulez Larivière Avocats

Boutique firm Soulez Larivière Avocats has strong anti-corruption expertise and is one of the few French firms to have experience negotiating global settlement agreements with international government entities, especially in the US. Leading French corporations and banks are clients. Daniel Soulez-Larivière and Astrid Mignon Colombet are highly regarded.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP combines high-level expertise with an international platform that allows the firm to deal with domestic, US and UK anti-corruption, money-laundering and antitrust compliance issues and investigation work. The firm is retained by many leading French banks to assist with the setting up of compliance programmes and with internal and government-led investigations. It is assisting Cacib with the auditing of its compliance programmes by two independent consultants as part of the bank's 2015 settlement agreement with the US Office of Foreign Assets Control. The firm, which also acts for leading French and international corporations, is assisting several clients with AFA-led audits. Practice head Ludovic Malgrain and the experienced Jean-Pierre Picca are highly recommended. Michel Beaussier is now senior counsel at Coat Haut de Sigy.

August Debouzy

August Debouzy has an ‘excellent team’ that is ‘responsive and business oriented’. The firm advises an impressive French and international client base on the implementation of codes of ethics and anti-corruption and whistle-blowing programmes. It is assisting several clients with AFA-led audits. The team is also advising companies on conducting internal investigations in the context of corruption allegations or government-led investigations. Former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Benjamin van Gaver co-head the practice. Counsel Olivier Attias is also recommended.

Bougartchev Moyne Associés

Bougartchev Moyne Associés advises leading names in the aeronautics, defence, construction and financial sectors, among others. The practice notably advises on the implementation of the French anti-corruption law Sapin II and anti-bribery programmes. It also represented one client in AFA-led audits. Finally, the firm has particular experience representing clients before the French securities and banking regulators. Kiril Bougartchev and Emmanuel Moyne are noted litigators.

Cohen & Gresser LLP

Cohen & Gresser LLP has deep expertise in the financial sector, advising banks, investment funds, brokers and fintech firms. The five-lawyer team regularly assists clients with audits and enforcement procedures conducted by the French securities regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), and also has the capability to advise on US matters. Working in collaboration with the firm's New York office, the Paris team also acts for banks and executives facing high-profile US investigations. Muriel Goldberg-Darmon heads the team, which also includes Guillaume Guérin and Lara Kroop Delamarre (both counsel). Delamarre, a former trial attorney for the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, has a ‘good mix of pragmatism, work ethic, strong communication skills and great judgement’.

Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP’s Sophie Scemla has particular expertise advising on anti-corruption, fraud and money-laundering compliance programmes. Leading French companies, including major infrastructure, mining and defence companies, are clients, in addition to international groups. The three-lawyer team is also assisting clients with conducting internal investigations in the context of fraud and corruption accusations connected to their African activities.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. ‘knows its field and is never left without an answer’. The ‘excellent’ team offers ‘splendid client support’ and is also ‘much appreciated for its ability to explain concepts to non-lawyers’. The firm is particularly expert in the financial services industry, where it advises leading banks and asset management funds on compliance issues, regulatory investigations and enforcement, and internal investigations. The practice also assists leading companies with anti-corruption and antitrust compliance matters. The team includes Bruno Quentin and Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry, who are praised for their ‘high-level skills’; Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, who is noted for his ‘knowledge and mastery of his field’; and antitrust specialist Antoine Choffel .

Jones Day

Jones Day's Bénédicte Graulle has extensive knowledge of international corruption issues and advises leading French and international companies on the setting up of compliance programmes. She also assists major companies with dealing with corruption allegations and conducting internal investigations. The firm is also defending a client facing an investigation by the AMF. It has complementary expertise in employment and health and safety compliance.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP’s lawyers have ‘recognised skills in the field of compliance’ and ‘make themselves available’. The firm was recently instructed by French and international companies to provide Sapin II and anti-corruption training and also advises on GDPR and whistle-blowing compliance issues. The firm stands out for its strong expertise in the financial services and asset management industry, where it assists with compliance issues. Finally, Noëlle Lenoir is acting as a monitor in a review of the implementation of new compliance programmes by a listed company following high-profile international corruption investigations. Gilles Kolifrath is praised for his ‘great professional manner’. Also recommended are Hubert de Vauplane and Hugues Bouchetemble.

Laurent Cohen-Tanugi Avocats

Laurent Cohen-Tanugi Avocats's Laurent Cohen-Tanugi  has expertise in advising on FCPA and World Bank investigations. The four-lawyer team is assisting companies with the establishment and review of anti-corruption programmes. The practice is also defending an individual in the context of DOJ investigations.


Linklaters provides ‘good-quality services which are in line with the customer's requests’. The firm advises leading French and international companies and banking institutions on implementing codes of ethics and antitrust, whistle-blowing and anti-corruption programmes. It is also assisting several clients with highly sensitive international government-led investigations. Arnaud de La CotardièreJean-Charles Jaïs, Paul Lignières, Pierre Zelenko and Marc Perrone are the key contacts.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP regularly advises on high-stakes multi-jurisdictional investigations with a strong US component. The ten-lawyer Paris team works closely with the firm's London and Washington DC offices on high-profile matters. For instance, the firm advised Société Générale on reaching a settlement following US and French criminal and regulatory investigations; the case was the first time that the US DOJ and the French judicial body Parquet National Financier reached co-ordinated resolutions. The Paris office also advises clients, especially large US corporations, on designing global and French compliance programmes. Valentin Autret and Sidne Koenigsberg (both counsel) are the key contacts.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing advises French and international businesses, including major pharmaceutical companies, on the establishment of anti-corruption, antitrust and Sapin II compliance programmes. TLD Europe and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield are clients. Paul-Albert Iweins is recognised by the UN as an independent expert for compliance monitoring. Markus Asshoff and Evelyne Friedel are also key contacts.