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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Editorial

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Construction clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Alerion is retained by major engineering companies and contractors as well as project managers. The 11-lawyer team advises on public sector projects such as the construction of cultural buildings, bridges and some sensitive government facilities. It is also highly active in the private sector, where it assists with various projects including shopping centres, industrial plants and office towers. The team also handles litigation. Philippe Mathurin, Gérald Lagier and Nathalie Dupuy-Loup lead the practice.

Aliénor Avocats has a ‘strong understanding of the engineering company sector’, provides ‘fully adapted, practical and concise advice to clients’, and ‘perfectly masters infrastructure and construction’ issues. The boutique was founded in 2010 by two lawyers who first started their careers working in one of France’s leading engineering companies: ‘brilliant’ of counsel Alain Bourdeaux and Hélène Bourgine, who ‘knows her cases perfectly, is fully committed to her clients and is of great assistance in defining the best strategies in complex matters’. The six-lawyer boutique also includes Anne-Sophie Goapper, whose ‘practical and operational approach’ is particularly highly praised. The practice focuses on advising on complex public and private sector construction, industrial projects and civil engineering projects in France and abroad, and also handles related mediation, litigation and arbitration cases. It acts for many of France’s leading construction companies, as well as foreign clients, and has been involved in several major domestic projects, including dealing with complex judicial surveys and disputes. The firm also advised on several projects in Qatar. Vinci and Eiffage are clients.

Altana is instructed by many of France’s leading engineering companies to advise on public and private sector projects in France and abroad. The firm has particular knowledge of FIDIC and NEC engineering and construction contracts. It has recently assisted clients with contractual matters linked to the construction of tunnels and a French harbour. It also has strong expertise in representing clients in disputes before the courts and state authorities. Bouygues Construction, Vinci Construction and Spie Batignolles are clients. The nine-lawyer team is led by the highly experienced Christophe Lapp, Louis des Cars and François Muller.

FTPA advises private companies, hospitals, universities and public sector entities, as well as engineering companies and other contractors. The firm has good knowledge of judiciary surveys and advises clients from the first stage of a construction project through to possible litigation issues. The practice is notably handling litigation cases in the rail, energy and public infrastructure sectors. Serge-Antoine Tchekhoff, Robert Corcos, Emmanuel d’Antin and Raphaël Crespelle are high-quality advisers.

LPA-CGR avocats provides ‘outstanding contractual and claims management support throughout the life of a project’. The firm's expertise in real estate also covers construction matters, with a ‘very responsive’ ten-lawyer team which assists companies and developers with construction projects and related claims. The firm recently advised on major projects for the construction of a private museum, a research centre, office buildings and towers, as well as commercial stores and hotels. The practice also completed work in Morocco. The team is co-headed by Aurélie Dauger, François-Régis Fabre-Falret and Denis Chardigny, who ‘allies extreme proficiency with good client relationships and kindness’ and provides ‘highly valuable assistance’.

Preel Hecquet Payet-Godel PHPG Avocats demonstrates ‘great knowledge and the ability to manage claims’. The ‘committed’ ten-lawyer team represents major engineering companies, contractors and insurers in construction litigation. It has strong knowledge of judicial survey processes. The firm is involved in several sensitive matters in both the public and private sectors, including dealing with construction issues affecting major dam, tunnel, hospital and renewable energy projects. It is also dealing with a case concerning a fire and another matter relating to defects affecting an industrial plant. Françoise Hecquet, Jean-Marie Preel, Jean-Baptiste Payet-Godel and of counsel Cecile Tiberghein are recommended.

Combining strong insurance and public law expertise, SORBA PAYRAU's six-lawyer team is retained by leading French engineering companies to advise on public and private sector projects and handle related litigation. The firm is notably assisting with the contentious aspects of the construction of tower, arena and dam projects. It is also advising on the construction of a plant and on several projects that are part of the major Grand Paris development. Jean-Philippe Sorba, Emmanuelle Payrau-Sorba and Xavier Guichaoua are recommended.

Delsol Avocats advises on construction and development projects from the first stages to the tackling of performance issues. The nine-lawyer team assists a very loyal client base made up of property developers, luxury hotels, investors and companies. International investors, including Middle Eastern families, are clients. Nathalie Peyron, who acts as a mediator at the Paris Centre for Mediation and Arbitration, and Benoit Boussier lead the team.

DS Avocats is often instructed by companies and regularly handles construction litigation, including advising on judiciary surveys conducted on commercial, hospital and industrial assets. Marie-Pierre Alix heads the six-lawyer team.

Genesis Avocats advises on public and private sector construction projects, including the construction of commercial centres, offices and public sector buildings, and handles connected litigation. Catinvest, the European Parliament and Bonatti are clients. Philippe Feitussi is the key contact.

Kennedys' strong insurance and product liability expertise covers the construction sector. Alexis Valençon acts for a number of insurers and contractors.

KGA Avocats has ‘great technical knowledge’. The firm is advising several major engineering companies on carrying out public and private sector infrastructure projects, including recently assisting with road construction issues and dealing with work delays and other construction claims. Practice head Pierre Le Breton has ‘excellent experience and is very clear’.

Headed by Renaud Dubois, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's team advises companies and leading contracting groups. It also represents clients in litigation and has expertise in judiciary surveys relating to public and private sector construction projects. Government-funded research body Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique regularly instructs the practice, including recently in relation to the construction of a scientific laboratory in Saclay. The firm is also representing the University of Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée in litigation over the construction of the Georges Perec library. Bouygues Travaux Publics, Eiffage, Icade and Poste Immo are clients.

Meridian is retained by domestic and international engineering companies to advise on French private and public sector construction matters, including assisting with contracts, judicial surveys and litigation. The six-lawyer team has recently advised on several major industrial and strategic energy projects. It also acts for contractors. Olivier Delsupexhe  and Xavier Desnos are highly recommended.

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Legal Developments in France for Construction

  • Legal Newsletter December 2010: REAL ESTATE LAW

    (1) The general contractor is not liable vis-à-vis third parties for damages caused by his subcontractor (2) Termination by right of a commercial lease by application of a cancellation clause implies a breach of the express obligations contained in that lease (3) A provision in a lease transferring to the lessee the cost of major repairs and of walls and roofs, must be narrowly interpreted
    - Bersay & Associés

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