Firms To Watch: Construction

August Debouzy welcomed new team members from King & Spalding LLP in September 2021, namely practice leader Guillaume Aubatier. The practice advises on a range of construction mandates, from contractual work to litigation.
Bruno Richard, who has experience in high-value construction disputes, joined DWF (France) AARPI from Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP in September 2021.

Construction in France


Louis des Cars, Christophe Lapp and François Muller, all of whom specialise in the resolution of large-scale construction disputes and litigation, co-head the practice at ADVANT Altana. The team ably handles complex construction cases from their inception, both in France and internationally, covering the full scope of relevant operations. Such cases often include contract formation and project development on high-value matters, as well as dispute resolution regarding such topics as employment, competition, white-collar crime and environmental law. Counsel Victoria Aquino has expertise in financial and technical claims relating to major infrastructure and civil engineering projects, atop an ability to assist in the negotiating and drafting of construction and consultancy contracts.

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Aquino; Lucille Montaut; Chloé Girard

Key clients

SGP (Société du Grand Paris)

Bouygues Construction

Vinci Construction

Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France

Spie Batignolles

Fayat Group – Razel-Bec


VINCI and Bouygues (subsidiaires)


Jan De Nul




Aliénor Avocats

The ‘remarkable’ practice at Aliénor Avocats is led by Hélène Bourgine, who is noted for her ‘expertise in high-stakes cases’Anne-Sophie Goapper and 2021 addition to the team, Hervé Chambon. The practice is well-equipped to advise its clients on construction projects, which are consistently complex, high-value and international in nature, and it can also manage such projects from their establishment. In addition to its advisory work, the practice regularly represents on contentious matters in ICC arbitration proceedings, often between contractors and sub-contractors on joint venture projects. Associate Saturnin Champetier de Ribes is developing expertise on such matters.

Practice head(s):

Hélène Bourgine; Anne-Sophie Goapper; Hervé Chambon

Other key lawyers:

Saturnin Champetier de Ribes


‘A high-performance team led by Hélène Bourgine. The skill is there and the subjects are immediately dealt with. There are absolutely no negatives.’

‘Hélène Bourgine and Saturnin Champetier de Ribes are accessible, exemplarily responsive, with the perfect skill set. These factors are difficult to find in practice, and are what makes this team remarkable.’

‘Competence, common experience and candour in communications and reports. A critical eye with a view to achieving optimal results.’

‘A highly-specialised team on major construction projects, with a detailed approach to contractual practice and a proactive litigation strategy.’

‘Hélène Bourgine has expertise in high-stakes cases in the construction industry, with a very good understanding of the client as well as the legal particularities of each case.’

‘Aliénor Avocats is a firm with partners and collaborators who are highly specialised and experienced in issues in the construction sector. The partners are available and systematically participate in all the meetings organised relating to the file. Regular meetings allow the partners and the collaborators to keep themselves informed of the evolution of the various subjects.’

‘A dynamic team, close to its clients. They really know the activity and functioning of the market well, and use this knowledge to improve the business strategy of clients.’

‘Anne-Sophie Goapper is committed to always acting in the interests of her clients. Dynamic, responsive and efficient, she always does her best to assist her clients by taking into account their various constraints.’

Key clients





Work highlights

  • Assisted a French company affiliate of the VINCI Group during the tender process of a construction project in France, governed by American Law.
  • Assisted in the management of a project from its inception for an affiliate of EIFFAGE Group involved in the construction of an innovative multi-megawatt power plant, combining a photovoltaic plant and mass storage of energy in the form of hydrogen.
  • Represented a client on a joint venture of European companies, in particular an affiliate of the VINCI Group, in the framework of an international construction arbitration.

Preel Hecquet Payet-Godel PHPG Avocats

Preel Hecquet Payet-Godel PHPG Avocats’ construction team is described as being formed of ‘first-rate experts’ in the sector. It is adept at advising its reputable clients, namely insurers and their subsidiaries, on high-value insurance matters wherein significant damages have occurred during various stages of the construction process, many of said projects are high-profile in nature. There is a clear insurance specialism evident across the construction practice, which is co-led by co-founders of the firm Jean-Baptiste Payet-Godel and Françoise Hecquet, alongside Charlotte Roger and Romain Bruillard. Notably, the majority of the team leaders are members of AMRAE. Counsel Cécile Tiberghien is praised as ‘remarkable’.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Baptiste Payet-Godel; Françoise Hecquet; Charlotte Roger; Romain Bruillard

Other key lawyers:

Cécile Tiberghien


‘PHPG surrounds itself with first-rate experts in order to perfect its action, whatever the field of activity in which it operates. This is extremely reassuring for customers and gives incomparable efficiency to the team formed.’

‘The remarkable people with whom I had the chance to work are Françoise Hecquet and Cécile Tiberghien. Their skills and understanding of technically complex files, in addition to their pugnacity, made all the difference.’

‘PHPG is highly recommended for its construction practice due to its vast experience, as well as its collaborations with the best chain of experts/loss adjusters who effectively defend on claims and disputes in this area.’

‘Françoise Hecquet is very experienced in the field of construction. She provides the best of advice to clients and works hard to meet deadlines. She prepares every legal document needed in a timely manner and allows the client time to review and make comments. Her professionalism and collaborative spirit makes her the best choice for the client.’

‘Cécile Tiberghien is a very good lawyer who pays attention to every detail and studies the case files thoroughly, she shows great responsiveness and dedication with a view to maximising the chances of client success in every assignment. Together with Françoise Hecquet, they make the best team for the client.’


SORBA PAYRAU’s construction team, described as knowing the sector ‘perfectly’, has considerable experience handling matters arising from high-profile projects both in France and at international level, an example being its recent work advising on the largest office building construction project in French history. It ably handles advisory mandates involving the drafting and negotiation of property development contracts, for its reputable clients in the industry. Additionally, the practice regularly represents in complex contentious matters of high-value, involving such disputes as alleged unexpected costs and project disruptions. Jean-Philippe Sorba, Emmanuelle Payrau, Xavier Guichaoua and newly appointed partner Thomas Forray, co-lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Philippe Sorba; Emmanuelle Payrau; Xavier Guichaoua; Thomas Forray


‘The Sorba Payrau firm knows the construction sector and the progress of a construction site perfectly, which allows effective exchanges with the operational staff. In addition, Emmanuelle Payrau ensures exchanges with the company are simple and fluid, which allows deals to move quickly. The firm is unique in its understanding of its cases, and we have full confidence in the lawyers.’

‘The team at Sorba Payrau handles each case rigorously and thoroughly in order to find the best defence strategies for its clients and, as such, we often reserve the most complex, high-stakes cases for him. We know that Emmanuelle Payrau and collaborators will take the necessary time to fully understand the issues and find the most appropriate solutions.’

‘Emmanuelle Payrau is reassuring, which allows her clients to remain serene and confident, even in the most important cases. It is rare to have partners who are so available and have very good knowledge of the cases.’

Key clients

VINCI group







VINCI Energies



La Française

Digital Realty / Interxion

Immobilière DASSAULT


Work highlights

  • Representing VINCI in the drafting and negotiation of a property development contract for the construction of The Link project, which will be the new headquarters of Total Energies, the France-based oil and gas super major.
  • Representing Autoroutes du Sud de la France (ASF), Cofiroute and Escota in relation to claims by their respective contractors alleging considerable extra costs linked to the construction of new sections of several highways.
  • Representing Interxion/Digital Realty, the leading data centre services providers, in the drafting and negotiation of a design and build contract for the construction of electrical substations required to provide power to a data centre in Les Ulis.


The cohort at Alerion has a strong reputation for its real estate and construction practice, which is co-led by Philippe Mathurin, Nathalie Dupuy-Loup and Fahima Gasmi, the latter of whom was promoted to partnership in May 2022. Across the board, the team leaders are experienced in both advisory and litigation work, which is evident across its workload; it regularly advises key clients on high-value deals regarding the planning and realisation of constructions across a broad range of project types. In addition, it litigates on dispute cases regarding accounts, delays in projects, and claims.

Practice head(s):

Philippe Mathurin; Nathalie Dupuy-Loup; Fahima Gasmi


‘A very involved and expert real estate law and construction law team. I would recommend them for complex claims files.’

‘Philippe Mathurin is a very technical partner, highly-specialised in construction law and litigation, who brings clever solutions to issues thanks to his very complete knowledge of construction law.’

DS Avocats

Construction law expert Stéphane Gasne and marked specialist in judicial proceedings in this area, Hélène Laborde, co-lead the practice at DS Avocats. The team’s developing catalogue of significant clients is formed of such French groups as Pichet, and it regularly advises on the planning, contract and development stages of a broad range of high-value construction projects. Atop its French practice, the team is notably advising the CNPE consortium on Iter, an ambitious, large-scale international nuclear energy project. It is also increasingly handling green matters and is assisting on an offshore wind farm project at present.

Practice head(s):

Stéphane Gasne; Hélène Labord

Other key lawyers:

Jean-Marc Loncle; Jordan Sochay


‘The team offers great expertise, availability and attentiveness, alongside a high quality of advice in its own areas. They have perfect understanding of the issues, respond to complex questions, and make appropriate arrangements therein.’

‘A responsive and competent team.’

Key clients







Work highlights

  • Advised Pichet and Legendre groups concerning the monitoring of all construction sites relating to the construction of the Athletes’ Village on Ile Saint Denis.
  • Supported Emerige in the context of a complex contractual arrangement relating to the completion of an exceptionally large program involving nearly 500 new homes.
  • Assistance to Credit Agricole in the drafting of the project management contract for the renovation of its headquarters.


Emmanuel d’Antin and Robert Corcos co-lead FTPA‘s construction team, alongside public law specialist Raphaël Crespelle. The practice has a strong reputation for its ability to advise its clients, being contracting companies, contractors and developers spanning various industries, on significant construction projects; it regularly handles contractual and advisory matters, whilst also assisting on particularly high-profile and high-value construction works at all stages. Additionally, the team represents its clients in disputes involving such issues as delays to and technical problems with projects. Bernard Cazin is a partner to note in the team.

Practice head(s):

Emmanuel d’Antin; Robert Corcos; Raphaël Crespelle

Other key lawyers:

Bernard Cazin

PARME Avocats

Praised for its ‘specialism in public and private works contracts’, the team at PARME Avocats is led by Tony Janvier, who is experienced in handling both advisory and litigious work at all stages of the construction process. Working for such clients as the Société du Grand Paris, and noted for its involvement with clients in the civil, engineering and nuclear industry sectors, the team deals with the full-range of construction matters, regularly assisting on negotiation and formation of contracts and managing projects at all stages. Further, its litigious practice is noteworthy, often involving high-value disputes such as contract and account settlement issues, and damages caused during construction.

Practice head(s):

Tony Janvier

Other key lawyers:

Michael Chehab


‘Specialism in public and private works contracts, within the framework of large group contracts.’

‘The team, led by Tony Janvier, demonstrates a great understanding of the technical issues related to its projects, which is an essential prerequisite for the legal analysis proper. His team is always available and attentive. Their legal expertise in the execution of works contracts is undeniable.’

‘Tony Janvier and Michael Chehab are extremely competent.’

White & Case LLP

The practice at White & Case LLP works collaboratively with in-house teams to offer clients a broad-reaching scope of support on construction matters; international arbitration specialist Charles Nairac co-leads the cohort alongside François-Guilhem Vaissier. It is well-regarded for its advisory work and is notably experienced assisting on joint ventures between contractors from a variety of jurisdictions, and on projects across multiple industries, from nuclear to rail. It is also well-equipped to represent clients involving contractual re-negotiations, as well as damages and delays during projects; namely, the team’s work for WeBuild regarding the $5.5bn expansion of the Panama Canal, demonstrates its abilities in handling multi-faceted and high-profile work.

Practice head(s):

François-Guilhem Vaissier; Charles Nairac


‘Individuals in the team are clearly very qualified, they are responsible people who approach the most difficult situations intelligently.’

Key clients

The Republic of Georgia

Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A.

Pathé SA



Groupe ArcadeVyv

Vinci Construction

Caisse des dépôts


Katara Hospitality

Work highlights

  • Representing Eiffage and Groupe Arcade-Vyv on the first concession contract granted in France for outsourced management of a housing estate owned by the Ministry of Armed Forces for a total amount of more than €7 billion.
  • Representing Grupo Unidos por el Canal S.A. and its international shareholders WeBuild, Sacyr S.A., and Jan De Nul N.V., in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority relating to the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés’ construction practice is co-led by Catherine Castro, Muriel Guillin-Modaine, who is praised for her ‘valuable expertise’ in the sector, and Danielle Smolders. The practice’s real estate capability is evident across the team, which is experienced in handling contractual matters regarding high-value renovation, redevelopment and construction projects for its roster of clients, and related disputes involving contractors.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Castro; Muriel Guillin-Modaine; Danielle Smolders


‘Based on only a few engagements to understand the essence of the contract draft required, the final product was drafted to an excellent standard of quality. This is a credit to the team’s market knowledge of current contracting models, but also the legal and commercial expertise to adapt current models to our request.’

‘It was a very personal experience with the smaller team. This provided a relaxed environment and an opportunity for myself as a client to learn from the team. The team have definitely upskilled me on French contract law. The team was excellent supporting a detailed negotiation, noting the new contract model we were trying to agree.’

‘Muriel Guillin-Modaine is always very responsive and has an excellent knowledge of market practices.’

‘The team knows how to adapt to its client and the communication is very good in terms of quality and responsiveness.’

‘A solid team with a panel of specialists allowing rapid and consolidated responses on different aspects of matters.’

‘Outstanding client relationships, coupled with extraordinary service, engagement and commitment.’

‘The team is professional, informed, relevant, responsive and interactive.’

‘Catherine Castro has known our files and the company for several years and can react quickly and efficiently, and Muriel Guillin-Modaine understood very quickly and very well how we work; she brings us valuable expertise, which she knows how to make understandable and usable.’

Key clients



Caisse d’Epargne Centre Val de Loire

Caisse de dépôts et de consignation


Collectivité territoriale de Guyane

Gouvernement indépendant de Wallis et Futuna

Korean Family office

Nippon Paint Automotive France

Sci Mousset

Société Catinvest

Société de livraison des ouvrages olympiques

The Bureau

Work highlights

  • Advised the CDC for the constitution of a joint real estate company with the SAS Patrimoniale Occitanie, within the framework of a delegation of public service.
  • Assistted one of the main producers of automotive and plastic coatings owned by a Japanese manufacturer with subsidiaries worldwide, in the construction of its new production site on the former Plessis Paté air base (Essonne).
  • Advised a family office owner of a remarkable building in Paris regarding heavy renovation works.

Delsol Avocats

The real estate specialist construction team at Delsol Avocats is co-led by Benoît Boussier, property transaction expert Nathalie Peyron and Adrien Williot. The team is able to advise its roster of French clients on a variety of construction projects, a significant proportion of which involve the hospitality sector. Its workload regularly includes assisting on the drafting and negotiation of relevant contracts, and the restructuring of buildings and complexes. The team also has experience in litigation work.

Practice head(s):

Benoît Boussier; Nathalie Peyron; Adrien Williot

Other key lawyers:

Virginie Delannoy; Eleonora Bufalini

Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP

The construction practice at Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP is led by project finance and infrastructure specialist, formerly of White & Case LLP, Jacques Bouillon. There is a public law interconnection to the team’s workload, which involves representing such key clients as Vinci Concessions on high-value projects, involving development and financing matters. Counsel Olivier Le Bars is another key member of the cohort, experienced in finance and project development, both in France and internationally. Construction specialist and former partner in the team, Bruno Richard, departed in September 2021 and has since joined DWF (France) AARPI.

Practice head(s):

Jacques Bouillon

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Le Bars

Key clients

Groupe Ritz

SNC Lavalin




Vinci Concessions

American Express


Cyrus One


A consortium composed of Cityway, Vix Technology and Engie Solutions (SMTCO)

AFD : Agence Française de Développement (Cameroun)

Celtic Interconnector (RTE Eirgrid)


Rolls Royce

Wärtsila (Gabon)

Work highlights

  • Assisting NGE in litigations in connection with the refurbishment of an office building in Rueil-Malmaison.
  • Assisting Cyrus One with litigations in connection with the design and construction of a data centre, located in Wissous, and the bankruptcy of the general contractor.
  • Assisting the potential lenders of Vinci Concessions in connection with the finance, design and construction of a motorway located in France.

Klein Wenner

Klein Wenner’s construction practice is co-led by Eve Derouesné, who has niche experience of contract management cases related to public works, such as cultural events or sports competitions, alongside Christoph Schödel and Pierre Le Breton. The team ably handles matters involving the planning and monitoring of constructions across a range of industries, including real estate and industrial plant projects. Its cases also involve representing clients on high-profile disputes and in arbitration proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Eve Derouesné; Christoph Schödel; Pierre Le Breton


‘The team members have a multitude of skills and share their knowledge well with clients, which makes the whole operation easy.’ 

‘There is clear commitment in the team, a great respect for deadlines, advice is always relevant and solutions are consistently creative and innovative.’

Key clients







Work highlights

  • Assisting a subcontractor in the public works sector to resolve a dispute with a general contractor regarding a bank guarantee, at mediation.
  • Assisted and represented an engineering construction group during a litigation relating to disorders affecting the concrete structure of three viaducts in the North of France.
  • Advising the operating company of the Eiffel Tower in a dispute concerning structural works for the replacement of the counterweight running track’s rails in one of its elevators.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

The construction practice at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP advising such domestic clients as La Poste on various construction disputes, involving such issues as damage to property or delays with construction, across a variety of project types, from office to residential. Of note, the team is representing Eternit on a high-value dispute concerning construction materials. Renaud Dubois, who is vastly experienced in advising project owners at every stage of their construction process, leads the offering.

Practice head(s):

Renaud Dubois

Key clients

Icade Group

Poste Immo / La Poste Group

Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)

Eiffage Group

SPIE Group

Eternit (Etex Group)

Spie Batignolles Immobilier

Terminaux de Normandie


CDC Habitat

Work highlights

  • Assisting Icade and its subsidiary Icade Promotions, in numerous construction disputes involving office, business and/or residential buildings.
  • Assisting La Poste and its real estate subsidiary Poste-Immo in numerous construction disputes involving industrial assets or offices of the La Poste Group.
  • Assisting le CEA in numerous construction disputes involving nuclear assets.

LPA-CGR avocats

Aurélie Dauger, who is praised as an ‘excellent lawyer’, François-Régis Fabre-Falret and Philippe Jacques are at the helm of the construction cohort at LPA-CGR avocats. A significant portion of the team’s workload includes advising on the restructuring of buildings in France; assisting on claims and managing disputes made during construction projects; and contractual management. Its cases span a broad range of industry sectors, including renewables to oil and gas.

Practice head(s):

Aurélie Dauger; François-Régis Fabre-Falret; Philippe Jacques


‘Strong work and good management in the team on preventive referrals, the setting up of works contracts, litigation, the planning of authorisations and the management of appeals.’

‘Aurélie Dauger is an excellent lawyer in her field.’

Key clients





Meridian’s construction practice is co-led by Xavier Desnos and Olivier Delsupexhe, the latter of whom is noted for his ability to provide ‘out of the box approaches to problems’, alongside associate Gwilherm Le Bras. The team has experience in handling high-value matters for key clients and assists on such cases as the design and construction plans for various projects, and on disputes regarding issues which have occurred over the course of various projects.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Delsupexhe; Xavier Desnos

Other key lawyers:

Gwilherm Le Bras


‘The team is very knowledgeable, quick to react, honest and transparent with its clients.’

‘A very friendly, competent, well-equipped and organised team, wherein we find all the elements of understanding that we need.’

‘The team is always reachable and attentive to our needs.’

‘Olivier Delsupexhe and Gwilherm Le Bras offer out-of-the-box approaches to problems alongside a deep knowledge of the business.’

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s construction practice, which is fully integrated with the firm’s global infrastructure and energy team, has a well-established ability to handle both advisory and transactional work, in addition to international arbitration proceedings. It is experienced in advising on stages of large-scale projects, from procurement to completion, and disputes which may arise. Specialist in construction disputes Florian Quintard, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, leads the team, often assisted by Frédéric Gillion from the firm's Singapore office.

Practice head(s):

Florian Quintard

Other key lawyers:

Anne de Mazières

Key clients



Razel-Bec SAS

Work highlights

  • Advising Omega Consortium in connection with the delivery of a ground-breaking €30bn experimental nuclear project called ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in the south of France.