Derivatives and structured finance in France

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP offers a dedicated derivatives practice, led by managing partner Hervé Ekué, as well as a separate securitisation and structured finance team with Fabrice Faure-Dauphin at the helm. Julien Roux completes the leadership trio. On the derivatives side, the team is a market leader in the development and implementation of new clearinghouse structures and impresses with its deep regulatory expertise, often put to use to move the derivatives trading and clearing market forward. On the structured finance and securitisation side, the group retains its pioneering role and consistently acts in market firsts - in transactions introducing new asset classes, for example. Its experience in advising on novel synthetic structures is another strength. Both teams are very well versed in cross-border matters and cover the full range of asset classes, including receivables and equities. Clients also benefit from the firm's full-service offering, in particular, the expertise of the regulatory, tax and restructuring teams. Formerly at Dechert LLP, Antoine Sarailler joined the firm in July 2019, bringing his asset management expertise to the team.

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Marion

Testimonials

Excellent team, very well coordinated. One of the advantages of Allen & Overy are the teams in different countries that are well coordinated and work very well together, like a single team. Very big advantage for transactions involving several jurisdictions.

Knowledgeable about the product, availability, ability to negotiate and to bring creative and efficient solutions to the table.

Key clients

Acofi

Allianz

Areva

Barclays

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole CIB

Crédit Suisse

Compagnie Générale de Crédits aux Particuliers (Crédipar)

Goldman Sachs International

HSBC

Natixis

Nomura International

Société Générale

Santander

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC France as swap counterparty in the context of the safeguard of Rallye.
  • Assisted Société Générale with the conversion into an STS-eligible transaction (under EU Securitisation Regulations) of FCT Cars Alliance Auto Loan France Master-structure and the updating of its €5m Class A Notes issuance programme.
  • Advised HSBC France, Natixis, CA-CIB, SG and BNP Paribas (as arrangers) on the renewal, extension and modification of the trade receivables securitization programme established in 2012 for Coface Finanz, totalling €1.2bn – making it the largest ABCP transaction on the European market.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance combines cross-jurisdictional expertise and a dedicated regulatory team with a broad portfolio of relevant skillsets. The deep bench consists of structured finance practice head Jonathan Lewis; securitisation, factoring and structured finance expert, Julien Rocherieux; regulatory specialist Frédérick Lacroix who is the head of the financial services and asset management practice; derivatives specialist Cédric Burford and securities experts Aline Cardin and Alex Bafi. With French, US and English law capabilities and the firm's own office network, the team is a popular choice for cross-border work. The team enjoys an outstanding reputation for its role in innovative market transactions and the scope of its expertise - which includes handling commercial paper receivables, RMBS transactions and alternative market funding for infrastructure, real estate and loans by use of debt funds, as well as hedging transactions, synthetic securitisation and clearing work. Another stand-out feature is a particularly diverse client list that includes banks and financial institutions, as well as asset managers, companies and funds, but also features a number of European and other supra-national institutions along with domestic public institutions.

Testimonials

Available team that listens to our needs and is open to finding solutions tailored to our business or our requirements together.

‘Very good grasp of the documentation regarding our products and our business. Good knowledge of the regulatory texts and best market practices. Ready to pull in specialists when a problem lies outside of their own expertise.’

‘Very good relationship. Devoted. Brings clarity and solutions to complex topics. Best firm in the market for ABCP securitisation. Constructive approach. Very good ability to mobilise the other teams in the firm regarding other practice areas (tax, regulatory).

‘Strong and trust-based relationship. They always find a solution. All of their associates are extremely good. Frédérick Lacroix and Fabien Jacquemard are the motors of the team which also includes Sophie Guilhem Ducleon and Dometo Lokko. ’

‘Jonathan and Sara are always amazing to work with. They are fully devoted to the project, always available, proactive and pragmatic.’

‘Sara Samogyi has never let us down in terms of delivering high quality work on time. She’s always available to answer questions and has a very patient and friendly approach to negotiations and the issues faced along the way.’

‘Excellent team composed of excellent lawyers. Technical, creative, precise, efficient and rigorous.’

‘Julien Rocherieux has great structuring and negotiating skills, he is able to structure complex transactions in a simple way in order to best assist his clients and knows how to defy certain market practices when they don’t fit well with the legal framework, which to me is the sign of a great lawyer.’

Fabien Jacquemard is an experienced lawyer and motivated by his matters. He constantly seeks to satisfy his clients. Rigorous and technical at all times while remaining commercial, he has got a great future ahead of him and is a real pleasure to work with.’

Guillem Dardoize is an excellent associate, responsive and rigorous.’

‘The team was able to respond to our demands quickly and pertinently. They are proactive and pragmatic in solving problems.’

‘The availability and ability to listen of the teams of Julien Rocherieux and Guillaume Massole have made us gain a lot of time. The quality of the work is always excellent.’

Key clients

Crédit Agricole

Natixis

My Money Bank

CIC

Credipar

EBRD

EIB

EIF

IFC/World Bank

Banco Santander

Deutsche Bank

Credit Suisse

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg

Ecobank

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America

Assured Guaranty

Coface

AXA

Covéa

CNP Assurances

Corporates

Carrefour

Constellium

Rexel

Elior

Vinci

Akiem

Dassault Systèmes

Ingram Micro

Unibail

SNCF Mobilités

Fund Managers

AEW

Pimco

Ostrum Asset Management

Mirova

Kartesia

Montefiore

Meridiam

Primonial

Zencap Asset Management

Schroder

Work highlights

  • Advised BpiFrance on its first French Covid-19 related bond issuance launched in the market with a dedicated framework.
  • Advised CIC -as sponsor- in relation to the structuring, setting up and documentation of its new ABCP conduit, including a French commercial-paper program and a European commercial-paper program under English law.
  • Advised Credit Agricole CIB, as agent/arranger, and Ester Finance Titrisation, as purchaser, on the establishment of a new off-balance sheet insured trade receivables assignment programme for a UK car manufacturer.

CMS

Grégory Benteux head's the securitisation and structured finance team at CMS, which demonstrates particular strength advising on the structuring of trade receivables and financing receivables, including the prudential treatment and other regulatory aspects of receivables transactions. Additionally, the practice group has carved out a niche as specialists in non-performing loans and unlikely-to-pay loans, as well as  housing experts in transactions regarding more exotic assets, such as tax receivables and receivables over public entities. Other specialisms include green derivatives, advisory work on the impact of changes to derivatives and securities regulation, and off-balance sheet treatments. Cross-border matters account for a significant portion of the caseload, especially transactions involving German or English law for which the French team joins forces with colleagues from the firm's relevant local offices. Marc-Etienne Sébire is overall head of the capital markets practice to which the securitisation and structured finance group belongs.

Other key lawyers:

Alexandre Bordenave; Pauline Larroque

Testimonials

‘Strong negotiation skills. Excellent knowledge of the transaction. Pragmatic where needed.’

Key clients

Société Générale

BNP Paribas

Natixis

Crédit Agricole CIB

Barclays

HSBC

La Banque Postale

BPCE

Bpifrance Financement

Arkéa

Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale

Caisse des Dépôts

HIT / SANEF

Agence française de développement

CIC

Groupama Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Acted as legal adviser to the arranger on the establishment of an STS-compliant securitisation transaction covering €2bn in SME loans, with the Class A notes issued by the FCT admitted to trading on Euronext Paris and eligibile for BCE refinancing transactions.
  • Acted as legal adviser to (i) the arranger (BNP Paribas) and the permanent dealers (BNP Paribas and BFCM) on the update of a retail format programme for the issue of obligations de financement de l’habitat and other covered bonds; (ii) Credit Suisse, Danske Bank, Goldman Sachs International and Société Générale -as joint lead managers- on a €1.25bn issuance of covered bonds under said retail programme; and (iii) Commerzbank, JP Morgan, Natixis and UBS -as joint lead managers- on a firther €1.75bn covered bonds issuance under the  same programme.
  • Acted as legal adviser to the arranger on the establishment of a €2bn SME loan-securitisation transaction.

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

In Xavier de Kergommeaux, Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. counts one of France's most renowned structured finance experts among its ranks. De Kergommeaux is particularly active regarding public-sector loan company mandates and building society-related work. Arnaud Duhamel and Laurent Vincent co-lead the derivatives practice, which has a strong focus on equity derivatives and financing. Overall, the group shoulders an impressive caseload -often including innovative transactions- and is consistently visible among those legal practices shaping the regulatory framework in France - regarding covered bonds, for example. In addition to its strong presence in France, the firm also offers derivatives and structured finance expertise from its London office where Dimitrios Logizidis and Karine Imbrosciano frequently cooperate with their French colleagues to assist with cross-border matters, often pan-European in nature. Counsel Clément Vandevooghel, a former legal counsel at Natixis, specialises in structured finance. Under the name of Gide 255, the firm's innovation team, the practice has assisted several clients in connection with collateral tokens and on applications of these tokens to derivatives structures.

Other key lawyers:

Clément Vandevooghel

Testimonials

The securitisation team of Gide (Xavier de Kergommeaux, Clément Vandevooghel) is very close to the needs of its clients and at the same time knows how to assert them in the legal framework they are regulates by. They were able to advise us on the best structuring options for our clients. Generally speaking, there is no better value for money for the work that they delivered.

‘Xavier de Kergommeaux and Clément Vandevooghel are always available and listen, both for just a simple question and for work requiring in-depth analysis.’

Young and efficient team.

‘Clément Vandevooghel: efficient and available.’

‘Clément Vandevooghel did a remarkable job in assisting us with our project, demonstrating professionalism and great availability.’

‘Very professional collaboration among the lawyers in this law firm, also perfect allocation of junior associates-through-senior partners to the different tasks of the transaction. High level legal exchange and sound knowledge of transactions; and a great ability to analyse the transaction in detail but also with a holistic view.’

‘In-depth knowledge of the transaction and its circumstances. Great collaboration among associates and senior partners. Very transparent communication with client. High quality of legal knowledge and output (documents, contracts, etc.).’

 

Key clients

Air France / KLM

Citi Global Investment Group

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole CIB

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

JP Morgan

Natixis

Société Générale

Tikehau Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised project company Arelia, Bouygues E&S FM France and Bouygues Bâtiment Ile de France, on the structuring of the refinancing of the public private partnership (PPP) concerning the construction and maintenance of the new Palais de Justice de Paris, involving project debt, hedging agreements and a securitisation vehicle, among other matters.
  • Advising Eiffel Investment Group in relation to the establishment of ‘Eiffel Impact Debt’, the first European private debt fund with impact covenants.
  • Advising US privately-held alternative investment firm, Angelo Gordon, in the context of its acquisition (with EQ Group), of a portfolio of five hotels from Gecina.

Jones Day

Drawing on the firm's strength in France as well as on its presence in other key markets (including the US, other European jurisdictions, the Middle East and Asia), Jones Day specialises in cross-border transactions. Christine Van Gallebaert and senior associate David Aumain lead a structured finance and securitisation practice the strengths of which range from covered bonds, (including green covered bonds), to the setting up of the newly created sociétés de financement spécialisé. The derivatives team, co-led by the renowned Alban Caillemer du Ferrage and equity derivatives and OTC derivatives specialist Qian Hu, is a regular contributor to the legislative modification of regulatory law in France - not least because of Caillemer du Ferrages has been official counsel to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association for some two decades and is also official French counsel on swaps and derivatives to a number of other professional associations, including the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association. The practice group's experience in assisting with regulatory-related litigation and investigation matters is a stand-out feature. Another asset is its experience in joining forces with the restructuring team, especially in asset recovery and investigation matters.

Other key lawyers:

David Aumain

Testimonials

‘Good team on a global basis! EMEA!’

‘Very good communication and mindset.’

‘When Christine Van Gallebaert and her team initially set out the time table in the first version of the closing memo, nobody thought it was doable. The deal closed exactly on the date she had set out.’

Key clients

Crédit Agricole Home Loan SFH

BPCE

Natixis

October

Fédération Bancaire Française

AXA Home Loan

International Swaps and Derivatives Association

Work highlights

  • Represented Crédit Agricole Home Loan, as issuer, in connection with its issuance of €2bn, 0.125% soft-bullet covered bonds, listed on Euronext Paris.
  • Advised the Fédération Bancaire Française (FBF) in connection with the drafting of two new sets of documentation to enable users of FBF market documentation to ensure compliance with EU Benchmarks Regulation requirements.
  • Advised BPCE on a private French consumer loans asset-backed financing through the establishment of a French fonds commun de titrisation (FCT), with compartments (BPCE Demeter FCT); the first 10 compartments of BPCE Demeter FCT issued (privately placed) Senior Notes on January 20, 2020 for an aggregate amount of €1bn.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins offers French, US and English law capabilities from its Paris office and impresses with experience in multi-jurisdictional transactions (and related disputes), and its strength in advising on highly complex transactions - frequently involving large amounts. In addition to the structured finance transactional practice, the team also assists with related regulatory issues., while overall, complex equity derivative and hedging transactions account for a significant part of the caseload. Practice head Thomas Vogel and his team, including Suzana Sava-Montanari, who made partner in March 2021, act for a diverse client roster that features financial institutions -primarily investment banks and asset managers- as well as corporates, high-net-worth individuals and sovereign funds.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Vogel

Other key lawyers:

Suzana Sava-Montanari

Testimonials

‘The team provides consistently thorough and appropriately tailored advice. As a small company, we also appreciate the extensive market knowledge that they bring to negotiation of each transaction. ’

‘Suzana Sava-Montanari – personable, collaborative and exceptionally thorough.’

Thomas Vogel – a concise communicator who excels on calls in particular – often goes above and beyond to defend our position as his client.

Key clients

BAML (France)

Goldman Sachs (France)

Deutsche Bank

Natixis

Total

Atos

Technip

Siemens Healthineers

AXA France

Club Med

PAI Partners

AXA Investment Managers

Edmond de Rothschild

Aviva France

Mariner Investments (now NewMarket Capital)

Magnetar Capital

Al Mirqab Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Atos on an €800m structured equity derivative ‘collar’ transaction, relating to the sale of shares in Worldline allowing Atos -as seller- to hedge its equity price risk by entering into a series of puts and calls with various financial intermediaries.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs on a €200m accelerated share buy-back (with guaranteed discount) with Wendel, via a structured-equity derivative forward instrument.
  • Advised AXA in connection with a €400m structured share buy-back transaction documented via an equity forward derivative under AXA’s repurchase programme and entered into with a view to eliminating dilutive effects associated with the employee share offering plan.

Linklaters

At Linklaters, Patrice Doat and his team focus on structured finance and securitisation transactions. Acting for investment banks, private equity funds and major corporates, the group assists with a wide range of instruments, including residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, project bonds and covered bonds, as well as asset-backed securities and asset-backed commercial papers. STS-compliant transactions are also well integrated into the group's portfolio of expertise. Reflecting the firm's broad international presence, the practice caseload is highly international.

Practice head(s):

Patrice Doat

Key clients

Iliad

Société Générale

Suez

JP Morgan Securities

BNP Paribas

UniCredit Bank

HSBC Bank

Natixis

SG Americas Securities

Citigroup Global Markets

Nexi

Legrand

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD)

Innate Pharma

Genfit

Younited

CCR Re

NeoT Green Mobility

Work highlights

  • Advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA CIB) and NEoT Green Mobility (NGM) on the financing of a fleet of 25 electric buses leased to Red Bus Urbano, which operates certain public transport lines in Santiago (Chile), with the financing provided by CA CIB through N Green Mobility Project passed on to the Chilean entity via an intra-group loan,  and with the financed assets (located in Chile) subject to a local security package securing the financing.
  • Acted as counsel to longstanding client (and primary French fintech pioneer) Younited Credit, on the implementation of the online /  digital refinancing loans scheme (Prêts Rebonds) granted by French public investment agency, Bpifrance, to meet the liquidity needs of SMEs during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Acted as counsel to Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (as bookrunner) and Crédit Agricole (as arranger) on the €15bn residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) of the 40 Caisses Régionales of the Crédit Agricole group; triple-A rated and listed on Euronext, it was the first French public RMBS notified to ESMA as an STS-compliant transaction.

Orrick Rambaud Martel

Complex structured finance transactions, particularly large securitisations of financial assets and cross-border transactions, constitute the core pillar of Orrick Rambaud Martel's structured finance and securitisation practice. Covered bonds, the securitisation of auto loans, RMBS and CMBS transactions, the securitisation of entire businesses, synthetic securitisation deals and transactions involving non-performing loans are all areas in which the team demonstrates expertise. Practice head Hervé Touraine and his team, -especially Olivier Bernard - also contribute to the development of the sector's regulatory framework in France, primarily through Touraine's role as chairman of the Securitisation Commission of Paris. In addition to an already impressive client roster that includes major financial institutions as well as corporates, the group has attracted a number of new clients recently, steadily gaining market share.

Practice head(s):

Hervé Touraine

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Bernard; Carine Mou Si Yan; Judith Rousvoal

Testimonials

‘The Orrick Paris securitization and structured finance team supported us on several operations, each time demonstrating great availability as well as a great ability to respond to new issues while enlightening clients on the practices of market.’

‘Olivier Bernard combines great technical competence, availability and pragmatism. Associate Aurélien Parent is already a reliable interlocutor and a lawyer whom it is appreciable to have on your files’

‘Hervé Touraine is distinguished by his extraordinary experience accumulated over the years; he knows the securitisation market and its various players extremely well. He manages to take a step back on issues and is always constructive in the search for innovative solutions. Olivier Bernard is an excellent technician and lawyer; he now has solid experience in the securitisation market. He always remains calm, courteous and constructive in negotiations. Olivier and Hervé undoubtedly form the most competent and experienced duo in the Parisian securitisation market. They are accompanied by a well-trained and competent team and they know how to be available as soon as the need arises. Laure Seror, Olivier’s collaborator, is a talented lawyer. She is very responsive and manages her files and schedule perfectly, even when time is tight. She knows how to be very convincing in negotiations with clients and knows how to defend the interests of her client very well.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment BankCrédit Agricole Consumer Finance

La Banque Postale

BPCE

Morgan Stanley

SANEF

Axa Banque

Natixis

Work highlights

  • Advised Crédit Agricole CIB, Société Générale and the African Development Bank in connection to the establishment of a whole business securitisation aimed at financing the sale on credit of solar kits in the Ivory Coast.
  • Advised AXA Banque and Natixis, as arranger, in setting up a covered bonds issuer named AXA Home Loan SFH, through which  a €10bn EMTN issuance programme will be undertaken.
  • Advised Société Générale and My Money Bank on what is the first public securitisation of French auto loans and leases to be designated as STS-compliant.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei combines a strong OTC derivatives practice with in-depth knowledge of debt and equity securities law. Practice heads Corentin Coatalem and Olivier Hubert count major French and international financial institutions, companies, investment funds and institutional investors among their clients. As part of the firm's wider capital markets and financing team, the group is able to provide complementary expertise in-house. Colleagues from other practice areas, notably the firm's dispute resolution specialists, also frequently join forces with their capital market colleagues.

Key clients

CA-CIB

Société Générale

BNP Paribas

LCL

Natixis

CNP Assurances

Credit Du Nord

Barclays Bank

HSBC

Invivo

Bastide

Edify

Perceptive Advisors

Work highlights

  • Advised CA CIB on the conclusion of the agreements between Rallye, Foncière Euris and Euris, as well as with certain financial institutions regarding the restructuring of the terms and conditions of all their derivatives transactions.
  • Acted as legal counsel to the  JC Decaux family holding (JCDH), on the implementation of a series of innovative equity derivative products.
  • Represented defendant Dexia in structured loans and derivative products litigation.

Dentons

The team at Dentons assists with derivatives and structured finance transactions, with the derivatives practice and securitisation matters forming the heart of the practice. The restructuring of corporates' derivatives operations and risk management netting are particular areas of strength but the group acts on a wide range of transactions, including OTC derivatives. On the securitisation side, the practice demonstrates expertise in a large number of asset classes, including trade receivables, residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, auto loans and dealer floor plans. Thanks to the firm's sizeable international footprint, the Paris team is able to advise on intended changes of regulatory frameworks for derivatives in emerging markets, such as those of Egypt and Kazakhstan. Following the arrival of practice head Julien Bacus and of counsel Charles Tissier in 2018, the team has clearly established itself as a key player in the French market.

Practice head(s):

Julien Bacus

Testimonials

‘Expertise, availability and pragmatism.’

Very few players in France specialising in derivatives. Dentons is one of three specialists in France.’

‘Very responsive and diligent; – good knowledge of restructuring aspects; – team spirit and collaboration, including between several firms.’

Key clients

European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)

Groupe Casino

Vinci Airports

Crédit Mutuel Factoring

Factofrance

Camaïeu

Faurecia

HSBC

Société Générale

Natixis

Caisse des dépôts et consignations

Work highlights

  • Advised Group Casino on the restructuring of the holdings of the Casino Group in the context of the entering into bankruptcy protection before the French courts in May 2019.
  • Advised the EFET on the enforceability of contractual standards governing derivative transactions in electricity and gas, and issuing the relevant French-law legal opinions to EFET members.
  • Assisted FactoFrance with a pan-European factoring transaction for an airport services group.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP houses a structured finance and securitisation practice under the leadership of Vincent Hatton and a derivatives practice led by Louis de Longeaux. Hatton and his team assist with the complete range of asset classes, including receivables (especially trade receivables), non-performing loans and commodities, and are experienced in on and off balance-sheet securitisations. Structured finance transactions in Morocco are a stand-out feature of the group's activity, as is its track record advising on export credit transactions, particularly in emerging markets. The derivatives practice can draw on its extensive regulatory know-how to assists buyers and sellers with a broad range of derivatives, including interest rate derivatives along with equity, insurance and commodity derivatives. The setting up of client clearing platforms is also an established part of the team's workload. The practice can also draw on the firm's Alternative Legal Services offering, an eleven-hub international platform aimed at treating data-heavy and time-sensitive matters seamlessly across country borders, as necessary.

Testimonials

‘Very close-knit and organised team which is able to urgently manage files with rigour and professionalism.’

‘Vincent Hatton and Vincent Danton are very professional, rigorous, respect deadlines and are always reachable.’

Key clients

Crédit Agricole Group

Société Générale Group

Tarkett

Bpifrance

Intrum Justifia

My Money Bank

My Partner Bank

Banque Fiducial Thèmis

AXA Group

Maghreb Titrisation

UBS

BNP Paribas

Euler Hermes

Edebex

La Banque Postale

Demica

BPCE / Natixis group

Ester Finance Titrisation

M&G Investments

Tikehau

Work highlights

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

The team at Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is the continental linchpin for transactions governed by English law. The group is highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional matters, especially those involving Luxembourgean law, and in high demand from French and European financial institutions and corporates, especially from the firm's core sectors: insurance/reinsurance, automotive, energy and transport. With a number of 'market-firsts' marking the group's track record, including a whole business securitisation of new mobility services receivables, and handling a wide range of asset classes (including travel receivables, residential mortgage loans, and dealer floorplans), the practice is known for its ability to assist with innovative transactions. The trio at the helm of the debt capital markets practice is composed of the highly versatile Sharon Lewis, who also heads the financial institutions sector group and is, in addition, admitted to the bar of England and Wales; Vincent Fidelle, who specialises in bond issues and covered bonds, among other matters; and Katia Merlini, who focuses primarily on derivatives, structured debt issuances, synthetic securitisation transactions. However, Baptiste Gelpi moved to Reed Smith in March 2020.

Other key lawyers:

Laura Asbati

Testimonials

Laura Asbati is very professional, available, very technical, very efficient and always delivers on time. In terms of client relationship, she is very calm and easy to work with and it has been a pleasure working with her.

‘Responsive team, experienced and with excellent junior collaborators. Very good value for money, especially in securitisation matters.’

‘Great availability and pedagogical skills.’

‘Katia Merlini: available, clear, patient, pedagogical.’

‘Perseverance, knowledgeable and going the extra mile to ensure things get done. ’

‘Laura Asbati shows perseverance and knowledge of relevant legislation and related interpretations and makes certain the job gets pulled across the line’

‘Understanding of our business and providing commercially attractive solutions to legal issues.’

‘Laura Asbati was instrumental in the set up of a securitisation structure in a new jurisdiction where no market practice had been developed and successfully closing the transaction. Strong negotiator.’

‘Laura Asbati, despite not being a partner yet, has fully mastered the management of the matters she worked on for us. It’s a real comfort to have a lawyer in charge who is very technical and able to manage the drafting – surely also through the work of the junior and mid-level associates whose work she supervises. It always feels like the matters is managed by one single person which is reassuring for us. Nonetheless, she lets her associates manage particular aspects of a case without losing the sense of coherence in the work and the quality of the work product.’

‘Very competent team, responsive and professional, able to handle complex matters in a short time frame.’

‘Laura Asbati is an excellent lawyer. She is very methodical, organised as well as responsive and efficient. The quality of her documents is clearly avoce those of practitioners at other law firms.’

‘Very responsive team that knows how to adapt to unforeseen situations (legal, operational or regulatory) that might occur in the course of the structuring of a securitisation transaction. Honest and efficient communication. Assistance with both private and public sector operations.’

‘Laura Asbati’s ability to immerse herself in a matter and to manage the different parties has contributed greatly to the signing of the deal on time even under tight time frames. Her knowledge of French structures and market practices was very helpful.’

Key clients

Edmond de Rothschild (France)

Opel Vauxhall Finance & BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Edmond de Rothschild (France) in relation to its structured debt issuance program -governed by English law and listed on the Luxembourg stock exchange- drafting all the programme documentation in each case.
  • Advised Opel Vauxhall Finance and BNP Paribas (as arranger) on Opel Bank’s first public ‘simple, transparent and standardised’ (STS) auto loan securitisation transaction, meeting the requirements for a ‘significant risk transfer’ (SRT) (E-Carat 10).
  • Advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in relation to its structured debt issuance program governed by French law and listed on the Luxembourg stock exchange, drafting all the programme documentation in each case.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's derivatives and structured finance practice is co-led by Gilles Kolifrath in Paris and Fabien Carruzzo in New York, clearly signalling the practice's strength in cross-border transactions involving the US and France, as well as other European jurisdictions. The group's expertise in French law is also key to its assistance to financial institutions in emerging markets, notably in the OHADA and WAEMU regions. The structured finance caseload includes swaps and notes, especially credit-linked and participatory notes, while the derivatives practice offers the full range of advice required for the trading of derivatives, including assistance with the regulatory requirements of setting up new hubs, including all necessary documentation, conducting negotiations with counterparties and ensuring the fulfilment of reporting duties towards the regulatory authorities.

Practice head(s):

Gilles Kolifrath

Other key lawyers:

Linda Sharkey; Gilles Saint Marc

Testimonials

‘Gilles Saint Marc: great availability, sound advice, responsiveness, market knowledge.’

Key clients

Natixis

IFC

Negbasis

Ardian

ANZ

ISDA

Caceis Bank

Aviva Investors

CIF

AFG

Standard Chartered

ALSTOM

Ostrum

Tikehau Investment Management

Acofi Gestion

M Capital Partners

Kepler Cheuvreux IFE

Eiffel Investment Group

Lyxor International Asset Management

Swen Capital Partners

BPCE Vie

Delta AM

Work highlights

  • Advised Natixis group on EMIR implementation of its global margining polices/legal counsel and legal contractual review; implementation of negotiating and reporting negotiation tools/proceedings; and the drafting of the final terms of several equity-linked notes (autocall, phenix (memory), turbo, etc.).
  • Assisted the IFC with, i. the drafting of a legal opinion and memorandum on the netting of derivatives in four countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast) of the OHADA and the WAEMU zones (Africa); and ii. the drafting of a memorandum on exchange control in the OHADA/WAEMU zone regarding foreign investments (trough derivatives, loan, other instruments) and on national proceedings for transferring funds, lending transactions and opening accounts for foreign investors.
  • Advised Crédit Suisse on the European legal aspects of a transaction in which it acted as structuring agent and sole bookrunner, and involving a $412.5m securitization of cash flows related to membership interests in project companies that own portfolios of solar assets originated by Sunnova Energy Corporation – and which are subject to partnership flip tax equity transactions.

Mayer Brown

At Mayer Brown, practice head François-Régis Gonon and his team act for major financial institutions and companies, both French and international. The team demonstrates particular strength in cross-border work, both in pan-European matters and in transactions involving the US. Matters included securitisation and structured finance transactions, factoring programmes and syndicated and bilateral financing matters across a wide range of asset classes, including trade receivables, RMBS, ABS, CMBS and inventories. Gonon is also experienced in fund formation and restructuring work, and frequently acts as advisor on regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

François-Régis Gonon

Other key lawyers:

Alban Dorin; Jean-Pierre Lee

Testimonials

Very good team. Professional and always available.

Calm and knowledgeable with good legal analysis skills.

Able to draw up the documentation very quickly and to a high standard.

Key clients

Factofrance No

Bank of America / Merrill Lynch

Work highlights

  • Advised BAML on the structuring of securitisation transactions relating to commercial mortgage properties in France (CMBS).
  • Represented a Dutch financial institution in connection with the restructuring of a receivables purchase programme provided to a chemical solutions provider located in multiple jurisdictions.

White & Case LLP

The White & Case LLP team focuses on derivatives and securitisation matters. The group of practice head Philippe Herbelin, chief among them counsel Emmanuel Lebaube, continues to bolster its track record as advisor-of-choice on pioneering transactions, such as the first synthetic SRT under French law since 2008. Lebaube also shoulders one of the country's most prolific securitisation practices, including the majority of France's STS transactions in 2019. Asset-based securities and RMBS account for a particularly significant portion of the caseload. Covered bonds are another key specialism, while the group's integration into the firm's broader capital markets practice and international office network allow for cross-border strength and well-rounded capital market advice.

Practice head(s):

Philippe Herbelin

Other key lawyers:

Emmanuel Lebaube

Key clients

Barclays

Belfius Bank

BofA Merrill Lynch

BPCE

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Crédit Agricole

Crédit Agricole CIB

Credit Mutuel Arkea

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

JP Morgan

LCL

Natixis

Société Générale

UBS

Air France-KLM

Air Liquide

Atos

Casino

ENGIE

LVMH

Michelin

Peugeot

Plastic Omnium

Rubis

SMCP

Sodexo

SPIE

Suez

Tereos

Verallia

Vinci

Worldline

Icade

Foncière INEA

Kaufman & Broad

Mercialys

Réside Etudes

3CIF

Agence France Locale

Agence des Participations de l’Etat

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

Compagnie de Financement Foncier

Republic of Cameroun

Republic of Gabon

AXA

CNP Assurances

Coface

Groupama

CNP Assurances

Work highlights

  • Advised Société Générale on the issuance -via a French securitisation vehicle Fonds commun de Titrisation (FCT)- of balance sheet notes linked to a landmark $3.4bn impact investment risk transfer related to the Bank’s diversified lending portfolio.
  • Represented Credipar on the issuance by Auto ABS Synthetic French Loans 2019 of €126m in notes (due January 2031) linked to a €1.5bn risk transfer related to auto loan contracts originated by Credipar.
  • Represented FFP on the implementation of an equity swap, entered into with an investment services provider, under which FFP is entitled to acquire 18.1m Peugeot shares for a total amount of €228m in the context of the merger between auto-manufacturers Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler.