Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation

Boutique firm Mirieu Sauty assists financial and asset management firms in their dealings with financial regulators including AMF-led stock-market offences and regulatory disciplinary investigations.

Firms in the Spotlight Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation

Vivien & Associés

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Vivien & Associés offers competitive legal services and representation across a broad range of key practice areas:

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CHASSANY WATRELOT & ASSOCIES

CHASSANY WATRELOT & ASSOCIES logo

A FULL-EXPERTISE HUMAN RESOURCES LAW FIRM   Founded in 1987, Chassany Watrelot & Associés (CWA) is one of the main French law firms whose activity is exclusively dedicated to employment law and all other legal areas related to human resources management (insurance law, tax law…).

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Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation in France

Bredin Prat

Bredin Prat is a leading name in the field. A perfect fit to the firm’s high-end public M&A practice, the litigation team intervenes in headline public takeover battles concerning the country’s most high-profile companies. The team also acts for leading listed companies in dealing with sensitive shareholders’ conflicts and governance issues, while its range of expertise also extends to assisting listed companies, executives and other financial players facing AMF-led stock-market breach investigations. Key names in the team include litigators Jean-Daniel Bretzner and Florian Bouaziz  and white-collar expert Eric Dezeuze.

Practice head(s):

Didier Martin; Jean-Daniel Bretzner; Florian Bouaziz; Eric Dezeuze; Guillaume Pellegrin; Sébastien Prat; Ève Duminy


Key clients

Air Liquide


Alta Percier, Altarea et Altarea Management


Celanese


EDF


Imerys


NJJ


Schneider Electric


Simon Property Group


Sodexo


Work highlights


  • Advising NJJ press (a company controlled by Xavier Niel) in connection with the composition of the capital of the controlling holding company of Le Monde group.
  • Advising Altarea  within the context of a litigation initiated by the shareholders of the holding company of the Primonial group and a number of individual investors following the failure of the proposed acquisition of Primonial by Altarea.
  • Advising Electricité de France (EDF) on all litigation in the context of the simplified takeover bid launched by the French State for shares and bonds convertible into and/or exchangeable for new and/or existing shares of EDF.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Drawing on the wider firm's strength in public M&A, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s litigation team has excellent knowledge of publicly listed companies and is regularly involved in headline public tender offer-related disputes and shareholders’ conflicts and governance issues pertaining to France’s leading companies. The team also represents leading corporations facing AMF-stock-market breach investigations. The practice is jointly headed by Jean-Yves Garaud and Delphine Michot.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Yves Garaud; Delphine Michot


Key clients

ArcelorMittal


Capgemini


Rothschild


Total


Vallourec


Work highlights


  • Representing SARPI in interim proceedings brought by Lafarge Ciments in connection with the sale of SARPI’s stake to Nouveau Suez in the context of the remedies to the Veolia-Suez merger ordered by the European Commission.
  • Representing ArcelorMittal in proceedings before the Paris Civil Court against the Association d’Actionnaires d’Arcelor (AAA) acting on behalf of several hedge funds, claiming that the exchange ratio of the 2007 merger between MittalSteel and Arcelor that led to the creation of ArcelorMittal was unfair.
  • Representing multiple clients in several ongoing or recent investigations conducted by the AMF.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier has a strong understanding of publicly listed companies as embodied by its impressive client roster, which includes many of the country’s CAC 40 companies. The firm’s stock-market litigation practice is a perfect match to its leading M&A expertise as it is systematically retained to handle subsequent stock-market disputes relating to public M&A. The team is also entrusted to deal with sensitive shareholders’ conflicts and corporate governance issues, while its caseload also includes high-profile stock-market breach cases such as price manipulation and communication of false financial information. Matthieu Brochier and Nicolas Mennesson are both top-notch, while the M&A partners also regularly contribute. Associate Wenceslas Le Chevalier is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Cyril Bonan


Other key lawyers:

Matthieu Brochier; Nicolas Mennesson; Wenceslas Le Chevalier


Testimonials

‘We consider Darrois to be the leaders of the field in stock market litigation. As a firm, they have such a strong corporate practice and client base, stock market disputes is a real area of strength and an area that they naturally excel.’

‘Matthieu Brochier is an outstanding litigator and a true leader in the field of stock market litigation.’

‘Highly knowledgeable, with great understanding of the regulatory landscape and good commercial, practical and strategic insight.’

‘Matthieu Brochier is a superb operator and deep thinker.’

‘Excellent, extensive experience in shareholder and stock-market disputes. Among the best in Paris’.

‘The team brings tremendous dedication to client service together with a collection of supremely committed and talented individuals. Their creativity, thoroughness, thoughtfulness and responsiveness distinguish them among their competitors. An excellent choice for M&A-related disputes in the French market.’

‘First-rate expertise in stock market law, whether in litigation or stock market transactions, and extensive experience in complex and international cases. The team of lawyers constituted for a case depends on the particularities of each case and may include lawyers from different departments of the firm who work in perfect symbiosis.’

‘Matthieu Brochier gives clear strategic advice in complex matters. He knows how to adopt an aggressive and effective defense strategy but also recommends transactional solutions when it is the right time.’

Key clients

Bouygues


BPCE


Capgemini


Crédit Agricole


Elior


Europcar


Korian


Lagardère SA


LVMH


Rubis


Safran


Suez


Tullett Prebon


Unibail-Rodamco Westfield


Vivendi


XPO Logistics


Tullett Prebon


Unibail-Rodamco Westfield


Vivendi


XPO Logistics


Work highlights


  • Advised the ad hoc committee of the EDF Board of Directors in connection with the 9 billion euros takeover announced in July 2022 by the French State.
  • Successfully represented Vivendi in a French class action before the Paris commercial court (“Tribunal de commerce de Paris”) for compensation for a stock market loss of more than 2 billion euros claimed by a hundred of investment funds and institutional investors.
  • Advised several entities of the Credit Agricole Group in a collective action brought by the ADAM (“Association de défense des actionnaires minoritaires”).

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has a high-level dedicated team that assists clients facing AMF regulatory and disciplinary investigations. The team has a strong involvement alongside leading French and international asset management firms which it assists during AMF’s asset management regulatory compliance audit and stock-market abuse investigations. The practice is also retained by CEOs, traders and individual investors and can also act for listed companies (notably in the biotech sector) in AMF-led investigations into stock-market breaches including market manipulation, financial information communications issues and insider trading. A former member of the AMF, Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry is a is a top name in the field. Other contributors include white-collar expert  Bruno Quentin and asset management experts Stéphane Puel and Benjamin Delaunay. Counsel Marie Robert-Schmid is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry; Benjamin Delaunay; Stéphane Puel; Olivier Diaz; Bruno Quentin


Other key lawyers:

Marie Robert-Schmid


Testimonials

‘Great expertise, excellent knowledge of business and in particular of the asset management ecosystem. Great creativity and high adaptability. Excellent team.’

‘Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry is simply remarkable and has surrounded himself with young lawyers of very high quality. ’

‘The multidisciplinary team is made up of former AMF investigators, lawyers, but also forensic and financial experts, which makes it possible to approach the defense on equal terms with the AMF investigation teams. The use of forensic software and secure clouds allows clients to benefit from the same tools as the stock market regulator. The team is particularly responsive and available to respond quickly and efficiently to an investigation. ’

‘Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry: his experience as a former AMF investigator and his perfect knowledge of the mysteries and methods of the agency add to his expertise in stock market law.’

‘In addition to extremely advanced technical expertise in the regulatory field, the quality of their response with oriented pragmatic solutions is a constant of their intervention. Their advice makes it possible to build a strategy on a very solid legal foundation. Furthermore, the team has leading expertise in regulatory litigation.’

‘Benjamin Delauney has a keen sense of advice and is truly a trusted advisor.’

‘Team with exemplary professionalism, available, attentive.’

‘Benjamin Delaunay: a knowledgeable professional of very high quality. Benjamin, beyond his very high level professional qualities, has particularly appreciable human qualities: good listening, available, perfect mastery of subjects.’

Key clients

Amundi


Caceis


Natixis


Work highlights


  • Assisted a French leading asset management company in negotiating a settlement agreement with the French financial markets authority (AMF) in relation to the accuracy of published information on the investment strategy of a former range of index funds, including a compensation process for the unit-holders.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons‘ practice head Thierry Gontard is one of the most respected lawyers in the field and he regularly defends top leading financial institutions as well as some individuals. He regularly acts in stock-market offences cases but also has extensive experience advising on cross-border investigations led by the UK or US regulators.

Practice head(s):

Thierry Gontard


Key clients

Rothschild & Co.


Moody’s


Perella Weinberg


Credit du Nord (and Société Générale)


Natixis / BPCE


UBS


Deutsche Bank


Work highlights


  • Represented Société Générale (Crédit du Nord) in a class action brought by some 400 claimants against the bank for breach of duty to control activities of a seller of financial products.
  • Representing two Baccarat executives sued by a former shareholder, for failing to provide transparent information and committing misconduct during the public offer for the company’s shares.

Viguié Schmidt & Associés

Viguié Schmidt & Associés is often mandated by companies’ senior executives and board of directors to assist with AMF investigations. The firm is involved in many of the market’s most high-profile cases, spanning insider trading offences and other stock-market breaches. Yves Schmidt and Nicolas Viguié are highly experienced. The arrival of experienced partner Daniel Villey (ex VGG) is another strong addition.

Practice head(s):

Yves Schmidt; Nicolas Viguié


Other key lawyers:

Daniel Villey


Testimonials

‘Immense technical skills. Great teaching talents. ’

‘Yves Schmidt: immense competence, good listening skills, availability.’

Key clients

AB Science


H2O LLP


Rallye


Work highlights


  • Defending AB Science’s CEO in proceedings before the AMF for insider trading.
  • Defending H2O LLP’s CIO in proceedings before the AMF and now Conseil d’Etat for failure to comply with professional rules.
  • Assisting the safeguard committee of Rallye’s board of directors and Rallye’s independent members of the board (three independent directors) in the course of the proceedings by AMF related to the information provided to the market.

Cohen & Gresser LLP

Cohen & Gresser LLP‘s  Muriel Goldberg-Darmon is highly regarded in the field for her extensive knowledge and experience of AMF and securities rules. She is regularly retained by individuals including senior executives and also several investment funds to assist with insider trading and other securities and regulatory breach investigations. She is supported by counsel Guillaume Guérin. Loic Henriot left the firm at the end of 2023.

Practice head(s):

Muriel Goldberg-Darmon


Other key lawyers:

Guillaume Guérin


Testimonials

‘Very flexible, very available and very pragmatic team.’

‘Muriel Goldberg-Darmon is an excellent lawyer, very fine and very skillful.’

‘An agile team, capable, thanks to its experience, of distinguishing the essential from the accessory in the development of defense strategies.’

‘Muriel Goldberg-Darmon has a perfect command of the AMF’s investigation and sanction procedures. It’s a real pleasure to work with her.’

‘Murielle Goldberg-Darmon has considerable experience in this area.’

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

At De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, corporate partner Patrick Jaïs is retained by financial companies and their members to assist with shareholders’ conflicts and governance disputes pertaining to publicly listed companies as well as during AMF investigations concerning insider trading and other securities law breaches. He is supported by of counsel Alice Gaillard.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Jaïs


Other key lawyers:

Alice Gaillard


Work highlights


  • Advising MAZARS in a dispute initiated by minority shareholders against ARCELOR MITTAL and mergers in relation to the Arcelor and Mittal merger in 2002.
  • Advising 57 French banks, creditors of French nursing home group Orpea, in the monitoring of the numerous claims filed against the €9.7 billion restructuring of the debtor, listed on the regulated market of the Paris stock exchange.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

Led by litigation head Arthur Dethomas, Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP's team can handle a large array of commercial and financial cases including stock-market litigation. Dethomas regularly defends companies, investment funds and individuals facing AMF investigations, especially on insider-trading grounds. He also acts in cases raising other securities issues. Counsel Marine De Montecler provides additional support.

Practice head(s):

Arthur Dethomas


Other key lawyers:

Marine de Montecler


Testimonials

‘The team is a very competent and particularly responsive, offering innovative solutions adapted to legal and practical issues.’

‘The team is able to process large quantities of data within tight deadlines.’

‘Its mastery of available technological resources allows it to offer comprehensive services.’

‘Arthur Dethomas and counsel Marine de Montecler are available, attentive and have extensive expertise in stock market law and AMF litigation. ’

Key clients

CBRE


Nextstone Capital & Matt Immo Beaune


Claranova SE


Louvois SICAV


Board of directors of Gascogne SA


Mr. X


Pizzorno Environnement


Work highlights


  • Representing High Co in a dispute with a minority activist shareholder in several proceedings before the commercial court.
  • Representing Claranova SE in proceedings initiated by minority shareholders seeking to suspend Claranova SE’s capital increase.

Jeantet

At Jeantet, Frank Martin Laprade   handles a whole array of securities litigation on behalf of CEOs, senior executives and financial firms. He regularly assists clients facing AMF investigations regarding securities law breaches including cases raising complex legal issues before the European courts including the ECHR and EUCJ. He also manages shareholders’ conflicts and public M&A-related disputes. Counsel Marie Robin  also contributes.

Practice head(s):

Frank Martin Laprade


Key clients

Global Derivate Trading GmbH


Diana Holding


GROUPE COGIA


PROLOGUE


CANDEL & PARTNERS


DOM Finance


NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION


Linklaters

Linklaters has extensive experience advising companies, investment funds and financial newspapers in dealing with stock-market breach investigations led by the AMF. In addition, the firm is also regularly retained to act in stock-market battles pertaining to major M&A and squeeze out transactions. Arnaud de La Cotardière and Jean-Charles Jaïs are the key names.

Practice head(s):

Arnaud de La Cotardière


Other key lawyers:

Jean-Charles Jaïs


Perchet Rontchevsky & Associes

Corporate boutique Perchet Rontchevsky & Associes has deep knowledge of publicly listed companies as evidenced by its client roster and caseload. The team is retained by leading French companies or senior executives to assist with their most sensitive securities law issues, including AMF-led investigations concerning insider dealing and other breach of disclosure and securities law requirements. It also handles governance and shareholder’s conflicts. Christophe Perchet and Nicolas Rontchevsky are highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Christophe Perchet; Nicolas Rontchevsky; Jean-Christophe Devouge; Abeba Debaudre Negga


Testimonials

‘Nicolas Rontchevsky is a leading authority in his field (corporate law, stock market law).’

‘The team combines lawyers with extensive experience in financial litigation with younger partners trained in large firms. The team is very responsive and intervenes in disputes before commercial courts and AMF disputes.’

‘Christophe Perchet and Nicolas Rontchevsky work together on most sensitive files, combining their approaches and expertise.’

Key clients

Rallye


Casino


Terreïs


Gascogne


Altarea


Work highlights


  • Advised Casino in connection with an AMF investigation into insider dealing and a breach of public disclosure requirements.
  • Advised Rallye and its managers in connection with an AMF investigation into a breach of public disclosure requirements.
  • Advised Terreïs in connection with an appeal procedure against an unprecedented decision by the AMF’s Enforcement Committee concerning a breach relating to the maintenance and update its insider list.

Rossi Bordes AARPI

At Rossi Bordes AARPI, Eric Boillot has extensive experience advising asset management companies as well as traders and senior executives facing AMF investigations regarding stock-market breach accusations, spanning price manipulation and insider dealing. He also assists asset management firms facing AMF compliance investigations over AMF regulatory requirements. Dominique Bordes also contributes.

Practice head(s):

Eric Boillot; Dominique Bordes


White & Case LLP

Led by Diane Lamarche, who also chairs the firm's commercial and corporate litigation practice, White & Case LLP is retained by leading banks and investment funds, as well as companies to assist with high-stakes matters, spanning governance of major listed companies, stock-market battles and stock-market breach cases. The team has been active in the high-profile EDF litigation and has been retained to assist with a highly sensitive ESG-related case.

Practice head(s):

Diane Lamarche


Key clients

Orpea


SES Imagotag


Société Générale


Goldman Sachs Bank Europe


SMCP (Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot)


Work highlights


  • Representing Orpea before the Paris Court of appeals to obtain the annulment of the waiver to the mandatory filing of a tender offer granted by the AMF to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in the frame of its restructuring process.
  • Representing SES-imagotag in the context of a short-selling campaign conducted by investor Gotham City Research LLC (“Gotham”) against the company.
  • Representing Société Générale and Goldman Sachs before the Paris Court of appeals in relation to an AMF clearance decision concerning a tender offer filed by the French State for EDF.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP is retained, mostly by leading banks and financial institutions, to assist with AMF investigations regarding stock-market offences and also advises on regulatory, compliance and internal investigations. The firm’s caseload also includes a damages follow-up enforcement case concerning a previous AMF condemnation, a development that is relatively infrequent. The team can also rely on solid international capabilities for cross-border cases. Dan Benguigui and Erwan Poisson are the key names.

Practice head(s):

Erwan Poisson; Dan Benguigui


Testimonials

‘A leading firm in this field.’

‘Dan Benguigui is one of the best French practitioners when it comes to representing and assisting financial institutions, including banks, payment institutions, investment firms and management companies, or their top-level management, in either civil, regulatory or criminal proceedings.’

Key clients

BCP (Banque Centrale Populaire)


Citigroup


Alcatel (Nokia)


Natixis


Ecobank


Worldpay


BNP Paribas


Natixis Investment Managers


Nomura International PLC


Weinberg Capital Partner


Solutions 30


EDF


BNP Paribas securities services


Goldman Sachs


Adare – Davidson Kempner Capital Management Group


Work highlights


  • Representing Natixis in a class action initiated before French Courts by consumer association UFC-Que Choisir.
  • Representing Natixis Investment Managers in litigation against investors in UCITS FUNDS managed by H2O AM.
  • Representing French T&T company Alcatel Lucent (Nokia) in the context of proceedings regarding a capital increase launched by Alcatel-Lucent in France, which poses the question of whether Alcatel ADR holders should have been granted preferential subscription rights like shareholders.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is the key adviser to credit rating agency Standard & Poor, which it regularly assists with AMF-led investigations into stock-market law breaches, including those pertaining to the disclosure of financial information. The firm also occasionally acts for companies and individuals facing AMF investigations. The practice is jointly headed by  Thomas BaudessonDiego de Lammerville and Charles-Henri Boeringer.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Baudesson; Diego de Lammerville; Charles-Henri Boeringer


Key clients

Standard & Poor’s


Airbus


FXCM


Work highlights


  • Representing the banks in the context of Veolia’s hostile tender offer on Suez.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's strong financial services and asset management expertise also includes assisting banks and asset management firms in dealing with AMF compliance and securities law breach investigations. The team is notably acting in a high-stakes matter concerning financial communication linked to ESG. The team is jointly headed by highly experienced financial services expert Antoine Juaristi and commercial litigation partner Clément Dupoirier, with Martin Le Touzé also a key contributor.

Practice head(s):

Antoine Juaristi; Clément Dupoirier


Other key lawyers:

Martin Le Touzé


Key clients

Nyenburgh


Crédit Agricole Brie Picardie


Work highlights


  • Advising Caisse Régionale du Crédit Agricole Mutuel Brie Picardie in a litigation brought by the Clinique Saint-Jean l’Ermitage before the commercial court of Paris.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's team has a strong knowledge of the financial services and asset management field and is routinely entrusted by asset management companies in AMF disciplinary proceedings. The team also acts for clients facing AMF stock-market breach investigations. The practice is jointly headed by financial regulatory experts Hubert de Vauplane and Hugues Bouchetemble.

Practice head(s):

Hubert de Vauplane; Hugues Bouchetemble


Key clients

ANACOFI-CIF


INOCAP GESTION


SIGMA GESTION


SMARTBOX


SLIMPAY


Van Tilborg Trading BV


Union Financière de France Banque (UFF)


SWISSLIFE GESTION PRIVEE


UBS


Work highlights


  • Representing Union Financière de France Banque in one hundred summonses issued against it in connection with the marketing of financial products.
  • Represented the national trade association “ANACOFI-CIF” before the AMF Sanctions Committee.
  • Represented UBS in dealing with pre-litigation files against the regulator relating to certain banking prudential regulations.

Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés

Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés assists asset management firms as well as individuals and a leading accounting firm in dealing with AMF securities breach investigations, including financial communication issues and insider dealing accusations. The team also acts in shareholders’ conflicts and public M&A-related cases. The highly experienced Frédéric Peltier and Clément Wierre are the practice heads.

Practice head(s):

Frédéric Peltier; Clément Wierre


Key clients

FAJR (Frédéric Abitbol/Joanna Rousselet)


Jekiti Mar Capital


Altamir


Cira


Work highlights


  • Representing Altamir, a listed private equity investor, in the context of several litigation proceedings against Moneta Asset Management, one of its main minority shareholders, following a memo published on Moneta’s website.
  • Assisting Cira in the definition of its shareholders’ activism strategy in the company CS Group.

Visconti, Grundler & Artuphel

Visconti, Grundler & Artuphel's Julien Visconti is sought out by hedge funds and investors to handle shareholders’ activism campaign cases in relation to CAC 40 companies. He also has extensive experience handling stock-market breach cases such as accusations of insider dealing.

Practice head(s):

Julien Visconti


Testimonials

‘Flexibility and determination. ’

‘Julien Visconti ‘s experience as a former trader gives him a definite advantage.’

Key clients

CIAM


Financière de l’Echiquier


Wyser-Pratte Management


Matignon Finances


Work highlights


  • Advised CIAM (activist hedge fund) in the hostile bid project of Véolia on Suez.
  • Advising two shareholders of Esso in challenging the governance of a French subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
  • Successfully represented CIAM in a case against Esso related to the communication of arms lengths intragroup contracts with ExxonMobil.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's litigation team has expertise handling public tender stock-market battles and AMF investigations into stock-market law breaches. The firm is notably acting in two headline cases for major French companies concerning communication of financial information and insider trading accusations. The practice is headed by Didier Malka.

Practice head(s):

Didier Malka


Key clients

Rallye


Casino


Altarea


Orpea


Atos


Orange


Work highlights


  • Represented Rallye (mother company of Casino SA) in an AMF investigation in connection with Rallye’s financial communication.
  • Representing Altarea,  a public real estate company, in proceedings related to the acquisition of Primonial initiated by Primonial’s shareholders.