Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation in France
Bredin Prat has leading expertise acting in stock-market litigation. The team also defends listed companies and their directors in investigations by the French securities regulator AMF, and acts in trials before the French courts relating to market abuse issues including misleading communications and insider dealing accusations. Corporate partner Sébastien Prat, white-collar crime expert Eric Dezeuze, senior partner Didier Martin and litigators Jean-Daniel Bretzner and Guillaume Pellegrin are key names to note.
- Defending Altran’s former CFO Michel Friedlander before the AMF and French criminal courts regarding accusations of spreading misleading information on the financial markets.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's recent work includes acting in the landmark dispute pertaining to Covéa's attempted takeover bid for Scor’s shares. The team is also involved in other major cases relating to public tender offers, and is representing several major companies and asset managers in AMF investigations including defending against allegations of insider trading and the dissemination of false information. Jean-Yves Garaud is retained to advise on highly complex matters.
- Representing Rothschild before the AMF regulator and in civil and criminal proceedings brought by Scor against Covéa, Thierry Derez and Rothschild, relating to Covéa’s attempted takeover bid for Scor’s shares.
Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier has leading expertise handling headline public takeover-related disputes, and also represents leading companies and their corporate officers in AMF investigations and sanction procedures regarding various market abuse allegations. The group is also involved in high-profile shareholder activism disputes and short-selling litigation. Leading market figures Jean-Michel Darrois and Emmanuel Brochier are highly regarded; Matthieu Brochier and Nicolas Mennesson are also key names to note.
‘An excellent team which shows high mastering of its cases and which provides wise advice to clients.’
Orrick Rambaud Martel represents publicly listed companies, as well as leading investment funds and shareholders, and recently acted for Iliad in proceedings challenging a previous AMF fine for breach of insider dealing regulations. The group is also involved in several high-profile cases regarding AMF investigations, insider dealing claims, shareholder activism and information disclosure issues. Jean-Pierre Martel and Alexis Marraud des Grottes are the key contacts.
Elliott Capital Advisors
Bastide Le Confort Medical
- Acting for Elliott before the commercial courts in a dispute with XPO Logistics following its tender offer for Norbert Dentressangle.
- Acted for Iliad in challenging an AMF fine for breach of insider dealing regulations.
- Advising Mercialys on an AMF investigation relating to a dispute between Casino and US hedge fund Muddy Waters.
Brandford Griffith is regularly appointed to handle complex matters spanning contentious governance, securities and M&A issues. The practice recently acted in sensitive activism and governance pre-litigation and litigation claims, and regularly defends CEOs, high-level ranking officers and companies facing AMF and corruption investigations. The group also advised on a sensitive public takeover case and is involved in several AMF investigations. Group co-heads Diane Pasturel and Henri Brandford Griffith have extensive experience in strategic matters involving listed companies.
Clifford Chance represents companies, banks and individuals in a range of stock-market litigation including market abuse cases and investigations. Recent mandates include successfully acting for Fountain Legend in a dispute relating to a public tender offer initiated for the shares of Baccarat, defending a credit rating agency in several sensitive cases and also handling the very first investigation and enforcement proceedings launched by ESMA, the new European regulator for credit rating agencies. Thomas Baudesson, Diego de Lammerville and Charles-Henri Boeringer co-head the practice.
Standard & Poor’s
Fortune Legend Ltd
- Successfully represented Fountain Legend before the Paris Court of Appeal in a dispute initiated by minority shareholder Consellior contesting the validity of a public tender offer initiated for the shares of Baccarat.
Cohen & Gresser LLP combines strong AMF regulatory expertise through Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, with Loïc Henriot's market abuse litigation knowledge. The practice counts financial services companies and high-ranking executives on its client roster, and recently advised Exane Derivatives on an AMF regulatory and enforcement investigation. The team is also defending an individual in a high-profile case involving several criminal investigations into multiple alleged insider dealing transactions, and is advising clients on new mandates relating to investment funds and shareholder activism in listed companies. The Paris office also acts in cross-border jurisdictional cases, often involving France and the US. Counsel Guillaume Guérin is also recognised.
‘The Cohen & Gresser team is always very serious and manages clients very well.‘
‘Muriel Golberg-Darmon is a very good lawyer who best defends the interests of her clients.‘
Ackermans & van Haaren NV
- Representing Alexis Kuperfis in a high-profile case involving several criminal investigations into multiple alleged insider dealing transactions.
- Successfully represented credit institution Exane Derivatives in a regulatory investigation and enforcement procedure conducted by the AMF.
- Represented Ackermans & van Haaren against Pollen in a claim for breach of a shareholder agreement.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's team is highly experienced in dealing with headline and sensitive stock-market litigation, listed company governance issues and AMF market abuse investigations. The group is notably representing a major company in a high-profile dispute against a market analysis firm, and is acting for a company facing AMF investigations. Highly experienced senior counsel Georges Terrier and counsel Alexandre Vermynck are the key contacts. Christophe Perchet departed to establish his own firm in early 2020.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. handles the full spectrum of issues pertaining to the financial services and securities sector, and is retained by leading banks and asset management funds to advise on AMF financial services regulatory and market abuse investigations. The team regularly defends bankers, CEOs and individuals; it successfully defended a UK-based banker who was sued by the AMF for alleged unlawful disclosure of inside information pertaining to the contemplated $15bn acquisition of T-mobile US by Iliad. The practice fields top experts in securities issues, financial services work and litigation with Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, Bruno Quentin, Stéphane Puel and Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry as key practitioners.
‘The firm provides bespoke services and demonstrates high-level technique. The team is available, committed and flexible.’
‘The firm has in-depth regulatory knowledge and knows what the regulator’s expectations are. It provides high-quality work.’
‘Jean-philippe Pons-Henry is the ideal lawyer; he is knowledgeable, delivers clear and simple advice, is available, easy to work with, hard worker, quick and positive whatever the situation is.’
- Successfully defended a UK-based corporate banker in AMF sanction proceedings initiated on market abuse grounds related to the alleged unlawful disclosure of inside information pertaining to the contemplated $15bn acquisition of T-mobile US by Iliad during a Eurostar trip.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Antoine Juaristi is highly sought after by leading asset management funds to assist with AMF regulatory investigations. Juaristi was recently involved in a landmark case and is also defending several individuals involved in AMF insider dealing investigations. Clément Dupoirier also contributes to the practice and recently handled several significant stock-market disputes. Of counsels Martin Le Touzé and Géraldine Marteau also provide support.
At Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés, Frédéric Peltier has notable expertise acting for companies, investment funds, accounting firms and individuals in claims relating to stock-market public tender offers and other securities litigation and market abuse investigations. Peltier recently handled several landmark cases including achieving a successful outcome for a client in a high-profile insider dealing lawsuit. Co-founding partner Arthur Dethomas left the firm to join Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP.
Intermediate Capital Group (ICG)
BPIfrance and European Investment Fund
CIC and Crédit Mutuel Insurance Group
Barclays Bank Plc
- Successfully defended Deloitte against a claim brought by Europacorp, which is listed on NYSE Euronext.
Rossi Bordes AARPI
In 2019, Rossi Bordes AARPI saw notable growth in its team with the recruitment of market abuse and enforcement regulatory specialist Eric Boillot, who was previously at Simmons & Simmons. Boillot now leads the practice and acts for investment banks, funds and financial services companies as well as executives and issuers in AMF regulatory investigations and judicial trials. His recent work includes acting in a high-profile AMF case and also obtaining a groundbreaking decision, which reduced a fine imposed on a client by 90%.
Simmons & Simmons is recognised for its leading AMF regulatory expertise thanks to group head Thierry Gontard, who represents leading French and international banks, financial institutions and individuals. Gontard is regularly instructed to act in AMF enforcement investigations and stock-market litigation. UBS Limited London and France, Société Générale and Crédit du Nord are clients. Eric Boillot departed to Rossi Bordes AARPI in 2019.
UBS Limited London and France
Crédit du Nord
Natixis – BPCE
Deutsche Bank AG
OFI Asset Management
Orange Bank (ex Groupama Banque)
Elliott Management Corporation
Airbus (ex EADS)
Covéa including Covéa Finance
Veil Jourde is regularly involved in landmark cases and represents top French listed companies. Jean Veil, François Esclatine, André Dupont-Jubien and Georges Jourde are all leading market figures and key contacts in the group.
Viguié Schmidt & Associés regularly acts for shareholders, directors of listed companies and private investors, and has recently been involved in multiple high-profile public tender offer cases. The group is also defending CEOs of listed companies and traders in AMF investigations and trials relating to insider dealing and misleading financial information claims. Nicolas Viguié and Yves Schmidt are highly regarded in the field.
‘A very dedicated team which thinks out of the box. Their work has impacted the way regulation is being written today.’
‘Unique expertise and an excellent network.’
‘Yves Schmidt is an outstanding lawyer, a unique specialist in stock-exchange litigation who has a high understanding of psychology and an excellent knowledge of the industry context.’
- Defending a foreign trader, who was fined twice by the AMF enforcement committee for insider dealings, before the French courts in two distinct matters concerning Geodis and Ilog shares.
- Representing Norbert Dentressangle’s former executive officers in M&A and securities litigation against US activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation relating to XPO Logistics’ $3.5bn takeover offer for Norbert Dentressangle.
Visconti & Grundler
Stock market and white-collar crime boutique Visconti & Grundler is regularly instructed by minority activist funds to handle sensitive matters involving leading French listed companies. Julien Visconti has a strong track record in the field and has been involved in several high-profile cases; he recently acted for hedge fund CIAM in a highly sensitive case involving Scor. The practice also regularly acts in major criminal securities and market abuse cases.
Financière de l’Echiquier
- Acting for hedge fund CIAM in a highly sensitive case involving Scor.
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei defends companies, hedge funds and individuals in AMF investigations, and was recently involved in several matters regarding insider dealings and financial information communication issues. In a recent mandate, the group acted for hedge funds Coudree Capital management and Compania International Financiera in a lengthy matter, ultimately succeeding in having a previous AMF decision overturned by the French Supreme Court. Patrick Jaïs is the main contact.
- Successfully acted for hedge funds Coudree Capital management and Compania International Financiera before the French Supreme Court, in an appeal which overturned a previous AMF decision relating to the clients’ purchase of preferential subscription rights to Natixis’ new shares days before Lehman Brothers’ filed for bankruptcy.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Jeantet is a key name in the market for leading banks and financial institutions which utilise the team's strong knowledge of financial services regulations; the group regularly defends clients before the banking and securities regulators. Martine Samuelian is regularly instructed to handle sensitive cases, while Frank Martin Laprade acts for companies and asset managers in market abuse investigations and proceedings.
‘The firm has strong and long-standing experience in monitoring contentious situations related to the financial markets. Partners can be trusted with high-level files.’
- Acting for Keren Finance before the AMF’s Enforcement Committee.
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is regularly instructed by French and international asset management funds and financial internet platforms in AMF investigations. The team is also notably involved in false information dissemination claims and activism related cases, and handles compliance mandates. Hubert de Vauplane leads the practice, which counts Hugues Bouchetemble as a key practitioner.
Le 16 Law represents individuals in AMF and judicial investigations, and is regularly involved in cases raising new questions on financial markets practices. The group has also recently acted for a client in a highly sensitive claim regarding short selling issues. Samuel Sauphanor is the key name in the team, which also includes senior associate Anne-Claire Hans.
‘The team immediately grasps the key aspects of a complex situation. The quality of the team is extremely high. They worked very hard and in a very efficient way.’
‘The team shows high professionalism and availability. Lawyers are very involved and ensure great client preparation in prevision of court hearings.’
‘Samuel Sauphanor and Jean-Luc Larribau understood a complex situation quickly and provide a comprehensive strategy covering all angles. They understand the case’s big picture and never lost its sight while also covering every detail of a file.’
‘Samuel Sauphanor is a very sharp litigator who understands clients’ needs and knows how to handle sophisticated and urgent matters.’
Linklaters acts for companies, international financial institutions and high-level executives facing investigations by the AMF, the French stock-markets regulator. Arnaud de La Cotardière and Jean-Charles Jaïs are the key contacts.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP regularly represents companies and financial institutions in AMF investigations. The practice is also acting in a case relating to financial information communication issues. Dominique Borde and Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi are the key contacts.