Dispute resolution: White-collar crime in France

Bredin Prat

Bredin Prat is handling a diverse and high-profile caseload spanning criminal tax, securities, technology, industrial, international corruption, money-laundering and public procurement cases. Representing HSBC's Swiss subsidiary, the firm advised on the conclusion of France's first judicial public interest agreement (CJIP). The practice is also representing Uber France and Airbnb in separate high-stakes cases directly addressing the companies' ability to operate in France. It is also defending a former Altran CFO in a complex securities and criminal case. Many other high-profile French and international companies and banks are also clients and turn to the firm for their most sensitive cases. The highly regarded Eric Dezeuze is praised for his ‘exceptional professional, technical and interpersonal skills’. Jean-Daniel Bretzner and Guillaume Pellegrin are also key contacts.

TEMIME

TEMIME  often acts for high-profile individuals. The firm is involved in major cases, including recently advising on the highly publicised case involving the former French Prime Minister François Fillon. Hervé Temime has a strong reputation for handling white-collar crime litigation. Corinne Dreyfus-SchmidtJulia Minkowski, Martin Reynaud and Léon del Forno are other names to note.

Veil Jourde

Veil Jourde houses many of the market's leading figures under one roof: Jean Veil, Emmanuel Rosenfeld, Georges Jourde, Pierre-François Veil and François Esclatine are all highly regarded. The firm is managing a caseload of high-profile political and financial matters, involving sensitive tax, corruption and money-laundering issues.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has ‘a very good, dedicated and thorough team with good English skills, which is able to deliver quickly in a structured fashion’. The practice is managing an impressive caseload, especially in the financial sector, where it regularly defends leading French and international banks. The firm has been acting on several high-profile tax fraud cases, and recently represented UBS before the Paris Criminal Court in a much-discussed case. The firm is acting for leading French and international companies in major industrial and international corruption cases. The practice also handles compliance and regulatory enforcement cases, and recently secured one of the first settlements ever reached with the French securities regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), for Deutsche Bank. ‘Excellent and meticulous’ practice head Denis Chemla is 'hardworking’ and ‘passionate about his cases', has ‘high-quality writing skills’ and ‘is a pleasure to watch pleading’. The team also includes new addition Hippolyte Marquetty from Chatain & Associés and counsel Dan Benguigui, who is especially highly regarded for regulatory enforcement work.

Antonin Lévy & Associés A.A.R.P.I.

The highly regarded Antonin Lévy and the equally promising Ophélia Claude set up boutique firm Antonin Lévy & Associés A.A.R.P.I. in December 2018, after leaving Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP. The pair are handling a diverse caseload on behalf of French and international public and private sector companies and high-profile individuals. The team is notably involved in highly sensitive international corruption and tax fraud cases.

Bougartchev Moyne Associés

Very professional and highly knowledgeable’ litigation boutique Bougartchev Moyne Associés is appreciated for its ‘excellent level of partner involvement in cases’. The 11-lawyer firm represents leading French and international companies, investment funds, banks and financial institutions, and executives, CEOs and other high-profile individuals. It is handling sensitive international corruption, money-laundering, tax fraud and abuses of company assets cases that are being either investigated or tried by the French authorities. The firm is also involved in some high-profile political and defence sector cases. Kiril Bougartchev and Emmanuel Moyne are top litigators.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier's ‘exceptional team’ has ‘deep knowledge of business criminal law’ and particularly stands out for its ‘high-quality advice on defence strategies, its personal investment in cases, and the finesse and relevance of its legal analysis’. The firm is involved in many of the country's most high-profile cases, acting for leading French companies and individuals. It regularly handles matters in the public sector relating to allegations of money laundering, international corruption, tax fraud and the misuse of public funds. The practice is handling domestic cases while also managing international and World Bank investigations. The firm is defending LafargeHolcim and Lafarge in criminal investigations into complicity in crimes against humanity, financing of terrorist enterprises and endangering of lives in relation to its Syrian activities. The team is also acting for the International Olympic Committee, which is a civil party in two judicial investigations related to corruption and money-laundering issues. It is also Veolia's legal adviser in investigations led by the Romanian authorities into alleged corruption in the attribution of water supply contracts. Practice head Christophe Ingrain is ‘a remarkable team leader and a particularly tough lawyer whose arguments are always very clear and relevant’. Jean-Michel Darrois is also recommended, while associate Rémi Lorrain ‘tirelessly works on the defence strategy and the legal flaws in each case’.

Delecroix Gublin Associés

Delecroix Gublin Associés provides ‘added value and tailor-made advice’. The six-lawyer team is highly praised for its ‘culture of efficiency, great results’ and ‘remarkable responsiveness and availability’. The boutique, which is also noted for its ‘strong international experience, vision and network’, is appointed by high-profile French corporations and managers and international clients to handle highly sensitive cases. The firm is notably acting on several high-stakes international corruption cases and has strong knowledge of the defence sector. It is also assisting Fiat Chrysler Automobile in the "Dieselgate" case. The ‘highly committedAlexis Gublin has ‘a large international network to handle international cases’, is ‘very talented, provides a decisive strategic vision and has remarkable analytical abilities’ in addition to ‘offering great listening skills combined with perfect mastery of procedure’.

FTMS Avocats

FTMS Avocats has extensive experience handling sensitive cases. The six-lawyer team combines strong corruption and public sector expertise. It represents leading companies and executives, as well as high-profile individuals. The firm is involved in several landmark international corruption cases. It is also defending politicians and individuals involved in major French political cases, including representing Budget Minister Gérald Darmanin and Congressman Thierry Solère. The firm is also retained by high-profile African heads of state and high-ranking government ministers; it is advising Lionel Zinsou as former Prime Minister of Benin on dealing with fraud accusations linked to his 2016 presidential campaign funding. Finally, the team has strong experience in matters involving accidents and cases with a high level of reputational risk. Former head of the Paris Bar Pierre-Olivier Sur is highly recommended, as is Mathias Chichportich.

SCP French Cornut-Gentille

SCP French Cornut-Gentille’s ‘remarkablePierre Cornut-Gentille ranks among the country’s very best and is retained by high-level executives and leading French corporations to assist in sensitive cases, especially in the political and financial arenas.

Haïk & Associés

Haïk & Associés is handling major political and financial cases, such as defending former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a high-profile matter. The seven-lawyer boutique regularly acts for a client base made up of French and international companies, CAC 40 executives and high-profile individuals, as some well as some African states. The firm also handles media law and international criminal matters. Pierre Haïk and Jacqueline Laffont are ‘excellent litigators’, as is the ‘young and excellentFrançois Artuphel.

Huc-Morel Labrousse Associés

White-collar crime specialist Huc-Morel Labrousse Associés defends leading French and international companies, as well as their top managers. The ten-lawyer boutique is particularly adept at conducting internal and discovery investigations and also assists its clients with compliance training. Nicolas Huc-Morel is currently involved in many of France’s most high-profile cases, including major international corruption, tax fraud, pollution, financial and stock-market criminal investigations and prosecutions. The firm represented French businessman Arnaud Mimran, who was indicted in the carbon tax fraud case. Cédric Labrousse is also recommended.

Kiejman & Marembert

Kiejman & Marembert is defending companies and high-ranking executives facing international corruption investigations and trials, and representing several major banks, as well as tax lawyers, in sensitive tax fraud cases. The boutique is also handling high-profile money-laundering cases, and is involved in several new securities cases concerning contract for difference financial products. It is also representing the Vice-President of an African state. Georges Kiejman and Thierry Marembert are highly regarded.

Cabinet Maisonneuve

Cabinet Maisonneuve is involved in many of France’s landmark cases in the political and financial sphere. The six-lawyer firm is notably representing the EU Parliament in claims against two political parties. The firm is also handling high-profile cases in other areas, including in the sport and healthcare sectors. It is defending Orange’s former HR executive in a sensitive case relating to the suicides of a number of employees. Patrick Maisonneuve is highly regarded. Antoine Maisonneuve is also recommended.

Marsigny Gosset Avocats

Marsigny Avocats became Marsigny Gosset Avocats after the highly regarded Emmanuel Marsigny and Louis Guesdon were joined by Cyril Gosset, who previously had his own practice. The ‘incredibly sharp, no-nonsense and efficient’  team is instructed by high-profile French and international companies and political institutions, as well as politicians, executives and other high-profile individuals facing major criminal cases. The boutique is involved in many significant political cases; it is defending former French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas before the Court of Justice of the Republic, as well as defending the Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea against money-laundering accusations. The firm is also involved in very sensitive international corruption and tax fraud cases. Finally, it is defending SNCF Mobilités in criminal investigations launched following a train accident in Brétigny-Sur-Orge. The French Senate relies on the firm for handling defamation issues, and it also advises on extradition and Interpol proceedings.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing is involved in several landmark cases, including high-profile tax, arbitration and financial fraud matters. The firm is representing several banks as well as CEOs, high-ranking executives and other high-profile individuals. It successfully represented professional football player Mathieu Valbuena before the Court of Cassation in a blackmail case, and is representing Banque de France in a robbery case involving former employees. Practice head and former president of the National Bar Council Paul-Albert Iweins has extensive experience, and is regularly appointed by other lawyers to defend them in criminal cases; Iweins is notably acting for lawyer Thierry Herzog in highly sensitive criminal investigations linked to his defence of former President Nicolas Sarkozy. Benoît Goulesque-Monaux is also a key contact.

Altana

Altana has a ‘very good criminal litigation practice and does what it takes to win a case’. The ‘experiencedPhilippe Goossens is highly regarded and regularly handles sensitive cases, including money-laundering, international corruption and criminal labour law matters.

August Debouzy

August Debouzy is instructed by leading French and international companies as well as high-ranking executives. The firm is handling a diverse caseload including tax fraud, criminal labour law, misuse of corporate assets, money-laundering and international corruption cases. The team is defending one of Areva’s former senior managers in an investigation into the company's acquisition of uranium mining group UraMin, and is also involved in high-profile tax fraud and corruption cases. The firm also represents Radio France and leading French newspapers such as Le Parisien and Les Echos in libel cases. Philip Morris International is also a client. Marie Danis, Benjamin van Gaver and Basile Ader are highly recommended. Former Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve  and counsel Olivier Attias are also key contacts.

BG2V

BG2V is recommended for its ‘high-quality work’. The firm is ‘trustworthy and professional’ and the lawyers are ‘responsive, practical, creative and determined’. The seven-lawyer team represents companies, international high-net-worth individuals, high-ranking executives, managers and entrepreneurs, and sportsmen. It is involved in several high-profile corruption and money-laundering cases in France and other parts of the world, particularly Africa. The practice also handles several cases in the public sector, and is retained by leading new technology companies to advise on media law and other sensitive matters. The practice is co-headed by Julien Vernet and the ‘brilliant and very efficientKarim Beylouni, whose clients value his ‘ability to work as an in-house counsel and find practical solutions’, and his particular skills in dealing with freedom of speech and internet liability issues.

Bochamp

Bochamp handles a diverse range of cases concerning corruption, favouritism, breach of trust, money laundering and tax fraud charges for companies, banks, public sector entities, high-level executives and private individuals in France and abroad, especially in Africa and Asia. It is notably active in sensitive cases in the political and defence areas. Chinese and Asian clients also turn to the firm. François Géry and Nicolas Demard lead the team. Yasong Lin regularly assists Chinese clients.

Boken

Boken ‘brings hope to clients’, who feel ‘genuinely understood and supported’. The firm provides ‘high-quality work and has high levels of expertise, as well as efficient contacts and relationships within the judicial system’. The practice is retained by major financial institutions and corporations, as well as high-level executives and directors. The firm is handling several high-profile cases, notably in relation to domestic and international corruption and criminal securities and tax fraud issues. The practice is notably defending former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur in the "Karachi" case, the former president of Landsbanki in a case relating to the bank's loan activities, and several bankers at Société Générale facing corruption allegations in the US and France. Antoine Beauquier is recommended, along with Félix de Belloy, whose ‘quick mind, courage and arguing abilities’ are particularly praised. Hugues Hourdin has ‘decisive, encyclopedic and complementary knowledge of public and tax law’.

Chemarin & Limbour

Chemarin & Limbour is ‘very focused on clients' needs’ and shows ‘great ability to adapt to its clients' business environment’. The team is ‘very well informed and knows very well how criminal investigations are conducted by authorities’, and has ‘a good international network’. The firm is defending top executives of leading French corporations, as well as some high-profile French companies and public sector entities. It handles a large amount of criminal industrial and labour law cases; the team is notably representing Orange in a highly publicised case following the suicides of several employees. It is also handling sensitive public and private sector corruption cases and advises on compliance and media law. ‘Very strong and reliable’ practice head Claudia Chemarin ‘has extensive experience’, while her ‘supportive approach, ability to analyse matters and very good personal judgement’ are highly appreciated. Matthias Guillou is also recommended.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is often called upon by high-profile banks and leading companies to handle sensitive matters. The firm was recently instructed on high-profile tax fraud and money-laundering cases. It successfully defended HSBC Holdings in investigations into unlawful banking activities in France, and also assisted the same bank in the negotiations that led to France's first CJIP between the French National Financial Prosecutor's Office and the client's Swiss subsidiary, HSBC Private Bank. The firm is also defending a manager of Baupost hedge fund in another high-profile tax fraud case. The practice is also handling securities and international corruption cases, notably acting in several French, US, UK and World Bank-led investigations and conducting internal investigations. Jean-Yves Garaud and counsels Delphine Michot and Guillaume de Rancourt, who has particular expertise in compliance and global investigations, are the key contacts.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is instructed by international banks and financial institutions to advise on sensitive money-laundering and tax fraud cases. The eight-lawyer team is also representing a major client facing high-profile anti-corruption investigations and defending a leading pharmaceutical company. Thomas Baudesson and newly promoted partner Charles-Henri Boeringer are recommended.

Courrégé-Foreman

White-collar crime and litigation boutique Courrégé-Foreman has a ‘very responsive’ six-lawyer team which shows ‘good understanding of clients' needs and expectations’. The firm has particular experience in cases relating to major industrial accidents and is notably defending Total, as the indirect owner, in the long-running court proceedings following the AZF chemical plant explosion in Toulouse in 2001. The firm is also highly active in the aviation sector, where ‘lawyers know their clients' businesses perfectly and know how to handle technical criminal cases’. Major names such as Safran and Aéroports de Paris are clients, while engine manufacturer Turbomeca has instructed the firm following criminal and civil proceedings relating to a helicopter crash. The practice has a diverse caseload and is dealing with sensitive criminal tax and labour law cases. It is also defending Uber drivers prosecuted for infringements to transportation law. Founding partners Mauricia Courrégé and Simon Foreman are ‘good and quick to understand technical issues’. Of counsel Hugo Lévy is also a key contact.

Farthouat Avocats

Farthouat Avocats is called upon by leading companies and their executives to handle sensitive matters. The four-partner firm has a strong track record of dealing with high-profile cases in the healthcare sector and is notably representing a well-known laboratory. It is also handling a challenging case dealing with chemical pollution and a diverse caseload featuring corruption, fraud and criminal employment law allegations. The practice is also assisting a high-profile client in conducting an internal investigation in the context of corruption claims and assisting several clients with the implementation of compliance programmes. Jean-René Farthouat; the ‘responsiveNathalie Roret, who is ‘extremely involved, dedicated to her clients and very reliable’ and has ‘great judgement’; Nicolas Boulay; and Nicolas Cassart are experienced and trusted white-collar crime experts.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has recently represented banks and individuals facing tax fraud and money-laundering allegations. The firm is also handling several cases involving the public sector and is assisting French clients in criminal investigations into their activities in Africa. The team is defending a top manager of Business France in criminal investigations into favouritism following the organisation of a French tech event in Las Vegas in 2016, as well as a Latvian bank and its CEO in appeal proceedings regarding a tax fraud scheme set up by France Offshore. The practice is co-headed by ‘very fine and experienced criminal lawyerBruno Quentin, Michel Pitron and Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry.

Gutkès Avocats

Headed by Olivier Gutkès, Gutkès Avocats has a particular focus on health sector, employment and industrial criminal cases. It is handling a large-scale case concerning medical prostheses manufactured by French company PIP. The seven-lawyer boutique also deals with fraud, corruption and financial crime cases. Major international companies and executives, including Lidl and a major international bank, are clients.

Henri Leclerc & Associés

Henri Leclerc & Associés’ Henri Leclerc and Frédérique Baulieu are the names to note in the practice.

Lantourne & Associés

Lantourne & Associés defends executives and individual business leaders facing investigations or prosecutions relating to fraud, corruption and abuse of company assets, sometimes in the context of insolvency proceedings. Maurice Lantourne and Flavie Hannoun are the key contacts.

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI is active in some of the country’s most talked-about fraud litigation, as well as political and financial corruption cases. Headed by Alexis Werl, the team represents major financial institutions, corporations, former members of the French government, top executives and private investors. The practice also handles work accident matters.

MI2 Avocats

MI2 Avocats has particularly strong expertise in the defence and security sector and is involved in several sensitive financial and political cases. Thibault De Montbrial is well regarded, as is Marie-Laure Ingouf.

Navacelle

Litigation, compliance and regulatory boutique Navacelle has strong experience advising French and international companies, and often their high-level executives and employees, in the context of French and international regulatory investigations (including those conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority). The six-lawyer team is regularly involved in high-profile cases relating to international corruption, insider trading, market abuse and tax evasion. Stéphane De Navacelle and counsel Sandrine dos Santos are recommended.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP  is retained to handle anti-money laundering and securities investigations, among others, while also advising on risk prevention and compliance issues. The firm is handling several high-profile cases in the political sphere, defending the interests of former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Secretary General Claude Guéant. Clients include many CAC 40 and leading French companies, such as Faurecia, Monoprix, Rhodia, Sodexo and Total. Practice head Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi is ‘always available’ and has ‘huge knowledge of the legal framework in this area’.

Pech de Laclause Bathmanabane & Associés

Pech de Laclause Bathmanabane & Associés is representing leading corporations and high-level executives in several sensitive international corruption and illegal employment cases and judicial investigations. The firm also has particular expertise representing accounting firms and their auditors in professional liability proceedings. Philippe Pech de Laclause and Emmanuel Gouesse are the key names in the practice, while Arnaud Péricard is also noted.

Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés

Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés has great expertise handling criminal securities cases, defending bank managers, companies and investors. The firm is notably acting for Faurecia before the Court of Appeal requesting the cancellation of an AMF sanction for failure to fulfil disclosure obligations. The firm is also handling cases relating to fraud, corruption and favouritism in awarding public procurement contracts. Frédéric Peltier is the key contact. Since publication, Arthur Dethomas joined Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP set up its Paris litigation and white-collar crime practice in late 2017 after hiring a team from August Debouzy with extensive experience in international compliance and regulator-led investigations. New practice head Kami Haeri is ‘exceptional in every way; his clients trust him with their lives and livelihoods and he earns that trust every day’. The other key name is counsel Valérie Munoz-Pons, who is ‘one of the hardest-working and most creative up-and-coming minds in the white-collar crime business’. The new 11-lawyer team is made up of ‘smart, effective and tireless advocates who can be trusted with the most sensitive and difficult matters’. The practice has a strong focus on complex cases and large-scale multi-jurisdictional investigations. It is already managing an impressive caseload and notably assisting a multinational corporation in some of the world's largest cross-border investigations to date. The practice is also retained by many leading companies and their executives to represent them in investigations into their potential liability in connection with their involvement in international conflict zones. The team has extensive experience in the defence sector.

Schapira Associés

White-collar boutique Schapira Associés is praised for its ‘high level of  proficiency’, and ‘great responsiveness, availability and listening abilities’. The firm is trusted by leading French corporations and their executives to defend their interests in high-profile cases, including sensitive corruption, bribery, terrorism and money-laundering cases. The firm also acts for international companies and investors, as well as elected representatives. The ‘calm, frank, smart and loyal’ Sébastien Schapira ‘masters his field to perfection, has in-depth knowledge of his cases, efficiently prepares his clients and anticipates key questions’. Marion Grégoire shows ‘great listening and analysis abilities and knows how to build a good defence strategy’.

Soulez Larivière Avocats

Soulez Larivière Avocats has strong anti-corruption knowledge and outstanding expertise in major industrial accident cases. Leading French and international companies and banks are among the group’s clients. Daniel Soulez-Larivière is a prestigious member of the Paris Bar Council. Also recommended are Astrid Mignon Colombet, Aurélia Grignon and Capucine Lanta de Bérard.

VIGO Cabinet d'Avocats

VIGO Cabinet d'Avocats’ 13-lawyer team is instructed by leading French corporations and high-ranking executives, as well as French and international businessmen and prominent politicians, to handle high-profile cases in a broad range of areas. The practice is notably dealing with a far-reaching corruption and money-laundering case and also handles very sensitive matters relating to fraud, public health, environment and sport doping issues. The firm also has compliance expertise. The practice is co-headed by Emmanuel Daoud, who is a widely recognised name in the French market, Emmanuel Mercinier and César Ghrénassia.

Visconti & Grundler

Visconti & Grundler is involved in several sensitive corruption, money-laundering and bribery cases. The firm notably assisted an executive of Société Générale regarding domestic and US investigations into investments made by Libyan financial institutions that concluded with the signing of a French CJIP and a US deferred prosecution agreement. The boutique is also defending one of Lafarge's former executives in a high-profile investigation into the company's financing activities in Syria. Julien Visconti and Benjamin Grundler are highly recommended.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is defending French banks facing domestic, US and UK money-laundering and fraud investigations. The firm is also representing major French companies, CEOs and directors facing international corruption investigations, especially for their undertakings in Africa. International companies and individuals are also clients. Ludovic Malgrain leads the team. Jean-Pierre Picca and counsels Jean-Lou Salha and Anastasia Pitchouguina are also key contacts.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP represents a high-profile client base made up of leading French companies, high-profile executives and public officials, as well as some major international clients. The firm is dealing with several notable cases, including representing companies subject to sensitive anti-corruption investigations led by French and UK, US and other international authorities. The practice advises on compliance and international sanctions issues. The team also represented International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde before the French Court of Justice of the Republic in the long-running Tapie case, and is acting as co-counsel in the defence of former CEO Bruno Lafont in the high-profile Lafarge case. The firm is also handling fraud cases. Dominique Mondoloni and Grégoire Bertrou are highly recommended.