Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation in France

Bredin Prat

Bredin Prat has a strong track record of acting in the most high-profile stock-market disputes, and also deals with market abuses and wrongdoings and other regulatory enforcement sanctions. It is currently acting in many of the market's rare major public offer cases. The practice is also defending companies and their executives in investigations relating to insider dealing and the communication of misleading information. It acted for former Altran CFO Michel Friedlander before the French stock-market authority, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), regarding misleading information accusations. Eric Dezeuze, Didier Martin and Jean-Daniel Bretzner are high-profile names in the practice. Sylvie Morabia is very experienced and ranks among the best in her field.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton acts for clients in relation to AMF market abuse investigations and public tender offer cases. The firm recently dealt with several financial communication and insider dealing cases. It is also handling matters relating to high-frequency trading. Jean-Yves Garaud and counsel Delphine Michot are recommended.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier is ‘very business-oriented and has a strong track record’. The ‘extremely committed’ team has ‘strong expertise’ in high-profile stock-market disputes and public tender offer cases. The practice also represents companies facing shareholders' mass actions and securities fraud and regulatory sanctions investigations. The firm recently acted for XPO Logistics in a cross-border dispute with a US hedge fund relating to XPO’s takeover of Norbert Dentressangle. The firm is also involved in litigation brought by over 1,000 minority shareholders of Natixis and former directors and officers arising out of various statements made to the market in connection with its initial public offering and the subprime crisis. Jean-Michel Darrois and Emmanuel Brochier are highly regarded. Also recommended are Matthieu Brochier and Nicolas Mennesson.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has a strong track record of representing CAC 40 and listed companies, as well as investment funds. It is currently involved in several sensitive cases. Georges Terrier and Christophe Perchet are recommended, as is counsel Alexandre Vermynck.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is representing leading international banks facing market abuse and insider trading investigations by the AMF. The firm is also defending a credit rating agency in very sensitive matters, including in the first investigation and enforcement proceedings conducted by the European Securities and Markets Authority. It is also acting for a CAC 40 company in another potential insider trading case. Thomas Baudesson is highly experienced and recommended. Diego de Lammerville and newly promoted partner Charles-Henri Boeringer are also key contacts.

Cohen & Gresser LLP

Cohen & Gresser LLP has a ‘solution-driven’ team of seven lawyers with ‘strong technical and interpersonal skills, who work efficiently with their clients’, and ‘anticipate clients' needs’. The practice acts for French and international investment funds, brokers, and CEOs and executives of leading companies, as well as other types of financial institutions, notably in AMF regulatory enforcement investigations. It is also acting in sensitive insider dealing and misleading information communication investigations, as well as stock and credit default swap cases. The practice is also acting in a case involving parallel AMF and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. Plantureux & Associés, Vendôme Capital Partners and Lasmer are clients. Practice head Muriel Goldberg-Darmon ranks among ‘the best in France in her field’ for her knowledge of the financial services and markets. New arrival Loïc Henriot, previously at Henriot Avocats, is recommended for ‘sensitive cases’ thanks to his ability to ‘adjust to changes of pace and anticipate the evolution of a case, and to push clients to make bold moves when it is urgently needed’. Counsel Guillaume Guérin is also noted.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has strong expertise in representing banks and asset management funds facing regulatory investigations, particularly by the AMF. The practice also advises financial institutions, as well as individuals such as bankers, board members and traders, on dealing with AMF investigations into allegations of market abuse, insider dealing and dissemination of false information. Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, Bruno Quentin, Stéphane Puel and Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry make up a strong team combining specialised knowledge of the financial sector and litigation.

Jeantet

Jeantet has a ‘very responsive and professional practice’. Frank Martin Laprade has experience representing companies, executives and investors in financial information communication and market abuse cases. Martine Samuelian is instructed by high-profile financial institutions for her expertise in dealing with regulatory and disciplinary proceedings.

Linklaters

Linklaters notably represents companies, international financial institutions and high-level executives in AMF Enforcement Committee investigations. Practice head Arnaud de La Cotardière and Jean-Charles Jaïs are the key contacts.

Orrick Rambaud Martel

Orrick Rambaud Martel regularly handles litigation relating to public tender offers and market abuse. The practice notably represented Elliott Capital Advisors in a dispute regarding XPO Logistics' public offer for Norbert Dentressangle. Jean-Pierre Martel is a high-profile adviser. Marine Lallemand is also noted.

Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés

Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés is retained by investment funds, banks and companies. The firm has extensive experience handling cases dealing with major public takeover offers, as well as financial communication, market abuse, insider dealing and other regulatory enforcement cases. It is representing Deloitte as statutory auditor in a lawsuit with EuropaCorp following the issuance of a warning on the company's annual accounts which might have resulted in a drop in share prices. The firm is also acting for Faurecia before the Court of Appeal to challenge an AMF sanction for the failure to fulfil disclosure obligations. Frédéric Peltier is an experienced litigator. Since publication, Arthur Dethomas joined Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is instructed by banks and major asset management companies due to its strong expertise in AMF compliance investigations. The practice also handles AMF market abuse cases. UBS, Société Générale, Crédit du Nord and Natixis are clients. Thierry Gontard is highly regarded. Eric Boillot is another strong asset in the practice.

Veil Jourde

Veil Jourde regularly handles AMF public tender offer and insider dealing cases. Jean Veil, François Esclatine, André Dupont-Jubien and Georges Jourde are all recommended.

Viguié Schmidt & Associés

Viguié Schmidt & Associés has strong AMF expertise. The firm recently acted in a major dispute relating to a public tender offer for a French listed company. It is also representing traders and former CEOs in AMF investigations into insider trading and misleading information allegations. Nicolas Viguié and Yves Schmidt are noted advisers.

Visconti & Grundler

Visconti & Grundler  is retained by hedge funds and investment funds acting as minority activist shareholders. The firm is representing hedge fund Ciam in disputes with Walt Disney. Julien Visconti is highly regarded.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP recently defended a leading French company in litigation led by activist funds. The practice also successfully defended a CEO in an AMF investigation into the communication of misleading information. Corporate partners Claude Serra and Yannick Piette are the key contacts, as well as litigator Didier Malka.

Brandford Griffith

Brandford Griffith has extensive securities litigation experience and handles both AMF investigations and stock-market litigation on behalf of banks, companies and high-level executives. The team is regularly instructed to act in highly sensitive cases, including those involving governance issues. It recently acted in a case initiated by US authorities. Diane Pasturel and Henri Brandford Griffith are highly recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP represents leading French and international banks, as well as private banks and French corporations. The firm notably handles AMF market abuse cases, including investigations into insider dealing and financial information communication. EDF and Groupe Soufflet are clients. Stéphane Bénouville, Dimitri Lecat and Hervé Pisani are recommended.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's Antoine Juaristi is a financial services expert who is instructed by leading banks and investment funds to represent them in sensitive AMF compliance cases. Generali and Ostrum Asset Management are clients. The firm also deals with cases relating to market abuse and public tender offers. Clément Dupoirier and Jonathan Mattout are also key contacts.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP represents leading French and US financial institutions and asset management funds. The firm recently represented clients in AMF investigations into insider trading, financial information communication and financial products. The practice also acted in AMF investigations into cryptocurrency platforms. Hubert de Vauplane and Hugues Bouchetemble lead the team.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP represents banks and corporations in AMF and international investigations. The firm notably represented Faurecia following investigations by the French authorities. Dominique Borde and Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi are recommended.