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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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France > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Employment

Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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August Debouzy acts for a client base including many high-profile French and international corporations. The 37-lawyer team handles highly complex matters, including recently managing sensitive restructurings, site closures, mass redundancies, strikes and insolvency situations. The practice is also kept busy handling high-stakes individual and collective litigation. It recently secured a number of favourable outcomes in particularly difficult cases concerning illegal subcontracting and work contract re-qualification claims, respectively. The highly regarded Emmanuelle Barbara heads the practice. Other key names are Fabienne Haas, Marie-HélÚne Bensadoun, Virginie Devos, Eric Manca, Catherine Le Manchec and Anaïs Qureshi. Counsels Diane Reboursier and Flore Poloni are also noted.

Bredin Prat is praised for its ‘extraordinary responsiveness, efficiency, expertise, strategic approach and availability’. The 20-lawyer team, which has ‘very high level technique’, acts for leading French and international companies. It recently worked on the implementation of several mass-redundancies and workforce transfer projects and handled subsequent litigation and assisted with the negotiation of new collective voluntary departure schemes. The team, which has ‘great knowledge of the IT sector and is able to adapt quickly to that environment’, is also handling high-stakes litigation for e-companies. It is notably defending Uber in litigation concerning claims initiated by numerous drivers and the French social security collector agency challenging the status of its drivers. The practice is also handling a major case relating to back-dated profit sharing payments and has extensive experience advising on high-profile M&A transactions. It notably assisted Tata Steel with the setting up of a joint-venture with Thyssenkrupp, and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri on the employment elements of its acquisition of 50% of STX France. Engie, Illiad and Saint Gobain are also clients. Practice head  Pascale Lagesse has ‘no weak points’: she is ‘responsive, an excellent negotiator and litigator and has a wide network’. Cyril Gaillard has ‘excellent pleading skills’, LaĂ«titia Tombarello is ‘available, listens, understands clients' needs and is result oriented’ and counsel JĂ©rĂŽme Cordier is also noted.

Employment and benefits-dedicated Capstan Avocats, member of Ius Laboris has extensive expertise in the space and fields one of the largest teams in the market, with some 200 lawyers spread across ten offices in France. The firm is entrusted by a high number of CAC 40 and leading French companies, as well as prominent international and multinational corporations to handle strategic work. The practice, which also benefits from a strong international alliance, also advises on high-profile M&A deals, recently handling key matters in the healthcare and aeronautics sectors. The group has recently been kept busy advising on major restructuring projects, which includes assisting with business closures and mass lay-offs. It also handled highly sensitive litigation, notably concerning the termination of major public sector procurement contracts. Pascal Lagoutte, Bruno Serizay, Jean-Michel Mir and Guillaume Bordier are experts in employment. Also involved are Anne Murgier, Anne-Laure PériÚs, Delphine Stella-Bernad and Marie-Pierre Olive.

Chassany Watrelot & AssociĂ©s (CWA) has ‘very strong expertise’, is ‘highly reliable, anticipates clients' needs’ and ‘takes into account clients' views and objectives’. The employment law boutique houses some 50 lawyers based in Paris, Lyon and Marseille, and also has four offices in the Maghreb area with an additional ten lawyers. The group has a full range of expertise and regularly advises a high-profile client base on business-critical strategic matters including major restructuring and M&A projects, and also has strong expertise in the social security, pensions, benefits and welfare protection fields. The practice advised new client Carrefour on the implementation of its major transformation plan and assisted Schmolz + Bickenbach with the takeover of Asco Industries and its subsequent reorganisation. It also favourably acted for France TĂ©lĂ©visions before the Paris Court of Appeal in proceedings against trade unions. Transdev and Seita are also among its clients. Key names in the team include JĂ©rĂŽme Watrelot, who ‘is highly experienced and a trusted adviser for the most sensitive matters’; Elisabeth Graujeman; Julien Boucaud-MaĂźtre, who ‘is very good on M&A related matters’; SĂ©bastien Poncet, who has ‘a deep understanding of clients' expectations, always provides the most appropriate solutions, is always available and subtly evaluates risks and outcomes of key decisions that make him an irreplaceable partner’; and Juliette Pouyet.

CMS ‘has solid experience, updates its clients frequently’ and is able ‘to handle the full spectrum of matters’. The sizeable 80-lawyer team, which is ‘very professional, has a good network and is well known in the market’, assists leading French and international corporations and various public sector entities. It regularly handles high-end work and recently managed high-stakes mass litigation pertaining to equal payment, contract re-qualification and remuneration issues. The team secured a major victory for La Poste in a dispute filed by more than 10,000 individuals requesting equal pay for equal work; the case was by the Court of Cassation. The group was also recently particularly active handling the implementation of restructuring and mass redundancy schemes, as well as advising on M&A deals. The practice assisted Prisma Media with the sale of French magazine VSD, Tupperware with the closure of a manufacturing site in Tours, and British Airways with the reorganisation of its commercial department at a European level. Key names in the 20-partner team include Laurent Marquet de Vasselot, Nicolas de Sevin, Ghislain Beaure d’AugĂšres, who ‘has in-depth knowledge of the corporate world, is creative and can handle complex matters’, Pierre-Jean Sinibaldi, Alain Herrmann and RaphaĂ«l Bordier, who is ‘always available in case of emergency, inspires full confidence and has dealt with very challenging projects with success’. Pierre Bonneau, Nicolas Callies, Damien Decolasse, Caroline Froger-Michon, Marie-Pierre Schramm and Guillaume Bossy are also noted.

Flichy GrangĂ© Avocats ‘answers very quickly to clients' requests and is able to put together a strong case’. The 75-lawyer team handles an impressive for a client base that includes various high-profile French and international corporations from every area of the economy. The group is regularly sought out to assist with the market's most sophisticated and high-profile matters. It is notably acting on key issues touching on the public sector, including advising SNCF on its conversion from a public sector to a private limited company. The firm also recently handled a lot of restructuring, intra-merger and collective redundancies work and is regularly called upon to handle high-profile M&A transactions. It notably assisted Thomson Reuters with the sale of a majority stake in Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk (F&R) to Blackstone. The practice also has experience handling sensitive litigation and mass disputes. It successfully defended CNIM against more than 280 asbestos anxiety exposure appeal claims. Other work includes managing pension, compensation, benefits and accident at work issues. Key names in the 24-partner team include JoĂ«l GrangĂ©, Marine Conche, Florence Aubonnet, Olivier Kress, StĂ©phanie GuĂ©dĂšs Da Costa, Laurent Gamet, StĂ©phanie Dumas, whose ‘analytical skills’ are particularly appreciated, Jeannie CrĂ©doz-Rosier, Bruno Fieschi, AurĂ©lie Cormier Le Goff, Florence Bacquet and AurĂ©lie CrĂ©doz-Rosier. FrĂ©dĂ©ric-Guillaume LaprĂ©vote was made up to partner. StĂ©phane Bloch recently joined from KGA Avocats.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is appreciated for the ‘speed of its service, practical advice, understanding of its clients' issues and how they operate’. The practice regularly provides employment support on high-profile M&A transactions. Recent work in this space includes assisting Total with its acquisition of Maersk Oil, as well as Neptune Energy with its purchase of Engie E&P International. The practice is a popular choice for large international groups to assist with the implementation of restructuring and mass redundancy schemes and also handles post-restructuring collective litigation. Several high-profile energy and healthcare companies are clients including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Boehringer Ingelheim. Pitney Bowes, State Street Banque, LafargeHolcim and Siemens are also key clients. Practice head Gwen Senlanne ‘provides wonderful support’. Christel Cacioppo, who was promoted to the partnership in 2019, is another key member.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has a large and very experienced team of more than 20 lawyers, who are regularly instructed on challenging work. The team's current workload includes acting for clients in mass disputes involving several hundreds of employment terminations, sometimes in the context of insolvency proceedings. The practice is notably representing European ferry company DFDS Seaways in litigation arising from the employment termination of some 600 employees, as well as Recylex in disputes connected with the employment termination of 800 employees. It also advised on major restructuring projects. The firm is entrusted by high-profile French and international companies including stellar names in the energy and luxury goods sectors. Akers and Stora Senso are also clients. Baudouin de Moucheron, Foulques de Rostolan, David Jonin and François Vergne are highly regarded.

Orrick Rambaud Martel is praised for its ‘ability to advise from a business perspective’ as well as its ‘ability to take into account the impact of the international environment in conducting a project’. The ‘highly skilled’, ‘personable, friendly and articulate’ 12-lawyer team has ‘extensive know-how’ and ‘an excellent ability to articulate complex legal issues in layman's terms’. It is retained by leading French and international corporations including major banks, insurers, pharmaceutical and industrial companies, to advise on large and complex projects. The practice was notably in high demand for support in conducting strategic projects including the creation of new subsidiaries, large transfers of employment and mass redundancies. The team is notably assisting CrĂ©dit Agricole with the creation of a new company involving the transfer of 1,500 employees. Sensitive litigation cases including high-ranking executives departures is another area of strength, as is support in M&A transactions; it notably advised Naturex on the acquisition of 40.5% of its shares by Givaudan. Lilly, Mondelēz International and Kantar are also among its clients. ‘Great’ practice head Emmanuel BĂ©nard is ‘always present’, stands out for his listening skills and is 'a master of his art, which goes hand-in-hand with very high personal and moral qualities’. HĂ©lĂšne Daher and of counsel NadĂšge Owen are other key names.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s ‘very professional, proactive and responsive’ 17-lawyer team is ‘very practical and knows how to adapt solutions accordingly’. The practice acts for a long-standing French and international client base, which includes high-profile industrial corporations as well as leading financial institutions. It also recently gained a series of new high-profile clients. The firm has longstanding experience advising on large-scale reorganisation projects as well as handling any corresponding disputes. It recently advised on several major reorganisation projects and also handled sensitive collective litigation including asbestos-related matters, as well as assisting with employee transfer issues. The firm is also a popular choice to advise on highly sensitive matters including whistleblowing, harassment and accident at work issues. Practice head Yasmine Tarasewicz and BĂ©atrice Pola are highly regarded. CĂ©dric Jacquelet and the ‘extremely helpful and efficient’ Nicolas LĂ©ger, who has ‘great professional and interpersonal skills’ are also noted. Alexandra Stocki  was a new arrival from Bird & Bird. International counsel CĂ©cile Martin, formerly international counsel with the firm, joined Ogletree Deakins as a partner.

Employment law boutique Actance houses some 60 lawyers who advise many leading French corporations on dealing with strategic matters. The practice notably handles large-scale reorganisations, mass redundancies, litigation and high-profile M&A transaction work. It assisted Gemalto with a takeover bid brought by ThalÚs, and LagardÚre with the sale of the majority of its press sector businesses. The team is also advising Crédit Foncier on its projected closure. It also acted for Smovengo on taking over the Paris bikeshare programme from JD Decaux including dealing with the transfer of 300 employees and managing connected litigation and strikes. Safran, Publicis, Valeo and Schneider Electric are also among its clients. Key names in the practice include: Franck Blin, Philippe Chapuis, Eliane Chateauvieux, Pierre-Alexis Dumont, Laurent Jammet, Emeric Sorel and Loïc Touranchet.

Allen & Overy LLP recently advised on the employment aspects of several high-profile M&A transactions. The practice notably assisted Total with its acquisition of Engie's upstream LNG assets portfolio, as well as Advent International with the acquisition of Circet. Led by the dynamic Claire Toumieux, the nine-lawyer practice also advised industrial groups on challenging site closure and mass redundancies plans. The practice also acted on collective negotiations at group level and in sensitive discrimination and harassment cases. The team is also consulted by companies' boards. Primark is also a client. Counsel Olivier Picquerey is another name to note.

Altana acts for a French and international client base, which includes major insurance groups, industrial companies and Japanese corporations. The team handles high-value work and stands out in particular for insolvency-related cases and advice on data protection issues. The practice is also managing restructuring and mass litigation claims. It is notably representing Pfizer in a dispute regarding a redundancy plan. The team also advises in the context of M&A transactions and assisted HĂ©diard and Do&Co in managing employment aspects linked to the 2018 Grand Prix France Formula 1 event competition. In other work, the team assists insurance companies with protection and benefits issues. Other clients include Airbus, BASF and Bouygues Construction. MickaĂ«l d’Allende and Pierre Lubet jointly head the team. Marianne Franjou joined FLV & AssociĂ©s.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei assists a prominent client base made up of some of France’s largest energy and industrial companies: Total, Vinci Construction, La Mutuelle GĂ©nĂ©rale and Endel are clients. Led by Philippe Rozec, the ten-lawyer team was recently busy advising on major M&A transactions, including completing real estate and public M&A deals. It recently assisted Exfo with the acquisition of Astellia, and Tf1 with the acquisition of aufeminin from Axel Springer. The practice also advises on the implementation of strategic restructuring projects and voluntary departure plans and also handled litigation including URSSAF claims. Counsel Elise BĂ©nĂ©at is also noted.

Dentons stands out for its ‘great expertise, responsiveness and availability’. The practice has a high-profile client base in the luxury hotel and life sciences sectors, while also advising major banks and key clients in the retail sector. The 14-lawyer team handles a broad range of matters. It recently acted in high-stakes litigation in the luxury hotel sector, which concerned issues including strikes, remuneration and employment contract re-qualification. The firm is also sought out to advise on restructuring, M&A, international mobility, remuneration and working hours issues, and also handles claims concerning discrimination, harassment and other types of litigation. Lundbeck is a client. Julie Caussade, Katell DĂ©niel Allioux and FrĂ©dĂ©rique Meslay-Caloni are the key names to note at partner level. AurĂ©lie Fournier joined Dethomas Peltier Juvigny & AssociĂ©s to set up an employment practice.

DLA Piper's large 20-lawyer team primarily handles stand alone work, as well as providing some corporate support. The practice advises longstanding international clients including key names in the aviation sector and was recently retained by a high-profile French company. It recently handled high-stakes matters including a highly sensitive mass litigation relating to a health issue and advice on intra-mergers. Other work includes securing a victory for a client in a dispute with several hundreds of former employees and advising on several restructuring and mass redundancy matters. EasyJet, Microchip and MoneyGram are clients. Philippe Danesi  is the practice head. Bijan Eghbal, Marine Gicquel and JérÎme Halphen are the other names to note at partner level.

Employment firm Fromont Briens houses some 185 lawyers, who are based across the firms offices in Lyon and Paris. The firm, which is a member of Littler Global, acts for several leading French private and public sector companies, banks and insurers, as well as international groups. The firm handles high-level work, including collective agreement negotiations and worldwide harmonisation projects, as well as sensitive litigation, major staff reduction and reorganisation schemes and M&A deals. The practice recently assisted Engie with a major restructuring project spanning three jurisdictions; advised Macif on the implementation of a new working scheme; and successfully represented Agence France Presse before the civil court in a dispute initiated by trade unions challenging the validity of a collective agreement. The firm is also recognised for its leading pensions, benefits and social security expertise, which is sought out by numerous high-profile clients. In a recent highlight, the team represented Pasquier before the Lyon Court of Appeal in securing the rejection of all senior bonus and paid leave claims brought by 60 employees and unions. Key names in the 40-partner team include co-founding partners Gilles Briens and Catherine Millet-Ursin, as well as Jean-Sébastien Capisano, Grégory Chastagnol, Benjamin Desaint and Sophie Pelicier-Leovenbruck. Charlotte Bertrand, Souade Bouchene, Nicolas Chavrier, Guillaume Desmoulin, Sabrina Dougados, Cédric Guillon, Julie Jacotot, Leslie Nicolaï, Alexandre Roumieu, Zora Villalard and Jean-Martial Buisson are also noted. Jean de Calbiac, Nelly Jean-Marie and Frank Wismer left to establish Avanty Avocats.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP ’s French-UK combined seven-lawyer team is particularly liked by leading French and international banks to advise on sensitive matters including reorganisation projects and disputes. The practice also advises a lot of international industrial and technology clients which it assisted recently on implementing post-Macron new schemes, reorganisation projects and M&A transactions. It assisted Ledvance with carrying a second restructuring project involving 189 employees, and Mitel with the reorganisation of its French operations. The team also advised subsidiaries of BPCE on several intra-group mergers. Finally, the practice is increasingly called upon to assist with internal investigations, whistle-blowing and sensitive sexual harassment situations. The very efficient and dynamic  Sophie BrĂ©zin is in charge. Dual French and UK qualified, Emma Röhsler  ‘has the ability to make very complex issues sound simple’.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP's team of 14 lawyers acts for leading French and Anglophone companies, including high-profile names in the pharmaceutical and financial services sectors. The firm recently advised on modernisation and reorganisation plans, as well as negotiating new collective status and remuneration. It also handled collective litigation concerning co-employment, site closure and post-mass redundancies issues. The practice is assisting Merck Sharp & Dohme with the implementation of its transformation and digitalisation plan, and successfully defended Friedr Gustav Theis Kaltwalzwerk in facing co-employment claims from 16 former employees. The firm also advised Bpifrance on the setting up of a new employee collective status for its new entity. Johnson & Johnson Medical, Puig, Edenred and Spotify are also among its clients. Practice head Dominique Mendy, Thierry Meillat and Muriel Pariente are noted.

Led by Lionel Vuidard, Linklaters’ seven-lawyer team recently assisted industrial clients, including a major automotive company, with factory closures, redundancies and related litigation. It also advised on restructuring projects including in the context of M&A and private equity transactions conducted by the firm. The team assisted Algeco France and its shareholder TDR Capital with the acquisition of Touax Solutions Modulaires, and is acting for ChappĂ©e in mass litigation following the closure of a production factory. It is also sought out by leading banks and has recently undertaken several Brexit-linked projects including workforce transfers in France. It is also involved in a sensitive dispute involving traders. CGI France, Exide Technologies, Bloomberg, LG Electronics and SociĂ©tĂ© GĂ©nĂ©rale are among its other clients. Counsel GĂ©ric Clomes is also noted.

LPA-CGR avocats has ‘great capability to go beyond legal advice and endorse business points of view’. The ‘very flexible’ 15-lawyer team, which also has ‘a deep understanding of its clients' business peculiarities’, provides a whole range of advice spanning restructuring and mass redundancies, collective negotiation, as well as M&A, compliance and international mobility issues. The team advises various high-profile French and international companies, particularly in the railway, banking, real estate, industrial and healthcare sectors. It recently assisted its clients with implementing various Macron reforms and also handled major restructuring projects, plant closures and workforce strike issues. The practice also assisted Duc with its acquisition by Plukon Food. Karine BĂ©zille and Alexandre Bensoussan are the practice heads. Françoise Pelletier has extensive experience, while the hiring of Sandra Hundsdörfer from GGV Avocats Ă  la Cour - RechtsanwĂ€lte is a strong addition to the firm's German desk and for assistance to German clients.

Racine’s ‘highly proficient, available and reactive’ 17-lawyer team advises high-profile French and international companies across various sectors including insurance, energy, transportation, distribution and telecoms. The practice, which has ‘great knowledge of the banking sector’, also acts for several leading French banks. The firm was recently in high demand to assist with reorganisations including collective downsizing and litigation. The team also advised on the employment aspects of M&A transactions, managers' incentives, insolvency and sensitive litigation including sexual harassment issues. It recently assisted Gefco with a major reorganisation project. Other clients include Isochem, BP France and Mediawan. FrĂ©dĂ©ric Broud, Carla Di Fazio Perrin, Alain MĂ©nard and Sarah Usunier have considerable expertise. The ‘thorough and creative’ Philippe Rogez, who is ‘excellent at handling collective and individual matters’ and is praised for his ‘strategic approach’, was a new arrival from RaphaĂ«l.

Vivant Chiss stands out for its ‘strong legal expertise, creativity, anticipation and responsiveness’. The boutique firm advises a longstanding client base made up of various high-profile French companies including CMA-CGM, L'OrĂ©al and LVMH. The firm is called upon to handle strategic projects including companies' reorganisations, collective agreement negotiations and workforce reduction plans, as well as the employment elements of high-profile M&A transactions. It has ‘in-depth knowledge of the telecoms sector', where it stands out for its 'great flexibility, agility and ability to provide legal security’. In a recent highlight, the group advised Altice SFR on the sale of its network infrastructure in France, Portugal and the Dominican Republic and assisted SFR with a strategic reorganisation project. The practice also acted for Vivendi on the acquisition of Editis and was also kept busy handling work in the hospitality sector including advising on workforce strikes. Antoine Vivant, who ‘comes up with innovative and practical answers that helps projects move forward in a secured legal environment’, and Romain Chiss jointly head the practice. Florence Froment-Meurice, Erwan Jaglin and ClĂ©mence Souchon are other names to note.

AyacheSalama is praised for its ‘availability, the quality of its support and for being close to its clients’. Headed by Caroline AndrĂ©-Hesse, the four-lawyer team acts for high-profile domestic and international companies. It recently advised on several key matters including on restructuring and mass redundancy projects, as well as on senior executives' departures. Counsel Justine Coret is also noted.

The ‘highly available, adaptable and efficient’ team at Baker McKenzie is particularly good at advising multinationals on the implementation of global employment projects and also has a strong domestic practice. The 17-lawyer team is retained by many international groups, as well as French companies and several leading healthcare companies. The practice recently handled the employment aspects of M&A, mass redundancies, restructuring projects and senior executive departures. Highlights included assisting with Servier's $2.4bn global acquisition of Shire's oncology business, advising Stryker on the acquisition of Bordeaux-based Vexim, and acting for Schmolz+Bickenbach on the recovering of five Asco Industries' metallurgical sites. Olivier Vasset, Denise Broussal and the ‘responsive and highly technical’ Gilles Jolivet head the team. JĂ©rĂ©mie Paubel and newly promoted partner NadĂšge Dallais are other names to note.

Bird & Bird provides ‘advice adapted to client needs’. The ‘approachable and available’ 14-lawyer team, which operates from the firm's offices in Paris and Lyon, advises French and international companies including several major pharmaceutical laboratories and TMT groups. The practice assists with collective matters including site closure, mass redundancies, negotiation of working time agreements and the harmonisation of terms and conditions. It notably assisted Semperit with the closure of its French operations and related downsizing programmes. The team also handled the employment aspects of M&A transactions including advising Teva Europe and Teva SantĂ© on the sale of its women's health division. Other work includes conducting internal investigations and advising on whistleblowing and data protection issues. The team is led by Benjamine Fiedler and Nathalie Devernay. Alexandra Stocki  joined Proskauer Rose LLP.

brL Avocats' 'support is always of considerable added value and allows clients to choose the most appropriate strategy' and its team is 'always available and good at understanding clients' situations'. The boutique firm acts for an array of domestic clients, including household name public and private sector companies. The 40-lawyer firm, which now has four regional offices outside Paris, is particularly noted for its handling of strategic collective negotiation issues. It recently advised on the implementation of various Macron reforms including assisting several clients with the setting up of new works councils (ComitĂ© Social et Economique) and the establishment of collective termination agreements. In other work it acted for FNAC in collective litigation concerning Sunday work; advised Conforama on the restructuring of its customer service unit; assisted Takeda with the restructuring of its commercial department; and represented SNCF in a major collective litigation. The firm also has additional expertise in health and safety, and pensions and benefits. Philips Lighting, AGCS and NestlĂ© France are among its other clients. Jean d’Aleman, Guillaume BrĂ©don, Nicolas Czernichow and Thomas Godey are highly regarded. Thomas Humbert, VĂ©ronique Martin-Bozzi and recently promoted partner Henri Guyot are other key contacts.

Clifford Chance's ‘very experienced’ and ‘easily accessible’ seven-lawyer team provides ‘outstanding support’. Clients point out the practice's ‘ability to handle complex M&A projects in an ever-changing political environment’, while it also stands out for being ‘very good in dealing with high-stakes employment law disputes’. The team acts for a number of longstanding industrial clients including several companies in the automotive sector, which it notably advised on restructuring, downsizing projects and connected litigation. It recently assisted Allia (Geberit) with the closure of two plants in France and Hanon with the implementation of a collective termination agreement. Other clients include Fujifilm, Visteon, Schaeffler and Pfizer. Practice head François Farmine ‘is very thorough, responsive and has a very hands-on approach’.

Coblence & Associés' 12-lawyer team advises SMEs and various leading French and international corporations, with notable specialims in the banking, insurance, hotel and leisure, automotive and media sectors. The practice provides a full range of expertise and recently advised on M&A and reorganisation projects, with recent work including assisting Terreos with its reorganisation. France Televisions and Dentsply Sirona are other clients. The practice is jointly headed by the highly experienced Chantal Giraud-van Gaver, who is a key name in France for acting for high-profile executives, Elisabeth Laherre, Catherine Davico-Hoarau, Laurent Guardelli and Martine Riou. Charlotte Hammelrath joined BFPL.

Cohen & Gresser LLP stands out for its ‘ability to deliver a holistic approach, from providing strategic analysis to delivering concrete action plans and execution’. Headed by the ‘reliable’ AngĂ©line Duffour, the five-lawyer team has 'a remarkable success rate’ and provides ‘responds quickly in case of emergency’. The practice assists several high-profile US pharmaceutical companies with business-critical matters including mass redundancies and M&A transactions. Other clients include major French and international groups. The firm also handles litigation, senior executive issues and sensitive matters related to harassment and the establishment of whistleblowing procedures. Counsel Anna Milleret-Godet is also noted.

Dechert LLP‘s ‘excellent and responsive’ seven-lawyer team, which is praised for its ‘commercial approach’ and ‘complete knowledge of issues’ , advises a well-established international client base, including several companies specialising in the new technologies and life sciences areas. The practice handles complex and sensitive matters including inventors’ remuneration, Brexit, cyber security and data protection issues. The team also has strong expertise handling highly sensitive harassment cases and experience advising on M&A transactions and managing site closures, mass redundancies and litigation. It recently assisted HRA Pharma with its acquisition of Compeed and Orange Business Services with its acquisition of Enovacom. Pepsico is also a client. Practice head Philippe Thomas is ‘sensible and commercial’ and senior associate Thibault Meiers has ‘great knowledge, is highly available and is very practical’.

Franklin has 'a very professional, knowledgeable, responsive, available and creative’ team, which stands out for its ‘excellent listening skills’. Led by Claire Fougea, the four-lawyer team acts for household name French corporations as well as various international companies. The practice notably advises on restructuring projects and handles complex individual employment law issues including harassment matters. Recent work includes advising on downsizing projects and acting in high-stakes mass litigation. Of counsel Marion Briere Segala is another key contact.

Jeantet has ‘great legal knowledge and makes sure clients understand every step of the way, always taking its clients' opinion into account’. The 16-lawyer team is made up of ‘extremely brilliant individuals’, who are ‘proactive and really direct in their advice’. Many leading French and international groups are clients, including high-profile names in the automotive, luxury and new technology sectors. The practice recently handled union led and collective disputes. It also successfully represented Valeo in URSSAF contributions repayment litigation that led the  Constitutional Council of the French Republic to amend the law. The firm is also representing Christian Dior before the Paris Labour Court in a dispute regarding the termination of designer John Galliano's contract. Pension and criminal employment law matters are also part of the workload. Primark, Foot Locker, Vallourec, Twitter and Galeries Lafayette are among its other clients. Jean NĂ©ret and Patrick ThiĂ©bart are the practice heads. DĂ©borah David and Olivier Angotti are other key names.

Jones Day has notable capability handling the employment law aspects of multi-jurisdictional projects including global restructuring, workforce transfers and M&A projects. The practice notably advised Safran on its €8.7bn offering for the shares in Zodiac Aerospace and Lincoln Electric on the €115m acquisition of Air Liquide Welding. The eight-lawyer team also advises on health and safety issues and is handling asbestos mass claims. It also assists with major individual litigation and compliance issues. Emmanuelle Rivez-Domont and Jean-Michel Bobillo are the practice heads.

The ‘very responsive and prompt’ team at Latham & Watkins provides ‘high-quality legal advice and has profound labour law knowledge’. The seven-lawyer team is ‘great at explaining complex scenarios in simple words’ and provides ‘very good risk assessments and insightful explanations regarding political implications’. The practice provides governance and compliance advice, assists with strategic restructuring and site closure projects as well as the employment aspects of high-profile M&A deals. The team assists leading French and international corporations, including a major pharmaceutical company, and financial institutions. It is managing sensitive mass claims in the financial services sector and was also in high demand for M&A and post-M&A support. Practice head Matthias Rubner is 'a highly valued adviser’, who also has ‘excellent language skills in German and English and is very helpful in an international context’. Counsel Emily Grimshaw has ‘in-depth knowledge of labour law’.

'Responsive' employment law boutique MGG Legal 'provides practical solutions'. The ten-lawyer team is 'a safe pair of hands' and frequently acts for leading French and international companies on collective employment law matters including mass redundancies, restructuring, workforce transfers and site closure projects. The practice also represented Mariage FrĂšres in sensitive Sunday work litigation and assisted a client with the implementation of a global reward scheme. Other clients include UPS, Finastra, Corning and Thermo Fisher Scientific. Founding partner Marijke Granier-Guillemarre and LoĂŻc HĂ©ron are ‘business-minded, very experienced and client friendly’.

Ogletree Deakins advises leading French and international companies. Recent highlights include assisting a leading financial institution with a major reorganisation and outsourcing project and, separately, acting for a client in a dispute concerning the closure of a business activity. Other areas of expertise including handling sexual harassment-related issues, whistleblowing, compliance and senior executive employment terminations. Jean-Marc Albiol provides ‘very solid advice in a difficult context’ and CĂ©cile Martin has considerable expertise in employment and data protection issues. Karine Audouze joined UGGC Avocats.

Pech de Laclause Bathmanabane & Associés advises leading French corporations as well as a major hotel brand. The five-lawyer team handles sensitive work including mass redundancies projects, strikes and social security contribution litigation issues. Pascal Bathmanabane and Jean-François Tréton are the key names.

Seven-lawyer boutique firm Raphaël advises on collective and sensitive individual labour law issues. The firm regularly assists French banks and financial institutions. It is notably representing BNP Personal Finance and Laser in a dispute regarding the suppression of the former works council. Isabelle Ayache-Revah and Marion Ayadi are the names to note. Philippe Rogez joined Racine.

Reinhart Marville Torre's team handles a broad range of matters including restructuring, M&A, mass redundancy, litigation, and collective bargaining work. It is also noted for its ‘great responsiveness and strength’ in advising on accidents at work and work-related diseases and for handling gross negligence cases. The practice advises an international client base that includes several major industrial companies, notably Siemens, ThyssenKrupp and AEG Power Solutions. Recent work includes advising on the employment aspects of the organisation of a major sporting event. Key names include Catherine Broussot-Morin; Soazig Preteseille Taillardat; Olivier Bluche, who is a key name for sensitive employment-related disputes and senior executive employment terminations, where he acts for companies and individuals; and Agathe Moreau, who ‘understands her clients very well  and provides tailor-made advice’.

Squire Patton Boggs recently strengthened its practice in order to accommodate a growing workload: senior associate Jérémie Gicquel joined from Paul Hastings LLP in 2017 while a team of three lawyers led by Jean-François Rage were new arrivals in 2018 from Pinsent Masons LLP. The practice, which now combines some 14 lawyers, has strong pan-European capabilities and frequently coordinates large-scale projects from its Paris base. The team advises various UK and US industrial clients and is also assisting several French companies and senior executives. It advises on key projects including post M&A reorganisations and downsizing projects, as well as handling individual and collective litigation. Practice head Jean-Marc Sainsard, Pauline Pierce and Ludovic Roche are highly regarded.

Stehlin & AssociĂ©s' team has ‘great legal knowledge, is quick to respond and flexible’ in its approach. Headed by Anna-Christina Chaves, the five-lawyer team acts for leading French and international groups and stands out for its ability to draw on the firm's expertise in tax and financing in an employment context. The practice is notably retained to advise on the employment aspects of M&A and LBO transactions. It assisted Safran with its public tender offer for Zodiac Aerospace; advised BĂ©nĂ©teau on the implementation of its transformation plan; and acted for Kutxabank on the closure of its French operations. Litigation is another strength and it is representing EDF in a mass dispute initiated by several employees of ASM. Other clients include U-Shin and Vivalto.

TNDA: Tuffal-Nerson Douarre & AssociĂ©s stands out for its ‘ability to provide risk analysis by bringing together employment, civil and criminal law expertise’. The nine-lawyer employment law boutique is also praised for ‘its good case preparation: delivering its work and conclusions very early on court hearings’. The firm is retained by many leading French companies including banks and industrial groups, as well as several major international clients. It assists with companies' reorganisation projects including M&A transactions and redundancies. The practice also handles sensitive individual litigation and social security claims. Founding partner VĂ©ronique Tuffal-Nerson is highly regarded and is regularly appointed as a mediator in challenging cases; she stands out for her ‘high-level technical skills, constant availability regardless of the time of the day, listening abilities and understanding and support with helping clients to face current challenges’. Of counsel Martine Rivereau-Trzmiel, Nicolas Durand-Gasselin and Guillaume Verdier are also noted. Criminal law expert RĂ©my Douarre provides additional support, as do corporate partner Philippe Meylan and of counsel Armelle Walters-Renaud.

UGGC Avocats's team was recently bolstered by the hire of Karine Audouze from Ogletree Deakins. The practice advises leading French and international companies, including major banks and technology corporations including McAfee. It recently handled mass redundancies and collective litigation. In other work it acted for a US client on its establishment in France and assisted another client with its exit. Sophie Uettwiller and Jennifer Carrel are other key names.


Social security: compensation and benefits

Index of tables

  1. Social security: compensation and benefits
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Jean de Calbiac - Avanty Avocats

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Created in 2010, Rigaud Avocats is a niche firm focusing exclusively on payroll law, compensation and employee benefits. The ‘available, quick and accurate’ 15-lawyer team has market-leading expertise and acts for various high-profile CAC 40 and SBF 120 companies. The practice also advises leading pension- and employee-saving banks and high-profile public sector bodies. Key areas of expertise include the implementation of compensation and benefits plans and contribution reassessment disputes. The firm is also regularly consulted by law makers on key issues. The practice is jointly headed by the highly regarded David Rigaud, Pascale Baron and Xavier Pignaud. Counsel AmĂ©lie Wazir-Leparquier is another key name in the team.

Avanty Avocats is a new compensation and benefits boutique established in 2018 by three former partners of Fromont Briens, namely Jean de Calbiac, Nelly Jean-Marie and Frank Wismer. The 13-lawyer boutique has already built up a client base including CAC 40 and leading French companies as well as prominent international groups. The firm recently handled a number of sensitive matters, including the amendment and termination of supplementary pension plans and the departure of a high-profile executive.


Social security: health and accident

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Social security: health and accident clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

See main employment chapter editorial

See main employment chapter editorial

Pradel Avocats specialises in health and safety at work social security protection issues. The 15-lawyer boutique advises a large French client base including several CAC 40 companies and has recently gained a number of high-profile companies as new clients including a major international corporation. Recent work includes advising on employment risks prevention schemes including hazardous chemical and asbestos issues. The firm has created a special certified software to process social security claims. Michel Pradel, Camille-Frédéric Pradel, Perle-Marie Pradel-Boureux  and Virgile Pradel are the key contacts.


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