Environment in France

DS Avocats

DS Avocats‘ extensive practice includes safety, health, circular economy, hygiene and energy-related expertise, providing clients with a one-stop-shop for all environment-related matters. Staying ahead of the curve, the firm is advising on innovative projects, namely assisting Abbott, one of the leading healthcare companies, with the establishment of the first individual waste electronic equipment stream in France. The head of the environment and sustainable development department, Patricia Savin, is especially experienced in advising on matters involving the circular economy, biodiversity issues, brownfields, CSR, and sustainable real estate. Yvon Martinet is an expert in industrial risk. Grégory Gutierrez has developed strong expertise in the field of energy, particularly the renewable energy sector. On matters relating to biological diversity and sustainable development sectors, Raphaël Romi is the name to note.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Savin

Key clients

Groupement Les Mousquetaires

GSE

SADEV 94

Abbott

Duralex

Orange

Imerys

Laboratoires Servier

Kaufman & Broad

Wipelec

Carrott producers

NamR

Grand Port Maritime de Nantes Saint Nazaire

Autobacs

Work highlights

  • Assisting New Duralex with the management of carbon quota obligations related to the operation of its site by requesting the administration to create two sub-accounts, one corresponding to the past activity and the other to the future activity.
  • Advising nine carrot producers in Créance, France, that were prosecuted for possession and use of prohibited plant protection products.
  • Acted as counsel for French healthcare company Servier on the environmental closure of a drug production site in France.

Foley Hoag

The ‘excellent team’ at Foley Hoag acts for companies operating in a wide range of sectors, such as chemicals, agriculture, mining, extractive activities, metals, energy, or sustainable technology. Government entities also instruct the practice. Additionally, the team  has broad experience in environmental litigation before civil, administrative and criminal courts. In ongoing litigation, the team obtained a victory before the Administrative Appeal Court of Strasbourg for its client Mines de Potasse d’Alsace in a dispute over a hazardous underground waste storage site. Carine Le Roy-Gleizes and Corentin Chevallier lead the team.

Testimonials

‘Excellent team in environmental law. Extremely responsive and high-quality support.’

‘Great technical competence and availability.’

‘I mostly work with one expert at Foley Hoag, but she seems to have a very good back-up to assist with more administrative or less complicated matters to speed up their help.’

‘The expert I work with is truly an expert and in addition she is extremely good at explaining complicated issues such that a non-legal person understand. Further she is not afraid to give strong advice or have an opinion on how to proceed. Plus very responsive, replying quickly to queries.’

‘Carine Le Roy-Gleizes and Corentin Chevallier have a remarkable educational approach.’

‘Carine Le Roy-Gleizes and Pauline Leddet-Troadec bring invaluable expertise in environmental law, in particular on matters relating to the closure of industrial sites.’

‘A very complementary team because of their different profiles. They are able to adapt very well and to mobilise in an emergency.’

‘Have a very educational way of explaining the issues and simplifying the legal aspects.’

Key clients

ENGIE

Mines de potasse d’Alsace (MDPA)

LAFARGEHOLCIM

KALHYGE (groupeNEHS)

Northrop Grumann

RTE

ENEDIS

STAUB

ELECTROLUX

SEQENS

ELIS

BASF

SECHE

GIE OSIRIS

TEREGA

SHELL

SECHE

Work highlights

  • Representing Mines de Potasse d’Alsace (MDPA), a former mining operator, in an environmental dispute regarding StocaMine site, an underground hazardous waste storage site in a former potassium mine located in Alsace for which MDPA has obtained a definitive waste storage authorisation.
  • Advised ENGIE’s different business units on biodiversity issues, mining law issues, waste issues and remediation issues.
  • Advising the manager of the biggest chemical platform in France on contractual agreements between the platform operators, large chemical companies.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is a firm to note for all activities that have a public administrative law and environmental law component, such as major transactions between administrations and companies, energy, environment, and sustainable development projects, and urban planning projects. Jean-Nicolas Clément leads the team of talented lawyers, including associate Alice Bouillié who specialises in industrial environmental law, nuclear and energy law, as well as in mining and extractive operations law. Both stand out for their ability to ‘identify issues and identify the best strategies to implement to achieve the objectives’.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Nicolas Clément

Other key lawyers:

Alice Bouillié

Testimonials

‘A great deal of expertise, in-depth knowledge of market practices and great availability.’

‘Alice Bouillié and Jean-Nicolas Clément have a very high quality of listening and analysis. They know how to identify issues and identify the best strategies to implement to achieve the objectives.’

‘Good complementarity of skills within the team, availability, and responsiveness, editorial qualities can also be highlighted. Very good understanding of contractual, regulatory and litigation issues.’

‘Jean-Nicolas Clément: excellent listening quality and availability, particularly at ease in the management of environmental disputes, clarity and relevance of his oral interventions during hearings.’

Key clients

Vinci Autoroute

Total

Paris Saint Germain Football Club (PSG)

Agence Nationale de Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs (ANDRA)

Icade

Eqiom

Umicore

ExxonMobil

Nintendo

Vinci Grands Projets

Work highlights

  • Assisting ExxonMobil with proceedings concerning an abnormal neighbourhood disturbances claim brought by several residents regarding a platform.
  • Defending Total against a claim brought by the national French rail operator SNCF Réseau arisen from a pollution of chemical origin in the Marseille railway tunnel.
  • Representing a subsidiary of Vinci Autoroutes in the defense of various authorisations issued by the company throughout the Grand Contournement Ouest (2×2 lanes) project in Strasbourg.

Jones Day

With ‘strong expertise across the entire environmental law team’ Jones Day‘s practice is well equipped to advise on a wide range of environmental issues. In a significant deal for the nuclear sector, the firm is acting as counsel for Framatome on its acquisition of the Rolls-Royce civil nuclear instrumentation and control business in France, China and the Czech Republic. Practice head Françoise Labrousse  and Armelle Sandrin-Deforge stand out. Elodie Simon is a name to note for chemical products.

Practice head(s):

Françoise Labrousse

Testimonials

‘Strong expertise across the entire environmental law team’.

‘Françoise Labrousse gives excellent advice on strategy aspects.’

‘Highly skilled and business-oriented team, providing excellent advice in terms of quality and availability.’

‘Francoise Labrousse is an excellent lawyer, provides direct advice that is to the point, business-oriented, and very practical. She explores every aspect of each issue and provides proactive advice, too. Elodie Simon is a very precise and highly skilled lawyer.’

Key clients

Framatome

Cascades Inc.

DataBank Holdings Ltd.

Suez

Sanofi

PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has been especially active in environmental and toxic tort litigation before administrative, civil, commercial and criminal courts as well as before the European Court of Justice. With a ‘360° vision’ the team handles the entire spectrum of environmental law matters for clients. Practice head Joëlle Herschtel has extensive experience in remediation management of former industrial sites as well as in the management of their requalification.

Practice head(s):

Joëlle Herschtel

Testimonials

‘The collaboration with King & Spalding is comfortable because they have a 360° vision on all the environmental issues that we encounter.’

‘The collaboration with Joëlle Herschtel is very effective both in terms of the quality and relevance of legal and regulatory aspects and in the speed of responses. Joëlle Herschtel treats all subjects with rigour and involvement. There is never room for superficiality. Confident and efficient.’

Key clients

EXIDE

Recylex

Saint-Gobain

Veolia

LPA-CGR avocats

LPA-CGR Avocats cover the whole spectrum of environmental law issues, including environmental burden, ICPE, waste management, and the protection of natural areas. With decades of experience, Vincent Sol continues to advise clients as senior counsel. Frédérique Chaillou is known as an ‘excellent lawyer with mastery of her field’ and ‘knows perfectly how to surround herself with an organised and very competent team’. Of counsel Anne Delorme‘s unique background as a civil servant for the Ministry of Ecological Transition gives her an in-depth insight into environmental regulations.

Practice head(s):

Frédérique Chaillou

Testimonials

‘The LPA-CGR team has a very good knowledge and expertise of environmental law.’

‘Frédérique Chaillou has very good knowledge and expertise in environmental law. In addition, she knows our company perfectly well and is therefore in a position to legally guide cases so that they are as successful as possible for our company.’

‘Excellent competence, excellent team, from partner to associate. Involvement in cases, very reasonable fees.’

‘Frédérique Chaillou is an excellent lawyer who masters her field and who knows perfectly how to surround herself with an organised and very competent team; she has an excellent relationship with all the levels to which she is exposed in the company; she sets strategies in the files that are very relevant and savvy. She is always available and masters the management of crisis situations.’

‘Very strong knowledge of the sector and of the functioning of various French government agencies. Excellent litigation capabilities.’

‘Highly respected by courts and counterparties. Fabrice Cassin and Gilles Gassenbach stand out.’

‘Constructive, pragmatic approach. Extremely sharp expertise.’

‘Dynamic team, fully attentive, with complementary profiles.’

‘Frédérique Chaillou is 100% attentive, eager to be as close as possible to business needs, her services therefore optimise their added value. Anne Delorme brings comfort to the technical vision and the administrative assessment of environmental issues. This reassures and is appreciated by operational staff.’

Key clients

AIR LIQUIDE

ADP

ARKEMA

BOLLORE

CROWN

DALKIA

ENGIE

RENAULT

RIO TINTO

SOLVAY

VEOLIA

GAZEL ENERGIE

Atmos Avocats

Led by Alexandre Moustardier and Marie-Pierre Maitre, the Atmos Avocats team has ‘strong expertise across the whole spectrum of environmental subjects’. In line with new regulations relating to the circular economy and waste, the firm has been heavily involved in advisory work for organisations such as DASTRI, an eco-organisation dedicated to the collection and disposal of infectious risk healthcare waste.

Other key lawyers:

François Braud; Julien Girard

Testimonials

‘The ATMOS firm has developed a very strong expertise across the whole spectrum of environmental subjects. This makes it possible to call on them whatever the subject and to find a workable solution. Another great quality of the firm is to seek balanced solutions, which make it possible to reach an agreement with the stakeholders, because they integrate the context well. Finally, we must salute the responsiveness of the firm, which does its utmost to respond as quickly as possible, often at very short notice.’

‘Two individuals to recommend without hesitation: Marie-Pierre Maître, of course, whose advice is always informed, and Laura Gazzarin who also demonstrates a detailed analysis of the situations submitted to her.’

‘Each counsel takes into account the business context, societal aspects, and regulatory dynamics in the area in question: this anticipatory and contextual approach is not a practice that their competitiors always adopt.’

‘The ATMOS teams show the greatest availability and attentiveness to clients. They provide the best advice in the area for which I am contacting them: the applicable regulations in the environment sector.’

‘The lawyer-partner in charge of our case knows how to be a teacher in her explanations. She knows how to choose the right and relevant words. Her explanations are fluid and very clear. Her support is greatly valued.’

‘Great responsiveness and professionalism.’

‘Marie-Pierre Maitre has a very good knowledge of our activity and understands the issues very quickly, which saves precious time for us.’

Key clients

Lafarge Holcim

Albioma

Vicat

Carrières Nivet

Brenntag

Vinci Immobilier

LVMH

Nemera

Bosch

Airbus Group

Bic group

PMC Isochem

Air Liquide

DASTRI

Kuehne Nagel

SANOFI

ARISTON

David Desforges, Avocat à la Cour

Sole practitioner David Desforges is ‘one of the big names in environmental law in Paris’. With a full-service offering in environmental law, he is counsel to an impressive client list of big names such as Schneider Electrics. Desforges is able to provide a complete service across advisory, litigation and transactional matters. In close collaboration with international law firms, Desforges is often called upon for his ‘exceptional knowledge in his area of expertise’.  In a stand-out matter, he advised Seche Environnement on multi-million bids for the take-over of several municipal and industrial waste collection and disposal businesses.

Practice head(s):

David Desforges

Testimonials

‘David Desforges is one of the big names in environmental law in Paris. He has practiced it for many years on complex cases.’

‘David Desforges has an intimate knowledge of environmental law issues. His experience is impressive. It is felt in his reflection on the questions submitted to him and on the pragmatic solutions he sets out. I highly recommend.’

‘David Desforges is a brilliant lawyer. David is always extremely responsive and has exceptional knowledge in his area of expertise. Nothing is too much trouble and I would have no hesitation in recommending him.’

‘David Desforges is an excellent professional. Always available, including in an emergency, he has a very good technical knowledge of his subject, an acute knowledge of procedures and an excellent relationship with the client.’

‘David is an excellent environmental specialist. His advice is very good technically, but also business-oriented to take into account the necessary practical constraints. I would definitely work with David in the future on environmental issues and will recommend him without hesitation.’

Key clients

SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT

AXENS

McCAIN

OSTIUM

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

COMET FRANCE

RECTIPHASE

INEOS

MAGYAR

INVENSYS

Work highlights

  • Advising SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT on multi-million bids for take-overs of several municipal and industrial waste collection and disposal businesses as well as sanitation services operations in France and abroad.
  • Assisting OSTIUM, a medical instrumentation manufacturer, with obtaining the regulatory approval of an innovative on-site disposable/recyclable line of medical instruments designed to reduce the disposal and incineration of hospital waste.
  • Advised a frozen foodstuffs leader on the qualification at the EU scale of part of its production waste, namely food non-intended for human consumption as by-products for use in the feed industry.

FIDAL

Spread across 12 regional divisions, FIDAL‘s team of environmental lawyers has a thorough knowledge of local administrative authorities and jurisdictions. Alongside general environmental law, the firm has developed a specialised offering in water law, circular economy and waste management, brownfields, industrial risk management, renewable energy, insolvency, outdoor advertising, and quarries. The firm has formed partnerships with non-legal companies to create synergies and enhance the FIDAL network. Partner Christophe Puel directs the practice.

Practice head(s):

Christophe Puel; Thibaut Geib

Testimonials

‘People who know very well understand the technical aspects and adapt to the operations of companies.’

‘FIDAL is a privileged partner. We systematically recommend them when, on particularly specialised or sensitive subjects, our technical and regulatory expertise proves to be insufficient.’

‘It is above all the reassuring expertise of FIDAL that our clients seek and that is why we recommend FIDAL to them when we believe it could be of benefit to them. The availability of FIDAL and the team’s promptness in responding to the needs of clients is also a strength.’

Fieldfisher

The Fieldfisher team has ‘experts in environmental law’ and is entrusted by major clients such as Zentiva and Safran. The firm has developed special expertise in the circular economy following the introduction of French legislation on the matter, advising numerous new clients such as Hema, Olympus, and Zentiva. Marie-Léonie Vergnerie leads the team. Emmanuel Paillard often provides advice to UK and US insurance companies covering the financial liability of the annulment of environmental authorisations, particularly in the renewable energy sector in France.

Practice head(s):

Marie-Léonie Vergnerie

Testimonials

‘Marie-Léonie Vergnerie and her team are experts in environmental law and demonstrate speed, efficiency and availability.’

Key clients

ECOLAB

EURECAT

HEMA

ITW

JELD WEN

MOBIVIA

OLYMPUS

SAFRAN

STCM

ZENTIVA

Herald Avocats

The environmental team at Herald is known for its ‘holistic thinking with excellent knowledge of the law’. Co-head of the department, Christophe Bourdel acts for industrial companies in the chemical and petroleum sectors. On the side of land operators and large French companies, William Azan handles all environmental law concerns. Associate France-Olivia Kwan‘s cross-practice expertise in real estate and environmental law makes her particularly involved in issues related to the sale and purchase of industrial sites, and in the redevelopment of wastelands and liabilities relating to polluted soils.

Other key lawyers:

France-Olivia Kwan

Testimonials

‘The files handled by Herald in matters of public environmental law were of course prepared with a lot of technical skill,  but above all a lot of vision allowing an effective presentation of the problem.’

‘William Azan has great expertise and is attentive to his clients within the framework of a real relationship intuitu personae with an ‘à la carte’ service.’

‘A firm at the service of projects, seeking solutions.’

‘William Azan is particularly available. The deadlines are always met.’

‘The team has been very professional in answering quickly and efficiently countering the arguments of the opposite side.’

‘I particularly appreciated the will to win the case of our lawyer in spite of the pandemic context which did not allow face-to-face contact between us. We felt we were in very good and knowledgeable hands whatever the outcome of the case.’

‘The team that Herald has put at our disposal is diligent, proactive and very knowledgeable. They are creative and always solution-oriented. They rapidly understand the technicalities and scientific complexity and are able to translate this into a legal and tactical approach.’

‘We work with Christophe Bourdel and France-Olivia Kwan and tremendously appreciate their good sense of humour in tackling some of our more complex environmental issues. They combine holistic thinking with excellent knowledge of the law.’

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP

Practice head(s):

Romaric Lazerges

Testimonials

‘Arthur Sauzay is outstanding. Always a pleasure to work with!’

‘Arthur Sauzay is outstanding in his depth of knowledge and wider contextual understanding of almost all topics.’

‘The team with which I exchanged seems to me to be very efficient, they knew how to ask questions to get me to specify and explain my needs. The team’s approach is also very efficient and allows you to optimise meeting time.’

‘The people with whom I work are responsive. I was also able to observe a rather effective back-up system to avoid remaining unanswered in the event of the absence of the main relay within the firm.’

‘Arthur Sauzay is a remarkable expert in energy subjects, very responsive and particularly pleasant and accessible. He knows how to put me in touch with the right partners and collaborators as soon as necessary, on sometimes very specific subjects.’

‘A very strong implication in terms of advice, including in terms of putting in touch with professionals of the sector to gain more insight. Likewise, the subjects managed pro bono are handled with the greatest professionalism, and with a very strong implication both in substance and in terms of hourly availability.’

‘My main point of contact at Allen & Overy is Arthur Sauzay, who stands out for his availability and the relevance of his analyses. His day-to-day advice is a precious help for the accomplishment of my missions, as is his sectorial expertise.’

‘Young and dynamic team that has been able to respond effectively to very specific legal issues in a very short time.’

Key clients

Air France – KLM

Air Liquide

General Electric

Ionity

Natixis

TotalEnergies

Work highlights

  • Representing TotalEnergies in the first climate litigation against a private company, brought by several NGOs and local authorities in January 2020 before the Judicial Tribunal of Nanterre.
  • Advising Air France-KLM on sustainability-related issues.
  • Assisting Ionity, a joint venture of several major German car manufacturers, with the deployment of its fast-charging network of electric vehicles across Europe.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie

Other key lawyers:

Rémi Ducloyer; Roman Roussel

Key clients

ADP (Aéroports de Paris)

Electricité de France (EDF)

Landis+ Gyr

Schmolz + Bickenbach

Shell

Leggett & Platt

MSD (Merck Sharp Dohme)

Nyrstar

Work highlights

  • Representing ADP (Aéroports de Paris) in litigation with Société Civile Immobilière relating to ADP’s withdrawal of a soundproofing grant issued to Société Civile Immobilière on the basis of fraud.
  • Representing Shell in a dispute with Lyondellbasell Holdings France SAS regarding legacy environmental damage at a refinery chemical plant in Berre near Marseille, a plant that was previously owned and operated by Shell between 1926 and 2008.

BCTG Avocats

BCTG Avocats

Practice head(s):

Paul Elfassi

Other key lawyers:

Nelsie Bergès

Testimonials

‘BCTG Avocats is a benchmark firm in the renewable energy sector and deserves its solid reputation. It has a diversified team, very committed and with cutting-edge expertise in renewable energies, expertise that it draws in particular from these multiple experiences as an advisor to all types of players in the sector.’

‘Paul Elfassi is remarkably clear in his explanations and his legal reasoning. He perfectly masters his field and is endowed with an agile mind. He is an excellent speaker. He is at the same time rigorous, creative and pragmatic in his advice. His great availability is greatly appreciated. He forms a very good pairing with Nelsie Bergès, who is just as competent and committed.’

‘Expertise in environmental law, high biodiversity stakes in our business sector, and the firm is particularly relevant and responsive (and proactive) in this regard.’

‘Paul Elfassi: available, concise.’

‘Nelsie Berges: available, concise and pragmatic.’

Key clients

EDF RENOUVELABLES Group

NEWMONT MINING

TOTAL Group

PORT ATLANTIQUE LA ROCHELLE

VALOREM

TOTAL EREN

VOLTALIA

JPEE

VSB ENERGIES NOUVELLES

WPD

Work highlights

  • Handling circa 180 litigations before administrative courts in respect of the validity and legality of the administrative authorisations that are necessary to build and operate a renewable energy project and other projects with environmental issues.
  • Successfully represented EDF Group and Endbridge in  litigation on the adequacy of the environmental impact studies associated with three offshore wind farm projects awarded to St Nazaire, Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-mer after the first state tender.
  • Assisted Port Atlantique la Rochelle with the awarding of the public contract of new port facilities to modernise the port, advising the client on regulatory and environmental matters, including a complex litigation against the environmental authorisation.

CMS

CMS

Key clients

Cogedim

Tupperware

Paris 2024

MontanSolar

Nordex

Photosol

Meridiam

Mac Cain

Pomona

KSB

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel for Nordex Group on the sale to the RWE Group of its European platform for the development of onshore wind and solar projects in France, Poland, Spain and Sweden of a total of 2.7GW.
  • Advised Sofiwaga Infra, an SPV owned by Waga Energy and Meridiam, and SP Waga 1 regarding the development of four WAGABOX® units, which produce biomethane.
  • Assisted Agence Française de Développement with drafting the documentation of its subscription to the first green bond of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), a South African development finance institution.

Fairway A.A.R.P.I.

Fairway A.A.R.P.I.

Practice head(s):

Juliette Bril

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Gaide

Testimonials

‘The strong points: High responsiveness, very serious, high reliability, knowledge, competence, negotiation skills.’

‘Juliette Bril is very pragmatic, an educator, and always has a solution to our ICPE issues. She is a benchmark in environmental law. She is result-oriented, gets to the bottom of things and I consider her perfect in her role! The subject is difficult and Juliette’s expertise is a major asset. There is no weak point.’

‘The FAIRWAY team has great environmental expertise in our industrial land issues, and knows how to support us by proposing an adequate drafting of contracts preserving our interests and protecting us.’

‘Juliette Bril and Sophie Gaide are both very responsive and know how to accompany us on very complex subjects, while preserving our interests, sometimes within very tight deadlines. They also have very good relationship skills, which always makes working with them pleasant and efficient!’

‘Juliette Bril and her team have an expertise in environmental law that is unique in the market. Her skills allow us to deal with all the environmental aspects of a transaction, both the authorisation aspects and the pollution aspects, as part of the audit work and the negotiation of transaction documents.’

‘Juliette Bril knows her field very well and is one of the few on the market to have this practice.’

Key clients

Stellantis

Nidec Leroy Somer

Nutrimaine

STAM EUROPE

McDonalds

ADIM

Amundi

Générale du Solaire

Technicolor

Federal Mogul Operation France

Huglo Lepage Avocats

Huglo Lepage Avocats

Kalliopé

Kalliopé

Practice head(s):

Lorenzo Balzano; Jocelyn Duval

Testimonials

‘Jocelyn Duval’s technicality and responsiveness stand out.’

‘Jocelyn Duval provides us with a valuable service, with great responsiveness, whether it is providing practical advice or a deep and comprehensive analysis.’

Key clients

VINCI AIRPORTS

NEOEN

CORNING

LAFARGE

EUROPIPE

ENERYO NOVENERGIA

AXA REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT MANAGERS

VEOLIA

STATE OF CHAD

REGION ILE DE FRANCE

EDF (RE)

SPIRIT IMMOBILIER

EUROCAPE

Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats

Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats

Practice head(s):

Jean Latournerie

Key clients

SNCF RESEAU

RATP

FRENCH STATE

AEROPORTS DE PARIS

PARADIGMES

PARADIGMES

Practice head(s):

Evguenia Dereviankine