Environment in France

Foley Hoag

Foley Hoag has a strong six-lawyer team which is regularly instructed by leading French, German and international industrial companies. The practice has state-of-the-art expertise advising on waste management, industrial site closures, sales and remediation issues. In addition to its strong advisory practice, the team also offers solid litigation expertise. For instance, the practice successfully defended Mines de potasse d’Alsace before the administrative Court of Strasbourg which rejected all claims lodged regarding the administrative authorisations delivered in regard to the closure of a major former salt mine waste landfill. The firm is also advising Engie on several sales of former industrial sites and related liability issues. Finally, the group also helps clients in dealing with soil and river pollution crises, and advises several clients on a range of regulatory issues. Carine Le Roy-Gleizes is in charge. Corentin Chevallier and Frédéric Scanvic are also major contributors to the practice.

Practice head(s):

Carine Le Roy-Gleizes

Key clients

ENGIE

Mines de potasse d’Alsace (MDPA)

Northrop Grumann

RTE

ENEDIS

STAUB

ELECTROLUX

SEQENS

ELIS

BASF

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Mines de potasse d’Alsace before the administrative Court of Strasbourg which rejected all claims lodged regarding the administrative authorisations delivered in regard to the closure of a major former salt mine waste landfill.
  • Advised Engie on several sales of former industrial sites and related liabilities issues.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s five-lawyer team is retained by many of France’s leading industrial companies as well as international groups, including waste management, energy and oil-companies. Instructions often concern crisis management and litigation cases in relation to mining, pollution, remediation and environmental liability issues. The highly recognised Jean-Nicolas Clément also advises on highly sensitive matters in the nuclear sector. Finally, the practice also assists developers and companies on landmark public and private sector urban and property projects. Associate Alice Bouillié provides key support.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Nicolas Clément

Other key lawyers:

Alice Bouillié

Testimonials

‘The team shows high-level availability and engagement. It demonstrates strong abilities in building up defence cases in relation to environmental authorisations.’

‘The team has in-depth expertise and provides strategic support. It has excellent knowledge of nuclear law issues and follows a practical and collaborative approach.’

‘Jean-Nicolas Clément is available, dedicated and skilled. He is a great asset to have on your side as a client. His complete mastering of his field and his high strategic sense are instrumental to help clients projects succeed.’

Key clients

Vinci Autoroute

Total

PSG

Agence Nationale de Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs (ANDRA)

Electricité De France (EDF)

BMW

Eqiom

UMICORE

ExxonMobil

Work highlights

  • Assisted Vinci Autoroute with the defence of various authorisations delivered in the context of the Strasbourg’s Grand Contournement Ouest road project.
  • Defended Total against a claim brought by national French rail operator SNCF Réseaux in relation to chemical pollution spills on the railway tunnel of Marseille.
  • Assisted nuclear waste management company ANDRA with the landmark CIGEO building project to become France’s only French radioactive waste underground site storage.

Jones Day

At  Jones Day, Françoise Labrousse heads a 16-lawyer team which is retained by many of the world's largest industrial, oil, mining and energy companies. The firm provides key guidance on chemical products and major current and emerging issues such as companies' climate change commitment policies. The practice is also called upon to provide assistance during environmental and health crises. Recently, the group advised clients on several highly sensitive pollution and mining cases, mainly in France, but also abroad. Finally, the practice regularly advises and litigates in matters regarding industrial site remediation, pollution and liability issues. It also provides support in M&A transactions. Counsels Armelle Sandrin-Deforge and Elodie Simon are other key members.

Practice head(s):

Françoise Labrousse

Other key lawyers:

Armelle Sandrin-Deforge ; Elodie Simon

Key clients

Total

Calgon Carbon Corporation

CBRE Group, Inc.

Chevron Corporation

EDF (Electricité de France)

Ferro Corporation

Aurora Resurgence

IBM

Lincoln Electric

SAFRAN

Work highlights

  • Advising Aurora Resurgence on the sale of portfolio company Alltub Group to One Equity Partners.  
  • Advised Etablissements Geyer Fréres on the sale of the company.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has longstanding experience assisting leading French and international industrial companies, such as mining, chemistry and oil and gas giants, with sensitive issues linked to pollution claims and industrial site remediation work. The practice is also well versed in dealing with administrative authorities and managing claims initiated against its clients' activities by neighbouring residents. Other areas of strength are obtaining and defending necessary permits, product risks, for example regarding asbestos, and aerial emission issues. Headed by Joëlle Herschtel-Jornod, the five-lawyer team fields an impressive caseload and has deep expertise managing environmental and toxic tort litigation before administrative, civil, commercial and criminal courts as well as before the European Court of Justice.

Practice head(s):

Joëlle Herschtel-Jornod

Testimonials

‘Joëlle Herschtel-Jornod is deeply involved and dedicated. She is always very responsive, has great technical knowledge, and is able to swiftly, deeply and precisely address any issue.’

Key clients

EXIDE

Recylex

Saint-Gobain

Veolia

Work highlights

    LPA-CGR avocats

    LPA-CGR avocats brings together leading expertise in environment and renewable energy issues. The 16-lawyer practice receives instructions from many of France and the world’s largest industrial companies from various sectors, including the chemical, oil and gas, and mining sectors. The team also assists public sector entities. Its expertise is particularly sought after for sensitive advisory and litigation matters, especially in relation to site pollution, M&A transactions and environmental liability issues. The practice recently assisted Solvay with the sale of its Polyamides business, and Rio Tinto with the sale of its Dunkerque plant. The experienced team is also recommended for environmental crisis situations. Recently, the group was especially active as advisor on the validation of industrial risk prevention plans. The management of environmental disputes in the renewable energy sector is another key area of activity. Frédérique Chaillou heads a high-level team which includes of counsel Vincent Sol, Fabrice Cassin, Hélène Gelas, of counsel Anne Delorme and counsel Marie-Laetitia de La Ville-Baugé, a former Baker McKenzie counsel.

    Practice head(s):

    Frédérique Chaillou

    Testimonials

    The responsive and available team has excellent knowledge. It provides tailor-made advice in response to its clients’ requirements and is always looking for new ways to increase client satisfaction and the quality of its services.

    ‘Frédérique Chaillou shows high-level professionalism and strategic analysis and negotiation skills.’

    ‘Hélène Gelas always makes herself available. She has strong listening skills and provides great advice.’

    Key clients

    AIR LIQUIDE

    ARKEMA

    PORTS DE PARIS

    BOLLORE

    RENAULT

    RIO TINTO

    SOLVAY

    VEOLIA

    ENGIE

    CROWN

    DALKIA

    GAS NATURAL FENOSA

    Work highlights

    • Assisted Solvay with the sale of its Polyamides business.
    • Advised Rio Tinto on the sale of its Dunkerque plant.

    Atmos Avocats

    Evironment and public law boutique Atmos Avocats advises many leading industrial corporations from the chemical, aerospace and construction idnustries, as well as several local public sector entities. The 16-lawyer practice is able to cover a large scope of matters, including industrial sites, REACH, product regulatory work, and clean energy and construction project-related issues. Marie-Pierre Maître and Alexandre Moustardier co-head the practice. François Braud contributes on public economic law issues, while Julien Girard brings his expertise in urban planning and construction issues to the table.

    Practice head(s):

    Marie-Pierre Maître; Alexandre Moustardier

    Testimonials

    ‘The firm is business-minded.’

    ‘The firm provides real and close support to clients and has the best defence of their interests at heart.’

    ‘Marie-Pierre Maître and Alexandre Moustardier are both outstanding lawyers who are accessible and able to clearly explain relevant issues to clients.’

    ‘Alexandre Moustardier demonstrates excellent customer relationship skills, has strong technical proficiency and a great ability to make complex things sound simple. He has a sharp litigation approach.’

    Key clients

    Air Liquide

    Albioma

    Boivin & Associés

    Boivin & Associés advises a well-established client base made up of leading industrial groups on complex regulatory issues, crisis management situations and high-stake litigation. Jean-Pierre Boivin, Manuel Pennaforte, Malik Memlouk and Steve Hercé are all highly experienced.

    Practice head(s):

    Jean-Pierre Boivin; Manuel Pennaforte; Malik Memlouk; Steve Hercé 

    DS Avocats

    Through its 15-lawyer team, DS Avocats has wide-ranging expertise which covers the full range of environmental issues, including site pollution and remediation, industrial risk, waste management, biodiversity, and sustained development-related issues. Leading industrial companies, high-profile pharmaceutical and energy players, property developers and several public sector entities are clients of the practice. The group also provides regulatory assistance and is very experienced in crisis management and litigation cases. Patricia Savin is in charge. Other key names in the practice include Yvon Martinet, Frédéric Lévy and Grégory Gutierrez.

    Practice head(s):

    Patricia Savin

    Key clients

    IMERYS

    COMPAGNIE D’AMENAGEMENT DES COTEAUX DE GASCOGNE (CACG)

    GRT GAZ

    VINCI ENERGIE

    EIFFAGE IMMOBILIER

    LES CARRIERES DE MOUEN

    BIOGENIE

    WIPELEC

    NOVACAP

    SUEZ

    Work highlights

    • Successfully assisted La Rochelle Zéro Carbonne as bidder with  CDC’s call for proposals for new sustainable development projects (Territoire d’Innovation à Grande Ambition – TIGA).

    FIDAL

    FIDAL has a large and growing client base. The 25-lawyer team, which is based partly in Paris and partly in the firm’s regional offices, provides regulatory and waste management assistance. It is also solicited to handle crisis management situations and recently assisted a client with a major pollution case. Remediation and development projects are other busy lines of work. Leading French and international industrial, energy and pharmaceutical companies are clients. Christophe Puel is in charge. Other key names in the practice include Bruno Wertenschlag, Antoine Carpentier, Thibaut Geib, Julie Heraut  and Camille Jarry.

    Practice head(s):

    Christophe Puel

    Testimonials

    The firm is expert and responsive.

    Camille Jarry is hands on and practical.

    Fieldfisher

    Fieldfisher's two-lawyer practice has particular expertise advising on complex regulatory waste issues, including in-depth knowledge of circular waste management schemes. Site pollution and liability advisory and contentious work and assistance the context of M&A transactions are other strong strings to the practice's bow. Large industrial companies and several professional industry unions are clients. Marie-Léonie Vergnerie and associate Vanessa Kurukgy are recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Marie-Léonie Vergnerie

    Other key lawyers:

    Vanessa Kurukgy

    Testimonials

    The team is efficient, available and perfectly understands clients’ problems.

    Marie-Léonie Vergnerie has outstanding expertise and immediately understands problems at stake, always providing sharp and practical solutions.

    Key clients

    Eurecat

    Exeter

    Honeywell

    Garrett Motion

    Safran Group

    Frêche & Associés

    Frêche & Associés is well versed in assisting leading engineering and industrial companies, other private companies and major public sector clients, with environment and urban planning administrative permit issues concerning several of France's landmark road, railway, building and waste infrastructure projects. The six-lawyer team also provides strategic regulatory advice, notably on waste and recycling issues, and also assists with site remediation work. Practice head Thomas Garancher also has expertise in nuclear law. Hugues Vignon is also recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Thomas Garancher

    Other key lawyers:

    Hugues Vignon

    Huglo Lepage Avocats

    Boutique firm Huglo Lepage Avocats combines environment, public and energy law expertise. The 10-lawyer firm is often retained by cities, mayors, local public entities and associations to handle high-stake environmental and public health-related cases. The firm notably acted in several highly publicized pollution and pesticide-related judicial recourses. Nuclear energy-related matters and environment and energy regulatory, waste and CEE (Certificates of Energy Economy) issues are other areas of strength. Corinne Lepage and Christian Huglo offer longstanding experience, having pioneered the introduction of environment law into the French legal framework. Also involved are of counsels Valérie Saintaman, Benoît Denis, Raphaëlle Jeannel and Roxane Sageloli.

    Practice head(s):

    Corinne Lepage; Christian Huglo

    Allen & Overy LLP

    Practice head(s):

    Romaric Lazerges

    Other key lawyers:

    Antoine Coursaut-Durand ; Luc Lamblin ; Arthur Sauzay

    Testimonials

    ‘The service is what you would expect from the magic service firm elsewhere. Industry knowledge is as good as it gets and advices are on point.’

    ‘Romaric Lazerges and senior associate Arthur Sauzay are both very knowledgeable of French environmental legal matters and provide a consistent service.’

    Key clients

    Total

    ASSA ABLOY

    LyondellBasell

    CITEO

    EG France

    General Electric

    Work highlights

    • Advising Lyondellbasell on managing regulatory and criminal issues arising from a fire and subsequent explosions that occurred on 14 July 2015 at its Berre petrochemical complex.

    August Debouzy

    Practice head(s):

    Vincent Brenot ; Emmanuelle Mignon

    Other key lawyers:

    Hélène Billery

    Key clients

    Groupe SPR

    Montroyal Immobilier

    VEOLIA EAU

    GDE Groupe Ecore

    Rayonier AM

    Eolien en Mer Participations

    EDF

    Total

    SNCF

    ENEDIS

    Work highlights

    • Assisting waste recycling company GDE Groupe Ecore in dealing with proceedings with the French state before administrative courts and the European court for Human rights in relation to a classified industrial facility.
    • Assisting SPR with remediation and pollution issues in relation to former industrial site.

    Baker McKenzie

    Practice head(s):

    Emmanuel Guillaume ; Arnaud Cabanes

    Key clients

    Electricité De France (EDF)

    Schmolz + Bickenbach

    Shell

    Archer Daniels Midland

    Landis & Gyr

    Work highlights

    • Advised EDF on the disposal of its 65.91% interest in the share capital of Dunkerque LNG.
    • Advising Schmolz + Bickenbach in the process of recovering five metallurgical sites currently operated by Asco Industries, as part of Asco Industries’ bankruptcy proceedings.
    • Represented Shell in a dispute with Lyondellbasell relating to environmental damage legacy issues at Berre’s refinery and chemical plant.

    BCTG Avocats

    Practice head(s):

    Paul Elfassi

    Other key lawyers:

    Nelsie Bergès

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is particularly adept and spot-on when advising and acting in defense of renewables energy project autorisation issues. It is also thorough and practical.’

    ‘Paul Elfassi is very thorough and produces high quality work.’

    Key clients

    GROUPE EDF RENOUVELABLES

    NEWMONT MINING

    TOTAL EREN

    VINCI ENVIRONNEMNET

    VINCI CONSTRUCTION

    VALOREM

    WPD

    VSB ENERGIES NOUVELLES

    JPEE

    VOLTALIA

    Work highlights

    • Advising EOLIEN MARITIME FRANCE on three offshore wind-farm projects.

    CMS

    Practice head(s):

    Céline Cloche-Dubois

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is proficient, proactive and very business-oriented.’

    Céline Cloche-Dubois listens to her clients’ requests and provides always useful and practical advice. She is very efficient.’

    Key clients

    Photosol

    Mersen

    Royal Unibrew

    BNP Paribas

    Société Générale

    SODIAAL

    Certas Energy France

    Européenne de biomasse

    Hydrocop

    Whirlpool

    Work highlights

    • Advised Certas Energy France on the acquisition of Dubreuil Carburants’ historic fuel distribution business.
    • Advised Sodiaal cooperative and its subsidiaries on the acquisition of milk and whey powder drying unit industrial activities of the Carhaix plant in Finistère from Synutra International France.

    David Desforges, Avocat à la Cour

    Practice head(s):

    David Desforges

    Testimonials

    ‘David Desforges has remarkable ability analyzing the most complex situations and provides the most solution-oriented legal advice. He produces great results has the skills and mindset to serve both French and Anglo-Saxon clients.’

    Key clients

    FIRST SOLAR

    FLOWSERVE

    SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

    WEPA

    ALUMINIUM FRANCE EXTRUSION

    INVISTA

    INEOS

    STYROLUTION

    MAGYAR

    Work highlights

    • Assisting Styrolution with permitting issues in relation to the set-up of a new production line at a ultra hazardous site in France.

    Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP

    Practice head(s):

    Louis-Narito Harada

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is timely, responsive and provides required feedback on high level assessment.’

    ‘Louis-Narito Harada provides clear and specific advice. He is easy to work with and has great knowledge.’

    Key clients

    SNCF

    INEOS

    Wärtsilä

    CyrusOne

    Nefful International Holdings

    Halliburton

    Mattel

    Nordex

    GlaxoSmithKline

    Work highlights

    • Advising SNCF on its pre-litigation strategy in relation to the sale of contaminated land.
    • Advising UK chemical company Ineos on the acquisition of Wilmar’s French subsidiary.

    Fairway A.A.R.P.I.

    Practice head(s):

    Juliette Bril

    Testimonials

    ‘The team has strong knowledge of protected site regulation and leads a strong practice in that area.’

    Juliette Bril is perfect and always find solutions.’

    Key clients

    PEUGEOT PSA

    AMUNDI IMMOBILIER

    STAM EUROPE

    Work highlights

    • Advised Stam Europe on the acquisition of two logistics platforms from Casino.
    • Advised Peugeot on the creation of a joint-venture company with Punch Powertrain in Metz.

    Herald Avocats

    Practice head(s):

    William Azan ; Christophe Bourdel

    Key clients

    Cabinet Letourneur conseil

    BURGEAP

    OXAND

    Seen environnement

    Figeres services

    Moncassin

    LAMO

    Lenoir elec

    Setec environnement

    ADIM Ile de France

    Work highlights

    • Assisting Financière ILHD in conducting an acquisition due diligence  of polluted sites belonging to Riotinto and Saint Gobain.

    Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

    Practice head(s):

    Mathias Dantin

    Key clients

    Aquind

    Tullow Oil

    Burberry

    Socova & Tillet

    Work highlights

    • Advising AQUIND on a 2GW UK-France electricity interconnector project.
    • Advising Tullow Oil on oil exploration opportunities in French Guyana.

    Kalliopé

    Practice head(s):

    Jocelyn Duval ; Lorenzo Balzano

    Key clients

    VINCI AIRPORTS

    NEOEN

    CORNING

    LAFARGE

    EUROPIPE

    ENERYO NOVENERGIA

    AXA REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT MANAGERS

    COSEA (VINCI CONSTRUCTION)

    VEOLIA

    STATE OF CHAD

    REGION ILE DE FRANCE

    FAUBOURG IMMOBILIER

    SPIRIT IMMOBILIER

    Work highlights

    • Assistance to COSEA in dealing with civil judicial recourses launched by an association in relation to railway construction works done on the SEA high speed railway line in alleged breach of environment protection regulations.
    • Advising LAFARGE on drafting polluted soil and construction management issues templates agreements in relation to the Grand Paris Express project.

    Seattle Avocats

    Practice head(s):

    Sébastien Mabile

    Testimonials

    ‘The firm provides sharp strategic litigation advice.’

    ‘Sébastien Mabille is a brilliant advocate, committed and available. He provides great advice and has great patience.’

    Key clients

    French agency for Biodiversity

    Calanques National Park

    Port-Cros National Park

    Saint-Martin National Nature Reserve

    INDUSTRIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL PLATEFORM SAS

    BLOOM (NGO)

    WWF-France (NGO)

    Guyane Nature Environnement (NGO)

    Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV)

    SHERPA (NGO)

    Mighty Earth (NGO)

    Notre Affaire à Tous

    Work highlights

    • Representing the Calanques National Park in lodging a damage claim in compensation for ecological harm resulting from organized poaching activities.
    • Representing 14 French municipalities including Grenoble, Nanterre, Bayonne, and four NGOs (Notre Affaire à Tous, Sherpa, Les EcoMaires & Zea) in preparing France’s ever lawsuit aimed at oil giant Total on the grounds of the company’s failure to adequately respond to the climate crisis in breach of the Duty of Vigilance Law (Devoir de vigilance).

    Soulier Avocats

    Practice head(s):

    Jean-Luc Soulier

    Other key lawyers:

    Laure Marolleau

    Testimonials

    ‘Laure Marolleau provides useful and trustworthy advice.’

    Verdier Le Prat Avocats

    Practice head(s):

    Maï Le Prat ; Laurent Verdier