EU, competition and distribution in France
BDGS Associés has a strong team able to tackle the most complex competition matters. The nine-lawyer practice advises leading companies from various sectors, including high-profile banks, state-owned companies and retailers. The team has excellent merger control expertise and recently advised on several of France's most high-profile M&A deals and other strategic alliances. It notably assisted La Poste and La Banque Postale with the merger control aspects of La Poste's take-over of CNP Assurances. On the antitrust front, the team is involved in several major domestic cases. The group's ability to handle complex matters involving the public sector, such as state aid cases and EU law regulatory issues, is another key asset and allowed the practice to notably represent France’s main banks in a dispute brought before the European Court of Justice concerning a series of European Central Bank’s decisions and other EU regulatory issues. The highly experienced Antoine Gosset-Grainville and Maria Trabucchi are in charge. Mathilde Damon and Jérôme Fabre are two other key members. Associate Giuliana Galbiati is also highly praised.
Antoine Gosset-Grainville; Maria Trabucchi
‘The team comprises great and proactive experts who have in-depth knowledge. Lawyers are solution-driven and able to adapt to deal with complex transactions. They provide great strategic and business outlook and dedicate themselves to their clients.’
‘The team has very high level expertise in the field of merger control and state aids.’
‘The team is technically excellent and has great ability to handle complex and difficult matters in a stressful environment.’
‘Antoine Gosset-Grainville is a great expert with in-depth practice and the regulatory environment knowledge. He has outstanding interpersonal skills and immediately comprehends issues at stake.’
‘Maria Trabucchi is an outstanding, extremely knowledgeable and fully trustworthy lawyer with an exceptional level of expertise in competition law matters. She is able to fully understand the intricacies of an industrial sector and provides clear advice.’
‘With incredibly gifted associate Giuliana Galbiati on your side, you are sure to have a dream team for all kinds of complex deals.’
‘Mathilde Damon is spot-on, has high technical skills and is particularly brilliant in the state aid area.’
‘Jérôme Fabre is an expert in competition law, proactive and easy to deal with. He is pragmatic and acts as a real business partner.’
La Banque Postale
- Advised Carrefour on the competition aspects of its joint purchasing alliance with Système U through the creation of a joint purchasing company.
- Advised SNCF on state aid issues in the context of the reform of the French railway system undertaken by the French government.
- Assisted La Poste and La Banque Postale with the merger control aspects of La Poste’s take-over of CNP Assurances.
Bredin Prat's successful practice is handling landmark cases on every front. The 20-lawyer team, which has excellent merger control expertise, regularly advises on the merger aspects of the largest M&A transactions in France and the EU. Recent highlights include the headline Fnac Darty post-merger case which, for the first time, saw the French Competition Authority condemning a company for non-compliance with previously agreed merger control clearance remedies. On the antitrust front, the practice is involved in the market's most significant domestic and EU cases in a wide range of sectors, dealing with cartel and abuse of dominant position. For client Grands Moulins de Strasbourg the practice successfully convinced the Paris Court of Appeal to lower a French Competition Authority's fine from €18.9m to €2m in the flour cartel case. Another headline case saw the team defend Apple before the Paris Commercial Court in a dispute with the French Minister for the Economy denouncing the company's abusive commercial practices. The practice is co-headed by leading market figures Hugues Calvet, Olivier Billard and Marie-Cécile Rameau, the promising Yelena Trifounovitch and Paris and Brussels-based Pierre Honoré.
Hugues Calvet; Olivier Billard; Marie-Cécile Rameau; Yelena Trifounovitch; Pierre Honoré
‘All the members of the teams are real lawyers that help clients find the best long-term solutions. They provide strategic advice and are able to fight in courts. They have a strong work ethic.’
‘The team has a keen understanding of its clients’ business industries.’
‘Hugues Calvet has a unique personality, a strong experience of the laws and jurisdictions and a huge work capacity. He is a strong litigant; he likes fighting , but also knows when it is necessary to just settle a matter.’
‘Olivier Billard is exceptional and makes himself available.’
‘Yelena Trifounovitch has a natural way of understanding complex matters and helps clients find the right path in the middle of a messy situation.’
‘Pierre Honoré is very knowledgeable and has experience of complex cases spanning various industry sectors. He is business-oriented and searches for practical solutions to complex problems.’
Johnson & Johnson
- Defended Apple before the Paris Commercial Court in a lawsuit filed by the French Minister of the Economy for abusive commercial practices regarding its commercial clauses agreed with developers of smartphones, alleged to imbalance commercial relationships in violation of French commercial laws.
- Represented Fnac Darty before the French Supreme Court in judicial proceedings challenging a €20 million fine imposed by the French Competition Authority to Fnac Darty for the alleged breach of its commitments in the context of Fnac’s takeover by Darty.
- Represented Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser before the Supreme Court in judicial proceedings launched against the decision of the French Competition Authority to fine several companies for concerted practices in the home and personal care sector, the highest global fine ever imposed by the French Competition Authority, amounting to approximately €950m.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is the go-to-firm for dealing with merger control aspects of the market's largest M&A transactions, often requiring multi-country filings, including EU Commission notification. The firm notably obtained a Phase II clearance from the EU Commission for Essilor regarding its merger with Luxottica, and is assisting Alstom with the transfer of all its renewables, grid and nuclear joint ventures to General Electric. The Paris-Brussels team, which unites approximately 30 lawyers, is also a key player regarding domestic merger control and antitrust cases. It is currently involved in several landmark cartel and abuse of dominant position files involving the French Competition Authority, including sensitive matters in the search engine sector. Key names in the practice include Paris and Brussels-based Antoine Winckler and François-Charles Laprévote, and Frédéric de Bure and Séverine Schrameck who both made partner in early 2019.
Antoine Winckler; François-Charles Laprévote; Frédéric de Bure; Séverine Schrameck
‘The Paris office is staffed with very high-level lawyers and is very well integrated with the Brussels office, as well as with other offices in other regions of the world.’
‘The team is energetic and solution-focused and has deep knowledge of the EU procedures.’
‘Séverine Schrameck is dedicated and very involved in her cases. She is very reactive and very available.’
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
- Advised Alstom on its €15bn proposed combination with Siemens’ mobility business, ultimately stopped by the EU Commission.
- Global and EU adviser to Essilor on its merger with Luxottica which was cleared by the EU Commission after a Phase II investigation.
- Represented Whirlpool in the white goods sector antitrust case led by the French Competition Authority.
Clifford Chance runs a very comprehensive practice. The 14-lawyer team shows high-level proficiency working on domestic and EU merger control filings pertaining to large-scale M&A transactions. The practice is also involved in several high-profile cases dealing with sensitive post-merger control issues. On the antitrust front, the practice is equally strong and advising on several headline domestic and EU cases. It is notably acting in a number of highly significant matters regarding IP and antitrust issues, and IT competition matters regarding the use of data. David Tayar and Katrin Schallenberg are in charge. Of counsel Michel Petite is another very experienced team member. Senior associate Emily Xueref-Poviac provides key support.
David Tayar; Katrin Schallenberg
‘The team is fully dedicated to its clients, business-oriented and open-minded. The lawyers have a real team spirit.’
‘Katrin Schallenberg and David Tayar are working as one team. They both are providing a high level of advice and support on competition law, are also creative and do not hesitate to propose an innovative approach.’
‘It is a state of the art law firm able to provide specialists with excellent skills and knowledge.’
‘David Tayar is extremely knowledgeable. He gives clear, straightforward and pragmatic advice. He is very hard-working, prompt to respond and very available. He is able to think outside the box and make connections with other areas of law. He has a pleasant personality to work with.’
Agence des Participations de l’Etat (APE)
Ligue de Football Professionnel
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries
- Advised the Agence des Participations de l’Etat on merger control proceedings regarding the sale of Chantier de l’Atlantique to Italian ship builder Fincantieri.
- Advised Crédit Agricole/CACEIS on the merger control aspects of the proposed combination of the custody businesses of CACEIS with S3 (Banco Santander).
- Assisted Arkema with lodging a complaint at the European Commission leading to antitrust investigation into Honeywell’s use of patents over a gas used in new car air conditions.
Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier has one of the most experienced practices to deal with the largest and most complex EU and domestic merger control filings for high-profile M&A transactions. The 13-lawyer team recently advised on a good volume of strategic matters, obtaining clearance from the EU Commission and the French competition authority, including a Phase II procedure. The practice, which is entrusted by the largest French companies and many leading international corporations, also handles highly significant antitrust matters involving the French competition authority and deals with damage enforcement judicial lawsuits. Finally, the team is also involved in several state aid cases. Didier Théophile and Igor Simic are in charge. Also involved are counsels Alexandre Rios and Guillaume Aubron.
Didier Théophile; Igor Simic
Caisse des dépôts et consignations
Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Represented Casino before the EU Court of first instance in proceedings aimed at annulling a European Commission decision regarding a dawn raid to be carried out at Casino’s premises.
- Advised Casino on the French competition authority’s inquiry into cooperation agreements that Casino had concluded with Auchan and Metro.
- Assisted Omers, Allianz and Axa’s consortium with the joint acquisition alongside Altice of SFR’s fiber activity in certain parts of France as approved by the European Commission.
Latham & Watkins has a strong and experienced Paris practice comprising 11 lawyers in addition to the firm's Brussels and other international office capabilities. The practice excels at advising on landmark domestic and large-scale M&A transactions requiring filings at French and EU levels, including transactions requiring multiple filings across various jurisdictions. Recent highlights include several landmark domestic cartel cases and several damage claim disputes before French courts following previous antitrust condemnations. The team is co-headed by Jacques-Philippe Gunther, Frédéric Pradelles and the Paris and Brussels-based Adrien Giraud. Counsel Mathilde Saltiel is another key member.
Jacques-Philippe Gunther; Frédéric Pradelles; Adrien Giraud
Other key lawyers:
‘A strong team dedicated to provide excellent work.’
‘Jacques-Philippe Gunther is clearly one of the best lawyers in competition law in France and Brussels. He finds innovative solutions and likes challenges.’
‘Counsel Mathilde Saltiel is a very good project leader and anticipates next moves. She always gives good advice.’
- Assisted Essilor Luxottica with its acquisition of Grand Vision which required filings before the EU Commission and in other jurisdictions.
- Advised France Télévisions on the merger control aspects of the creation of a joint SVOD service with TF1 and M6 called SALTO, including representation before the French Competition Authority.
- Successfully represented France Télévisions before the French Competition Authority in a case involving Canal+ regarding broadcasting contracts entered with producers.
Linklaters' impressive practice has no weak point across the different areas of antitrust and merger control. With more than 20 lawyers, the Paris team is one of the largest on the French market and can additionally benefit from the firm's strong international platform, including the Brussels office. The practice is also unique in its ability to attract and manage a very balanced EU and domestic workload. The team handles a high volume of work and is currently involved in the market's most significant domestic antitrust cases. It recently obtained a major fine reduction for a client client in the flour cartel case and also handled a very sensitive case in the energy sector. Several high-profile matters at EU level in the banking sector form another part of the caseload. On the merger control front, the team is entrusted to work on the market's largest M&A transactions. Additionally, the practice regularly appears before French courts in damage claim lawsuits where high financial amounts are at stake and deals with a highly sensitive state aid case. The practice is co-headed by Anne Wachsmann, Pierre Zelenko and Thomas Elkins who shares his time between Paris and Brussels. Also involved are counsels Nicolas Zacharie and Jérémie Marthan. Charlotte Colin-Dubuisson made counsel in May 2020. Sabine Thibault-Liger left the firm in late 2019.
Anne Wachsmann; Pierre Zelenko; Thomas Elkins
‘A top team.’
‘One of the best teams in Paris, notably for high-profile merger control and litigation cases.’
‘Anne Wachsmann and counsel Nicolas Zacharie make up a super tandem: they are efficient, responsive and have great knowledge of their clients.’
‘Pierre Zelenko has fine knowledge of anticompetitive and merger control practices. He provides relevant strategic advice. He is responsive and shows great availability.’
- Represented Brazilian wood pulp producer Klabin before the European Commission in the context of Suzano’s acquisition of Fibria.
- Represented GoodMills in appeal proceedings challenging the French Competition Authority’s cartel fine in the flour production sector, successfully obtaining a 66% fine reduction of the initial €17m fine.
- Represented Energizer before the European Commission in connection with its $2bn acquisition of the whole global battery chargers and portable lighting business of Spectrum.
Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés' eight-lawyer team's expertise is sought after for handling the most complex and high-profile antitrust and merger control work before the French Competition Authority, the EU Commission as well as national and EU courts. The practice recently advised on several highly significant merger control files, including key matters in the mass retailing and renewable sectors. It assisted Vinci Airports in dealing with merger control procedures before the European Commission in relation to its 50.01% acquisition of Gatwick Airport in the UK. In the antitrust area, the practice acts for Servier and its subsidiary Biogaran in three high-profile domestic and EU cases regarding cartel and abuse of dominant position issues. The group also acted in a series of recent and long-term domestic antitrust cases and recently obtained several significant fine reductions for its clients before courts. The practice is co-headed by Olivier de Juvigny, Thibault Reymond and Ning-Ly Seng.
Olivier de Juvigny; Thibault Reymond; Ning-Ly Seng
‘The team demonstrates sound legal knowledge and is very dedicated.’
‘The team is excellent, very committed, very practical and perfectly understands business matters at stake.’
‘The team is very available and responsive. It has excellent knowledge in competition law.’
‘Olivier de Juvigny is exceptional, close to clients, perfectly understands matters at stake and is very habile.’
‘Thibault Reymond demonstrates remarkable responsiveness, availability and pragmatism.’
‘Ning-Ly Seng shows great creativity and a high level of professionalism. She is very dedicated and provides thoughtful analysis to complicated issues.’
Groupe Canal Plus
Searchlight Capital Partners
Baring Private Equity Asia
- Representing Servier and subsidiary Biogaran in three cartel and abuse of dominant position cases, dealing with domestic pricing method issues and the first European proceedings on patent settlements.
- Achieved an important reduction of a fine in appeal proceedings before the Paris Court of Appeal which condemned clients Nutrixo and Grands Moulins de Paris to a €37m fine in the packaged flour cartel case.
- Advised Casino on the establishment of a buying alliance with Auchan, Metro and Dia.
Competition law boutique Vogel & Vogel offers a team of more than 30 lawyers. The firm handles a high volume of work and has built a high-profile client base that spans a wide range of sectors. It is currently involved in a high number of high-profile matters, especially contentious cases, including landmark cases in the media, telecoms and automotive sectors. Notable cases include several damage claim lawsuits where high financial amounts are at stake. The practice also acts in several antitrust matters in French Polynesia and handles a major selective distribution case in the French automotive sector. Finally, the group also recently advised clients on merger control filings before the EU Commission. Joseph Vogel is the key name in the practice. Also recommended are: Juliette Blouet, Fernanda de Abreu, Laurence Boudailliez, Cécile Assémat and Charles Fahrner.
Joseph Vogel; Louis Vogel; Juliette Blouet; Fernanda de Abreu; Laurence Boudailliez; Cécile Assémat; Charles Fahrner; Sylvain Corvol
‘The practice takes fully into account the strategies and needs of its clients. Advice is precisely documented. Answers are always given within deadlines.’
‘The team is dynamic, available and specialised. It demonstrates strong listening skills, a real understanding of clients’ issues and is highly committed.’
‘The team has a very strong profile in the automotive sector where it is involved in the most important competition and distribution matters. It is always aware of the latest developments.’
‘Joseph Vogel is highly thorough. He is very involved in matters and his extensive know-how and experience make the difference in complex matters.’
‘Charles Fahrner is the go-to person for distribution matters in the automotive sector in France.’
PMT (Vodafone Polynesia)
- Represented SNCF Mobilités and subsidiary GEODIS in a domestic cartel case before the Paris Court of Appeal which lowered the fines that had been imposed by the French Competition Authority.
- Successfully represented Renault in a major selective distribution contract termination lawsuit against SIAC.
- Successfully defended TF1 before the French Competition Authority following a complaint lodged by Canal+ regarding the validity of preemptive rights clauses in film co-production contracts.
Allen & Overy LLP
At Allen & Overy LLP, Florence Ninane's six-lawyer team handles a comprehensive range of competition work. The practice regularly acts for major retail, pharmaceutical and online companies in proceedings before French governmental bodies, in dawn raids led by the French Competition Authority and in investigations into anti-competitive and cartel practices. The team also handles merger control work. Recent highlights include several major transactions in the finance sector requiring filings in various jurisdictions and and at EU.
‘Florence Ninane is an excellent lawyer, especially for antitrust work, who is highly appreciated by clients for her sound and practical advice.’
Procter & Gamble
Crédit Mutuel Arkea
Samsung Electronics France
- Assisted Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations with its planned acquisition of the exclusive control of Groupe La Poste and CNP Assurances.
- Assisted Société Générale with the EU level merger filing of its acquisition of Commerzbank’s equities, markets and commodities division.
- Represented TNT Express before the French Supreme Court in relation to an investigation by the French Competition Authority into alleged anticompetitive practices in the messenger services sector in France.
Baker McKenzie's practice is traditionally particularly strong in antitrust matters. The team recently shouldered a large caseload involving the French Competition Authority and including several headline cases in the retail, food and medical sectors. It is also involved in several matters in the French overseas territory of La Réunion. Recently, the firm significantly strengthened its merger control practice and played an instrumental role in several headline M&A transactions requiring EU Commission and multijurisdiction filings, notably in the healthcare, luxury and retail markets. Practice head Léna Sersiron is highly recommended. Alex Dowding and senior associate Romain Travade are two other key members.
‘The team is highly skilled, very professional, agile, service-minded and cooperative.’
‘Léna Sersiron is an excellent lawyer both from a technical and a strategic point of view. She has a deep understanding of the economic aspects of a case which enables her to have a comprehensive approach.’
‘Alex Dowding is an excellent lawyer; he is strategic, hard-working and nice to work with.’
- Advised LVMH on the acquisition of London-based owner and operator of high-end hotels Belmond which required filings before various jurisdictions and was cleared in phase I without any commitment by the European Commission.
- Advised Lidl on its strategic acquisition of 33 Casino stores in France which was cleared in phase I without any commitment by the French Competition Authority.
- Represented sandwich manufacturer Daunat in investigations conducted by the French Competition Authority into anticompetitive practices in the grocery sector.
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is handling several high-profile antitrust cases before the French Competition Authority, spanning various sectors such as the retail, banking, food and travel agency sectors. The 12-lawyer team also acts in domestic merger control cases and defended a client in a significant damage claim lawsuit following a previous cartel condemnation by the EU Commission. The practice is co-headed by Philippe Guibert, Emmanuel Durand and Barbara Levy, who assists major retail brands with distribution issues. Counsels Laëtitia Gavoty Tolot, Alexandre Eberhardt and Sofia El Hariri provide strong support.
Philippe Guibert; Emmanuel Durand; Barbara Levy
‘The team is extremely available and performs very well. Lawyers are very professional, have great listening skills and are particularly responsive.’
‘The antitrust team is made up of excellent practitioners who have great experience. They are really dedicated to finding solutions and provide high-quality advice.’
‘Philippe Guibert is excellent, very close to his clients and constantly looks for the best solutions.’
‘Emmanuel Durand has a great network and strong analysis skills.’
Groupe BELL AG
CAA 11 (marketing agency of UEFA)
Paris 2024 (Olympic Games organization Committee)
FEDERATION FRANCAISE DU BATIMENT
LES CINEMAS PATHE GAUMONT
FEDERATION DES INDUSTRIES NAUTIQUES
LIGUE DE FOOTBALL PROFESSIONNEL
LIGUE NATIONALE DE BASKETBALL
THE NORTH FACE
- Advised Groupe Dr. Oetker on merger control filing proceedings before the French Competition Authority regarding its acquisition of Alsa.
- Advised Group Bernard Hayot on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of two retail operators located in French overseas departments, including proceedings before the Conseil d’Etat launched by a third party challenging the French Competition Authority’s merger clearance.
- Defended MAN Truck & Bus and VOLKSWAGEN Truck & Bus in damage claim lawsuits initiated by companies following the clients’ condemnation by the EU Commission on cartel grounds.
Dechert LLP regularly handles domestic and multi-jurisdictional merger control filings. The practice recently assisted ArianeGroup with its appeal proceedings launched by Avio against the European Commission’s 2016 approval of the acquisition of Arianespace by Airbus Safran Launchers, now ArianeGroup. The seven-lawyer practice is also involved in several long-term cartel cases for client Deutsche Bahn AG and handles domestic antitrust cases in other sectors. Leading pharmaceutical companies regularly consult the team regarding key competition and distribution issues. Mélanie Thill-Tayara directs the practice. Laurence Bary is highly recommended. Senior associate Marion Provost is another key member.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has excellent expertise in competition law, demonstrating a lot of creativity and a high understanding of its clients’ business. They are available even when they are busy.’
‘The team has great experience dealing with the French and EU competition authorities and has great specific knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector. It provides tailor-made services.’
‘Mélanie Thill-Tayara is a fighter and very knowledgeable.’
‘Laurence Bary is an outstanding, very knowledgeable and trustworthy lawyer, with great advice and writing skills.’
Deutsche Bahn AG
- Assisted ArianeGroup with its appeal proceedings launched by Avio against the European Commission’s 2016 approval of the acquisition of Arianespace by Airbus Safran Launchers, now ArianeGroup.
- Advised Generali on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of French asset manager Sycomore Asset Management.
- Assisted InVivo with its €1.5bn sale of Neovia to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).
Seven-lawyer competition law boutique Fréget & Associés is regularly entrusted to handle strategic regulatory and antitrust cases in the TMT, energy and life sciences sectors. The practice acts for leading players and new market entrants alike, assisting them with domestic and European antitrust cases. A recent highlight saw the practice act before the European Court of Justice in relation to a merger in the Italian telecoms sector. Olivier Fréget is in charge. Also involved is Liliana Eskenazi, who made partner in 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘A very competent independent boutique.’
‘The firm is among the best for defending the interests of new entrants with competition, EU and economic law issues. It is able to deal with very strategic issues and understands customer needs and the business matters at stake very well.’
‘Olivier Fréget has strong economic and legal skills. He shows great ability to define very original and alternative strategies.’
TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE
JOHNSON & JOHNSON
GROUPE CANAL PLUS
Centre Français des Constructeurs Automobiles
LEEM Pharma association
NATURE & PEOPLE FIRST
- Represented Iliad and Iliad Italia as third party supporting the European Commission in proceedings before the General Court of the European Union in which Fastweb challenged the merger decisions of the European Commission regarding Hutchinson’s acquisition of Wind Tre.
- Represented Janssen-Cilag in appeal proceedings before the Paris Court of Appeal which ordered a €4m fine reduction of the French Competition Authority’s initial €25m fine, imposed on abuse of dominance grounds on Janssen-Cilag and its parent company Johnson & Johnson for restricting the development of generic versions of originator drug Durogesic.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has a large 23-lawyer Paris-based team in addition to further capabilities available at the firm's Brussels office. The group fields a solid domestic antitrust and merger control caseload, with a client base that includes leading French and international companies from various sectors, such as the food, media, pharmaceutical and industrial sector. The practice also assists several high-profile beauty brands, notably in dealing with sensitive distribution issues in France and in Europe. Finally, the team also handles several damage claim lawsuits following previous EU and domestic cartel condemnations. The team is co-headed by Antoine Choffel, Emmanuel Reille, Dimitri Dimitrov and Franck Audran.
Antoine Choffel; Emmanuel Reille; Dimitri Dimitrov; Franck Audran
‘The firm has a very strong EU and competition practice thanks to very strong Paris and Brussels-based teams.’
‘Antoine Choffel is one of the best lawyers in France for all antitrust matters.’
‘Emmanuel Reille and Franck Audran are very strong partners, both very experienced and business-oriented.’
Conseil National de l’Ordre des Architectes
Maus Frères SA
Paris Olympics 2024
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore
- Represented the Conseil National des Architectes (French National Association of Architects) in a dispute before the French Competition Authority relating to an alleged price cartel.
- Represented Andreas Stihl SAS and Stihl Holding Ag Co. KG before the Court of Appeal in relation to a case led by the French Competition Authority regarding online sales of dangerous products within a selective distribution network.
- Assisted Maus Frères SAS with the merger control proceedings before the French Competition Authority regarding its acquisition of French company The Kooples.
Competition and distribution boutique firm Grall & Associés offers a 15-lawyer team which regularly deals with high-profile domestic antitrust and distribution cases. The firm recently defended French and international companies facing dawn raids, cartel and anticompetitive investigations and proceedings led by the French Competition Authority and French governmental authorities (DGCRRF), encompassing various industry sectors, including the retail and food sectors. Distribution law is also dealt with at a high level. Other recent work saw the team advise on several strategic partnerships in the mass retailer sector. Charles-Henri Calla, Jean-Christophe Grall and Thomas Lamy share the lead of the practice. Senior associate Patrice Boulkeroua is also recommended.
Charles-Henri Calla; Jean-Christophe Grall; Thomas Lamy
‘The responsive firm provides high-level legal advice.’
‘The firm’s competition practice is truly outstanding. Lawyers display great versatility and a good ethical approach.’
‘The firm has very high-level antitrust, distribution, consumer and commercial law expertise which allows for a comprehensive approach and tailor-made advice. It is flexible and responsive and able to handle large-scale projects. Lawyers have built excellent relationships with the French administration.’
‘Charles-Henri Calla is very talented, provides strategic outlook and has exceptional analysis skills. He perfectly understands constraints faced by companies and relentlessly seeks to attain the best reachable goals for his clients. He has perfect legal mastering, is very responsive and thinks outside the box.’
‘Thomas Lamy is a high-level legal adviser. He is skilled, prudent and has great interpersonal skills.’
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP has a very solid six-lawyer team able to deal with complex merger control and antitrust matters. The practice recently obtained the closure of French Competition Authority's investigations into its client Manpower. A landmark merger control gun-jumping case before the EU General Court for client Altice, which received a €124m fine from the EU Commission in relation to its acquisition of PT Portugal in 2015, was another highlight. François Brunet and Eric Paroche are in charge.
François Brunet; Eric Paroche
‘The team is strong, very experienced, strong and business-oriented.’
‘The team ensures excellent case management, and demonstrates a strong focus on economic client interests. It is very responsive and has top know-how.’
‘François Brunet is a very strong and experienced partner.’
‘Eric Paroche has a very thorough experience in all antitrust fields, and in particular in the areas of merger control, state aid and dawn raid matters. He is available, reactive and business-oriented.’
- Assisted FlixBus with its acquisition of Eurolines from French competitor Transdev.
- Represented Altice before the EU General Court in a gun-jumping case regarding a €124m fine imposed by the EU Commission in relation to Altice’s acquisition of PT Portugal in 2015.
- Successfully obtained the closure of French Competition Authority’s investigations into client Manpower.
Jones Day fields a busy caseload, including several major domestic antitrust cartel cases and assisting a client facing investigations by the Italian Competition Authority. The Paris-based practice, which can also rely on complementary expertise from the firm's Brussels office, also handles EU law and state aid litigation before EU courts. Finally, the team manages major merger control files. It notably assisted Renault with the antitrust issues linked to its later aborted projected alliance with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Eric Barbier de la Serre is in charge. Key support comes from Eileen Lagathu, who made counsel in 2019.
Eric Barbier de la Serre
Other key lawyers:
DHL / Deutsche Post
Apax Partners Midmarket
Ligue Nationale de Rugby
- Acted as lead antitrust counsel for Renault in dealing with the antitrust issues linked to its later aborted projected alliance with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
- Advised Cyrus on the merger of toy retailers Jellej Jouets and Picwic in France which was approved in phase I without commitments by the French Competition Authority.
- Successfully represented French household appliances trade association GIFAM in an antitrust investigation led by the French Competition Authority which led to a global €189m fine against major company industry players with the exception of client GIFAM.
Orrick Rambaud Martel's seven-lawyer team regularly advises companies and private equity funds on merger control work. The practice is also involved in several major domestic cartel and antitrust investigations and acts in a major telecoms damage claim lawsuit before French courts involving high financial amounts. Patrick Hubert is the head of the practice which includes Marie-Laure Combet as the second key member. Of Counsel Malik Idri is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
‘Patrick Hubert is a fantastic all-round lawyer who is highly appreciated by clients, and who communicates very clearly regarding very complex concepts.’
AXA REIM France
Caisse des Dépôts
Royal Mail Group Ltd
- Successfully represented Randstad in a French Competition Authority cartel investigation into employment agency practices.
- Represented SFR in a €3bn damage claim lawsuit filed against Orange following the latter’s condemnation to a €350m fine by the French Competition Authority.
- Advised the Caisse des Dépôts on the merger control and state aid aspects regarding an equity investment into a geothermal power project company in Illkirch in Strasbourg.
Distribution and competition law boutique Cabinet Renaudier is home to a nine-lawyer team. The practice handles a high volume of merger control work before the French Competition Authority and the EU Commission, including complex and sensitive matters. Recent highlights include major transactions in the media, retail and agriculture sectors. The group also excels in distribution law cases and regularly assists leading French mass retailers with their strategic cases, for example disputes with governmental entities and commercial suppliers regarding very sensitive unbalanced commercial relationship issues. Finally, the firm also handles antitrust cases, including two French landmark cases. The client base consists of longstanding clients and includes many major mass retailers and agri-food companies as well as a number of recently gained clients. Richard Renaudier, Karine Turbeaux, Muriel Perrier and Marianne Le Moullec co-head the practice. Counsel Violaine Ayrole is also involved.
Richard Renaudier; Karine Turbeaux; Muriel Perrier; Marianne Le Moullec
Other key lawyers:
‘A modest-sized team which provides leading law firm expertise.’
‘The team takes a commercial and very pragmatic approach. Team members are very attentive to clients’ special needs and offer the best possible advice. The team delivers positive results as it provides innovative and robust solutions to complex issues.’
‘The team shows strong responsiveness, and has significant and recognised experience in the field of merger control.’
‘The team is made up of true business partners. They are always practical and business-friendly.’
‘The firm has strong capabilities to manage tough commercial conflict and excellent knowledge regarding European and French legal rules.’
‘Richard Renaudier is incredibly diligent and proactive. He is personally involved in all his cases. His strong expertise gives a competitive advantage to the benefit of his clients. He is a real business partner. He has unique knowledge of practices in the French distribution sector.’
‘Muriel Perrier is a very good professional who clearly understands clients’ objectives and constraints. She is able to manage tough commercial negotiations. She is very efficient and organised, and has good merger control technical expertise.’
‘Marianne Le Moullec is extremely knowledgeable about French and pan-European law. She is always practical, is great to work with and is extremely accessible.’
Acolyance (now Cérésia)
TP Vision France
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations
Bourgogne du Sud
Leon & Harper
- Assisted InVivo with the notification of the acquisition of Jardiland by its subsidiary Gamm Vert which was cleared by the French Competition Authority.
- Advised Système U on the creation of its buying alliance with Carrefour and on investigations by the French Competition Authority.
- Assisted Reworld Media with the notification of the acquisition of the press magazines publisher Mondadori France which was cleared by the French Competition Authority.
Viguié Schmidt & Associés has a six-lawyer team that runs a strong domestic competition practice which has been involved in many of the market's most significant domestic cartel cases, including several landmark cases in the food and mass retailer sectors. The group recently assisted a client facing investigations from the EU Commission and acted in a complex case before the French Polynesian Competition Authority. The team also acts in a high number of damage claim lawsuits following prior major domestic cartel condemnations. Finally, the firm also advises on several very notable merger control cases. Iñaki Saint-Esteben and Virginie Viallard are in charge.
Iñaki Saint-Esteben; Virginie Viallard
Faurecia / Parrot
Johnson & Johnson Santé Beauté France
Domino’s Pizza France
- Assisted Métropole Television with the acquisition of sole control of Lagardère Group’s television business which was cleared by the French Competition Authority.
- Assisted Vacances Héliades with its acquisition by Group Marietton which was reviewed by the French Competition Authority.
- Represented video game publisher Bandai Namco in the context of an investigation launched by the European Commission for alleged geo-blocking practices within the EU.
White & Case LLP's 17-lawyer team handles high-profile sensitive domestic and EU antitrust cases, especially in the mass distribution and retail sectors, acting for leading distributors. The practice notably acts in a case before EU courts in which the legality of dawn raid practices is to be assessed. Other headline case concern the French Competition Authority's price-fixing investigations into the white goods sector and a matter in the French overseas territory of La Réunion. The team is growing its merger control workload and deals with several major damage claim lawsuits before French courts. Yann Utzschneider is in charge. Other key members include counsel Estelle Jégou, Mickaël Rivollier and Jean-Julien Lemonnier. Also recommended is associate Anouk Clamens.
‘The team has profound expertise of EU and French competition law, is responsive and very approachable. They are diligent and willing to pursue new avenues. The entire team is consistently fully committed and agreeable to work with.’
‘Yann Utzschneider has vast expertise in EU and competition law and provides invaluable legal and strategic advice. He is a powerful speaker before the authorities and in public and has excellent connections to public authorities and academia.’
‘Counsel Estelle Jégou is very proactive, responsive and thorough, and has an impressive knowledge of relevant case law.’
‘Associate Anouk Clamens is a talented lawyer, precise and extremely quick on the uptake.’
Coopération Pharmaceutique Française (Cooper)
Federation Bancaire Française
- Represented BSH in a white goods price-fixing investigation led by the French Antitrust Authority.
- Assisted Frans Bonhomme with the notification process to the French Competition Authority regarding its acquisition of Point.P TP.
Wilhelm & Associés
Wilhelm & Associés' seven-lawyer team is a longstanding adviser to leading media company Canal+ on its strategic merger control and antitrust issues. The practice takes on high-stake matters for the client, especially in the pay TV sector, in France, the EU and in France's overseas territories. The practice is also sought after by major clients from a broad spread of sectors, including leading retailers and commercial brands whom the group assists with distribution, EU and economic law issues. Finally, the practice was also active before the French Competition Authority when it lodged an abuse of dominant position complaint against Google's practices on behalf of client Amadeus. Several sensitive post-merger control cases, one notably dealing with non-respect of merger commitments, account for another important portion of the caseload. Pascal Wilhelm is in charge. Counsel Emilie Dumur is the other key member.
Other key lawyers:
‘A reliable law firm where lawyers are very efficient, give clear and understandable advice and are real business partners.’
‘The team is available and responsive.’
GROUPE CANAL +
CANAL + INTERNATIONAL
GROUPE FNAC DARTY
ZADIG & VOLTAIRE
DOUGLAS – NOCIBE
- Represented AMADEUS before the French Competition Authority in an abuse of a dominant position case led against GOOGLE.
- Represented Fnac Darty before the French Competition Authority, the State Council and the Constitutional Council concerning non-compliance with past merger control commitments.
- Represented GROUPE CANAL+ before the General Court of the European Union regarding a prior EU Commission decision over international pay TV access granted by cinema studios to pay-TV operators.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's six-lawyer team, led by Faustine Viala, regularly advises leading private equity on merger control matters, often involving multi-jurisdictional filings, including before the French and EU authorities. The practice, which can rely on further capabilities from Brussels, also recently completed major merger control work for CMA CGM. On the antitrust front, the team acts in several domestic investigations and assisted Casino with several high-profile damage claims before French courts following cartel condemnations in the dairy and personal care product sectors.
Kuehne + Nagel
IK Investment Partners
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations
- Advised CMA CGM on its acquisition of the sole control of CEVA Logistics via a public tender offer, which required 13 multi-jurisdictional filings, including one before the European Commission.
- Advised CMA CGM on its acquisition of Finland-based company Containerships which required filings in multiple countries and the management of a Phase I merger clearance before the European Commission.
- Representing Kuehne + Nagel before the French Supreme Court in the context of an alleged cartel case in which the client, which was one of the leniency applicants before the French Competition Authority, received a €32m fine for its alleged participation in the cartel.
Altana 's eight-lawyer team is able to provide the full range of competition and distribution law expertise. The practice has strong proficiency advising on strategic merger control cases involving mutual insurers, but also handles merger control work in other industry sectors. The team also manages domestic antitrust cases and frequently collaborates with the firm's white-collar practice. Notable examples include a cartel case in the public infrastructure sector. Key clients come from the insurance, healthcare, IT and construction sectors as well as several leading Japanese, Korean, American and European retailers whom it assists with key distribution issues involving suppliers and wholesalers. Marie Hindré, Frédéric Manin and Jean-Philippe Thibault are in charge. Counsels Lucie Giret and Benoît Van Bésien provide strong support.
Marie Hindré; Frédéric Manin; Jean-Philippe Thibault
AG2R LA MONDIALE
ARKEMA & BOSTIK
- Defended Renault before the Commercial Court of Paris in a damage claim lawsuit initiated on the grounds of Article 101 TFEU.
- Successfully defended Samsung before the Paris Court of Appeal which rejected all the claims of the client’s wholesaler regarding the termination of their relationship and allegations of illegal selective distribution by Samsung.
Ashurst LLP has a strong involvement in the energy and railway sectors, acting for key clients SNCF and Engie whom the firm advises on strategic M&A and antitrust cases. The team notably defended Engie in a high-stake and highly disputed abuse of dominant position case in the gas sector against competitor Direct Energie. The six-lawyer practice also manages domestic antitrust cases pertaining to various other sectors including a headline cartel case in the personal care products sector. Christophe Lemaire and Michaël Cousin co-head the practice.
Christophe Lemaire; Michaël Cousin
‘Christophe Lemaire has perfect technique. He understands very well his clients’ environment and what is at stake.’
Bosch and Coup France
- Advised SNCF on the competition law aspects of the sale of subsidiary OUIBUS to Blablacar.
- Represented Colgate-Palmolive before the French Supreme Court following its cartel condemnation by the Paris Court of Appeal and the French Competition Authority in the home products and personal care products sector.
- Defended ENGIE before the Court of Appeal and the French Supreme Court in proceedings regarding an alleged abuse of dominant position in the gas sector, launched by Direct Energie.
Coutrelis & Associés
Founded in 1987, pioneer competition law boutique Coutrelis & Associés has offices in Paris and Brussels. Nicole Coutrelis and André Coutrelis have longstanding experience in high-profile antitrust cases before the French and EU authorities and courts. The practice notably has a prominent track record of cases before the EU Court of Justice, having been involved in a total of 94 cases. Recent work included three high-level antitrust proceedings in which the firm acted on behalf of the European Commission. Complex state aid issues are another area of strength. Recently, the firm has also been solicited by clients to provide guidance in relation to Brexit. Clients include major French, European and US companies.
Nicole Coutrelis; André Coutrelis
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Sergio Sorinas' six-lawyer team is called upon to handle major merger control work. The practice recently advised on several large-scale M&A transactions. Other work included domestic antitrust cases in various sectors including the banking and technology sectors as well as a case concerning meal vouchers. Of counsel Marie Louvet is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team meets the highest standards in terms of knowledge, efficiency and quality of the legal work.’
‘A high-quality law firm, delivering clever and pragmatic advice. Lawyers are reactive, precise and loyal to clients.’
‘A very qualified and responsive team that is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Sergio Sorinas and of counsel Marie Louvet follow a pragmatic and business-oriented approach.’
‘Sergio Sorinas gives practical and sound advice.’
Groupe Up (ex Chèque Déjeuner)
- Advised Altran Technologies on its €5bn sale to Capgemini.
- Assisted Cellnex Telecom with merger control approval proceedings before the French Competition Authority regarding its acquisition of 10,700 mobile towers in France, Italy and Switzerland for an amount of €2.7bn from Iliad France, Iliad Italy and Salt.
- Assisted AXPO with the antitrust aspects of the acquisition of Urbasolar.
Jeantet's ten-lawyer team offers strong domestic antitrust litigation expertise. The practice is involved in several cartel investigations by the French Competition Authority regarding various industry sectors. The team also assists clients with regulatory issues and in handling damage claim proceedings before courts. Leading French and international companies are clients. Loraine Donnedieu de Vabres-Tranié is in charge. Other key names include Thomas Picot, Florent Prunet and counsel Florent Vever.
Loraine Donnedieu de Vabres-Tranié
‘The team is very skilful and pragmatic. It provides timely and deep analysis on complex matters.’
‘The team has great technical and reliable knowledge over French and European matters. It provides great customer service and follows a creative approach.’
‘Thomas Picot is a great antitrust lawyer who has a deep knowledge of the French industry and regulatory environment. He shows remarkable creativity in finding solutions.’
BRASSERIE DE TAHITI
DESCOURS ET CABAUD
Magenta is a French boutique dedicated to competition, regulatory and public law issues. The nine-lawyer team combines strong competition law expertise with in-depth regulatory know-how in the telecoms sector, regularly earning it leading instructions in that area. The group notably manages key abuse of dominant position and anticompetitive antitrust cases in Polynesia and other French overseas territories in addition to handling high-profile merger control issues, often for telecoms clients, but also for clients from other sectors. Leading mass retailer Carrefour has entrusted highly sensitive matters in the distribution sector to the team. Sylvain Justier heads the practice which includes also key members Vincent Jaunet and Gaël Hichri, who became a partner in 2019.
Candy Hoover Group
Deutsche Bahn Group
OPT / Vini
- Represented Candy Hoover in a cartel case which was settled with the French Competition Authority through the payment of a €15m fine.
- Represented Deutsche Bahn-ECR in 1) proceedings against SNCF before the Supreme Court regarding a €60m fine imposed on the French railway company by the French Competition Authority for predatory prices in the freight railway market and 2) in damage claim proceedings before the Paris commercial Court against SNCF.
- Assisted French Polynesian incumbent telecoms operators OPT and VINI with an abuse of dominance case before the Polynesian Competition Authority, negotiating commitments and successfully preventing a fine.
At Mayer Brown, practice head Nathalie Jalabert Doury manages several major EU and domestic antitrust cases. Her team is notably involved in major strategic cartel and anticompetition cases from the energy, internet and mass retailing sectors. The practice is equally strong on the merger control front and recently acted on significant domestic private equity and M&A transactions. Counsel Jean-Maxime Blutel is also a key member.
Nathalie Jalabert Doury
Other key lawyers:
Intermarché / Les Mousquetaires
Coyote System –
France Cargo Handling
Union des Expéditeurs et Exportateurs en Fruits et Légumes
- Represented Intermarché/Les Mousquetaires in investigations by the European Commission regarding joint-purchasing agreements in the retail sector.
- Advised Unilever on the sale of Alsa to Dr. Oetker which was cleared by the French Competition Authority.
- Successfully defended Coyote System in a €21m damage claim lawsuit initiated by Inforad.
Racine's seven lawyer team leads a comprehensive domestic practice and also deals with matters at EU level or involving foreign jurisdictions. The practice notably stands out for its knowledge of the agribusiness sector where it regularly acts on high-profile industry matters, such as the recent creation of a joint venture of companies specialising in organic fertiliser. The group is also involved in several significant domestic antitrust cases in other sectors, including the food sector, and completed several major merger control filings. Other recent highlights included a major state aid case and distribution law matters for leading brands. Valérie Ledoux, Bastien Thomas and Frédérique Chaput co-lead the practice.
Valérie Ledoux; Bastien Thomas; Frédérique Chaput
‘An excellent and skilled competition team with very detailed knowledge of competition law and an ability to deal with complex issues, whether they be in merger control, state aid or antitrust cases.’
‘The firm has huge expertise and successfully handles critical cases.’
‘Bastien Thomas is a very quick thinker and amenable personality. He is very client-oriented.’
CAISSE DES DEPOTS ET DES CONSIGNATIONS
- Assisted Suez with the EU merger filing notification of the creation a joint venture with Groupe Avril’s subsidiary in the organic fertiliser industry.
- Advised Groupe PSA and Punch Powertrain on the creation of a joint venture dedicated to the manufacturing of electric passenger cars.
- Represented Groupe Perle du Nord, the main endives producers and their professional bodies before the Court of Appeal in challenging a €4m anticompetitive practices fine imposed by the French Competition Authority.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's six-lawyer team team fields a high-level merger control caseload, in line with the firm's leading M&A and LBO practice. The team assists many leading French companies as well as French and international private equity funds. It notably assisted Ardian Infrastructure with the EU Commission filing proceedings of the sale of its 50% stake in Indigo. The team also advised on a major transaction that required multi-country filings, as well as on a key acquisition in the French press sector which required notification at the French Competition Authority. On the antitrust front, the practice acts for several clients facing investigations and proceedings from the French Competition Authority. Additionally, the practice recently lodged an application before the Europe Court of Human Rights in relation to trade secrets issues. Practice head Romain Ferla also advises on emerging competition law issues in relation to the digital technology sector. Counsel Flora Pitti-Ferrandi is the other key member.
Other key lawyers:
‘A recommended firm for merger control work. The team answers very well to clients’ expectations.’
‘Counsel Flora Pitti-Ferrandi is very reliable and helpful.’
- Advised CVC on the sale of portfolio company Parex to Sika which required EU Commission and seven multi-jurisdictional merger notification filings.
- Advised Ardian Infrastructure on the sale of its 50% stake in Indigo to Core Infrastructure Fund II.
Aramis' Aurélien Condomines defends several major companies facing domestic antitrust investigations, including a case involving the French Island of La Réunion and the representation of XPO in the messenger cartel case. Condomines also has good merger control expertise and recently advised on matters in the transport and cooperative sectors. Finally, the team also deals with distribution law issues.
‘The team is extremely qualified, expert in its field and very well introduced within French institutions.’
‘The team is great, very reactive and knowledgeable in its field of expertise.’
‘Aurélien Condomines is an outstanding and pragmatic attorney who is always available and willing to find appropriate solutions.’
- Assisted Keolis with the filing of its acquisition of Swiss Post’s French bus transport activities.
- Represented XPO in the messenger cartel case before the French Supreme Court.
- Assisted French cooperative InVivo with the merger filing of the acquisition of 30 stores from Maisadour before the French Competition Authority.
AyacheSalama stands out through its strong expertise in domestic and multi-jurisdictional merger control filing work. Headed by Frédéric Fuchs, the three-lawyer team recently advised on the merger control aspects of several major transactions, such as assisting Clarins with the sale of certain of its activities, including the sale of brands Azzaro and Mugler to L’Oréal. The firm also takes on domestic antitrust work. Counsel Sébastien Dominguez is the other key member.
‘The team is experienced in merger control and antitrust proceedings, pleasant and efficient.’
‘Frédéric Fuchs and counsel Sébastien Dominguez are quick-thinking and efficient and well able to defend their clients’ interests in dealings with the competition authorities.’
‘Frédéric Fuchs is close to his clients, transparent and very responsive.’
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC)
Intermediate Capital Group (ICG)
Groupe La Dépêche du Midi (GLDM)
Syndicat National de l’Edition (SNE)
Laiterie Saint-Denis de l’Hôtel (LSDH)
- Assisted renewable energy producer Tenergie andthe Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations with the filing of their joint acquisition of 29 photovoltaic power stations based in the South of France before the French Competition Authority.
- Assisted Concorde Finance with the notification of the acquisition of The Kooples by Maus Frères before the French Competition Authority.
- Assisted French notaries association Notimo with antitrust investigations led by the French Competition Authority regarding notaries’ practices in the real estate sector.
CMS' large Lyon and Paris-based team combines some 20 lawyers who impress with strong state aid and public sector expertise. The team also advises on merger control filings and is involved in several antitrust domestic cases, including a case in a French overseas territory and a matter involving sensitive allegedly imbalanced commercial contract clauses. Another key matter was defending a former CEO facing criminal proceedings for anticompetitive practices. Nathalie Pétrignet, Denis Redon, Claire Vannini and Olivier Leroy are the key contacts. Counsel Virginie Coursière-Pluntz also deserves a strong mention.
Nathalie Pétrignet; Denis Redon; Claire Vannini; Olivier Leroy
Other key lawyers:
‘An efficient, practical and down-to-earth team.’
‘A very dedicated, focused and available team.’
‘The team is very stable and versatile, handles cases efficiently and provides tailored and practical advice.’
‘Nathalie Pétrignet has a thorough knowledge of the legal framework and great communication skills. Her advice is very precise and she always proposes solutions.’
‘Claire Vannini is a state aids expert. She is very business-oriented and provides state of the art strategies.’
‘Counsel Virginie Coursière-Pluntz has very sharp expertise in the field of global mergers.’
Groupe Caisse de Dépots
Syndicats des energies renouvelables
- Assisted SNCF Mobilités with merger notification proceedings before the European Commission regarding the creation of a joint venture with Ceetrus.
- Assisted Sodiaal with the acquisition of the activities of a major business partner facing insolvency proceedings.
- Represented Corsica Linea in state aid proceedings before the European Commission.
At DLA Piper, Edouard Sarrazin leads a four-lawyer team that handles a high volume of domestic merger control work, but is also regularly involved in multi-jurisdictional merger notifications, for example for Michelin and investment funds. The team also manages several domestic antitrust cases, notably matters involving online business services.
‘The team provides high-quality, thorough work and is reliable at keeping deadlines. It has excellent knowledge of merger control procedures.’
‘The team is efficient, responsive and offers good customer care.’
‘Edouard Sarrazin is pleasant and efficient and gives reliable and pragmatic advice.’
CAISSE DES DEPOTS ET CONSIGNATIONS
GROUPE LOUIS WANE
- Advised Michelin on obtaining the European Commission’s approval for the creation of joint venture Hympulsion with Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, ENGIE and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations as part of the Zero Emission Valley Project.
- Represented Cube Infrastructures before the French Competition Authority regarding its investment into SAVAC and acquisition of Lacroix.
- Represented Mirova and Asterion before the French Competition Authority regarding their joint acquisition of Financière Groupe Pégase.
DS Avocats handles a series of long-term domestic antitrust and state aid cases on behalf of French companies. More recently, the group also advised a client facing dawn raid investigations by the French Competition Authority. The practice also deals with merger control work. Xavier Lacaze is in charge. Also involved are Michel Debroux, Romain Bourgade, Fabrice van Cauwelaert and Sandra Dorizon.
‘Xavier Lacaze has very valuable expertise. He is highly responsive, has an excellent understanding of the matters at stake and provides relevant analysis.’
Fédération Nationale Indépendante des Mutuelles
Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin
- Represented EDF in a high-profile state aid dispute with the European Commission.
- Advised GRT Gaz on the acquisition of Elengy.
- Advised Maroc Telecom on its acquisition of Tigo Tchad which was notified to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community.
Osborne Clarke's Alexandre Glatz handles competition and distribution law work. His team notably manages domestic merger control and anticompetitive practice cases and also deals with damage claim lawsuits before French courts.
‘The team is available, responsive and business-oriented.’
‘Alexandre Glatz is very experienced in all antitrust matters. He is very responsive and business-oriented.’
- Advised Onepoint group on its acquisition of Weave group which was approved by the French Competition Authority.
Reed Smith assists French and international companies with domestic cartel, abuse of dominant position and unfair competition cases from various industry sectors, including the industrial, food, travel and retail sectors. The eight-lawyer practice recently obtained several favourable outcomes before courts in cartel cases and was involved in several matters at EU level. Marc Lévy and Natasha Tardif are in charge.
Marc Lévy; Natasha Tardif
‘The team finds the right legal arguments to defend its clients’ interests optimally.’
‘The team is committed and available. It is not afraid to take on challenges and involves itself in difficult proceedings that necessitate a lot of hard work and high-level dedication.’
Simmons & Simmons has a large client base consisting of many leading healthcare companies whom the practice assists with their strategic antitrust and distribution law issues. The five-lawyer team also advised a leading food corporation on an abuse of dominant position case and was active in merger control work. Ombline Ancelin is in charge. Supervising associate Florent Barbu is the other key member.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is made up of very committed lawyers who have very good industrial knowledge.’
‘Ombline Ancelin is an outstanding lawyer. She is very close to her clients, provides high-standard advice and is very business-oriented. She is very well connected, provides very quick and legally sound feedback, and is very experienced in pharmaceutical industry marketing and distribution matters.’
- Advised BlackRock on the competition aspects of its proposed acquisition of eFront group.
François Berthod ; Farid Bouguettaya
Champagne de Telmont
- Assisting Champagne producer “J. de Telmont” with the setting up its selective distribution network in France.
‘The firm provides tailored-made advice’.
‘An expert boutique offering high negotiation skills’.
‘Laurence Borrel, who is an exceptional and extremely dynamic lawyer who thinks outside the box. She is really customer-oriented and a very smart, witty and diplomatic lawyer. She understands complex issues quickly and makes them simple. She is very upfront with clients about chances of successes and able to find the right path in negotiations’.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Julie Catala Marty
Emmanuelle Van Den Broucke
Other key lawyers:
‘The team always provides relevant advice and understand clients’ needs’.
‘Emmanuelle van den Broucke is always supporting clients in the best way. She understands clients’ needs very well and provides practical and helpful advice’.
Emil Frey France
Avis Location de Voitures
La Vigie – Maison Bouchard
- Assisted French automobile distributor Groupe Maurin with the filing of various acquisitions before the French Competition Authority.
- Assisted chain restaurant operator Amrest with the acquisition of Sushi Shop Group, notified to the French Competition Authority.
- Assisted Emil Frey France and Groupe Bernard with the acquisition by PGA Motors of a controlling interest in Groupe Bernard.
Pierre Deprez, Jean-Christophe André, Olivier Guidoux, Philippe Bonnet and Guillaume Deglaire
- Advised M6 on its SALTO project which consisted in the creation of a joint venture company between France’s three major TV channels.
- Representing Intermarché in a lawsuit with LIDL regarding deceptive marketing practices and illegal advertising.
- Represented MONOPRIX on an illicit advertising campaign dispute.
Other key lawyers:
Frédéric Puel ; Alexandre Lacresse ; Laurent François-Martin
‘A very professional team’.
‘Philippe Vanni has great experience and mastering of the various peculiarities of certain industry sectors which allows him to have a 360 degree vision of each matter at hand’.
CENTRALE EUROPEENNE DE DISTRIBUTION-C10
GALLIANCE (TERRENA Group)
PERRIGO / OMEGA PHARMA
Union de Coopératives (COOP de FRANCE)
- Advising AUTODISTRIBUTION on its Mondial Pare-Brise franchise network.
- Assisted Eiffage Group with the merger aspect of its acquisition of Meccoli before the French Competition Authority.
- Represented Groupe Gascogne in proceedings before the European Court of Justice.
- Represented SOLVADIS in leniency and cartel litigation proceedings following its condemnation by the French Competition Authority.
Anne-Laure-Hélène des Ylouses ; Franck Veisse
‘They have in-depth knowledge of the French and European regulatory framework, and know all about competition proceedings. The team is very receptive and responsive. Advice is always precise and their judgement can be relied on’.
‘Anne-Laure-Hélène des Ylouses is extremely precise. She is a good listener and know perfectly hows how to effectively meet clients’ legal needs’.
Groupe Casino (Monoprix)
Parts Holding Europe (formerly Autodis Group)
CNCPJ (Chambre Nationale des Commissaires-Priseurs Judicaires)
Tricotage des Vosges
Ordre des Chirurgiens Dentistes
- Assisting Parts Holding Europe with the acquisition of Oscaro before the European Commission.
- Representing ASUS in relation to EU Commission’s investigations into alleged resale price maintenance practices.
Marie de Drouas
Caisse des dépôts et consignations
AOTA (Association of Alternative
- Representing Carrefour in a follow-on damage lawsuit before the Paris Commercial Court with L’Oréal following the French Competition Authority’s condemnation of L’Oréal on the grounds of its anticompetitive behavior in the hygiene and personal care sector.
- Representing Carrefour in a follow-on damage lawsuit before the Paris Commercial Court against Reckitt Benckiser following the French Competition Authority following the French Competition Authority’s condemnation of Reckitt Benckiser on the grounds of anticompetitive behavior in the hygiene and personal care sector
- Representing Focus Home Interactive in antitrust proceedings before the European Commission in relation the video games sector.
Pierre de Montalembert ; Emmanuel Schulte
Other key lawyers:
Jérôme Le Hec
‘The team provides clear, concise and efficient advice’.
‘The team firm has very specialised knowledge in the distribution sector’.
‘Jean-Baptiste Gouache et Jérôme Le Hec are particularly attentive to meet clients’ needs’.
Joffe & Associés
‘The team is always available and responsive. Lawyers follow a practical and business oriented approach’.
‘Olivier Cavézian is business oriented and focuses on reaching solutions and results’.
- Advised professional carpentry company FPEE on its merger with Bouvet which obtained merger clearance from the French Competition Authority.
- Advised Equistone Partners Europe on the acquisition of Wallenborn Transports which involved merger filings before several European competition authorities including in Germany and Austria.
- Advised Astorg on the acquisition of a majority stake in Aries Alliance which required multijurisdictional merger filings including in Russia.
- Representing 10Medias on a damage claim lawsuit following sport daily newspaper L’Equipe‘s condemnation by the French Competition Authority for abuse of dominant position.
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
‘The team shows strong commitment and has high analysis capability that help support efficiently clients. Lawyers are passionate and extremely dedicated’.
‘The team is extremely competent on competition law. It demonstrates a deep and fast understanding of customer requirements’.
‘The team is very professional and focused on clients’.
‘Marco Plankensteiner is always available and proactive in his search for solutions. He is also fluent in German language and has an Austrian culture knowledge which can be of great support. He makes himself very available in short time frame’.
Crédit Agricole SA
Luxottica Group SpA
Le Crédit Lyonnais
Trodat / Trotec Group
Eiffage Energie Systèmes – Clemessy
Financière Immobilière Bordelaise
- Defending Crédit Agricole SA and LCL in the interbank fee antitrust case pending before the French Supreme Court.
- Advised Luxottica Group SpA and its subsidiaries on distribution agreements.
Sylvain Beaumont ; Anne Bourdu ; Gaëlle Leroy ; Pierre-Lucas Thirion
‘The team is very reactive and able to assist with complex negotiations of worldwide master services agreements’.
‘Sylvain Beaumont is as engaged, passionate and successful as one can be when it comes to defend his clients. He is very sharp in negotiating complex commercial projects and thanks to his strong litigation experience, he easily anticipates the impact of contractual provisions in worst case scenarios. He has also very good interpersonal skills’.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides a unique and business oriented legal advice, extremely clear and to the point’.
‘The team is extremely responsive and knows its clients very well. It provides tailor-made advice’.
‘Mélanie Combert is a practical, pragmatic and business oriented excellent lawyer. She is expert in leading commercial negotiations in the retail sector and also has great competition law knowledge. She also great analysis skills and demonstrates great lsitening skills’.
Danone Produits Frais France
Danone Eaux France
Nutricia Nutrition Clinique
Saupiquet (Bolton Food)
Coca-Cola Services France
Paul Hastings LLP
Dole Food Company
ABRY Partners II
Starwood Capital Group
- Represented China shipping company COSCO in dealing with global and European merger control issues in relation to its $6.3 billion acquisition of Hong Kong-based competitor OOCL.
- Assisted Monaco Telecom with the acquisition of MTN’s Cyprus.
- Assisted Swiss Life REIM with its acquisition of joint control of la Foncière Vesta, in conjunction with SNCF and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.
Evelyne Friedel ; Grégoire Toulouse
‘The team is available and has acute knowledge of the competition and distribution law’.
- Assisted Danish brand Flying Tiger of Copenhagen with the restructuring of its French distribution network.
- Represented Tommy Hilfiger before the Paris Court of Appeal in a dispute with a former franchisee.
- Assisted MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL with the signing of two new hotel franchise deals at Roissy Airport.
Michel Ponsard ; Corinne Khayat
CAISSE DES DEPÔTS ET CONSIGNATIONS
CA ANIMATION GROUP (GRAND SALOIR SAINT NICOLAS, SAPRESTI TRAITEUR, LES MONTS DE LA ROCHE)
BPIFRANCE INVESTISSEMENTS and VALLOUREC TUBES
FIAT FRANCE/CHRYLSER FRANCE
- Assisted Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Reden H2 with the joint acquisition of Berroute which was cleared by the European Commission.
- Assisted Cafom with the projected acquisition of Dimeco which was notified to the French Competition Authority.
- Defending SOLINEST in an unfair competition lawsuit with competitor French Food Village.
- Representing FIAT FRANCE/CHRYLSER in a distribution agreements termination lawsuit led by four retailers.