Industry focus: Telecoms  in France

Behring

Specialist firm Behring is retained by a range of domestic and international telecommunications operators, IT providers and public sector clients. Particularly active in francophone Africa, the practice also counts several international organisations, including the West African Economic and Monetary Union ('WAEMU') among its clients. Notable domestic private sector companies, such as CFE-CGC Orange, also instruct the practice. The department typically advises on contractual and regulatory matters, with further expertise in competition law,  litigation, public law and intellectual property. Founding partner Anne-Solène Gay leads the group, specialising in telecommunications, media, IT and emerging technologies.

Practice head(s):

Anne-Solène Gay

Testimonials

The team is very professional and shows great legal skills. The team is also very flexible and available. They manage to prioritise and always deliver on time.

Behring’s expertise in telecoms and digital is excellent. The firm’s expertise is all the more remarkable in that it is global in the telecoms and digital sector. They deal with major issues for both telecom operators and international or national institutions and thus have a very comprehensive view of the sector.

Anne-Solène Gay has undeniable expertise in telecommunications and digital. She understands the projects as a whole with an excellent understanding of the technical, operational and financial constraints.

It is a small team which offers tailor-made advice with very good reactivity.

I particularly admire the responsiveness and processing time of our requests with a real sense of creativity on the solutions sought.

The whole team is very professional, efficient and responsive. They make sure that they understand the economical context to provide the best legal advice.

The firm provides an excellent level of service for reasonable fees. Notably, Anne-Solène Gay knows how to delegate to her associates to keep the level of fees reasonable, but she is always on board.

Anne-Solène Gay provides excellent legal advice. She is very efficient and is very pleasant to work with.

Key clients

CFE-CGC ORANGE

PEOPLEFONE

SPACE CLIENT

GABOCOM

ENCOTEL

WEST AFRICAN ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION (WAEMU)

GOVERNMENT OF HAITI

GOVERNMENT OF BENIN

GOVERNMENT OF CHAD

GOVERNMENT OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Work highlights

  • Assisting CFE-CGC ORANGE with a twofold judicial review of ARCEP’s decisions on the award of 5G frequencies.
  • Assisting PEOPLEFONE with various matters such as: drafting general terms and conditions of service; drafting specific conditions with regard to PEOPLEFONE’s professional services and drafting a distribution agreement between PEOPLEFONE and its French distributors/partners.
  • Advised ENCOTEL, a distributor of telecom equipment, on its relationship with one of its distributors and a telecom operator in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is highly rated for its ability to pull together multidisciplinary teams to assist with all aspects of advisory telecoms work. Typically retained by blue chip French, Chinese and US operators, the practice also has a strong presence in Africa, where clients benefit from the firm's emphasis on streamlined and virtual forms of communication to avoid the costs associated with travelling and on field visits. The department, led by Olivier Cousi, also works closely with the projects team to advise on the structuring and implementation of public service delegation or PPP contracts. Contentious matters are also dealt with.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Cousi

Key clients

SOGEM (Société de Gestion de l’Energie du Manantali) MALI

ARCEP Burkina Faso

Cabo Verde Telecom SARL

Work highlights

  • Advised ARCEP Burkina Faso on the development of a high speed broadband development strategy for the upcoming years.
  • Assisted SOGEM with the drafting of and implementation of a call for tender for the selection of a Telco Company for the building and operation of telecommunications infrastructures.
  • Advised Cabo Verde Telecom SARL on the concession contract of the public telecommunications service concluded between the Cabo Verde State and Cabo Verde Telecom SARL.

Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats

Latournerie Wolfrom Avocats is well versed in regulatory telecoms matters, regularly advising local public sector entities on public procurement contracts and on the development of high speed broadband infrastructure. The department is also experienced in matters relating to regional digital development plans. Public law specialist Térence Cabot is the key contact.

Bersay

Bersay houses a broad telecoms practice, with strength across both litigation and advisory regulatory work, with further capabilities in IT law, data protection and public law. The team typically advises major regional and public sector entities on projects related to broadband infrastructure and has also been involved in the rollout of fibre optic concession contracts. Jointly led by Martin Tissier, Claire Poirson and Stéphanie Benmoussa-Molkhou, the practice is one of very few French firms with a presence in Israel, leveraging its office in Tel Aviv to assist several Israeli companies with their matters in France.

Key clients

Syndicat Mixte Gers Numérique

Arteria

CDC Habitat

Département de l’Yonne

Caisse des dépôts et consignations

Département du Loiret

Collectivité de Corse

SMO Paca THD

Work highlights

  • Advised Syndicat Mixte Gers Numérique on the award of a 25-years concession contract by SMO GERS Numérique, a public body comprising local authorities (region and municipalities), to build and operate a fibre optic network with a 100.000 Fiber to the Home (FttH) pass in the South of France.
  • Advised CDC Habitat on the award of a 15/20-years concession contract to build and operate a car charging infrastructure in its housing stock across France.
  • Advised the Département de l’Yonne on the award of a 25-years concession contract to ALTITUDE INFRASTRUCTURE t o build and operate a fibre optic network with a 110.000 Fiber to the Home (FttH) home pass.

Dentons

The arrival of Christophe Fichet as head of the TMT group from Simmons & Simmons in October 2019 has given Dentons a strong presence in Africa and the Middle East, with Fichet's work including assisting the World Bank on the pan-African review study of the regulatory frameworks for networks, data and ex-ante/ex-post regulation in 27 countries.  The wider team is retained by a diverse range of telecoms clients, where it is sought after to advise on regulatory, corporate and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Christophe Fichet

Testimonials

I am very satisfied with the services offered.

I appreciate their involvement, the very good knowledge of the field, the loyalty of the positions taken, including when it comes to contradicting our positions, the seriousness of the analysis, the relevance and the skill of the services provided.

Key clients

Orange

The World Bank

MTN Uganda

Work highlights

  • Advising Orange on its first sale-leaseback of a portfolio of towers (passive infrastructures) in France.
  • Assisting the World Bank with the Pan-African in-depth review study of the regulatory frameworks for networks, data and ex ante / ex post regulation in 27 countries.
  • Advised MTN Uganda on the negotiation of the renewal of their licence, including several regulatory issues with the relevant telecom’s regulator and the Ministry of Telecoms.

Magenta

Boutique competition and administrative law firm Magenta is well versed in regulatory issues within the telecoms sector. In particular, the team advises infrastructure companies on public law procurement concessions fore the development of broadband and is also regularly retained on a range of antitrust matters. Competition specialist Vincent Jaunet jointly leads the practice alongside public law expert Fanny Mahler. Founding partner Sylvain Justier is also highly sought after for his experience in a wide range of regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Jaunet; Fanny Mahler

Other key lawyers:

Sylvain Justier

Key clients

ARENADOUR CAPITAL

CAPZA

Compagnie Maritime Marfret

Ecov’

Magenta Discount

Work highlights

  • Advising ARENADOUR CAPITAL on a public bidding process for the award of concession agreement for the rehabilitation and operation of major spa complex in South of France.
  • Advised CAPZA on the acquisition of a majority stake in French fire safety specialist Eurofeu group, in relation with environmental law issues.
  • Advised MAGENTA DISCOUNT in the context of the challenge of the price and margin control rules implemented by New Caledonia in 2018.