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

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Energy
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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

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Allen & Overy LLP advises blue-chip French energy operators on strategic regulatory, M&A and project work and recently assisted Areva with the spin-off of its nuclear reactors manufacturing business, and an Engie-led consortium with two landmark offshore wind farms projects in France. Total is also a client which the practice is advising on solar projects abroad. The firm is further assisting with large power projects in Africa, South America and Europe alongside sponsors or governments. Alexandre Ancel heads the practice and Romaric Lazerges provides public law expertise. Addtionally, Rod Cork, Christine Poyer-Rufenacht and Adrian Mellor are recommended for project finance work, while Marc Castagnède and Frédéric Moreau are key contacts on the corporate side.

Clifford Chance is ‘the best in town and gives clients real value for money’. The firm provides ‘superb in-depth analysis and knowledge of project finance’ and its ‘ability to link legal and commercial aspects is outstanding’. The Paris hub stands out for its top capabilities on both domestic and international projects and is involved in several of France, Europe and Africa’s landmark power, hydropower, gas, renewables and pipeline projects including major domestic offshore projects and brownfield transactions. Abroad, the practice is assisting the Maltese Government with a 215MW gas-fired power plant and a LNG storage and degasification facility project. The first-class team is led by Anthony Giustini, Nikolaï Eatwell and Daniel Zerbib. David Préat is a key name for public law matters in France and abroad. Also strongly recommended are Delphine Siino Courtin and Benjamin de Blegiers, who is ‘a must when it comes to M&A transactions in the energy and infrastructure sector’. Richard Tomlinson is another name to note.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has ‘strong understanding of Africa, notably in the energy sector’. The ‘well-resourced’ 32-lawyer team, which has ‘good commercial acumen’, is highly involved in the French and African energy sectors acting for leading French energy operators and many international investors and banks. It is notably advising on some of France’s most ambitious renewables and electricity interconnection projects and in Africa, the firm is involved in large traditional power projects while also assisting clients on renewables projects. Highlights included advising Sumitomo as part of a consortium's successful bid for Radès’ 450MW combined cycle thermal power plant in Tunisia, as well as EDF, IFC and the government of Cameroon on Nachtigal’s 420MW hydroelectric power plant project. The firm also remains a strong oil and gas adviser, especially in Africa, and recently assisted Etablissements Maurel & Prom with its acquisition by Pertamina. Finally, it is ‘the best law firm regarding mining work in Africa’ thanks to its ‘great knowledge and experience that are major assets when dealing with complicated situations’. BP, Engie and Perenco are clients. Christophe Lefort heads the energy and infrastructure practice. Nina Bowyer co-chairs the firm’s Africa practice, alongside the very experienced Stéphane Brabant who ‘gives to-the-point advice, is very precise and 99% on target’. Rebecca Major is another key name, while Eric Fiszelson, Régis Oréal, and recently promoted partner Rachel Campbell are also involved. Leïla Hubeaut joined Dentons.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is second-to-none for energy regulatory issues in France and is retained by leading operators to provide assistance before the energy regulatory authority. It successfully represented French main energy distributor Enedis in a high-stakes lawsuit initiated by property developer Valsophia challenging Enedis’ de facto monopoly. The team also represented Engie in a litigation against GRTgaz before the energy regulatory authority. Michel Guénaire is the key contact for regulatory energy work. The firm also advises sponsors and governments on large power and renewables projects in Africa and is assisting SNEDAI with the financing and construction of a 2x350MW coal-fired plant in Ivory Coast, and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania with a gas-to-power project. John Crothers, François Krotoff and Stéphane Vernay are highly recommended. Recently promoted partner Marie Bouvet-Guiramand and counsel Victor Grandguillaume are also noteworthy.

Linklaters provides ‘excellent service’ and is highly involved in energy projects in France and Africa acting for sponsors or lenders as it has ‘a good understanding of lenders' and development finance institutions’; the firm is notably advising on strategic electricity interconnection projects as well as on the financing, development and investment in renewables and gas-fired plants. Highlights included advising a group of French banks as arrangers on the €300m financing of a 180MW wind and solar PV portfolio in France developed by Valeco, as well as SOCAR Trading on its 26% stake investment in a LNG re-gasification terminal project company in Abidjan. The firm also combines top M&A, regulatory and competition law expertise. Engie and Neoen are clients. Bertrand Andriani heads the Paris project practice and co-heads the firm’s Francophone Africa group. Paul Lignières heads the public law practice and co-leads the firm’s global infrastructure practice and Francophone Africa group. François April is also a key name in the practice, while counsel Mark Barges is also recommended. Competition lawyer Pierre Zelenko and M&A partner Bruno Derieux are also involved.

Orrick Rambaud Martel has ‘very strong industry knowledge’. The 20-lawyer team is among the market’s strongest for large power projects in Africa, while recently developing its involvement in French, African and other foreign renewables and off-grid projects; it provides a comprehensive expertise to sponsors, public sector entities and lenders alike. Highlights included assisting the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Energy with the construction of the Inga 3 hydroelectric 4,800MW project, and Azito Energie and the sponsors with Ivory Coast's independent Azito gas-fired power plant 250MW expansion. Pascal Agboyibor and Yves Lepage head the practice. Simon Ratledge, who brings UK law expertise, ‘has keen knowledge of structures’. The firm also handles highly strategic regulatory and energy work in France and is notably assisting the French ministry of ecological transition with France’s six offshore wind farm projects and with the tender process for the Dunkirk’s offshore wind farm project. Senior counsel Noël Chahid-Nouraï and Jean-Luc Champy are the key contacts.

The ‘client-orientedBCTG Avocatsprovides high quality work’, is ‘expert in renewable energies’, has ‘great expertise in public, environmental and energy law’ and ‘a high success rate in litigation’. The ‘creative and available’ team, which is ‘responsive and understands its clients’ objectives and constraints’, is involved in some of France’s largest offshore wind farm projects for key client EDF Energies Nouvelles. It is notably assisting Eolien Maritime France in dealing with highly sensitive litigation where authorisations delivered for the St Nazaire, Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-mer offshore windfarm projects are at stake. The team also advises on M&A, corporate, financing and other related matters and assisted EDF Energies Nouvelles with its potential acquisition of a majority stake in Futuren. Valorem and Voltalia are also clients. The team is led by Paul Elfassi whose ‘high expertise and renewables energy sector knowledge’ is second-to-none, Catherine Dupuy-Burin des Roziers who has ‘major experience in complex projects’ and Diane Mouratoglou. Also recommended is counsel Alain de Rougé who is praised for his ‘drafting and negotiating skills’. Former counsel Paul-Henri Dubois is now at Meridian.

CMS provides ‘highly tailored services’ that show ‘excellent understanding of clients' issues’, has top regulatory expertise and is regularly involved in groundbreaking disputes in that respect. It is notably representing Engie in a strategic litigation challenging gas regulated-tariffs before the French Administrative Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. The practice is also assisting sponsors with electricity interconnection and renewables projects, while also advising on gas infrastructure and supply contracts. Recent highlights include assisting Ailes Marines with Saint-Brieuc's offshore wind farm project, and GRTgaz in a dispute with Bonatti pertaining to the Hauts-de-France pipeline. Christophe Barthélemy is ‘an amazing and very practical lawyer who has huge experience and large political connections’. Also involved is counsel Céline Cloché-Dubois.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei provides ‘exceptional quality work’. The ‘responsive and available’ practice ranks among the market's few go-to-firms for highly strategic M&A and regulatory matters in France. It recently advised on several landmark transactions such as assisting Areva with the sale of Areva NP and Areva TA, as well as CNP Assurances with the joint acquisition of a 49.9% stake in Réseau de Transport d’Electricité. The practice is also ‘excellent’ for project finance work in the energy sector advising sponsors and lenders and notably assisting CIC and Auxifip with the €150m acquisition financing of a majority stake in a 330MW cogeneration facilities' portfolio held by Dalkia. Bank of Tokyo, Neoen, Solaire Direct and Green Yellow are clients. The practice is co-headed by Christine Le Bihan-Graf who features among the market's top regulatory advisers, and ‘brilliant’ project finance expert Jean-Renaud Cazali who has ‘very high level expertise’. Corporate partners Patrick Jaïs and Thomas Bréart de Boisanger are other names to note.

King & Spalding LLP routinely advises on some of North Africa's largest downstream and upstream oil and gas matters: it notably assisted Dea Erdoel with the Reggane gas upstream development project in Algeria, as well as with dealing with the Algerian and Mauritanian aspects of the sale of its upstream oil and gas industry to Letter One. The practice is also equally strong in France for oil and gas and renewables regulatory and infrastructure work and advised Dong Energy on its investment in an EDF Energies Nouvelles' joint venture for the development of three offshore wind farm projects. Other work included obtaining a series of judicial victories in France for a private operator in the oil and gas sector and handling arbitration proceedings against Italy and Spain in the renewables markets. Practice head Mehdi Haroun stands out. Also recommended are counsel Ruxandra Lazar and senior associate Nora Djeraba.

LPA-CGR avocats has ‘high level wind energy expertise’ and ‘ensures thorough follow up of its litigation files’. The firm, which has an excellent reputation for regulatory and public law issues in the renewables field, is involved in several of France’s largest offshore projects: it is notably assisting the Iberdrola/Res consortium with Saint Brieuc's offshore wind farm project. The team also advised on a highly strategic M&A transaction in the renewables sector. Many leading energy operators and investors are clients including La Compagnie du Vent, DIF Infrastructure IV and Dalkia. The practice is led by the greatly recognised Fabrice Cassin and the ‘extremely responsive’ Hélène Gelas who has ‘great expertise and perfectly understands concrete issues faced by industrial clients in the wind energy market’.

Norton Rose Fulbright has strong expertise in advising lenders and sponsors on energy projects. The 20-lawyer team is involved in many power and renewable projects in Africa such as assisting the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) with solar project NOOR Midelt Phase I (400MW hybrid projects), and Total with the feasibility of an LNG re-gasification infrastructure project in Ivory Coast. The practice also advises on renewable projects in France and is assisting RTE with France-UK's 220km Fab Link electricity interconnection project. EMEA energy practice head Anne Lapierre is well recognised. Also recommended are Alain Malek, Christophe Asselineau and Arnaud Bélisaire.

Simmons & Simmons LLP provides ‘high quality work and responsiveness’. The team has strong know-how in Africa, often assisting sponsors while also handling work for financial institutions in Morocco. Frequently working alongside the London and Beijing offices, the Paris practice is advising on some of Africa's largest mining and renewables and power projects and notably assisted Resource Capital Funds and Africa Finance with an investment into Alufer Mining in Guinea, one of the largest recent mining investments in the region, and China Three Gorges International Corporation with the 4,500MW Inga 3 hydro power project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. EDF, First Quantum Minerals, NordGold and Shell are clients. ‘Dedicated, always available and reliable’ practice head Yves Barattealways keeps his clients in mind’ interests’ and Simonetta Giordano, who recently joined from Clifford Chance, adds corporate expertise.

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