Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier often represents debtors in their most challenging matters, regularly involving publicly listed companies and raising sophisticated financial issues. The practice has notably played a front role in several recent landmark cases such as assisting Europcar with its global restructuring. Lately, the team was also involved in strategic work in the retail and tourism sectors and acted on a high-profile matter regarding French TV football rights linked to the Covid-19 crisis. The team was also selected by the French state to assist with a highly political matter concerning maritime transport. The insolvency practice frequently joins forces with the M&A team and recently advised on several prominent asset takeover offers. Its related litigation caseload is also strong. Practice head François Kopf and Mathieu Della Vittoria are strongly recommended.
Firms in the Spotlight Insolvency
CBR & Associés
Established in 1994, CBR & Associés is an independent corporate law firm made up of lawyers who enjoy excellent reputations in their various fields based on their technical expertise, the added value they bring, their ability to provide tailor-made services, their deep involvement in strategic and complex matters and their outstanding responsiveness.View Profile...
Insolvency in France
Other key lawyers:
Mathieu Della Vittoria
‘Complementarity and remarkable competence of the team.’
‘The team is available, easy to access and works with a real team spirit.’
‘François Kopf is a good professional who fiercely defends the interests of his client.’
‘They know how to work in a team, internally and with the client. The level of expertise is excellent, including when several legal specialties are necessary for the proper handling of the case. The team also demonstrates great moral rectitude.’
‘Clearly the leading firm in Paris for its expertise.’
‘François Kopf is the best! Skillful, fast, brilliant and efficient. Mathieu Della Vittoria is a future reference in the field.’
Europcar Mobility Group
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain
Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP)
Comité Interministériel de Restructuration Industrielle (CIRI)
Agence des Participations de l’Etat
Administrative receivers and creditors representatives (Maîtres Frédéric Abitbol, Marc Sénéchal, Christophe Basse, Charles-Axel Chuine, Hélène Charpentier)
Groupe Bernard Tapie
Greybull Capital/Olympus Steel 2 Limited
Bauer Media France and CMI France
Apollo Global Management
- Advised Europcar Mobility Group on its financial restructuring.
- Advised Compagnie de Saint-Gobain on the sale of its subsidiary Lapeyre to listed German company Mutares.
- Advised CNIM Groupe on its second financial restructuring.
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is one France’s most established names in the field of restructuring and insolvency. The firm has a particular focus on advising banks and banking pools on the market’s largest cases, but is also regularly appointed by debtors. The firm’s impressive caseload includes many high-profile cases pertaining to the retail, maritime transport, oil, tourism and hospitality sectors which have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The team is co-headed by the highly regarded Philippe Dubois and Joanna Gumpelson and also includes Ségolène Coiffet and counsels Simon Le Wita and Clément Maillot-Bouvier. The practice can rely on strong support from the firm’s banking expertise with notably Corentin Coatalem, as well as from the corporate department. Former counsel Alexis Rapp left in 2020.
Philippe Dubois; Joanna Gumpelson
Other key lawyers:
Segolène Coiffet; Simon Le Wita; Clément Maillot-Bouvier
‘Combines unfailing legal expertise with a concern for efficiency and realism. Always a solution provider, consensual, respected by their colleagues, available.’
‘One flawless professionalism, rigour and listening.’
‘Availability, reliability and ability to adapt to the reality of the case by taking into account the reality of the case and the objectives set by their clients, which allows to be proactive in cases’.
‘Philippe Dubois and Ségolène Coiffet have a great capacity to unite actors with opposing positions by finding a common denominator and by having the capacity to put forward what brings people together, which is quite rare.’
‘Expertise, common sense, knowledge of the restructuring ecosystem and practical experience.’
TOYS ‘R’ US
MARIE BRIZARD WINE & SPIRITS
GROUPE SEA INVEST
GROUPE CREDIT AGRICOLE (CA CIB, LCL, Caisses Régionales)
GROUPE BPCE (NATIXIS, BRED, PALATINE, CAISSES d’EPARGNE et BANQUE POPULAIRE)
BANK OF IRELAND
- Advising Kartesia and Oaktree on the debt restructuring of Foraco International.
- Advising the lenders on the debt restructuring, derivates restructuring and on the reorganisation proceedings with a sale plan of the Bourbon Group,
- Advising Technicolor on its financial restructuring plan, implemented through accelerated financial safeguard proceedings.
Gibson Dunn’s stellar reputation generates a large flow of top mandates each year. The practice has been acting in many of the market’s most complex restructuring and insolvency proceedings involving large amounts of financial debt and concerning public and private companies. The group's current caseload includes some of the market’s most important matters, spanning various sectors such as retail, aeronautics, hospitality and automotive. Often assisting debtors and distressed companies, the team also acts for banks and investors, regularly drawing on the firm’s banking, litigation, corporate, employment and tax expertise. The practice also demonstrates great strength in handling highly complex and challenging multi-jurisdictional cases, notably matters involving parallel proceedings in the US such as Europcar’s debt restructuring. The excellent team is includes practice head Jean-Pierre Farges, Pierre-Emmanuel Fender, finance partner Amanda Bevan-de Bernède and corporate partner Bertrand Delaunay.
Other key lawyers:
Pierre-Emmanuel Fender; Amanda Bevan-de Bernède; Bertrand Delaunay
Europcar Mobility Group SA
S.I.T.I R (Pierre et Vacances SA/Center Parcs)
SoLocal Group SA
- Advised Europcar in connection with its restructuring.
- Advised S.I.T.I. as the majority shareholder on the financial restructuring and reorganizational issues regarding its stake in Pierre et Vacances.
- Represented OZ Management LP, Goldman Sachs and Barclays as lenders in connection with the restructuring of the debt, and related corporate and securities law aspects of the listed company Vallourec.
Latham & Watkins is entrusted to manage highly complex and sophisticated cases. The practice is particularly active for hedge funds and leading international investment funds, but also acts for debtors and lately some banks. It has recently handled a high number of Covid-19-related cases, for example assisting investors with the selling of assets in the hospitably sector. Other recent work included large debt restructuring and refinancing matters, notably in the retail, hospitality, car rental and tourism sectors, including managing several high-end cases involving prominent companies. The firm also acts on smaller cases, for example involving key suppliers, and demonstrated its skill in several atypical and challenging cases in the football and maritime transport sectors. Practice head Alexandra Bigot; Hervé Diogo Amengual and counsel Thomas Doyen are the key contacts.
Other key lawyers:
Hervé Diogo Amengual; Thomas Doyen
‘The Paris insolvency team is made up of exceptional individuals (Alexandra Bigot and Thomas Doyen) and is uniquely positioned to handle large-scale, complex cross-border cases.’
‘Alexandra Bigot is the most technical and most hardworking insolvency practioner in Paris.’
‘24/7 available. Very commercial lawyers and keen to get the job done (which they did in an impeccable way).’
‘The restructuring team is at the highest level of technical expertise on these complex subjects The quality of the team, recognised on the market, makes it a key player and trusted by all stakeholders.’
‘Alexandra Bigot is a reference in the field and is a recognised interlocutor among the various stakeholders. In addition to her perfect technical mastery, Alexandra is an outstanding negotiator. She provides some of most sought-after advice on the market.’
King Street Capital
Grain de Malice
Grain de Malice
- Advised the cross-holders coordinating committee in connection with the complex financial restructuring of the Europcar group.
- Advised Fortress Investment Group (a leading, highly diversified global investment manager), as existing lender, in relation to the sale and refinancing of Football Club des Girondins de Bordeaux to Gérard Lopez, the former owner of the Lille football club (LOSC) that won the French Ligue 1 championship this year.
- Advised Certares on its equity injection proposal in the context of the competitive process launched by Pierre & Vacances and its financial advisor, Rothschild & Co in order to seek new money equity investors.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a staple name in the field. Its impressive track record earns it instructions for the market’s most high-profile matters each year. Often assisting debtors, the practice also acts for shareholders and investors, as well as for all types all lenders. With the firm's complementary corporate and financing capabilities to draw on, the practice acts in landmark restructuring, insolvency and distressed M&A matters. Recently, the practice has been handling a high number of preventative (pre-insolvency) work as well as several matters related to Covid-19, notably in the aviation and industry sectors. The high-profile Vallourec and BVA’s cases stand out in the recent caseload. The practice is co-headed by the remarkable Jean-Dominique Daudier de Cassini and the excellent Anne-Sophie Noury. Counsel Laura Bavoux is another key member. Corporate partner Yannick Piette also regularly contributes.
Jean-Dominique Daudier de Cassini; Anne-Sophie Noury
‘The team led by Jean Dominique Daudier Cassini is one of the most beautiful restructuring teams in the Place de Paris. Professionally: the best! The plus: the kindness, availability and benevolence of Jean -Dominique.’
‘Jean Dominique Daudier de Cassini has a remarkable knowledge of his practice and knows how to apply it brilliantly. A great man in the field of restructuring.’
‘Experts at advising large corporates. Strong complementarity between the restructuring, M&A and financing team .. a leader’.
‘Anne-Sophie Noury is expert and very available. She is skilled and creative.’
‘They have deep knowledge of the French legal environment and have relationships with the key people involved in insolvency proceedings (administrator, French institutions, lawyers…) which helps to ease the process. They are very innovative and creative in finding solutions to the problems.’
‘Anne-Sophie Noury is absolutely brilliant at finding new ways to approach problems. She has connections with many people and is also able to give a realistic view of the situation to the client so that it can take a decision.’
Bain Capital Credit
Benta Pharma Invest Holding
CBF & Associés
Clayton Dubilier & Rice/Mobilux
Glass Holdings/Arc Holdings
Groupe GO Sport
Hayfin Capital Management
Sagard/Healthy Group/SEL Monge
Vine Alternative Investments
- Advised Vallourec on discussions with its banks and bondholders creditors and other stakeholders during its ‘mandat ad hoc’ pre-insolvency procedure.
- Advised French airline Corsair on a significant restructuring.
- Advised Office Depot on its conciliation proceedings and the opening and conduct of its reorganisation proceedings.
White & Case LLP is especially experienced in acting for bondholders, shareholders and investors, but can act for any stakeholder. The high-profile practice is mostly retained for large debt restructuring matters. The group's substantial workload includes many high-profile cases, with recent matters coming from a range of sectors, including the industrial, tourism, hospitality and retail sectors. The practice notably acted in the landmark Vallourec and Europcar matters. The team also worked on several asset takeover transactions and on cross-border cases. Practice head Saam Golshani and Alexis Hojabr are highly recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Alexis Hojabr has very good potential; he is business-oriented and understands perfectly the forces in presence to draw the path for solutions for his clients.’
‘Very high technique and has worked on very significant complex and innovative landmark deals; committed.’
‘Saam Golshani and Alexis Hojabr are among the very best.’
Apollo Global Management
Strategic Value Partners
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)
- Advised Vallourec’s ad hoc group of bondholders and RCF, led by Apollo, SVP, Bybrook and M&G, on the financial restructuring of Vallourec.
- Advised the majority of Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) debtholders, including financial institutions and investment funds, on Europcar Mobility Group’s overall financial restructuring and subsequent accelerated financial safeguard.
- Advised the bondholders on the financial restructuring of the Solocal Group, the leading European provider of digital solutions for SME companies.
At Ashurst LLP, Noam Ankri‘s team has been involved in most of France’s landmark cases in 2021, including highly challenging and sensitive cases relating to listed companies. The team often assists creditors, and particularly bondholders, but is also experienced in acting for debtors. Leading investment funds frequently instruct the firm to assist with presenting takeover offers. The highly versatile team is able to deal with all types of matters, from insolvency and restructuring to distressed M&A work and related litigation.
‘Overall strong bench of lawyers in the team. The entire team…from the partner to the junior associate is committed to the deal (responsive, high quality work).’
‘Noam Ankri is an excellent lawyer. Knows very well the insolvency framework in France and can translate it into practical terms.’
Boussard & Gavaudan
European Investment Bank
Dyal Capital Partners
Bagatelle Group. Inc.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Renaissance Luxury Group
Bank of New York Mellon
- Advised Credit Suisse as provider of a €800m new money facility on the €3bn debt restructuring of Europcar Mobility Group under accelerated financial safeguard proceedings.
- Advised BNY Mellon as trustee to the €1.1bn bond debt on the €3bn debt restructuring of Vallourec SA under safeguard proceedings.
- Advised the steering committee of the bondholders in connection with the default and potential enforcement over the shares of listed French retailer SMCP against its Chinese controlling shareholder Shandoong Ruyi.
Bird & Bird has noticeably gained in market shares in France, having received a high volume of new matters from banks and banking pools to act in many of the market’s largest restructuring and insolvency cases. The team is notably involved in matters from the naval construction, hospitality, tourism, retail and manufacturing sectors. It regularly acts in sensitive matters in which the French state also intervenes and advised the French state on a high-profile industrial case. Related litigation is also handled.vRomain de Ménonville and Nicolas Morelli co-head the practice, which also includes counsel Céline Nézet.
Romain de Ménonville; Nicolas Morelli
Other key lawyers:
‘The team of partners shows great availability, intellectual agility, great pedagogy and great courtesy. Nicolas Morelli is a very great lawyer, who demonstrates accuracy and finesse in his legal analysis as well as good balance in negotiations.’
‘Great ability to listen and to make accessible and intelligible elements that are not accessible to business leaders. Great ability to understand the context and the challenges for the company; excellent ability to take the bird’s eye view and to step aside always at the right time. Provider of solutions and different scenarios. Professional and experienced team.’
‘Ability to mobilise quickly to bid on a file. Romain de Ménonville’s team is used to working with banks and is now well known and recognised even at local bank level (which makes it easier to choose a consultant when there are multiple banks). A well-established and attentive team.’
‘Excellent team. Very constructive, transaction-oriented and good pedagogy to assist clients with decision making’
Bred Banque Populaire
Natixis and the BPCE group
Group Crédit Agricole
SCI Les Salins
Arkéa Entreprises et Institutionnels
- Advising Bred Banque Populaire on challenging claims filed during the safeguard proceedings of Rallye.
- Advising the French State in relation to a strategic debt restructuring of an industrial engineering contractor and equipment manufacturer.
- Advising a pool of banks on the comprehensive financial restructuring of the Buffalo Grill group.
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’ has a very skilled team which assists all types of stakeholders including lenders, investors, debtors as well as judicial administrators and the French state in relation to sensitive matters. The practice stands out through its international capabilities which were recently at play in the landmark restructuring of Bourbon in the maritime sector. The insolvency team, which is supported by strong finance and corporate capabilities, recently appeared in highly prominent cases in relation to various sectors such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing and transport. It was notably retained by Accor Invest to assist with its debt restructuring. Additionally, the practice is experienced in refinancing work and major asset takeover cases. Practice head Philippe Druon is a star in the field. Cécile Dupoux and Astrid Zourli made partner in early 2022.
Other key lawyers:
Cécile Dupoux; Astrid Zourli
‘The restructuring team stands out on the market through the combination of its experience and excellence. They are present on most of the most important files on the market, often complex files. Their expertise extends to a large number of business sectors, with particular expertise in financial institutions, transport, energy and retail. I find the team very accessible, complementary (with an appreciable male/female parity) and responsive.’
‘Astrid Zourli and Philippe Druon are two extremely experienced and seasoned practitioners. They are able to deal with the most sophisticated matters on the French market: they have an enormous capacity for work thanks, in particular, to a structured team. Philippe and Astrid offer a tailor-made service, delivering high-quality work to their clients. They are known as dealmakers, which contributes to their reputation. Philippe is essential on the market, he is a real star. Astrid has also made a name for herself, now recognised, and has demonstrated to the market all her professional qualities. It is a pleasure to work with them.’
‘The team is particularly remarkable. In my opinion, it is one, if not the best in the French market in restructuring with regard to the cases handled, their variety, and the importance of the clients who trust them. They are particularly to be distinguished by their expertise in complex restructuring, both amicable and insolvency proceedings. They know how to propose and carry out the operating mode most suited to the constraints and the timing of the case. In addition, because of their varied experience, they have in-depth knowledge of several sectors of activity. I would add that the team stands out for the ease of exchanges with all of its members (from partners/counsel to the youngest associates) which necessarily contributes to the success of a collaboration.’
‘From an individual point of view, Philippe Druon is a true reference in the market. He has in-depth knowledge, based on his experience, of the business factors and considerations to be had for troubled companies, insolvency proceedings and financial restructuring. He is a keen negotiator capable of successfully resolving the most complex and difficult issues, managing and disentangling difficult situations.’
‘Astrid Zourli stands out through her mastery of subjects, her ability to lead negotiations until consensus is reached, often within tight timing. Her collaborative and pragmatic attitude, solution-oriented approach, and exceptional commitment are particularly remarkable. Philippe and Astrid form a formidable duo that works in a complementary way.’
‘Cécile Dupoux is one of the finest lawyers I have ever worked with. She is very knowledgeable and responsive. She is the full package of what you might expect of a business attorney.’
‘Philippe Druon is very connected and able to get straight to the point in negotiations. Astrid Zourli is very professional, available, technical, business-oriented, pragmatic, a solution provider.’
‘Cécile Dupoux is very knowledgeable and has an excellent network of experts.’
Inteya Products, LLC
The French State – Ministry of Economy
Linklaters‘ versatile team assists all kind of stakeholders: banks, investment funds, debtors and different types of creditors. Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, the firm has been extremely busy advising on French state sponsored aids. The team shows great ability to act in complex matters involving publicly listed companies or major cross-border elements, such as the recent Baccarat case which required navigation between different Asian stakeholders. The practice’s substantial caseload includes matters from a wide range of sectors, such as manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, hospitality and tourism. Matters often involve the French state. The practice is co-headed by Aymar de Mauléon de Bruyères and Carole Nerguararian who was promoted to partner in 2021.
Aymar de Mauléon; Carole Nerguararian
‘Aymar de Mauléon has very good knowledge; he understands the challenges of his clients.’
‘Aymar de Mauléon has a very good knowledge of the sector and the players in this sector. His help is invaluable in analysing the various possibilities and outcomes of certain negotiations. He very quickly understands the issues for our management and is a source of proposals.’
‘Team dedicated to restructuring work which is aware of the latest case law. Argument always well supported with references to case law.’
‘They make themselves available and explain very clearly very complex legal points.’
‘Commitment and proactivity.’
‘Complete expertise, with an interesting 360° view.’
‘Listening skills, constructive spirit, great availability and proactivity. Bravo in particular to Carole Nerguararian and to Aymar de Mauléon, of course’.
‘Carole Nerguararian shows exceptional technical expertise and a great ability to build a client relationship.’
The Bank of New York Mellon and Apex Corporate Trustees Services (UK) Limited
CVC Advisers limited & Lecta Group
La Française des Jeux
Crédit Foncier de France (CFF), subsidiary of BPCE
BNP Paribas Asset Management France
Etablissement Français du Sang
Natixis Investment Managers International
- Advising Tor and Sammasan on the enforcement of security interests and appropriation of the shares in FLL, the shareholder group of Baccarat in the framework of pre-insolvency proceedings.
- Advised the Dream Yacht Group on its financial restructuring and recapitalisation.
- Advised the group of Euro PP bondholders of the LFB, a French laboratory fully-owned subsidiary of the Agence des Participations de l’Etat (APE).
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP ‘s restructuring and insolvency practice works in close collaboration with the corporate and financing practices as well as with the firm’s US and UK offices. The practice act on high-profile matters for various stakeholders: debtors, buyers, creditors, agents or shareholders. It was recently involved in several landmark Covid-19-related matters in the hospitality and tourism sector and played a front role in a highly prominent matter concerning football TV broadcasting rights. The firm also assists investors with major distressed asset acquisitions, with recent matters coming from the industrial sector. In addition to its caseload of large matters, the team also handles smaller cases. The highly regarded Guilhem Bremond is in charge.
‘ Support and advice that is always relevant.’
‘Guilhem Bremond is ‘always ahead’ on issues and does not hesitate to formulate ‘disruptive’ proposals. Great creativity and energy.’
Pierre & Vacances SA Euro PP Bondholders
Mediapro Sport France
Liberty House Group
US Wells Fargo
Archers A.A.R.P.I.'s practice head Fabrice Patrizio regularly acts for debtors facing restructuring proceedings. The team manages a large caseload and is playing a front role in several of the market’s largest matters, including high-profile proceedings in the hospitality sector. The team also assists leading French and Anglophone investment funds with asset takeover deals. The firm’s complementary litigation and finance expertise are other assets.
August Debouzy is particularly active for debtors, but also frequently acts for major corporations in matters where their interests are at stake as key commercial partners. The practice is able to intervene at every stage, from debt restructuring and conciliation to insolvency and distressed M&A work, in addition to handling litigation. The team built by Laurent Cotret includes Charles Morel, made counsel in October 2021, and a group of experienced associates. The practice often joins forces with the firm’s other departments, for example the employment team. Increasingly involved in large and high-profile cases, the group is now a regular on complex cases, for example a matter concerning the non-financial certification of a listed company which led to its insolvency proceedings. The group also acts on a highly politically sensitive case pertaining to a major ferry company. The varied caseload includes matters spanning various industry sectors, including real estate, IT, hospitality, industry, aeronautics, football, press and retail.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team structured around Laurent Cotret brings together a complete set of strong skills in relation to all the delicate issues encountered when the company is in difficulty. The team is attentive to deadlines and to the human aspect.’
‘Laurent Cotret has a professional analytical approach which makes it possible to immediately prioritise problems and get to the point.’
‘The team is robust on national and international issues. The team is equally at ease handling amicable and legal proceedings, as well as matters regarding liability of directors.’
‘Laurent Cotret demonstrates rigour, creativity, and does not hesitate to find innovative solutions. Charles Morel, through the excellence of his analyses and the roundedness of his approaches, allows the team to be perfectly complete.’
‘Small and responsive team. Listens, is available and efficient.’
‘Very informed and connected. Very good advice, especially on tactical aspects.’
‘Its combination between technical knowledge and practical experience is its most remarkable strength.’
JJW HOTEL GROUP and AL JABER Family
JOGO BONITO GROUPE (holding of M. Gerard Lopez former Chairman of the LOSC football Club)
RICCOBONO PRESSE INVESTISSEMENT
DIETRICH CAREBUS GROUP
SERCIB – SCCV SOLARIS
- Advising the JJW hotel group, owned by Saudi Sheikh Mohamed Al Jaber, and more specifically four companies whose safeguard plans since 2013 were converted into receivership proceedings in June 2020.
- Advised the Agatha group (Agatha SA, Agatha Diffusion, Société Fontaas et Cie, Société Seize) and its shareholder King Power in the framework of the takeover of the Agatha group by the Thom group and Renaissance Luxury group, via its subsidiary Altesse.
- Advised Jogo Bonito Group on the acquisition of the entire share capital of Club des Girondins de Bordeaux and the refinancing of its bond indebtedness.
Bredin Prat‘s strong experienced team is able to cover the full range of matters thanks to high-level complementary M&A and financing support available. The firm often acts for debtors in addition to representing shareholders and investors in asset sale transactions. The team was recently involved in several prominent matters concerning the restaurant and food sectors, often in relation to the Covid-19 crisis. It was also involved in one the market’s highlight matter in Comexposium and helped Bordeaux’s football team going through its difficulties. Nicolas Laurent and Olivier Puech co-head the practice which includes counsel Mathilde Sigel.
Olivier Puech; Nicolas Laurent
‘We appreciated the exceptional availability and competence of Nicolas Laurent who offered us not obvious solutions, which are the result of a great experience.’
‘Probably the strongest legal and deal-making know-how in Paris.’
‘Good balance between partners who advise and make deals, in contact with clients, and the teams below who provide execution skills.’
Amer Sports Corporation
CCI Paris Île de France
Eurodivisas (Grupo Global Exchange)
Girondins de Bordeaux
Lagardère Media News
Potel et Chabot
- Advised Potel & Chabot on its successful restructuring thanks to a €18m of financial support coming from its historical shareholders.
- Advising Buffalo Groupe on the takeover of Courtepaille in the context of bankruptcy proceedings.
- Advising Girondins de Bordeaux on an amicable proceeding to find a new shareholder.
FTPA has a very experienced and versatile team, able to deal with the full range of issues, including corporate and litigation aspects. The firm is particularly experienced in debtor work, but can also assist shareholders, investors, court appointed representatives and credit insurers. The busy caseload includes several particularly significant matters in the aviation sector where the team has strong industry know-how. The practice also offers experience in the automotive sector and has been handling key matters in the retail, fashion and tourism sectors. Serge-Antoine Tchekhoff, Bruno Robin and Edouard Fabre co-head the practice which also features up-and-coming counsel Romain Lantourne.
Antoine Tchekhoff; Bruno Robin; Edouard Fabre
Other key lawyers:
‘Bruno Robin and Romain Lantourne are excellent.’
‘Great adaptability and gifted individuals.’
‘Edouard Fabre is a great professional to work with. He has a huge talent to simplify complex cases. He always finds the stronger basis on which to position our company well in complex cases.’
NORTEL NETWORKS SA
WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT
CHOCOLATERIE DE BOURGOGNE
Led by Céline Domenget-Morin, Goodwin's practice is especially sought after by bondholders and banks, but also acts for debtors. The team recently earned several high-profile new instructions, notably playing a key role in Vallourec’s financial restructuring. The hospitality, construction and automotive sectors also feature in the recent caseload.
‘Dedicated and small team that follows the entire negotiations. Extensive preparation, great ability to anticipate the strategies developed by other parties. Good complementarity with the other teams of the firm which allows them to be proactive in the search for a solution.’
‘Céline Domenget-Morin is very available, very attentive. She anticipates possible sticking points in the discussions and has relationships with the various stakeholders.’
‘A very professional team at the service of creditors. A perfect mastery of business issues.’
‘The members of the team are very involved, lead the negotiations according to the directions given by the clients and do not forget to show pragmatism and creativity.’
‘The team is experienced, competent, attentive to the client, responsive, committed, with a strong capacity for work.’
‘We worked with Céline Domenget-Morin, who is very experienced, very competent, and knows all the players in restructuring very well.’
Groupe Rabot Dutilleul
La Banque Postale
- Advised the RCF Ad Committee Lenders on the negotiation of the financial restructuring of Vallourec.
- Advised a pool of banks, existing lenders of Pierre & Vacances, on the negotiations of a new financing while part of the existing bank debt is elevated.
- Advised Finnish electricity producer Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) on the negotiations of the amendments to the OL3 EPR project 2018 Global Settlement Agreement with the plant supplier consortium companies.
At Peltier Juvigny Marpeau & Associés, practice head Nicolas Partouche often acts for debtors and insolvency practitioners in complex cases, including litigation (e.g. liabilities litigation). The team is in high demand, in particular for mid-size market restructuring and insolvency cases, but also regularly receives instructions for high-profile cases such as recently the Courtepaille and Rallye ones in which the team respectively acting for the company and the mandataires judiciaires. The practice is managing several matters in the retail and hospitality sector.
‘A dynamic and very knowledgeable team.’
‘Rapid understanding of issues.’
SELAS MJS PARTNERS
SCP Abitbol & Rousselet
Mr. Thierry Glories
- Advised Courtepaille Group on one of the most important judicial reorganisations in France caused by the COVID pandemic (4,000 employees, 278 restaurants).
- Advised Parashop Group on its judicial reorganisation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (62 stores, 500 employees).
- Advised SELAFA MJA (liquidators) on its most significant cases.
Racine has an excellent team which often assists debtors and investors. The practice handles a large volume of work, principally acting in mid-size market restructuring and insolvency cases, but also has proven expertise in larger matters. Recently, the team has been particularly active in the food, retail, hospitality and industrial sectors. It assisted several investors presenting takeover bids on major assets. The practice has also worked alongside the firm’s real estate group to assist lessors with the debt restructuring of several prominent hospitality and retail companies. Antoine Diesbecq, Laurent Jourdan and Emmanuel Laverrière co-head the practice. Associate Lisa Ducani also deserves a mention.
Antoine Diesbecq; Laurent Jourdan; Emmanuel Laverrière
Other key lawyers:
‘Very good team led by Laurent Jourdan.’
‘Availability and efficiency; intelligent and adapted solutions.’
‘Multidisciplinary. Dealmaker. Very good transversal view.’
‘A dynamic, united, innovative and available team.’
‘Excellent interpersonal skills, great availability.’
Platina International SA
- Advising France Champignon, the Bonduelle group’s branch and last French specialist in canned mushrooms, on its receivership procedure and the sale of its assets and activities.
- Advising a farmer cooperative on an ad hoc mandate procedure.
- Advising a lessor (hotel and leisure industry in France) on the negotiation of its rents in relation to the Pierre et Vacances – Center Parcs’ conciliation and restructuring.
Santoni & Associés
Simon Associés has one of the largest teams in the field, with its main base in Paris and a strong presence in the regions. This enables the practice to cover the market widely, from smaller matters to large cases. The team acts for debtors and regularly for shareholders and leading investment funds, with the varied caseload including matters from a wide range of sectors, notably the industrial manufacturing, finance, retail and hospitality sectors. Recent high-profile matters, such as advising Flunch restaurant groups on the opening of its safeguard proceedings (one of the largest in France for 2021) and advising on the takeover of major retail chain Office Dépôt, indicate the firm's good standing in the market. The highly seasoned Jean-Charles Simon and Emmanuel Drai are the two key members and co-head the practice with Philippe Saigne, Hubert de Frémont and Kristell Quelennec (all based in Paris); Marie Robineau in Nantes, Laure Warembourg in Lille and Sophie Nayrolles in Montpelier.
Jean-Charles Simon; Emmanuel Drai; Marie-Robineau; Laure Warembourg; Sophie Nayrolles; Philippe Saigne; Hubert de Frémont; Kristell Quelennec
Smart Tréso Conseil
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP regularly advises prominent sponsors, hedge funds and investors on insolvency and restructuring matters. The firm is regularly appointed by the main stakeholders to handle large restructuring cases, for example the Vallourec case, a recent stand-out matter. The team has handled prominent work in the aviation sector and assisted a large industrial company on a major takeover asset bid. Practice head Lionel Spizzichino is well recognised and ably supported by counsel Audrey Nelson and associate Batiste Saint-Guily.
Other key lawyers:
Audrey Nelson; Batiste Saint-Guily
‘The team is particularly flexible, creative and available to deal with difficulties. They easily collaborate with other departments (eg M&A or financing) and other firms if necessary. Team creativity is distinctive.’
‘The practice is very well integrated within the firm and allows clients like us to access a complete offer covering restructuring, banking, capital market, in France as well as in the United Kingdom and the USA.’
‘Lionel Spizzichino is extremely well connected, responsive, available, commercial and ‘user-friendly’!’
‘Lionel Spizzichino and Batiste Saint-Guily show: absolute excellence and experience on technical aspects; total confidence which is necessary to execute our complex transactions; ability to produce large volumes of documentation in record time; unique creativity for the complex situations we are working on; talent and ability to advise beyond pure legality and the ability to express strong points of view on business and commercial aspects that are very important to us.’
‘Lionel Spizzichino does not hesitate to share his extraordinary network and put his encyclopedic knowledge of market players at the service of success of its clients, and that whatever the size of the deal, delivering much more than a legal service of a quality unmatched by other business firms with which we work, but a total advisory service that would make more than one investment bank blush.’
Air France/Air France-KLM
Searchlight Capital Partners
The Carlyle Group
The coordinating committee of senior secured noteholders of Lecta
Credit Suisse Asset Management
CVC Credit Partners
- Advised Air France KLM and Air France on its €4bn French State sponsored help to recapitalise Air France and its holding company.
- Advised Searchlight Capital Partners on the recapitalisation of Latécoère.
- Advised Bpifrance as shareholder in connection with the financial restructuring of Vallourec.
Alerion hired Gilles Podeur in the Summer of 2020 from Clifford Chance to launch its practice. Podeur has experience advising debtors or creditors and can rely on complementary corporate and finance law support available within the firm. He recently acted in several prominent insolvency and restructuring cases, spanning various sectors, including the retail, manufacturing and real estate sectors. Podeur is also well versed in advising investors presenting bid offers for assets and recently completed a major acquisition in the retail sector that allowed to save almost a thousand jobs.
‘Very fine knowledge of cases and sound advice.’
‘Proximity in exchanges, great availability and pedagogy on complex and infrequent cases (as far as we are concerned). Detailed invoicing which allows the verification and measurement of the work provided.’
‘We only work with Gilles Podeur. We appreciate our collaboration for its great availability, the respect of deadlines, the pedagogy provided in the explanation of the files.’
- Assisted the new company created by the existing shareholder of Alinea with its successful bid to acquire Alinea.
- Assisted BTSG in its capacity as court-appointed creditors’ representative with the insolvency proceedings of River Plaza.
- Assisted the bondholders with the restructuring of Enensys Technologies.
ADVANT Altana‘s well-established practice regularly acts for debtors, but is also often retained by leading companies for the management of commercial debts held in various smaller companies and commercial partners. The team has notably advised several leading shopping centers, developers and lessors on protecting rent amounts due by retailers facing debt restructuring situations. In recent work, the practice assisted a major travelling company facing acute difficulties. The varied caseload features matters from other fields, including press, media, hospitality, automobile and education. Michel Jockey and Pierre-Gilles Wogue co-head the practice, with Julien Balensi and Mana Rassouli being two other key contributors.
Other key lawyers:
Julien Balensi; Mana Rassouli
‘A high-performing firm.’
‘Very responsive team.’
‘Combative on complicated issues.’
‘Very high availability, very high efficiency and professionalism.’
‘An ability to listen, rapid response, very accessible people and in search of client satisfaction.’
SOCIETE DES CENTRES COMMERCIAUX (SCC)
PRESSTALIS/ FRANCE MESSAGERIE
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS FRANCE
COLONY CAPITAL / CPI
- Advised France Messagerie, a new press distribution company, on the negotiation and implementation of new public financing.
- Assisting one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers with all aspects of the restructuring of a German auto parts supplier, Eisenmann Group.
- Advised Altarea Cogedim on all matters related to restructuring and insolvency.
BDGS Associés hired the promising Henri Cazala (previously an associate at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP) to re-launch the firm’s practice. The team made a highly successful start; working alongside the firm’s corporate practice it has been assisting key shareholders or companies’ boards involved in several of the market’s landmark cases for 2021, including AccorInvest, Vallourec and Comexposium. The practice also handles smaller matters. Laurène Boyer, who joined as senior associate from Linklaters in February 2021, should also be noted.
Other key lawyers:
‘An extremely responsive team, very good knowledge of the environment and great understanding of situations.’
‘Henri Cazala is very attentive, a great professional who knows how to adapt to situations.’
‘Henri Cazala is a promising young partner who has the advantage of being very efficient thanks to his very technical knowledge of this subject, with very good availability and a real desire to seek solutions.’
‘A firm which enjoys a growing notoriety and reputation, a reflection of the quality of the work carried out.’
‘Henri is a lawyer with whom we like to work because he is both technical and business-oriented: he takes the time to understand his client ‘s activity before developing legal solutions. We appreciate both his strategic side in action and advice. In addition, he promotes consensus through his calm and the relevance of his proposals. From what I have been able to judge on a personal basis, Henri is young, curious and flexible while being very mature from a professional point of view.’
‘Excellent team within an exceptional firm.’
‘Henri Cazala is a particularly efficient dealmaker, technically remarkable and always attentive to our needs. He knows the players in restructuring perfectly and knows how to create a climate of trust conducive to the success of the project. His associate Laurène Boyer is also excellent.’
‘Henri Cazala is a very rigorous, responsive and inventive lawyer.’
Crédit Agricole Assurances
Board of Vallourec
- Advised Predica, a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Assurances, in its capacity as shareholder of AccorInvest on the restructuring of its €4.5bn debt.
- Advised the board of Vallourec on the restructuring of its €3.5bn debt.
- Advising Predica, a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Assurances (CAA), in its capacity as controlling shareholder, alongside the Paris chamber of commerce and industry (CCIP), on Comexposium’s safeguard proceedings.
Boché Dobelle is a boutique firm co-managed by two complementary experts. Mylène Boché-Robinet has particular expertise in cross-border and European restructuring matters, acting for many international clients, including large industrial German clients in the pharmaceutical and packaging sectors and several German judicial administrators. Véronique Dobelle has extensive experience in the domestic market and provides strategic advice to large corporate clients from a wide range of sectors. The firm acts mainly for debtors and also some creditors committees. It is currently handling a very complex matter in the industrial sector involving insolvency, liability proceedings and various asset sales and was chosen to act for an international airlines company in a strategic restructuring matter involving multiple aviation lessors. The team also assists with distressed M&A work.
Mylène Boché-Robinet; Véronique Dobelle
‘Véronique Dobelle’s team is extremely capable and fast. She is extremely competent in the field of restructuring and guarantees the best solutions for clients’.
‘The team is organised and efficient and extremely capable. They are thorough and available around the clock. They are always up to date with the latest legal happenings, and are able to draw on expertise across the industry. Mylène Boché-Robinet is very sharp, very able. Always available. Able to identify the issues and explain them succinctly and clearly. Sorts through complicated structures and fact situations to find solutions that are commercial, creative and smart. Excellent communicator. Absolutely top notch.’
‘A boutique firm that is able to handle any assignment (large or small) in an efficient and superior matter. The lawyers think strategically about the global effects of each decision and work well collaboratively with other lawyers all over the world to provide effective results on cross-border insolvency matters, restructurings, and contract negotiations.’
‘Mylène Boché-Robinet is a stand-out partner; she is very accomplished, proficient and a very good advocate. She is very knowledgeable about all aspects of insolvency law both in France and globally. She carefully provides advice to clients in a cost-effective matter. Her advice is effective and commercial in nature. She has a keen sense of what the client wants and how to get there, even if that requires nontraditional thinking.’
‘Very responsive and diligent, very high level of specialisation and quality, very adept with modern communication tools. Mylène Boché-Robinet has exceptional know-how and negotiation skills, remains calm in difficult situations, and shows exceptional dedication to her work.’
‘I worked with Mylène Boché-Robinet and I was able to appreciate her professionalism, her responsiveness, her availability, her ability to adapt and above all her extremely relevant analysis as soon as I asked her. Mylène has a talent for simplifying complicated things and serenely apprehending complex situations.’
‘A cohesive and dynamic team, involved, innovative, which does not hesitate to consider new solutions adapted to the situation. Mylène Boché-Robinet is first of all a great specialist in restructuring procedures, but also a nice person, attentive to her clients, very involved in saving the company, while being aware of the limits of the solutions it proposes and therefore working to make them acceptable to the parties concerned.’
‘A perfect knowledge of French law on insolvency, a great knowledge of the issues related specifically to cross-border insolvency proceedings, which is rare on the market. It is all the more rare to find these qualities within a French structure of a human scale, compared to large international firms, which affects the invoicing which, for at least equivalent work, is more competitive. The work provided is delivered with seriousness and the subjects are treated in depth. The team is very available, whether at the level of partners or associates, which greatly contributes to the efficiency and seriousness of its work on the files entrusted to it.’
Orient Beach Club
- Advised Lion Air Group on its restructuring process.
- Advised GAZ LIQUEFIE INDUSTRIEL (ALTIFORT GROUP) on a business sale to the benefit of Chemet group.
- Advised EULER HERMES on restructuring and insolvency cases.
Brown Rudnick LLP
Brown Rudnick LLP advises investment funds and debtors. The firm was recently involved in several complex restructuring cases, such as matters where shareholders and investment funds succeeded at taking control over distressed companies. The team also acted in several cases caused by the transformation of certain industry sectors, for example the film industry. Recently, the team handled a strategic matter in the press sector and was also involved in a EuroPP debt restructuring case, a first in France. The practice also assisted several clients presenting asset takeover offers. Practice head Pierre-Alain Bouhenic, David Chijner and Arnaud Moussatof are the key contacts.
Other key lawyers:
David Chijner; Arnaud Moussatof
‘Very good and technical team regardless of who it is representing (debtor, shareholder, etc.) and the size of the file at hand.’
‘The team shows great rigour and leaves no room for uncertainty. They come up with proposals in order to find solutions to blocked situations.’
‘Pierre-Alain Bouhénic has extensive knowledge of bankruptcy proceedings. His experience in complex cases allows him to innovate on cases and find suitable solutions.’
‘Team of great professionals. Perfect mastery of their specialty.’
‘Pierre-Alain Bouhenic and Arnaud Moussatof are very creative.’
‘Leading expertise and able to deal with complex high-stakes situations.’
‘Pierre-Alain Bouhenic is a leading lawyer on the restructuring market. In recent years, he has worked on numerous cases raising very important financial and social issues. He is perfectly supported by Arnaud Moussatof, a very talented lawyer.’
Coopérative de Distribution des Magazines (Presstalis)
La Dépêche du Midi (Vià Group)
Pléiade Investissement (Conztanz)
- Assisting Ymagis with its restructuring.
- Assisting Vivendi with the acquisition of Mars Films.
- Assisting the Coopérative de Distribution des Magazines as one of the main shareholder with the restructuring of Presstalis.
Clifford Chance’s Delphine Caramalli leads the restructuring and insolvency practice. The team acts for various debtors, lenders, shareholders and investors. It recently completed several prominent matters in the retail sector. The practice is able to draw on the firm's international capabilities, recently acting in a global restructuring case alongside the London office. It also worked on a high-profile matter involving French football TV rights. Counsel Marie Crumière is the second key contact.
Other key lawyers:
‘A close-knit team and good cooperation with the other departments of the firm.’
‘Delphine Caramalli knows how to find the right tone to tackle the most complex issues.’
LABORATOIRES PHYTO/LABORATOIRES LIERAC
EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD INVESTMENT PARTNER/ACTOMEZZ
LFP (LIGUE PROFESSIONNELLE DE FOOTBALL)
- Assisting the client with its debt and operational restructuring.
- Advised Carrefour on the takeover of the Bio c’ Bon group.
- Assisting the client with negotiations led with Mediapro regarding issues pertaining to the distribution of French football Championship TV rights..
CMS acts for all types of stakeholders in restructuring and insolvency cases, including shareholders, banks, debtors and investors. The firm manages a busy workload and has recently been involved in prominent matters in the press, automobile, retail and aviation sectors. It also regularly assists investors with asset takeover transactions. Practice head Alexandre Bastos is in charge, ably supported by counsel Guillaume Bouté.
Other key lawyers:
‘Me Guillaume Bouté is a remarkable technically excellent lawyer, very precise, rigorous and always available.’
‘A full-service firm with an international presence, which is an asset in the processing of cases. The lawyers of the restructuring team know how to coordinate the intervention of their international colleagues. They also know how to adapt to their interlocutors and they demonstrate a reactivity, a pragmatism and an availability which make it possible to make good progress on the files.’
‘I mainly worked with Alexandre Bastos, who is a pugnacious negotiator. He makes a strong contribution to finding original solutions, making it possible to reconcile several issues. Beyond Alexandre, his team shows real involvement. The lawyers are really available and listen to their clients.’
‘Exceptional mobilisation in case of emergency, very strong cohesion within the team. Negotiation of fees on a case-by-case basis.’
‘Alexandre Bastos shows pugnacity in discussions, total mastery of subjects faced by companies in difficulty and restructuring. Guillaume Bouté shows good mastery of subjects, pragmatism, effective advice, remarkable availability’.
BANQUE PALATINE and FCP MICADO FRANCE
SODIAAL and its affiliates
MUTARES SE & Co. KGaA
CEGC (NATIXIS / BPCE)
- Advising ATRADIUS on the ongoing conciliation proceeding of CNIM.
- Advising SODIAAL and its affiliates on the acquisition of the industrial activities of the drying unit of milk powder and whey owned by SYNUTRA INTERNATIONAL FRANCE.
- Advised BANQUE PALATINE and FCP MICADO FRANCE, bondholders, on the conciliation proceeding opened to the benefit of ORAPI.
Headed by Audrey Molina, Dentons' practice regularly assists debtors, while also advising shareholders and some other creditors. The team has been involved in several matters pertaining to significant companies in the retail and industrial sectors. It is also involved in insolvency and restructuring cases concerning smaller companies, notably in the hospitality and home furniture areas. The practice also handles litigation and assists investors with asset takeover offers.
‘Responsiveness and competence.’
‘Personalised approach, attention to detail and great follow-up.’
‘Very available team that provides sound advice to support companies in times of difficulty and who has remarkable influence on legal proceedings to help clients.’
‘The team is very professional, very involved in negotiations, and gets to the bottom of things.’
ELROND NPL 2017, SRL
Publications International Limited
- Advised Adova on its safeguard proceedings.
- Advised Lacelier on its safeguard proceedings.
- Advised Dalloyau on its safeguard proceedings.
Franklin launched its practice in January 2020 with the hire of Numa Rengot from Aston who has since wasted no time growing the practice by adding new associates and a second partner in Arnaud Pédron who joined from Deloitte | Taj later that year. The highly dynamic team now handles a large caseload and excels at dealing with atypical matters, managing all types of issues from corporate governance to corporate investment and insolvency proceedings. It is regularly retained by management teams and has strong experience in assisting clients with investing in distressed companies. The practice is particularly active in the aeronautics sector where it recently worked on a major case. Another recent stand-out matter came from the retail sector.
Other key lawyers:
Chemet SA & Chemet GLI
Regroupement et Diffusion de Saint-Lubin
Communauté de Communes des Villes Sœurs
Groupe de communication Crabs
La Seda de Barcelona
Groupe Diffusion Plus
- Advising Lise Charmel and its subsidiaries on its receivership proceedings.
- Advising the top management of Ariès on a corporate exit plan.
- Advising Chemet and French NewCo Chemet GLI regarding its judicial takeover of the assets and activities of Gaz Liquéfiés Industrie (GLI) from Altifort group.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is regularly retained for high-profile matters involving publicly and privately-owned companies. The practice acts for every type of stakeholder, including public bodies, shareholders, debtors and lenders, and offers high-level corporate and finance expertise. The firm is managing several highly sensitive cases involving the public authorities, notably in the energy sector. Its involvement in the Europcar debt restructuring indicates its good reputation in the market. Other core sectors include the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors. Jean-Gabriel Flandrois leads the practice alongside highly regarded finance expert Eric Cartier-Millon.
‘The team is first-rate. In particular, Jean-Gabriel Flandrois is deeply knowledgeable and well connected. He has real expertise in helping multinational companies navigate the complexities of French restructuring law. What’s more, his English language skills are first-rate.’
‘Jean-Gabriel Flandrois is highly recommended.’
‘Multidisciplinary team, very well-coordinated and covering all the situations with which a company in difficulty is confronted.’
‘Commitment, competence, adaptability, proximity.’
Tudor (TDR) Capital
QBE Insurance Europe.
Agence des Participations de l’Etat
Nippon Steel Corporation
Tudor (TDR) Capital
QBE Insurance Europe.
Agence des Participations de l’Etat
Nippon Steel Corporation
- Advising Agence des Participations de l’Etat on the restructuring of Areva.
- Advising Nippon Steel Corporation, steel producer and long-standing shareholder as part of the financial restructuring of Vallourec.
- Advising KPMG, liquidator of Norwegian Air Ressources Limited (NARL), in the context of the liquidation of the company.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice features a strong finance component. The team has notably been retained by the French state to assist with providing sponsored loans to companies, including to several major aviation and industrial manufacturing groups experiencing severe difficulties. The team is also regularly seen advising banks in addition to handling debtor work. It recently acted in several matters in the energy and financial services sectors. Pauline Bournoville leads the practice to which the corporate and banking and finance departments often also contribute.
‘Good response times, good knowledge of the banking world and of the restructuring world.’
‘Availability, involvement and responsiveness, competitive price and very good quality of exchange and listening to the client.’
‘The great professional and interpersonal skills of Pauline Bournoville play a huge role in the very positive appreciation that we can have of the firm’s practice.’
FRENCH STATE (Délégation Interministérielle aux Restructurations d’Entreprises – Interministerial delegation for corporate restructuring & insolvencies)
Banque Travelex SA
Caisse d’Épargne Grand Est Europe
Caisse d’Epargne et de Prévoyance Grand Est Europe
Caisse d’Epargne CEPAC
Caisse D’Épargne Centre Est
Caisse d’Epargne Rhône Alpes (CERA)
Caisse d’Epargne Loire Champagne
Caisse d’Epargne Ile de France (CEIDF)
BNP Paribas Group
Crédit Agricole Group, including several entities such as: Crédit Agricole d’Ile-de-France
Crédit Agricole Alpe Provence
Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel Centre Loire
Société Générale Group
Louis Pasteur Group
- Advising Langa, a renewable-energy producer present in solar, wind, biogas, and biomass, on the safeguard proceedings of its subsidiary Methelec (a project supporting the development of rural methanation in France).
- Advising the French State (Interministerial Delegation for Corporate Restructuring – Délégation Interministérielle aux Restructurations d’Entreprises) on the negotiation of a €100m public loan to Ascoval and France Rail industry.
- Advised the syndicate of banks on the restructuring of the indebtedness of Fitness Park Group.
Jones Day assists all types of stakeholders: shareholders, banks, bondholders, debtors as well as investors and large corporations. The practice has been busy working on matters concerning companies impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, notably in the aviation sector, in addition to other distressed and restructuring matters. The team is able to handle complex and challenging, including cross-border cases. It has been retained to act in several high-profile mandates lately, notably in the hospitality sector, and acted for several investors presenting bid offers on major distressed assets. The firm also handles refinancing and distressed M&A work. Fabienne Beuzit leads the team which includes counsel Elodie Fabre and associate Rodolphe Carrière.
Other key lawyers:
Elodie Fabre; Rodolphe Carrière
‘The team has very recognised experience on the market, with an ability to find innovative and realistic solutions and to take into account the interests of their client and of a balanced transaction, making it easier to find a solution. Their technical expertise allows them to offer tailored solutions adapted to the specific context of each case.’
‘Fabienne Beuzit, Rodolphe Carrière and Elodie Fabre demonstrate great listening abilities, allowing them to fully understand issues at stake and to propose the most appropriate solution. They are also remarkably available to their clients. Their diagnoses of situations are very sharp and they know who the best experts to call for each specific subjects are and how to build a global solution.’
‘Dynamic team, attentive to their clients.’
‘Excellent team, very professional and very transaction-oriented.’
‘Very good availability, great experience and pedagogy to help customers to make up their choices in difficult times.’
‘A ‘full-service’ offer which is in fact ‘best-of-breed’ rather than ‘one-stop-shop’!’
‘Fabienne Beuzit has an exceptional capacity for listening and understanding: few lawyers really understand business issues while demonstrating emotional intelligence. Fabienne also has a very constructive outspokenness that allows you to get to the essentials quickly.’
‘Fabienne Beuzit shows great ability to adapt and help rapid decision-making in the process of taking over companies facing difficulties’.
- Advised nuclear energy leader Framatome on its acquisition of Valinox Nucléaire SAS from the Vallourec group.
McDermott Will & Emery AARPI advises debtors, shareholders, commercial partners, state-owned banks and investors. The practice is regularly retained for complex mid-size market cases, but also shows solid ability to handle cross-border issues. The team recently worked on a good volume of restructuring matters spanning various industry sectors, including the retail, industrial manufacturing, aviation, hospitality and automotive. Timothée Gagnepain directs the practice which includes associates Théophile Jomier and Lucille Madariaga.
Other key lawyers:
Théophile Jomier; Lucille Madariaga
‘The team is very aware of market practices (constantly evolving in this Covid-19 period). The fluid professional relationships that the restructuring team maintains with the various market players help to resolve very effectively the restructurings in which it is involved. All the members of the team are involved, responsive and proactive, with a constant concern for the interests of the client, whatever the problems encountered.’
‘Timothée Gagnepain is personally involved in all important aspects of the files and is very available. His presence in particular in the negotiations is invaluable, his interventions particularly relevant and his energy in resolving blocking points highly appreciated. His associate Théophile Jomier is excellent, both in his relations with clients and in his legal approach to cases. Lucille Madariaga is also greatly appreciated for her responsiveness and in-depth knowledge of the cases handled.’
‘Great team and firm.’
‘The team is incredibly knowledgeable in insolvency proceedings. From the early guidance through resolution, we found the team collaborative with other counsellors, with the state, and with the administrator.’
‘Timothée Gagnepain and Théophile Jomier were EXCELLENT legal representatives of our case. They were incredibly responsive. We were always made to feel that our case was of the utmost importance to them, even as the case was wrapping up.’
‘A small and structured team which positioned itself on the biggest files. Indispensable team in the restructuring sector.’
‘Timothée Gagnepain is well known in the business. Also qualified at the NYC bar, Timothée is versatile and a formidable litigator! It is also worth noting the great qualities of Lucille Madariaga who is on the path of becoming a partner.’
Bio C Bon
LGT Private Debt
Agence Française de Développement
- Assisting the court-appointed liquidators of the Bio C Bon group with its acquisition by Carrefour.
- Assisted the Canadian group Paper Excellence with the restructuring of one of its French subsidiaries, Fibre Excellence Tarascon.
- Assisted private equity fund Abénex with difficulties faced by two of its portfolio companies.
Norton Rose Fulbright‘s practice head Philippe Hameau is often seen advising debtors. Hameau’s recent caseload features a major matter in the industrial sector, a significant case in the paper industry and a high-profile insolvency matter in the steel and aluminum sector. Additionally, Hameau offers experience in the real estate sector and in advising investors presenting asset takeover bid offers. His litigation experience is increasingly in demand for international arbitration disputes, including acting in ongoing ICC and ICSID cases.
‘Philippe Hameau has great experience and excellent ability to adapt his advice and strategy to the size and the stakes of matters at hand’.
‘The team is international and therefore can respond to many issues precisely and quickly. As far as France is concerned, the team has an important network which allows it to fully understand the ins and outs of a case. Finally, the team is made up of lawyers specialising in the various fields that a company in difficulty will need.’
‘Easy to access, natural, speaking a simple language that manufacturers and business owners can understand. The relationship is easy.’
MS Mode France
- Avising Paper Excellence and its subsidiary, Fibre Excellence on Fibre Excellence’s restructuring.
- Representing French airline Aigle Azur as part of its restructuring and subsequent bankruptcy process.
OPLUS is notably recommended for its experience in acting for companies and investors presenting takeover offers on distressed assets and companies. The firm successfully advised on several significant recent transactions of that type in the retail sector in 2021. Olivier Pardo, Jonathan Siahou and Baptiste de Fresse de Monval and Antoine Cadeo de Iturbide (both promoted to partner in 2020) direct the practice.
Olivier Pardo; Jonathan Siahou; Baptiste de Fresse de Monval; Antoine Cadeo de Iturbide
‘Baptiste Fresse de Montval has shown exceptional talent for amicable, constructive and beneficial negotiations. We would recommend him without hesitation.’
‘Great availability of the team, tailor-made and total investment in key moments.’
Financière Immobilière Bordelaise
Fib Nc 7
Hermione People & Brands
Marc Hefes (Rhizome)
IONIS Education Group
- Advised Financiere Immobilière Bordelaise on the successful takeover of Camaïeu (511 stores in France) before the commercial court of Lille.
- Advised Wilsam on the successful takeover of Gap in France (21 stores in France) before the commercial court of Paris.
- Advised HPB on the planned takeover of Groupe Go Sport.
Osborne Clarke hired the experienced Nassim Ghalimi in January 2021 from Veil Jourde to launch the firm’s practice. The team handles restructuring and insolvency proceedings, and also handles related liability litigation. It is most often seen assisting debtors, but also advises investors on asset takeover offers, and acts for bondholders and judicial liquidators when complex liability litigation arises. The practice handles matters pertaining to SMEs as well as large companies, recently acting in significant matters related to the automotive, aeronautics, industrial, hospitably, retail and press sectors, including in cross-border matters.
‘Responsiveness, friendliness, good support in difficult times.’
‘Great humanity in the treatment of files, with a high level of technicality; great experience coupled with a lot of finesse.’
‘Unique knowledge of bankruptcy proceedings and of the transfer of assets during judicial liquidations. I do not know of any other law firm that has this level of expertise on that specific point. Availability, seriousness, creativity, dynamism.’
Gottex Real Estate Fund (GRAF)
A+ Finance / Sigma
Mont Blanc France
- Advising Europcar Supervisory board on the financial restructuring of the group.
- Advised Fives on the acquisition of Ateliers de Construction du Petit Parc (ACPP).
- Advising Inteva Products France, a subsidiary of the American group Inteva, on its receivership proceedings.
PLM Avocats is a well-established Parisian restructuring and insolvency boutique. The practice is particularly recommended for small to mid-size market cases, including those raising complex difficulties or involving sophisticated stakeholders. The team regularly acts for debtors and also receives mandates from bondholders and shareholders. It recently assisted clients with the negotiation of state support loans and was also involved in two significant matters in the retail and aviation sectors. Patricia Le Marchand and Fabienne Goubault are the heads of the practice.
Patricia Le Marchand; Fabienne Goubault
‘One of the best restructuring teams in Paris; a small and agile team capable of managing any size of file, including the largest. Very high legal technique and an unfailing implication.’
‘The team is very suitable to handle small cases with high complexity.’
‘Patricia Le Marchand: very high quality, serious, consensual approach, technical, very good knowledge of the French market and its players.’
Poulain & Associés
Simmons & Simmons
Under the aegis of the experienced Sandra Esquiva-Hesse, Simmons & Simmons’ team is able to handle work coming from any type of stakeholder, often joining forces with colleagues from the firm’s other departments and international offices. The practice offers expertise in advising clients facing issues from an early stage, including on distressed M&A deals and, a growing practice, on industrial site ‘revitalisation’ projects. The practice is also very experienced in insolvency proceedings. Among its recent mandates, the team completed prominent work in the automotive and retail industries, including successfully assisting a major international retailer with the closing of many of its stores in France. Companies’ governance issues are also handled. The practice is particularly at ease in an international environment.
‘We appreciate the proactivity. The interventions are fast and of a very good quality.’
‘Sandra Esquiva-Hesse has a very ‘business partner’ approach to our company. We feel like she is genuinely on the team looking for innovative solutions for us.’
‘Expert and essential team in its field.’
‘The team has been exemplary throughout our entire restructuring project. This project contained many dimensions of complexities which were all treated with the utmost professionalism. The team has demonstrated both a technicality commensurate with the issues, a strategic vision critical to long-term success and a human approach in line with the values of our group.’
‘Sandra Esquiva-Hesse is our main contact on this file. She allowed us to develop a very clear vision of the strategic issues, but also an adapted approach tactic and was available and effective throughout the execution. She benefits from a rich experience on these subjects which allowed us to analyse the risks, define preventive actions and deal with all the subjects during the negotiations.’
‘The restructuring team stands out for its ability to deal with issues before they even arise. It therefore has tremendous added value for its clients, particularly international ones. It also perfectly navigates the world of court administrators knowing how to bring in the right players at the right time.’
‘Sandra Esquiva-Hesse perfectly translates her constructive approach to transactions where the interests of her client take precedence over any consideration allowing complicated issues to be defused even before they appear.’
Standard Chartered Bank Ltd
- Advised a publicly traded on the NYSE tier I automotive manufacturer on the proposed closure and redundancy plan of its French plant.
- Advised GAP France on its overall restructuring strategy in the context of the closure of its 21 French stores in France.
Taylor Wessing hired Kristell Cattani from Lantourne & Associés to launch its practice in the fall of 2020. The team has recently been busy assisting a key client with the takeover of several major retail chains in France and advised on a major similar deal in the media sector. The team also offers experience in assisting debtors with various restructuring and insolvency proceedings, notably in sectors particularly affected by the Covid-19 crisis such as the hospitality industry.
- Assisting the manager of Karibea (ten hotels in Guadeloupe and Martinique) with a conciliation and pre-pack partial transfer procedure.
- Assisted Thierry le Guenic with the takeover of Habitat.
- Assisting Acanthe with a conflict with a creditor.
UGGC Avocats has longstanding experience in the field. Since the Covid-19 crisis started, the team has been highly sought after by companies for claiming state-sponsored financial support. Lately, the team has been particularly busy handling restructuring matters and advising clients on asset takeover offers, working closely with colleagues from the firm’s various other departments, including the corporate team. It notably successfully assisted a retail company with restructuring proceedings. The team also has strong expertise in liability disputes. The practice is co-headed by Thierry Montéran and Marine Simonnot.
Thierry Montéran; Marine Simonnot
‘The individuals combined the following skills: detailed knowledge of their area of expertise, strong performance in challenging situations in defending their clients interests; attention to detail and ability to deal with a high volume of complex information: and strong interpersonal skills in assisting their clients throughout stressful and distressing situations, taking into account language and cultural barriers.’
‘Excellent legal expertise.’
‘The firm has specialised resources in different areas which make it very efficient in dealing with distressed companies’ situations. Great corporate law support during the insolvency and takeover process and follow-up regarding financing and litigation issues with service providers and former employees. The firm does not just answer legal questions, but suggests possible solutions to its clients.’
‘Our contacts are very dynamic and accessible. We feel like they really take our concerns to heart. We really feel free to discuss any subject with confidence.’
‘Really knowledgeable and super responsive. They have the legal know-how, but also the understanding of our business concept.’
‘Thierry Montéran and Marine Simmonot are both excellent’.
Fédération Nationale du Bois
Promotrans – IXIO
Baronnie-Langet in his capacity of representative of AOM Air Liberté
Cooperl Arc Atlantique
- Advised Paralloy on its acquisition of Manoir Pitres and Manoir Industries during a conciliation process.
- Advised Elco Ltd and Elco Holding BV which was sued by a French liquidator in the context of the sale of a French business that fell bankrupt afterwards.
- Advised Promotrans on its reorganisation.
Boutique firm VALOREN was launched in Spring 2020 by former members of now defunct firm Bremond & Associés, including by key partner Virginie Verfaillie-Tanguy. Leading the insolvency and restructuring practice at her new firm, Verfaillie-Tanguy has extensive experience acting for debtors and shareholders, but also represents investors and credit institutions. Since the foundation of the firm, the practice has attracted several prominent cases, notably in the automotive and hotel sectors. Virginie Lockwood complements the practice on the employment law side.
‘A very competent, committed, sympathetic firm made up of all women lawyers who are close to clients.’
‘Excellent skills mixed with high pragmatism; very high professionalism and pedagogy from the start to the end; excellent coordination between all the expertise available within the firm.’
‘Virginie Verfaillie-Tanguy combines very specific technical skills and extraordinary empathy. She knows how to be present for her clients at pivotal moments while relying on very competent associates. In the difficult situation we went through, Virginie provided very valuable support.’
- Assisting the banks with Novares’ insolvency proceedings.
- Advised Carglass Maison’s Group and its shareholder on the sale of Carglass Maison’s Group to a joint venture.
- Advised JJW Limited, represented by its Liquidators, on JJW France’s Group and Hotel de la Tremoille’s insolvency proceedings.
Vivien & Associés' many established clients include a leading automobile company, whom the practice assisted with difficulties faced by key suppliers, and a number of retail sector clients. The firm's role in the restructuring of communication and advertising company BVA, a recent headline case, is a testament to its strong standing in the market. The team also acts for smaller companies, handles related liabilities and distressed M&A disputes. Its strong international expertise is another asset. The practice is is able to assist any type of stakeholder. The very experienced Laurent Assaya is in charge.
- Advising Renault on the financial difficulties of Gupta.
- Assisting BVA with its financial difficulties.
- Assisting a medium-sized group with its financial restructuring.