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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 > Private equity > Fund formation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Private equity: fund formation
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Clifford Chance’s broad practice includes the formation of funds under French and Luxembourgian law as well as the creation of pan-European investment funds. The team has experience in assisting with LBO funds, mezzanine funds and primary and secondary debt funds, but also covers venture capital funds and infrastructure funds. Xavier Comaills heads the group, which also includes real estate investment fund specialist Eric Davoudet. The team has a core focus on upper-mid and large-cap operations. Recent highlights include acting for Natixis Asset Management Subsidiary Mirova on the creation of and fundraising for its Mirova Core Infrastructure Fund II with a target value of €1bn and advising Sofinnova Partners on the creation of a new fund in industrial biotechnology. Other work includes assisting Montefiore Investment with the creation of a mid-market LBO fund focusing on European service companies, and advising Cathay Capital on the restructuring of an innovation fund. The team also acted for Cathay Capital on a rare €270m small-cap fund creation and fundraising matter. In the debt fund space, it advised Groupe Bruxelles Lambert on the structuring of and fundraising for a secondary debt fund with a target value of €850m and assisted Tikehau Investment Management with the formation of and fundraising for pan-European private debt fund Tikehau Direct Lending III. Other clients include Kartesia Advisors and Parquest Capital. Of counsel Tiana Rambatomanga joined Stephenson Harwood as a partner.

Dechert LLP provides ‘overall excellent service’, ‘knows the market practices and has a reliable global network’, allowing it to advise ‘on local practices as well as global market trends’. The ‘business-oriented and client-friendly’ team has ‘strength-in-depth’, with Antoine Sarailler, who ‘provides adequate and thorough advice’ and tax expert Sabina Comis the key practitioners. The group’s strengths include the formation of investment and private equity funds, primary investments and secondary transactions, as well as the development of new products and alternative investment funds and the corresponding regulatory advice. The department advises sponsors and principals of funds, many of them well-known market players. The group advised NewAlpha Asset Management on the formation of a private equity fund in the fintech investment space. Other matters include assisting with the formation of senior debt funds and French fonds professionnels de capital investissement. On the regulatory side, the department regularly collaborates with the French Private Equity Association and the French Asset Management Association. Partech Partners is another client. Olivier Dumas joined Joffe & Associés.

The ‘truly transaction-orientedGide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.always delivers an outstanding level of service’, with ‘a great response in terms of time, substance and general guidance’ and, according to one client, has ‘by far the best mix of technical expertise and practical experience among asset management lawyers’. The team ‘knows the industry in France, Europe and North Africa’ and is considered ‘a trendsetter with a reliable global network’ as well as ‘a great partner for long-term matters as it provides stability’. The fund formation practice is part of the firm’s wider investment management department, and it advises sponsors and investors on private equity funds and other private funds. The team’s workload is largely domestic, although Ann Baker, who co-heads the practice with Stéphane Puel, is also admitted to the New York bar. The ‘very-well connected’ Puel ‘has an in-depth knowledge of the asset management industry in all regulatory aspects and from a business standpoint’ and is ‘a sharp-witted strategist’ and ‘key influencer in asset management and finance regulation in France’. Counsel Rima Maitrehenry provides key support. Recent highlights include advising Omnes Capital on the structuring of a fund dedicated to investments in high environmental performance buildings, a first on the French market. The group assisted Unigestion Asset Management with structuring its fourth dedicated private equity secondary fund, and also acted for Korelya Capital on the structuring and formation of the K-Fund 1, which is focused on financing European, and in particular French, start-ups. Amundi, Eiffel Investment Group and Idinvest are also clients. Benjamin Delaunauy made counsel in January 2017.

Goodwin provides ‘top-notch service’, has ‘great industry knowledge’ and fields ‘a very smart, efficient and hard-working’ team and also stands out for its ‘large experience – which is of particular importance for pan-European funds – and its availability’. The group excels in advising on fund formation matters, with experience including infrastructure and mezzanine funds, LBO funds and funds of funds as well as debt funds, but also has strength in secondary transactions and fund restructuring. Since Arnaud David and his team’s arrival from the now closed Paris office of King & Wood Mallesons, the firm has handled an impressive number of domestic and cross-border, mainly UK and US, matters. In addition to assisting Antin Infrastructure Partners with the high-profile fundraising of Antin Infrastructure Partners III, the company’s third fund, with a total raised value of €3.6bn to facilitate investing in infrastructure businesses in Europe, the team also acted for Chequers Capital on the fundraising of Chequers Capital XVII with a total raised value of € The practice also advised leading investment player Eurazeo on the fundraising of its new co-investment fund Eurazeo Capital II, with a total commitment of €500m. Other clients include Sagard, L Catterton Europe and FrenchFood Capital. Senior associate Sarah Michel provides key support.

Jones Day advises on a large range of fund formation matters, from infrastructure funds to real estate funds, mezzanine funds and funds of funds. The group handles an even split of cross-border and domestic matters, all of which are led by practice head Florence Moulin, who offers a one-stop-shop for the legal, tax and regulatory issues surrounding the formation and structuring of private equity funds. The department was recently active in an impressive number of high-profile matters such as advising Axio Capital on the formation of Axio Croissance, a French Special Limited Partnership (SLP) designed for the microcap market segment, and acting for Bex Capital on the formation of Bex Fund II, another SLP, that will focus on making secondary deals in investments in funds of funds. Other highlights include assisting Quaero Capital with the formation of a €250m infrastructure fund, a first for the client, and advising South Korean internet giant Naver on its investment in European investment fund K-Fund 1, which is aimed at European technology start-ups. Ardian, Truffle Capital and Bpifrance are other clients.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is active in the formation of a broad spectrum of funds, with experience including buy-out and mezzanine funds, distressed funds, debt funds and venture funds as well as infrastructure funds. Highlights included advising BlackFin Capital Partners on its first closing in excess of €100m for a venture capital fund dedicated to European fintechs, insurtechs and regtechs and assisting PAI Partners with two co-investment funds totalling €300m. Other work includes acting for Alpha Private Equity on the fundraising of a high-value mid-market pan-European fund, which raised over €903m in total from a diverse group of investors including pension funds, funds of funds and insurance companies, family offices and government agencies, surpassing the targeted amount of €800m. Apax Partners, Céréa Capital and Bpifrance are also clients. Nathalie Duguay heads the practice.

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Legal Developments in France

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