Real estate in France
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei has 'a strong track record’ and ‘combines simultaneously strong technical skills and a business approach’, which help ‘to find solutions to complex situations’. The ‘excellent’ 27-lawyer team is made up of ‘dedicated experienced partners with a class of brilliant associates’ and can also rely on leading complementary corporate, tax and finance expertise. The firm handles several of the market's largest real estate transactions each year and works for the most prestigious players in the industry including French and international funds and investors and listed and non-listed property companies, as well as lenders. Headline work includes assisting Lone Star with the €1.8bn sale of the Coeur Défense building, as well as Amundi and Crédit Agricole Assurances with the €4.4bn acquisition of a 55% stake in Accor Invest from AccorHotels. In the finance real estate arena, the practice advised Allianz Real Estate on the financing of the acquisition of the 114 avenue des Champs-Elysées building, which houses Apple’s flagship store in Continental Europe. The team is led by some of the country’s most high-profile names including the ‘amazing and very practical’ Emmanuel Fatôme whose ‘great commercial sense helps with solving issues’, and the equally highly regarded Paul Talbourdet. Pierre Gebarowski is a key name for real estate acquisition and finance work, alongside Guillaume Rossignol. Other key names include tax property experts Emmanuel Chauve and Alexandre Blestel, Yannick Le Gall for property finance transactions, as well as Nicolas Favre and Eric Muller on the corporate side. Property finance expert Katia Belhiteche was recently promoted to the partnership.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is praised for its ‘capability to go beyond typical real estate issues and advise on broader strategic and partnership matters’. The ‘responsive and efficient’ 50-lawyer team, which also has ‘an excellent proactive and solution-driven approach’, handles an impressive amount of high-profile investment and property finance deals each year, spanning the office, retail and logistics sectors thanks to its combination of top investment, finance and tax expertise. The group is retained by an outstanding domestic and international client base made up of top property investors and developers. Highlights included assisting Accor with the spin-off of Accor Invest; advising a sovereign wealth fund on the sale of 6-8 Boulevard Haussmann building; and acting for EDF on the sale-and-leaseback of a 250 asset and office portfolio. The team also advised landlords and tenants on lease negotiations of commercial and office spaces. The practice is headed by Frédéric Nouel. Other key names include Renaud Baguenault de Puchesse, Eric Martin-Impératori, Stanislas Dwernicki, Bertrand Oldra, Christopher Szostak, the ‘excellent and very business-oriented’ Hugues Moreau, who is ‘highly appreciated for his ability to advise clients on major strategic issues’, and Nicolas Planchot, whose ‘leadership is central to successfully closing deals’. Property finance is another area of strength with Kamel Ben Salah and Rémi Tabbagh frequently advising on the market's largest deals. The practice notably advised BNPP, Cacib, ING and Natixis on the financing of Coeur Defense building's €900m acquisition by Amundi, Credit Agricole Assurances and Primonial, as well as BNPP, Cacib, Natixis, La Banque Postale and PBB on the €480m financing for the development of the Duo office building owned by Ivanhoé Cambridge and Natixis Assurances.
Lacourte Raquin Tatar expanded its client base by gaining several new high-profile international clients which instructed it to work on top matters following the arrival of a number of key hires in 2017. The 30-lawyer team's impressive client base now includes several leading French and international investors and developers. It recently advised on numerous high-end investment transactions including assisting Hines France with the €600m acquisition of 114 Champs-Elysées (Apple's new head office and new European flagship store), BNP Paribas with the sale of Marché Saint-Honoré building, and Lagardère with the sale of Europe 1 radio station's historic headquarters. The team also advised on highly strategic property portfolio, M&A and partnership deals, notably in the context of the Grand Paris' new ambitious development projects. It assisted Tikehau IM with the conclusion of a partnership with Bouygues Immobilier regarding the Charenton Bercy site redevelopment initiative, as well as Oxford Properties with the sale of 49.9% of its Parisian portfolio. In other work, it also acted for Poste Immo on a lease agreement signed with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. JP Morgan AM and LaSalle are also clients. The experienced Jean-Jacques Raquin lead the practice. Other key names include Cyrille Bailly, Damien Grosse, Alexis Le Lièpvre, Emilie Capron and Guillaume Jeannet. Urban planning law expert Vincent Guinot, property finance partner Cédric Bonnet and tax partner Jean-Yves Charriau add complementary expertise.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP advises key players including leading French and international investors and property developers, as well as leading banks and several Middle Eastern investors. The team recently handled a high number of top investment transactions in the office, logistics and hotel sectors. It assisted CBRE GI with a sale-and-leaseback to Société Générale of a prime office building, as well as Twenty-Two Real Estate with the disposal of the Ecosphère office properties portfolio on Ile de la Jatte. The practice is also advising on several of the country's largest skyscraper development projects including assisting Ivanhoé Cambridge with the Duo Towers project, and Groupama with the Link Tower project - which is set to become the highest building in Paris La Défense. Practice head Jean-Dominique Casalta and counsel Xavier Jancène are noted. The practice also advises on global European portfolio transactions and on major M&A property transactions. Frédéric Jungels notably acted for Colony Capital on its joint acquisition of 55% of AccorInvest. The firm also houses one of the most ‘experienced teams in the real estate finance market’ in Julien Roux and counsel Caroline Delavet, who ‘are hands-on lawyers, with a practical view on the issues at stake and whose knowledge of the real estate finance business is impressive - their advice is always reliable’.
The ‘very efficient’ team at Ashurst LLP has ‘a very good knowledge of the market, is deal-oriented and has great commercial understanding’. The group acts for a full spectrum of real estate players including French, Anglophone and Asian investors, as well as major asset managers, high-profile tenants and developers and leading UK, US, German and Asian banks. The 13-lawyer team advises on large property investment, asset management and financing deals. It is one of the only firms in France holding a stake in a notaries' office that provides the firm with the ability to work on and structure the entire transaction. The practice recently advised on key deals involving office, logistic and care home assets. It assisted Deka Immobilien with the leasing of the entire Synergy building as their new headquarters, as well as La Française Real Estate Partners, acting on behalf of Hyundai Investment Asset Management and Korean investors, with the acquisition and financing of Le Balthazar building. It also advised GDP Vendôme Group on the sale of a portfolio of Parisian care homes, and WeWork on the signing of a 12-year lease with Gecina. Oxford Properties, Immo Mousquetaires and EDF are also clients. The highly experience Philippe None has a broad practice and Hassan Javanshir is a key name on the financing side. Guillaume Aubatier is now at King & Spalding LLP.
Clifford Chance stands out for handling large investment transactions, including pan-European portfolio deals, in the office, retail and logistics sectors. The 12-lawyer team advises several prominent French and international investors and recently gained a number of blue-chip names as clients In recent work, the group advised on office building and office tower investments and property financing. Highlights included assisting Partners Group with the acquisition of the CB16 office tower in La Défense, as well as Ivanhoe Cambridge as borrower with the financing of the construction of the Duo office towers in Paris. The team also advised RFR Holding on the acquisition of a property located on la Croisette in Cannes, and assisted tenants with leasing negotiations pertaining to office spaces. AEW Ciloger, Blackstone Real Estate and Gecina are also clients. Practice head François Bonteil is an expert in the field and Alexandre Couturier is another key name. Counsel Anne-Sophie Plé is also noted.
CMS has one of the market's largest practices following the arrival of a 12-lawyer team from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP led by the highly regarded Pierre Popesco, Benjamin Bill and Florence Chérel at the beginning of 2018. The group, which has extensive experience, now has significant investment capabilities and advised on several high-profile transactions in 2018. It notably assisted Amundi with the €330m sale of the Sirocco portfolio, as well as WestInvest with the acquisitions of the Metropolitan office building in Paris and Les Docks building in Marseille and with the sale of the Tour Cèdre tower located at La Défense. The firm also has strong commercial leasing expertise, acting both for asset managers and developers, as well as tenants, where Philippe Riglet and Aline Divo are key names. The practice notably assisted Inovalis and Pitch Promotion with the negotiation of a commercial lease agreement of Danone’s future new headquarters. The group is also able to draw on complementary tax expertise. UBS Real Estate, Axa Real Estate and Société Générale are other clients.
DLA Piper's ‘comprehensive team has particular strength advising on complex real estate projects and investment deals’. The sizeable practice advises a large client base made up of leading French and Anglophone insurers, asset managers and other types of investors. Its recent work includes advising on matters spanning office, residential, retail and logistics assets. The practice notably advised on several major investment and portfolio deals, as well as property financings. It assisted Aermont with obtaining mortgage facilities from BNP Paribas and assisted Cacib with the financing of the acquisition and renovation of the Aurore tower in la Défense. The firm also has strong development expertise. It is advising on several office tower projects, and acted for Sogelym on setting up a joint venture concerning the Pleyel St Denis office building project. Practice head Antonia Raccat and Olivia Michaud who focuses on development work stand out for their ‘longstanding experience and know-how’. Other key members are Antoine Mercier, Lionel Rosenfeld and newly promoted partner Myriam Mejdoubi.
Fairway A.A.R.P.I. is, according to one client, ‘a high-end boutique housing the full range of services expected: from corporate, tax to real estate financing, commercial leases and environmental issues’. The 30-lawyer team comprises ‘very coordinated and involved partners’, who are ‘highly qualified, efficient, practical, have excellent negotiating skills’ and ‘always try to be creative’. Clients also value the firm's ‘personalised service’ and in particular its ‘long-term approach when serving corporate and industrial clients’. The firm is retained by leading French and Anglophone investors, developers as well as high-profile tenants and corporations. Recent work includes advising on major investment and portfolio transactions in the office, logistics and commercial sectors. Highlights included assisting DCB International with the €101m acquisition of Casino’s global headquarters; advising Eurazeo on the purchase and off-plan leasing of the Highlight tower; and acting for Tikehau Capital on the acquisition of a 200 office and business assets portfolio. The practice is also assisting GHCV with the realisation of a prestigious hotel project within the Palace of Versailles, and acted for Orano in negotiating the leasing of the entire Le Prisme office building. Other clients include Pitch, Alberta, Stam and Generali. Key names include the ‘smart and business friendly’ Frédéric Lefébure, ‘trusted adviser’ Aubry D'Argenlieu, whose ‘extensive and renowned experience advising on sophisticated real estate M&A deals is truly valuable - he is always many steps ahead’, the ‘highly reliable’, Pierre-Emmanuel Fonteilles, who has ‘excellent analytical and negotiating skills and shows personal commitment and a smart legal approach when dealing with very complex transactions’, and Emmanuel Cazin, who is ‘an expert in his field with much appreciated negotiation skills’. Marie-Claire Guéna, real estate finance partner David Franco, tax partner Emmanuel Galifer, who is ‘knowledgeable, smart and practical’, ‘excellent’ litigator Sabine du Granrut and environment expert Juliette Bril are also noted.
Linklaters is a popular choice for large investment deals. The six-lawyer team advises a prominent and longstanding French and international client base and has expanded its practice acting for high-profile investors. Transactional highlights include advising PEC, represented by CBRE, on the acquisition of the Marché Saint-Honoré building complex and assisting Invesco Real Estate with the acquisition of the Capital 8 office building. The practice also advised on a major office lease agreement, and also handles corporate and finance property transactions. Ardian Real Estate and Cégéréal are other clients. Practice head Françoise Maigrot is well regarded and counsel Sylvain Canard-Volland is also noted.
With some 60 lawyers involved, LPA-CGR avocats ‘has a team of specialists in every field of real estate law’. Partners ‘know their clients very well, are responsive and dedicated’, ‘understand commercial issues at stake and adapt their advice accordingly’. The practice advises a large and stable client base of major French, German and Anglophone property funds and developers. Its wide range of expertise spans investment, finance, leasing and development as well as litigation, tax and environment. It notably handles work in the office, residential and hotel areas. The group recently advised on several high-profile office tower and other buildings transactions. It also assisted major French and German banks with large property financing deals. The team regularly advises key client Primonial Reim on major investment deals. Accor and Groupama are also clients. Practice head Silke Nadolni is ‘exceptionally responsive’. Other key names in the 15-partner practice include François-Régis Fabre-Falret, who ‘always makes himself available to address urgent situations in a serene manner and who leads negotiations with his very practical touch’; Florence Defradas, who is a key name for investment work; the ‘very talented’ Sidonie Fraîche-Dupeyrat, who is ‘exceptionally strong in residential real estate law’, ‘brilliant in difficult negotiations, never gives up’ and 'always has a practical solution to answer clients' issues’; Géraldine Piedelièvre, who is a strong name for commercial leases; and Hélène Cloëz, who is ‘one of the best for urban law matters in Paris’. The firm is also very strong in the property finance arena through Chloé Thiéblemont, who can ‘deal with complex financing documentation, is very efficient, clear and deal oriented, and eases negotiations’, and Alexae Fournier-de-Faÿ.
White & Case LLP's six-lawyer team is retained by leading French and international property investors to handle high-end transactions. The group recently advised on several top end office, retail and residential deals: it assisted Amundi Immobilier's consortium with the acquisition of Coeur Défense - the largest European office complex; Immo Invest (EPI) with the €600m sale of 114 Champs Elysées; and Cardif, Diversipierre and Sogecap with the acquisition of a 6,800 French residential property portfolio. The team also advised on work abroad and on property fund creation. Practice co-heads Frank Peter and Brice Engel make up a very strong duo.
Archers A.A.R.P.I. combines top investment and real estate finance expertise. The 11-lawyer team advises several leading French and international investors, as well as banks. It recently handled key matters in the office, tower and residential areas. The practice notably assisted Invesco with the financing and joint acquisition with Redtree Capital of Tour Cèdre office building in La Défense. It advised TwentyTwo Real Estate on the sale of the 6,700 residential unit Powerhouse portfolio, which is let to EDF. The team also advised Natixis on several large financing transactions including the financing of the future Curve office building. Other clients include Altarea Cogedim, Amundi, Helaba and Mata Capital. Jean-Maurice Gaillard and Paul-Henri de Cabissole are key names for property finance work and Arnaud Moutet is noted for investment matters.
Baker McKenzie's 'very talented team’ advises a well-established client base made up of leading French and international investors, developers, tenants and sovereign funds including several new clients. The practice has expertise in a range of matters and recently advised on major office, residential, retail and logistics investment and financing transactions. It assisted AEW with the acquisition of a logistic asset (38,000sqm) portfolio in France, as well as Generali Real Estate with the acquisition of the Atrium Bercy building. It also advised Am Rest and KFC on the acquisition of 42 Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in France. The group also advised on leases and the renovation of flagship stores for clients in the luxury goods sector and on the leasing of office buildings for major companies. Other clients include Club Med, Generali and Lidl. Practice head Marc Mariani has extensive experience. Hervé Jégou, Pierre-Marie Ouchet and Virginie Louvigné, who is ‘highly skilled and a pleasure to work with’, are other key names.
Dechert LLP's in real estate finance capabilities were bolstered by hiring Privat Vigand from Mayer Brown. Vigand has strong expertise advising leading French banks on high-profile office, retail and other investment deals. He recently advised Cacib, BNP Paribas and CFF on the financing of the refurbishment of an existing building and on the construction of the Morland real estate complex located in Paris.
Dentons' 19-lawyer team ‘is really deal-oriented and has exceptional negotiating skills’. The group acts for French and international property investors, developers, a leading commercial property company and tenants. The team recently advised on office, logistics and commercial property investment transactions. It notably assisted RTL with the disposal of its Infinite office French headquarters and Stam Europe with the acquisition of the Concerto office building near Paris. The practice also advised on lease negotiations and assisted Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield with the acquisitions of shopping centres in Eastern Europe. Other work includes assisting Bouygues Immobilier with the establishment of new co-working company Nextdoor through a joint venture with Accor Hotels. Practice head Pascal Schmitz is highly regarded. Other key names in the practice are Maxime Simonnet and Véronique Lagarde. Alexandre Poupard joined Mayer Brown in 2019.
Franklin is appreciated for its ‘hands on approach’, ‘high partner involvement’ and ability to ‘come back with good solutions and deliver on time’. The team provides a full range of expertise spanning investment, asset management and property finance. The practice is also able to draw on state-of-the-art property tax expertise. The firm recently advised on several sales of pan-European portfolios, notably assisting Goldman Sachs with the French aspects of the acquisition of a pan-European office portfolio. The team also advised HSBC on the negotiation of a lease in Paris. Key names include Henry Ranchon for corporate matters, François Verdot, who focuses on asset management issues and banking and finance specialist David Blondel. Tax experts Olivier Mesmin and Christine Daric are leading names in their field.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has ‘strong knowledge of the real estate sector’. The firm has strong investment, leasing and development expertise and acts for key French and Anglophone investors and developers. It handled recent work in the office, residential, commercial and hotel sectors and notably assisted Générale Continentale Investissements with setting up a partnership with Benson Elliot for the acquisition of the future Curve building, as well as Yves Saint Laurent with the extension of its lease agreement for its head office in Paris. Property financing deals are another strength. Other clients include Amundi Immobilier, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Icade Santé. The practice is headed by the ‘technical, responsive and very commercial’ David Lacaze, who ‘knows the real estate sector very well and is also very connected’, and also includes key members Anne Petitjean, of counsel Isabelle Augais, tax property expert Eglantine Lioret and Eric Fiszelson for property financing matters.
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP advises leading French and international investors on a wide range of property asset investments including offices, logistics, hotels and more recently campsites. The practice handles deals in France as well as cross-border and portfolio investments and advises on major asset management deals. M&G Investment Fund, Sagax, Foncière des Murs, Fidelity International and AEW Ciloger are among its clients. The group acted for 25 Hours in negotiating an hotel management agreement for Terminus Nord Hotel in Paris. The highly experienced Corinne Knopp heads the practice. Michaël Lévy is another key name in the team and counsel Laure Nguyen has complementary environment and urban law expertise.
Jones Day’s lawyers act ‘as one team, listen to their clients’ requirements and protect their interests’. The practice advises listed and non-listed international investors, as well as French developers and industrial companies. It recently handled several office building transactions including one of France’s largest investment deals. The practice was also involved in large logistic portfolio transactions, notably for CBRE Global Investors and also advised Catalyst Capital on the acquisition of the A City building complex portfolio near Paris. Commercial leases and litigation are other areas of expertise. Other clients include DWS and EDF Invest. Erwan Le Douce-Bercot leads the team, which include counsel Carol Khoury .
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Combining strong property and tax expertise, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP advises several of France’s most high-profile property investors as well as asset management funds. The practice has leading expertise advising on property fund structuring. It also recently handled landmark corporate and office property investment transactions, including advising AG Real Estate on the sale of the Hekla tower, as well as Amundi on the acquisition of real estate portfolios. Construction and lease work are also strengths. Other clients include Assurances du Crédit Mutuel, Hammerson and LBO France Gestion. Arnaud Guérin and ‘efficient, available and responsive’ tax partner Pierre Appremont are highly regarded for property investment and regulatory work. Renaud Dubois handles construction work.
Orrick Rambaud Martel's team advises French and Anglophone property investors and developers. The firm notably advises on office building and portfolio transactions. It assisted Cleaveland and Patron Capital V LP with the €71m purchase and financing of Le Magnum office. The practice also regularly advises on leases and development projects in the industrial, hotel, leisure and commercial sectors. Other work includes assisting Caisse des Dépôts with several development projects. Amaury, FFI and Engie are also clients. Sarah Fleury joined Goodwin in 2019.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP’s four-lawyer team ‘is extremely solid, has an incredible breadth of experience, is readily available, efficient and a pleasure to work with’. The practice advises various leading French and international property funds and investors on major office, portfolio and other asset investment transactions. Highlights included assisting Eurazeo Patrimoine and ANF Immobilier with the sale of the controlling interest of Eurazeo in ANF Immobilier to Icade, and the subsequent sale of ANF Immobilier’s Marseille residential portfolio to Primonial. It also advised Netherlands-based hotel chain citizenM on the acquisition of an office building at 92 Champs-Elysées. The practice also advises leading banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on property finance transactions. ‘Always available and very proactive’ practice head Jean-Louis Martin is ‘extremely knowledgeable and can handle very complex matters’.
Racine provides ‘excellent support in a very efficient way’. The firm's wide-ranging expertise spans investment, lease, construction and litigation matters. It can rely on strong tax support and a large regional office network. It is sought out by high-profile luxury brands and asset manager clients to negotiate commercial leases including flagship stores. The practice also assists property investors including Tristan Capital Partners, which it assisted with the sale of a portfolio. The team is also advising on building and hotel construction and renovation work. KanAm Grund, Gecina, BNP Real Estate, Cartier and Icade are other clients. The 14-lawyer practice is led by Nicolas Boytchev, Carol Santoni, Jean-Philippe Lorizon and Nelson Segundo.