BDGS Associés > Paris, France > Firm Profile

BDGS Associés
51 RUE FRANCOIS 1ER
75008 PARIS
France

France > Dispute resolution: Commercial litigation Tier 1

BDGS Associés is a strong reference for complex disputes. The firm is popular with leading French corporations, including state-owned companies, for high-stakes corporate disputes, often pertaining to publicly listed M&A deals and shareholder conflicts. The team notably acted for Engie in the landmark recent Suez-Veolia M&A battle. In addition to intervening in high-stakes commercial disputes, the practice must also be acknowledged for its expertise in resisting French discovery procedures and is also highly qualified to handle highly strategic regulatory disputes, notably in the banking sector. For instance, the team recently acted in a high-profile price manipulation securities case before the stock-market regulator (AMF)’s sanction committee. Practice head Kyum Lee and Antoine Gosset-Grainville, who regularly acts for banks in strategic regulatory cases, are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Kyum Lee

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Kyum Lee is exceptional, accurate, calm and reliable.’

‘Kyum Lee and his associates are remarkable lawyers, able to handle the most complex and strategic litigation.’

‘Kyum Lee is a specialist in contract law and corporate law. He analyses the files in depth and meticulously. All avenues are considered and explored; nothing is left to chance. Combined with an unrivalled knowledge of contract law and corporate law, he is a formidable lawyer.’

‘Kyum Lee is a truly remarkable lawyer. He combines extremely fine legal analyses with an always relevant and pragmatic approach to cases. He always knows his files down to the last detail. He is supported by a solid team and in particular by Florian Dessault who is an outstanding lawyer.’

‘Kyum Lee is an excellent practitioner, technically and in his approach to litigation and the client. Available, responsive, attentive; his advice and his writings are remarkable; as is his team.’

Key clients

Engie

Morgan Stanley

Bpifrance

Ceva Santé Animale

Electricité de France (EDF)

MBDA France

Société Générale

TechnipFMC

Crédit Agricole Assurances (Predica)

La Banque Postale

Lov Group

Air Madagascar

Groupe Partouche

The Bureau (GPG group)

Cybergun

Altice

CMA CGM

Diageo

Bourrelier Group

Work highlights

  • Assisting Engie before the Commercial Court in connection with multiple proceedings initiated by Suez against Engie and Veolia in the context of the sale of Engie’s interests in Suez to Veolia.
  • Assisting Morgan Stanley with appeal proceedings launched against the Sanctions Committee’s decision of the French Financial Market Authority (AMF) that imposed a fine for alleged manipulation of the price of sovereign bonds.
  • Assisting Diageo in connection with a claim for dividend payment against LVMH, related to Diageo’s stake in Moët Hennessy and Moët Hennessy International.

France > EU, competition and distribution Tier 1

The powerhouse team at BDGS Associés remains a market leader, advising major global corporates, insurance companies, banks, financial institutions and private equity firms involved in competition and regulatory matters. Headed by Antoine Gosset-Grainville, who leads on merger control and state aid issues, and Maria Trabucchi , who guides clients through cartel investigations and antitrust matters, the group’s client portfolio spans the food retail, aerospace, energy, financials services, and consumer goods sectors. The group also covers damage claims, anticompetitive practices, and proceedings before the competition authority and the European Commission. Mathilde Damon brings her public procurement expertise to the table.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Firm with a reputation in all areas of competition law: merger control, state aid, anti-competitive practices. Very good contact with the competition authorities. Availability and efficiency.’

‘Maria Trabucchi – excellent mastery of merger control and management of relations with competition authorities. Efficient, available, calm, pragmatic.’

‘A discernment of the essential points and a speed of understanding of the various levels of the file which allowed us to build with confidence a very effective line of defense. Congratulations also to Antoine Gosset-Grainville and Mathilde Damon for the way in which they have distributed the roles to ensure each at their own level the management of our file.’

Key clients

Carrefour

SNCF

La Poste

La Banque Postale

BPCE

Crédit Mutuel

Société Générale

Crédit Agricole

BNP Paribas

Predica

CMA CGM

OpenGate Capital

Campofrío

Thales

Publicis

Fleury Michon

Agence des Participations de l’État

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

EDF

Région des Pays de la Loire

Engie

Paprec

Fédération du Commerce et de la Distribution

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Association Solidarité Renouvelables

Work highlights

  • Advised Engie on the sale of its 29.9% stake in Suez to Veolia for €3.4bn, which marked the beginning of the stock market battle over the acquisition of Suez by Veolia.
  • Advising the French State Shareholding Agency on the different measures put in place by the French state in favour of Air France in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, including (i) two emergency measures for a total amount of €7bn and (ii) the French subscription to a capital increase for an amount up to  €1bn.
  • Advising Campofrío as the first leniency applicant before the French competition authority with respect to cartel practices that took place in the charcuterie area in France, resulting in a fine of nearly €100m globally, but only €1m for Campofrío, and representing it in the context of its appeal against the decision before the Paris Court of Appeal.

France > Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation Tier 2

BDGS Associés has excellent knowledge of listed companies which earns the practice key mandates in public tender disputes, market abuse investigations and governance and shareholder conflicts. The team has recently acted in high-profile public takeover battles, including the recent Suez-Veolia headline case. While the group primarily assists companies, it was also chosen to defending a leading financial institution in a landmark case concerning sovereign bonds price manipulation sanctions. The excellent Kyum Lee leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Kyum Lee

Testimonials

‘Kyum Lee is an excellent lawyer, accurate, calm, available, reliable. His team is at the same level.’

Key clients

Engie

Morgan Stanley

MBDA France

Société Générale

Crédit Agricole Assurances (Predica)

Cybergun

Diageo

Bourrelier Group

Work highlights

  • Assisting Engie before the Commercial Court in connection with multiple proceedings initiated by Suez against Engie and Veolia in the context of the sale of Engie’s interests in Suez to Veolia.
  • Assisting Morgan Stanley in appeal proceedings against the sanctions committee’s decision of the French Financial Market Authority (AMF) that imposed a fine of €20M on the client for alleged manipulation of the price of sovereign bonds.
  • Assisting Diageo in connection with a claim for dividend payment against LVMH, related to Diageo’s stake in Moët Hennessy and Moët Hennessy International, in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.

France > Mergers and acquisitions Tier 2

Founded in 2013, BDGS Associés recently bolstered its capacity for a full-service on M&A transactions through the creation of dedicated restructuring and financing departments. Antoine Bonnasse thrives in listed and non-listed company M&A while Youssef Djehane ’s core fields of focus include takeovers, corporate governance affairs and shareholder disputes. The pair co-founded the firm alongside state investment and public sector transaction expert Jean-Emmanuel Skovron, and the team also includes Marc Loy and Thomas Meli, both particularly active on the cross-border front.

Practice head(s):

Antoine Bonnasse; Youssef Djehane; Jean-Emmanuel Skovron; Marc Loy

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Méli; Lucile Gaillard

Testimonials

‘High availability and quality of work great understanding of client needs for the sake of efficiency, very high quality of work.’

‘The BDGS team is very available and able to mobilise the skills to deal with the various legal subjects of sometimes complex cases.’

‘Proven expertise in business law. Great finesse in analysing situations. Relevant conclusions systematically taking into account our characteristics and positioning.’

‘The firm has a policy of only acting for one client in the sector/industry, so takes its obligations in relation to potential conflicts very seriously indeed. The firm also takes the time to get a real understanding of their clients’ business, as well as their strategic priorities, making them better able to advise and provide effective advice and collaborative support to compliment the in-house legal team.’

‘I would call out Youssef Djehane as providing excellent commercial and practical advice, which shows a deep understanding of our business and our level of risk appetite.’

‘BDGS is a law firm with which we work very calmly, particularly because of the firm’s ability to identify the skills required to handle the case. The words we think of when it comes to the BDGS firm are rigour, in-depth knowledge, availability, proximity. Each file is treated with absolutely particular attention and nothing is left to chance. Calling on the BDGS firm means ensuring that you have very high-level skills.’

‘In my opinion, what makes BDGS practice unique is their skill to find and propose always constructive solutions in difficult M&A situations, solutions that are legally strong to protect the client’s interests and, at the same time, intelligent to allow the reach a constructive agreement. They understand very well the underlying business imperatives and strategic objectives of our organisation so that they can always propose solutions tailored to our business needs. It goes beyond being exceptional legal professionals, they really put their legal skills towards strategic objectives of the client.’

‘I work in particular with Jean-Emmanuel Skovron. He is a workaholic. He has a deep legal and literary culture that cannot be found elsewhere. He surrounds himself with the best, but does part of the work himself which creates confidence. It is greatly appreciated by all stakeholders.’

Key clients

Aéroports de Paris (ADP)

Agence des Participations de l’Etat (APE)

Altice

Artefact

Bouygues S.A. and Bouygues Telecom

Bpifrance

Butler Industries

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

Carrefour

Covéa

Crédit Agricole Assurances (Predica)

Diageo

EDF

Engie

Gaztransport & Technigaz

Goldman Sachs

Groupama

Groupe La Poste and La Banque Postale

Groupe Prévoir

KKR

Le Bélier

Lov Group

Media Participations

OpenGate Capital

Paprec

Qatar Investment Authority

Safran

SNCF

Thales

Work highlights

  • Advising CDC on its strategic acquisition in consortium with Meridiam, Global Infrastructure Partners and CNP Assurances of strategic assets from Veolia and Suez in the context of Veolia’s public offer for Suez.
  • Advising Engie on the sale to Veolia of its 29.9% stake in Suez and on the subsequent legal battle surrounding the sale in what has been the most high-profile and contested M&A transaction on the French market.
  • Advising QIA as reference shareholder of Lagardère in respect of the highly mediatised battle for the control of Lagardère between Vivendi, Amber Capital and Financière Agache resulting in the conversion of Lagardère into a public limited company (société anonyme).

France > Insolvency Tier 4

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.

Practice head(s):

Henri Cazala

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘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.’

Key clients

Crédit Agricole Assurances

Board of Vallourec

Work highlights

  • 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.

France > Tax Tier 4

BDGS AssociésGuillaume Jolly provides key support to the firm’s high-end M&A practice. The tax team is involved in the structuring of most of the transactions carried out by the corporate practice, acting for leading corporations and investment funds. The firm was recently involved in the ‘New Suez’ transaction; one of the highlights in the French market in 2021. Additional stand-alone expertise covers tax real estate work.

Practice head(s):

Guillaume Jolly

Testimonials

‘A very flexible team, always looking for a solutions and not just identifying problems. They are very responsive and are able to adapt to all our requests.’

‘Guillaume Jolly has been assisting us since the creation of our company. We have great confidence in him, so we also often ask him to coordinate our tax activities abroad. Guillaume always finds solutions and is very responsive. He explains in a very didactic way the tax issues which can sometimes be quite complex.’

‘Very responsive and efficient team. Good business sense while protecting clients.’

‘High availability and above all they bring great clarity in this often technical work. Real understanding of clients’ needs, great business sense and offering solutions.’

‘Great responsiveness within very tight deadlines, ability to make themselves available, a real concern to understand your challenges, to get to the bottom of things and to propose operational solutions at a reasonable cost.’

Key clients

Opengate Capital

Butler Indutries

McArthurGlen

Crédit Agricole Assurance (Predica)

SMAC

Corum Assurances

SIIFFA

EIM Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising SMAC on the carve-out of its industrial activities and the subsequent sale of the Axter activities to IKO and the skylight activities to Kingspan.
  • Advising CDC on its strategic acquisition, in consortium with Meridiam, Global Infrastructure Partners and CNP Assurances, of strategic assets from Veolia and Suez in the context of Veolia’s public offer on Suez.
  • Advising Predica as reference shareholder of Société Foncière Lyonnaise (SFL), listed on Euronext Paris, on a transaction on SFL’s share capital.

The firm: founded in 2013, BDGS Associés is one of France’s leading independent law firms renowned for handling clients’ most high-profile and complex matters. Initially formed around a double core activity in mergers and acquisitions and competition and regulatory, BDGS Associés has expanded to include tax, dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency and finance practices in order to offer a full range of high value-adding transactional legal services. BDGS Associés distinguishes itself by its low associate to partner ratio and the strong implication of its partners, offering high-quality, commercial, tailored advice focused on adding value for its clients, both in France and internationally.

Areas of practice
Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Law: BDGS Associés’s mergers and acquisition and corporate law practice is a leader on the Paris market. It advises on all aspects of high-end corporate transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, public offers, private equity, corporate reorganisations, corporate governance, joint ventures and partnerships. With a highly experienced and qualified team of lawyers having worked on most of the major transactions to have occurred on the French market over the last 30 years, BDGS Associés represents its French and international clients on their most strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. The practice has in particular a unique expertise in listed companies and transactions involving State-owned entities or regulated companies.

Competition and Regulatory: BDGS Associés’s competition and regulatory practice benefits from a unique position due to its dual presence in Paris and Brussels and the experience of its partners in all competition law matters, including litigation, merger control, cartels, abuse of dominant position, State aid and distribution law. Regularly advising on the most complex and strategic concentration matters, BDGS Associés enjoys an unrivalled position in this field. The practice’s expertise in merger control with a strong risk of ban or remedies and in State aid is one of the most recognised on the market. The practice also has significant expertise in sectorial regulation at both national and EU levels, including in the telecommunications, energy, transport and broadcasting sectors.

Tax: BDGS Associés’s tax practice advises on all aspects of French and international tax law relating to mergers and acquisitions and corporate reorganisations for both industrial groups and private equity funds, including LBOs and management packages. The practice also provides standalone tax advice regarding real estate activities and to high net worth individuals and regularly represents clients in tax disputes.

Dispute resolution: BDGS Associés’s dispute resolution practice has significant expertise in complex corporate disputes, shareholder disputes, securities law disputes, insolvency law disputes, white-collar criminal proceedings, and disputes relating to contract law and unfair competition. The practice regularly represents clients in major disputes before the French and European courts, as well as in international arbitration, investigations and administrative proceedings.

Restructuring & Insolvency: BDGS Associés’s restructuring and insolvency practice advises distressed companies, their boards, their shareholders or industrial or financial investors in respect of out-of-court debt restructurings (mandat ad hoc, conciliation) and insolvency proceedings. The practice has proven ability to deal with complex financial or industrial restructurings, including cross-border restructurings, requiring high-level legal and financial technical skills.

Finance: BDGS Associés’s finance practice advises clients on a wide range of financing transactions, including acquisitions and debt restructuring. The practice mainly assists companies and private equity funds as well as private debt funds on complex financing transactions in the context of both domestic and cross-border corporate, M&A and leveraged financing transactions. The practice also accompanies distressed companies or their shareholders in restructuring transactions involving recapitalisations or debt conversions.

International work: BDGS Associés represents its clients in their international transactions and disputes, benefitting from the skills of its lawyers, several of whom are bicultural, multilingual and/or dual qualified and the strong personal relationships maintained by its partners with leading firms in key foreign jurisdictions, ensuring that only the best correspondents are chosen for their expertise, guaranteeing the highest added value for clients.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Mergers and acquisitions Antoine Bonnasse
Mergers and acquisitions Youssef Djehane
Mergers and acquisitions Jean-Emmanuel Skovron
Mergers and acquisitions Marc Loy
Mergers and acquisitions Thomas Méli
Mergers and acquisitions Lucile Gaillard
Mergers and acquisitions François Baylion
Mergers and acquisitions Jérôme du Chazaud
Mergers and acquisitions David Andreani
Competition and regulatory Antoine Gosset-Grainville
Competition and regulatory Maria Trabucchi
Competition and regulatory Mathilde Damon
Competition and regulatory Jérôme Fabre
Tax Guillaume Jolly
Dispute resolution Kyum Lee
Restructuring and insolvency Henri Cazala
Financing Yaëlle Cohen
PhotoNamePositionProfile
David Andreani  photo David Andreani Partner specialising in French and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, reorganisations and joint ventures, involving…
François Baylion  photo François Baylion Partner specialising in public and private mergers and acquisitions with a focus…
Antoine Bonnasse  photo Antoine Bonnasse Partner specialising in public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganisations and…
Henri Cazala  photo Henri Cazala Partner specialising in out-of-court debt restructurings (mandat ad hoc, conciliation) and insolvency…
Yaëlle Cohen  photo Yaëlle Cohen Partner specialising in complex financing transactions within the context of both domestic…
Mathilde Damon  photo Mathilde Damon Partner specialising in all aspects of French and EU competition law with…
Youssef Djehane  photo Youssef Djehane Partner specialising in public and private mergers and acquisitions focusing on public…
Jérôme Fabre  photo Jérôme Fabre Partner specialising in all aspects of French and EU competition law with…
Lucile Gaillard  photo Lucile Gaillard Partner specialising in mergers and acquisitions, in particular corporate restructurings and spin-offs…
Antoine Gosset-Grainville  photo Antoine Gosset-Grainville Partner specialising in all aspects of French and EU competition law with…
Guillaume Jolly  photo Guillaume Jolly Partner specialising in French and international tax law focusing on the tax…
Kyum Lee photo Kyum LeePartner – Head of Litigation
Marc Loy  photo Marc Loy Partner specialising in public and private mergers and acquisitions focusing on transactions…
Thomas Méli  photo Thomas Méli Partner specialising in public and private mergers and acquisitions transactions, as well…
Jean-Emmanuel Skovron  photo Jean-Emmanuel Skovron Partner specialising in mergers and acquisitions focusing on transactions in which the…
Maria Trabucchi  photo Maria Trabucchi Partner specialising in all aspects of French and EU competition law, advising…
Jérôme du Chazaud  photo Jérôme du Chazaud Partner specialising in public and private mergers and acquisitions and restructurings of…
Number of lawyers : 41
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Other offices : Brussels