Firm Profile > Simmons & Simmons > Paris, France

Simmons & Simmons
75001 PARIS

Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Simmons & Simmons is 'one of the best law firms in the life sciences space', according to one client; the Paris team is 'truly great and shares a fantastic spirit'. Along with its established place in the product liability arena, the group also handles commercial litigation and competition, regulatory, intellectual property, real estate and tax mandates. Corporate expert Christian Taylor assisted Wright Medical with the acquisition of French software company Imascap. Marina Cousté and her intellectual property team - including François Jonquères - joined from Reed Smith and are currently handling a number of patent disputes. Alexandre Regniault heads the international life sciences offering with the support of France head Jacques-Antoine RobertCharlotte Damiano was recently promoted to of counsel and is also a key name to note.

Intellectual property: copyright Tier 1

Recently bolstered by the arrival of Marina Cousté, along with Romain Viret and Frédérique Potin  (both of counsel), from Reed Smith, the intellectual property team at Simmons & Simmons covers the full gamut of intellectual property issues across a wide array of industry sectors. Sarah Bailey is currently representing the estate of a famous painter in actions protecting his name and copyright from unauthorised use, and she was instructed by a multinational conglomerate to handle an infringement action filed by a former employee pertaining to the copyright of products he designed during his employment. Viret assisted corporate partner Christian Taylor with the intellectual property aspects of open source software in the context of a corporate acquisition.

Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons is instructed by banks and major asset management companies due to its strong expertise in AMF compliance investigations. The practice also handles AMF market abuse cases. UBS, Société Générale, Crédit du Nord and Natixis are clients. Thierry Gontard is highly regarded. Eric Boillot is another strong asset in the practice.

Leading individuals: AMF regulatory

Industry focus: energy Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons ‘helps to make things happen’. The ‘outstanding team’ is singled out for its ‘active listening and solid ability to convert knowledge into business value’, as well as for its ‘abilities in francophone Africa and its rare ability to develop strong relationships with governments and regulatory bodies’. Lawyers are ‘on top of their game with the latest legislation both for the sector but also for businesses to operate in such jurisdictions’. The firm has a strong energy and natural resources African practice and the team is currently advising on a number of large-scale and complex projects, notably involving Chinese investors. It is assisting China Three Gorges International Corporation with its bid for the Inga 3 hydro-power project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (4,500MW). The firm is also advising investors and sponsors on several other power, renewables and off-grid projects. The practice is also handling oil and gas work in Senegal and Gabon and is advising on large mining projects, particularly in Guinea. It is assisting Mauritanian Copper Mines with its mining operations in Mauritania, as well as De Run International Resources with the negotiation of a mining convention concerning a bauxite mining project in the Republic of Guinea. ‘Outstanding’ practice head Yves Baratte is ‘a trusted adviser’, ‘delivers very high-standard work’ and ‘marries high levels of intellect and general commercial acumen with a razor sharp understanding of a client's particular culture and approach’.

Leading individuals: Mining, oil and gas and natural resources

Private equity: Fund formation Tier 2

The 'wonderful' team at Simmons & Simmons is 'a very strong presence in the market' and impresses with its 'knowledge of what limited partners want to structure the best possible funds'. Mandates concerning private equity funds, infrastructure funds, real estate funds and debt funds form the core of practice head Agnès Rossi's workload; Rossi's expertise is of 'enormous value'. In evidence of the team's cross-border strength, Rossi cooperated with Luxembourg-based Augustin de Longeaux to advise InfraVia Capital Partners on a pan-European infrastructure fund, which closed at €2bn. Another highlight was assisting Eurazeo PME with the formation of parallel funds and a fundraising for Eurazeo PME III. Capzanine, Meridiam and RGreen Invest are also clients. Marcela Moraru joined from Axa IM - Real Assets.

Next Generation Partners

EU, competition and distribution Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons' strong expertise in the healthcare sector is reflected through Ombline Ancelin's competition and antitrust team, which is currently assisting a manufacturer of medical devices with its response to a dawn raid on the grounds of alleged collusion during public tenders. The group is currently representing Centrale des Opticiens at the appeal stage of three separate proceedings against a healthcare network of opticians before the FCA for anticompetitive practices, the DGCCRF for restrictive behaviour and infringements of French commercial law, and the commercial courts for associated damages, against a healthcare network of opticians. Also notable is associate Maëlle d’Harcourt, whose expertise includes advising clients on compliance issues in heavily regulated sectors pertaining to amendments to commercial policies, pricing strategies or new product launches. Associate Florent Barbu joined the practice from Vogel & Vogel.

Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the internet Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons's Christophe Fichet 'is an outstanding professional with unique TMT expertise and the ability to adapt to any and all situations'. He heads the firm's 'clever and imaginative' team, which has 'strong knowledge of the African TMT industry with a particular focus on regulatory issues'. Managing associate Sara Vedadi-Carca supported Fichet to advise a US client on its agreement with a French IT service provider. Also notable is the firm's advice on GDPR and data privacy, blockchain issues, digitalisation projects, outsourcing agreements and a dispute with government entities on behalf of an African TMT actor regarding frequency fees.

Intellectual property: Trade marks and designs Tier 3

Sarah Bailey's intellectual property team at Simmons & Simmons was recently bolstered by the arrival of Marina Cousté and François Jonquères, as well as Frédérique Potin and Romain Viret (both counsel) and Mickaël da Costa and Sarah Madi (both associates), from Reed Smith. In addition to advising a number of heavyweight global conglomerates on day-to-day trade mark portfolio management, Cousté and Bailey handled high-profile and sensitive infringement proceedings. Recently, this included one criminal charge on the grounds of the attempted theft of a confidential prototype by a senior manager of a competitor group. On the non-contentious side, clients instruct the team to negotiate co-existence agreements and brand management on social media.