Firm Profile > Simmons & Simmons > Paris, France

Simmons & Simmons
5 BOULEVARD DE LA MADELEINE
75001 PARIS
France

Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Simmons & Simmons is second to none in product liability law. The practice has an impressive track record of defending leading industry players facing high-stake drug and medical device liability proceedings, with recent work including the headline Levothyrox and Mediator cases. Co-head of practice Jacques-Antoine Robert is a star in this field. International head Alexandre Regniault, who also co-heads the Paris practice, advises on regulatory matters. Other key members include Ombline Ancelin, who assists leading healthcare companies with strategic antitrust and distribution issues, corporate partner Simonetta Giordano, and Sarah Bailey, who provides IP and data advice. Charlotte Damiano joined Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Regniault; Jacques-Antoine Robert

Testimonials

‘An excellent team in the field of pharmaceutical product liability which contributes to the making of the French jurisprudence in that area. Among the best legal practices in France.’

‘A committed team with high-level technical legal expertise. It provides outstanding support and strategic advice.’

‘The firm has high expertise in the field. The team is very creative in finding innovative solutions and has a very good understanding of its clients.’

‘Ombline Ancelin provides very quick and legally sound feedback, and is very experienced in pharmaceutical industry marketing and distribution matters.’

Key clients

Alpha Healthgroup

Cooper

CDPQ

Merck

Servier

Roche France

Pharma-gdd

Intellectual property: Copyright Tier 1

The copyright offering at Simmons & Simmons is jointly headed by Marina Cousté and Sarah Bailey and handles advisory and litigious matters. The firm has particular experience of working with clients from the pharmaceutical and spirits industries. Contentious matters handled by the practice include representing clients in copyright infringement litigation before French courts. On the non-contentious side, Ultimate Software Group instructed the team to advise on its $300m acquisition of PeopleDoc. The team also assists clients with the negotiation and drafting of licensing and maintenance agreements. Another key name to note is of counsel Frédérique Potin. Of counsel Romain Viret  joined LPA-CGR avocats.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Bailey; Marina Cousté

Key clients

Ultimate Software Group Inc

Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons is recognised for its leading AMF regulatory expertise thanks to group head Thierry Gontard, who represents leading French and international banks, financial institutions and individuals. Gontard is regularly instructed to act in AMF enforcement investigations and stock-market litigation. UBS Limited London and France, Société Générale and Crédit du Nord are clients. Eric Boillot departed to Rossi Bordes AARPI in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Thierry Gontard

Key clients

UBS Limited London and France

Société Générale

Crédit du Nord

Natixis – BPCE

Deutsche Bank AG

OFI Asset Management

Orange Bank (ex Groupama Banque)

Elliott Management Corporation

Airbus (ex EADS)

Air-France

Covéa including Covéa Finance

Industry focus: Energy Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons is traditionally heavily involved in Africa, but the gorup has recently been developing its domestic presence on large renewables projects. The firm is notably assisting German banks and developers, while also developing its client base among US and international investment funds, especially in collaboration with the firm's London office. Africa mining work represents a significant portion of the team’s activity. In that area, the practice advises leading mining corporations and African state entities on some of the world’s largest mining projects, notably in Mauritania and Guinea. The firm is also involved in African power projects and handles major work in Djibouti, for example for the Djibouti Ports & Free Zone Authority. Yves Baratte directs the  very compact and growing practice.

Practice head(s):

Yves Baratte

Testimonials

‘The team is proficient, shows great availability, is easily accessible and swiftly responds to clients’ needs.’

‘The team has PPP, oil, mining and metals expertise.’

Key clients

First Quantum Minerals

African Legal Support Facility (ALSF)

Djibouti Ports & Free Zone Authority

De Run International

Proparco

DEG

TBEA Co. Ltd.

Kaminex Limited

Air Djibouti

EY

RCF Management

Malakoff

Intellectual property: Patents Tier 2

The 'excellent mix of professional talent' at Simmons & Simmons allows the team to assist clients from a variety of sectors, focusing especially on pharmaceutical and life sciences, in which industries it has gained new clients including Merck KGaA. It handles the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters. 'Swift, accurate, patientMarina Cousté is leading a team with François Jonquères, which is defending telecoms company Sigos in a patent infringement action in which the European patent is claiming priority over the French patent at stake, initiated by Araxxe, and worth €5m. The other key name to note at the practice is that of 'outstanding negotiator' Sarah Bailey.

Practice head(s):

Marina Cousté; Francois Jonquères; Sarah Bailey

Testimonials

Excellent mix of professional talent and right behaviour in the relationship with clients.

Marina Cousté – swift, accurate, patient with non-lawyers, tough in negotiations with pernickety legal issues, experienced, well organised.

Simmons and Simmons is a team of experts in the health field. Able to adapt to all types of customers and support them in their operations with rigour and flexibility. Its reputation makes it an ideal business partner.

Sarah Bailey is an outstanding negotiator and a fine tactician. Francois Jonquères, patent expert, is a remarkable asset in advanced contractual negotiations. Frédérique Potin shows great pragmatism while retaining a perfect analytical capacity for optimal support. Mickaël da Costa brings in-depth knowledge of the files and demonstrates high IP relevance. It is a real pleasure to work with advice of this level and with a team which has such perfect availability.

Key clients

J.C. Bamford Excavators

Bell Helicopter Textron

Gemalto (Thales)

Bayer Healthcare

Alkermes

Sigos

Wright Medical

Neo Medical

Merck KGaA

Genethon

Intellectual property: Trade marks and designs Tier 2

The large team at Simmons & Simmons handles litigation and advisory matters, and has notable strength assisting with intellectual property aspects during and post-mergers. Demonstrating the firm's specialism in the life sciences sector, a team led by Sarah Bailey assisted Laboratoire Cooper with its acquisition of both the Dacryum and Dacryoserum, including assigning the related trade marks, reviewing the assignor’s trade marks portfolio, and reviewing the agreement, in a cross-border deal worth €1.3m. Marina Cousté is representing Château Lafite Rothschild, one of the most prestigious vineyards in the world, in trade mark infringement litigation against Ibizvin. Also recommended are Romain Viret and Frédérique Potin, both of counsel, and associate Sarah Madi.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Bailey; Marina Cousté

Key clients

Château Lafite Rothschild

Domaine Romanée-Conti

Ultimate Software Group Inc

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Private equity: Fund formation Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons stands out for its exclusive focus on work for general partners, which the practice assists with a large variety of funds, ranging from private equity and venture capital funds to infrastructure funds, real estate funds and debt funds, among others. The team has become a key name for the largest fundraisings in the market, including a string of fundraisings for first-time funds. Part of a global fund formation team, the group benefits from the firm's strong international network, with a particular focus on Europe and Asia, especially Hong Kong. Practice head Agnès Rossi is the key contact. With the arrival of Jérôme Patenotte and his team from Gowling WLG in June 2019, the firm now also has a transactional private equity offering.

Practice head(s):

Agnès Rossi

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Capza

Edmond de Rothschild

Eurazeo SME

InfraVia Capital Partners

Meridiam

RGreen Invest

Serena Capital

Siparex

Weinberg Capital Partners

Banking and finance: transactional work Tier 3

Clients praise the 'deep market knowledge and strong negotiation skills' of Simmons & Simmons, which is 'a reference point for small to mid-cap deals in Paris'. It has a well-established real estate finance practice and prominent position in acquisition finance and corporate lending. It also handles equity bridge financing and fund financing transactions. Financial institutions, major corporates and fund managers call on the English and French law expertise in the Paris office, largely for international matters. Colin Millar, who focuses mainly on LBO transactions, and Céline Larmet are the key partners.

Practice head(s):

Colin Millar

Testimonials

The team has an excellent track record and it firmly defends its clients’ interests rather than its own. It is really engaged in defending points for its clients. It also brings value-added advice, gives its point of view, and advises on market practice to help add value to transactions. That brings us comfort.

Some firms don’t go all the way to defend their clients, sometimes simply because they are not sufficiently pugnacious. This team, however, knows how to weigh up the pros and cons and say whether the fight should be led or not.’

Simmons and Simmons is very professional and has a deep experience of real estate financing. It is a deal-making team and is able to react quickly and make sure deadlines are respected, ensuring the complete satisfaction of their clients.

Céline Larmet shows exceptional working capacity and has a great understanding of her clients’ needs. She is able to develop tailor-made solutions in order to put in place the most efficient financing facility for each acquisition.

Key clients

Crédit Lyonnais

Crédit Industriel et Commercial

Société Générale

Banque Palatine

Bpifrance Investissement

EMZ Partners

CM-CIC Private Debt

Spie batignolles

Valor Real Estate Partners

Savills Investment Management

Caisse d’Epargne et de Prévoyance Hauts de France

DWS

Data privacy and data protection Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons is a popular choice for financial institutions, investment funds and asset management companies, and is also active in the TMT and healthcare and life sciences sectors. Matters regularly involve cross-practice elements, where it is able to leverage the firm's wider expertise and it frequently works with the employment and dispute resolution groups. The team counts major French and international companies among its clients. The development and implementation of data protection strategies; data protection compliance checks, undertaken through the group's data protection health check; and assistance with the development of digital projects, for example in marketing, are key areas of strength. Sarah Bailey, who also specialises in intellectual property, is the head of the practice. Christophe Fichet, former co-head of the practice, joined Dentons in December 2019.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Bailey

Testimonials

They are very responsive and meet deadlines.

Working with Frédérique Potin is always a plaisure. She is a real professional, not afraid to come back to us to clarify our needs or to guide us towards the real issues. She always makes herself available to process instructions in an emergency.

Key clients

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Roche France

Dispute resolution: Commercial litigation Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons has state-of-the-art product liability litigation expertise, particularly in the healthcare sector, where the firm is handling some of the market's largest high-profile disputes defending well-known pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. The practice is notably acting in the headline Levothyrox and Mediator cases. Practice head Jacques-Antoine Robert is a star in this field. In addition, the firm is also growing its shareholder conflicts and private equity disputes practice, through Guillaume-Denis Faure. Finally, the firm also acts for banks and financial institutions through Thierry Gontard, who also handles commercial litigation, while Etinenne Kowalski notably tackles criminal law issues.

Practice head(s):

Jacques-Antoine Robert

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team shows great expertise and creativity. It demonstrates good capability to think out of the box and understand business issues. Lawyers follow a calm and creative approach of files, even when the risks are very serious’.

‘The team is strong in dealing with real estate disputes, and applies a proactive, commercial and practical outlook. It provides clear and understandable advice without being unduly technical. It demonstrates excellent communication skills, notably in English ’.

‘Etienne Kowalski is very knowledgeable, commercial and gives comprehensive and practical advice. He is very reliable, proactive and always available, and is easy to talk to and good humoured’.       

Key clients

Merck KGaA

JC BAMFORD EXCAVATORS

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Servier

Moneta Asset Management

Sodexo Pass International

Natixis / BPCE

Bayer

MSD

Stanley Black & Decker

Mergers and acquisitions Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons' team is 'very diligent and able to handle complicated situations'. Best known for its work in four key sectors - asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, life sciences and healthcare, and TMT - the firm is also increasingly strong in the private equity space with the arrival of Jérôme Patenotte and his team from Gowling WLG. Christian Taylor now leads a four-partner practice, in which Simonetta Giordano focuses on deals in the healthcare, life sciences, energy and consumer goods sectors. Moody's and BlackRock are among the firm's key clients.

Practice head(s):

Christian Taylor

Testimonials

The Simmons & Simmons M&A team is very diligent and able to handle complicated situations. They offer full service and assistance for their clients, allowing them to focus on the business points.

Senior associate Taous Mabed is very “hands on” and organised, ensuring a smooth transaction process.

Key clients

Alpha Healthgroup

Tapì

Moody’s

BlackRock

SEDCO Capital

Cooper

Savills Investment Management

Valor Real Estate Partners LLP

Luigi Lavazza S.p.A.

CDPQ

Future Plc

Ultimate Software Group

Inteva Products

Project finance Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons

Practice head(s):

Yves Baratte

Key clients

African Legal Support Facility (ALSF)

Djibouti Ports & Free Zone Authority

De Run International

NordGold

KfW

Malakoff

Proparco and DEG

TBEA Co. Ltd.

Great Horn Investment Holdings SAS

Employment Tier 4

Simmons & Simmons

Practice head(s):

Laurence Renard

Testimonials

‘The team is remarkable by its high-level availability and responsiveness. Advice are well balanced between a legal and business approach’.

‘Laurence Renard has great knowledge of US companies and of what it means in terms of designing specific legal strategy’.

‘Managing associate Julia Gori is responsive and available. She provides spot-on advice’.

EU, competition and distribution Tier 4

Simmons & Simmons has a large client base consisting of many leading healthcare companies whom the practice assists with their strategic antitrust and distribution law issues. The five-lawyer team also advised a leading food corporation on an abuse of dominant position case and was active in merger control work. Ombline Ancelin is in charge. Supervising associate Florent Barbu is the other key member.

Practice head(s):

Ombline Ancelin

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is made up of very committed lawyers who have very good industrial knowledge.’

‘Ombline Ancelin is an outstanding lawyer. She is very close to her clients, provides high-standard advice and is very business-oriented. She is very well connected, provides very quick and legally sound feedback, and is very experienced in pharmaceutical industry marketing and distribution matters.’

Tax Tier 4

Simmons & Simmons is redeveloping its tax practice following major changes in the last few years. Practice head Chloë Nessim is noted for her versatile expertise: she is particularly strong in property tax, while also having experience in private equity fund structuring. The team provides support to the firm’s other departments, especially in the fund structuring area; it recently advised on the structuring and fundraising of a major property fund, as well as assisting BlackRock with its proposed acquisition of eFront. The team is also increasingly active providing standalone tax advice.

Practice head(s):

Chloë Nessim

Testimonials

‘The team provides excellent tax advice in connection with real estate transactions’

‘A commercial and responsive team which produces great work and is efficient in spotting red flags and delivering detailed analysis’

‘ The team is very effective. They are proactive and offer a full range of services’

‘Chloë Nessim is highly responsive and is always ready to assist. She ensures clients obtain reliable tax advice taking into account the commercial aspects. She is able to offer tailor-made solutions and structure proposals rather than a review of existing options. She has an in-depth knowledge of real estate tax’

Key clients

Valor Real Estate Partners LLP

M7 Real Estate

Quaero Capital

RGreen Invest

TechLife Capital

Entrepreneur Venture

Premier Investissement

Dispute resolution: International arbitration Tier 5

Simmons & Simmons

Practice head(s):

Philippe Cavalieros

Morocco > Foreign firms Tier 1

Yves Baratte leads the energy, natural resources and infrastructure practice in the Paris office of Simmons & Simmons, which plays a pivotal role in large power, water, mining and infrastructure projects. The firm's recent work for corporates and European development finance institutions includes solar projects backed by Masen, notably the Nour IV project. It also handles M&A, disputes, IP and telecoms matters in Morocco.

Practice head(s):

Yves Baratte

The smartest business solutions come when we work together – international, but operating as one integrated team.

Collaborative, agile and partner-led: that’s Simmons & Simmons. A law firm that challenges, creates new possibilities and offers opinion not just option. A law firm that acts as your business partner and works with you, not for you.

We focus on four highly regulated sectors (asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, healthcare and life sciences and technology, media and telecommunications) – using our specialist skills to understand your business, and the forces at play around it. All grounded in exceptional knowledge of the legal detail.

This is how we consistently deliver smarter, more efficient ways to tackle our clients’ most complex challenges.

Photo Name Position Profile
 Ombline Ancelin photo Ombline Ancelin
Ms Sarah Bailey  photo Ms Sarah Bailey
Mr Yves Baratte  photo Mr Yves Baratte
Mrs Sandra Esquiva-Hesse  photo Mrs Sandra Esquiva-Hesse
Mr Thierry Gontard  photo Mr Thierry Gontard
Mr Etinenne Kowalski  photo Mr Etinenne Kowalski
Mr Alexandre Regniault  photo Mr Alexandre Regniault
Ms Laurence Renard  photo Ms Laurence Renard
Mr Jacques-Antoine Robert  photo Mr Jacques-Antoine Robert
Mrs Agnès Rossi  photo Mrs Agnès Rossi
Mr Christian Taylor  photo Mr Christian Taylor