Stephenson Harwood > Paris, France > Firm Profile

Stephenson Harwood
48 rue Cambon
75001 Paris
France

France > Shipping finance Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood's Paris team advises most major French banks on the biggest vessel financings, restructurings, and transactions in the French market. The firm has also developed a collaboration agreement with Burgess, a yacht broker, and Hot Lab, an Italian yacht designer, to develop new financing structures for the working capital needs of Italian yacht builders. Alain Gautron is 'an absolute market leader in his practice' and is supported by stand-out senior associate Ezio Dal Maso.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Technical brilliance and intimate market and sector knowledge; reassuring presence on files; always listening to us as clients and our concerns and dealing with them thoroughly.’

‘Excellent lawyers.’

‘In Paris, the outstanding partner in shipping finance is Alain Gautron, an absolute market leader in his practice for his knowledge and deep network. Superb professional and relationship skills.’

Key clients

BNP PARIBAS

COMPAGNIE DU PONANT

SUNSTONE SHIPS

RUBIS ENERGIE

FIMAR

CORSICA FERRIES

CIC

INGÉPAR

CEPAC

CAISSE D’EPARGNE ILE DE FRANCE

CELR

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to the arrangers and the lenders on three French leases for special purpose companies jointly controlled by NYK and Geogas.
  • Advised the bank, the arranger, the ECA (KSURE), and the lessor in connection with two French lease financings of the first two LNG Gas carriers in France for Knutsen.
  • Assisted the bank, the arranger, and the lessor with the French lease financing of a product tanker for Sogestran.

France > Aviation finance Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood‘s aviation finance team has acted on some of the major aircraft financings, restructurings, and transactions taking place in the French market over the past year as well as on many international transactions involving French banks and key airlines. Strengthening its position in aviation finance, the firm welcomed Laurence Hanley to the team in 2021, joining from Stream – Avocats et Solicitors. Hanley, who focuses on borrower side work, now leads the practice alongside Edward Campbell. Associate Maria Miller is highlighted for being ‘reliable’ and ‘knowledgeable’. 

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very responsive and client-friendly. Flexible on fees.’

‘Maria Miller – excellent lawyer, very good client care skills.’

‘Excellent knowledge, accommodating and reliable and efficient.’

‘Maria Miller – reliable, knowledgeable, hard-working.’

Key clients

AIR CÔTE D’IVOIRE (ACI)

AIR FRANCE

TRANSAVIA FRANCE

LION AIR GROUP

AIRASIA

AVICO GROUP

CASTLELAKE

AVOLON (FORMERLY CIT)

AERGO

BBAM AIRCRAFT LEASING & MANAGEMENT

CIC (CRÉDIT INDUSTRIEL ET COMMERCIAL)

MERX AVIATION SERVICING LIMITED

MACQUARIE AIRFINANCE

BOC AVIATION LIMITED

CLOSE BROTHERS LIMITED

DREAMJET

ACOFI GESTION

Work highlights

  • Advising Babcock and Brown Aircraft Management on various transactions, including a transfer of ownership and lease agreement novation with Air France, Transavia and ASL Airlines France.
  • Assisted Air Côte d’Ivoire with their purchase agreement for the acquisition of several Airbus A319/A320 Aircraft, including NEOs which are currently being financed, as well as Bombardier Q 400s aircraft.
  • Acted as counsel for Air France on several transactions including the sale and leaseback of the first aircraft making the first long-haul flight on sustainable fuel and the sale-leaseback of two Boeing 777F long-haul freighter aircraft.

France > Capital markets: debt capital markets Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood focuses on French law debt capital market work, with the caseload including Eurobonds, secured notes, medium term note programmes and Euro private placements. Practice head Jeremy Grant, who is dual-qualified in France and England and Wales, continues to grow the team and client base, attracting notable domestic and cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Stephenson Harwood is responsive, has a global vision in order to anticipate the impacts on the entire company and defends the interests of its clients.’

‘Pragmatism and the ability to find compromises.’

‘Jeremy Grant is a very high-quality lawyer who has, both by his great technicality and his perfect understanding of regulated activities, to establish himself as THE benchmark advisor in matters of capital and debt markets with the legal teams but also of the operational and financial teams of tour company. Fully committed to their clients, Jeremy and his team are able to deliver their expertise and exceptional work within very tight deadlines.’

‘Jeremy Grant is very available and responsive.’

Key clients

SCOR SE

MGG INVESTMENT GROUP

TOUAX

LOUIS DREYFUS COMMODITIES

THE EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF CHINA (CEXIM)

CASINO

Work highlights

  • Advising Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) on the issuance of its first rated Eurobond and on the issuance of an additional rated Eurobond.
  • Advising SCOR SE on its issuance of €300m perpetual fixed rate subordinated resettable restricted Tier 2 notes.
  • Advising Touax on several matters, including the refinancing of its Rail division for a total amount of €180m, combining a ‘green ginancing’, a confirmed 3-year revolving credit facility, and a $85m financing.

France > Banking and finance: transactional work Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood's team garners praise for its 'particularly strong expertise in shipping and aviation finance', and it also excels in areas such as real estate finance, acquisition finance and asset finance. Working in close collaboration with the firm’s M&A, fund formation and litigation groups, the team regularly acts for leading financial institutions and corporates on domestic and cross-border mandates. The department is jointly led by Alain Gautron, Edward CampbellJeremy Grant, Yann Beckers and Laurence Hanley (who was promoted to partner in May 2021).

Practice head(s):

Alain Gautron; Edward Campbell; Jeremy Grant; Yann Beckers; Laurence Hanley

Other key lawyers:

Ezio Del Maso; Hortense Atthenont-Duret

Testimonials

‘Stephenson Harwood’s Paris office has broad expertise across many sectors and has particularly strong expertise in shipping and aviation finance. The Paris financing team offers a comprehensive service and is part of a strong worldwide network, which is particularly valuable for sizeable cross-border transactions.’

‘Alain Gautron is a very smart and prominent lawyer who focuses on complex cross-border shipping transactions, financings and restructurings. For me, one of the best finance lawyers in the French market. Yann Beckers is particularly remarkable for his oversight of matters. He impressively manages large acquisition and structured finance transactions. Finally, he is an excellent expert with a great depth of knowledge in regulatory matters.

‘Senior associate Ezio Del Maso’s expertise in maritime and aviation asset finance is an important strength. He provides a first class day-to-day management of large-scale projects and is clearly a rising star in Stephenson Harwood’s finance team.’

‘We work with Alain Gautron and Hortense Atthenont-Duret. They are distinguished by their ultra-fast and precise qualities, allowing us to find technical solutions to our problems.’

‘Very professional and sharp in their field.’

‘Alain Gautron is particularly skilled in maritime financing. Hortense Atthenont-Duret is a particularly efficient lawyer who is extremely skilled in maritime financing, and her partnership is greatly appreciated.’

Key clients

CREDIT INDUSTRIEL ET COMMERCIAL (CIC)

BNPP / BPCE

COMPAGNIE DU PONANT

AIR FRANCE

TOUAX

THE EXPORT IMPORT BANK OF CHINA (CEXIM)

CASINO

LOUIS DREYFUS COMMODITIES

TRANSPORTATION PARTNERS

JOINT PARTNERS

Work highlights

  • Advised the arrangers and the lenders on three French leases for special purpose companies jointly controlled by NYK and Geogas in connection with the construction and exploitation of three newbuilding LNG carriers to be operated under French flag for two major French energy companies.
  • Assisted Air France with several transactions, including the sale and leaseback of an aircraft making a long-haul flight on sustainable fuel and the sale-leaseback of two Boeing 777F long-haul freighter aircraft.
  • Advised Joint Partners, a family office in Hong Kong, on the following two transactions: (i) the restructuring of two existing financings, an acquisition loan and a mortgaged loan; and (ii) the refinancing of the two restructured loans by Aareal Bank AG.

France > Insurance Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive. It has in-depth knowledge of the business and is very close-knit, allowing significant continuity of follow-up.’

‘High listening capacity and high availability.’

Key clients

Maersk Line A/S

Sas Degrémont France

Lion Air Airline

Navigators, RSA, Talbot Underwriting, Dakarnave

Hiscox MGA Limited Kazimo Trade And Investment Limited, Imperial Yachts Sarl

JDA – Joseph Dirand Architecture

Qatar Museum

SK Global Chemical

Jinwang Europe And Hunan Jinwang Bismuth Industrial Co.

RSA Luxembourg

Biocon

RSA Group Plc, RSA France And RSA Luxembourg

Atalian

Rayonier Advanced Materials

Work highlights

  • Advising Maersk Line on a dispute between the company and various companies of the Bolloré Logistics group (China, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Italy, etc.) in connection with the fire that occured on board of the ship Maersk Honam, in the Arabian Sea, causing the death of five sailors and the loss of a large part of the cargo of 8,000 containers.
  • Advised underwriters on a marine yacht insurance policy led by Hiscox in respect of a subrogated claim in the name of the two assureds Kazimo Trade and Investment Limited and Imperial Yachts.
  • Advising RSA Luxembourg, subsidiary of the RSA Insurance Group plc, on insurance issues related to the rudder shafts for a marine vessel.

France > Dispute resolution: Commercial litigation Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Practice head(s):

Nicolas Demigneux

Testimonials

‘International firm, direct access to partners; extremely well-trained associates; all members of the firm are immediately available to discuss problems that could arise downstream or upstream of a particular case; ability to clearly identify the problems and focus only on the essentials.’

‘We mainly worked with Nicolas Demigneux and Deborah Attias in Paris. The case involved both strategic and legal thinking and above all an immediate implementation and execution of the means chosen. From our first meeting, the case and the problems that it generated were analysed and identified in a very thorough and efficient manner and a proposal for a solution emerged very quickly. Remarkable intellectual and practical intelligence and exceptional availability.’

‘Good listening and team cohesion.’

‘Rigorous analysis.’

‘The file was handled efficiently in a transversal manner with the cooperation of different teams (tax, litigation and corporate).’

‘Nicolas Demigneux is excellent in substance and form. Great responsiveness and availability.’

Key clients

MAERSK LINE A/S

SAS DEGRÉMONT FRANCE

TRANSASIA COMMODITIES INVESTMENT LTD.

LION AIR AIRLINE CIEL VOYAGE, TRANSPORTATION PARTNERS

BIOCON

OPCO EP

LA HALLE BUYING OFFICE LIMITED

BIOCON

QATAR MUSEUMS AUTHORITY

ATALIAN

RAYONIER ADVANCED MATERIALS

Work highlights

  • Representing Maersk Line in a dispute with various companies of the Bolloré Logistics group (China, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Italy, etc.) in connection with a fire on board of the ship Maersk Honam, in the Arabian Sea, causing the death of 5 sailors and the loss of a large part of the cargo of 8,000 containers.
  • Representing and advising SAS Degrémont France, the water subsidiary of utility giant SUEZ, in a dispute relating to the construction and renovation of a water treatment plant in the South of France with EIFFAGE.
  • Representing Biocon, India’s largest biopharmaceutical company, in a cross-border product liability dispute with AB Science, a French listed company specialising in cancer medications.

France > Employment Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Practice head(s):

Soazig Préteseille

Testimonials

‘Soazig Préteseille disposes of an excellent ability to understand complex factual and legal matters. She also carefully advises on the chances and risks of presenting certain pieces of evidence. She is always on top of the facts. In court proceedings she shows the required stamina to defend a case, but also the necessary oversight to not jeopardise the case. I would recommend her unconditionally for labour law cases.’

Key clients

AUXITROL WESTON (GROUPE TRANSDIM)

SIEMENS ENERGY

TK ELEVATOR FRANCE

GENERAL ELECTRIC HEALTHCARE

AECOM

AEG POWER SOLUTIONS

ZTE

VALDUNES

CHINA CONSTRUCTION BANK

LION TREE

Work highlights

  • Advising Auxitrol Weston on the implementation of an employment safeguard plan (PSE) which affected more than 100 employees.

France > Private equity: Fund formation Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood‘s team advises fund managers on the creation and fundraising of French and pan-European private funds. It also assists limited partners with fund investments and the secondary sale of the portfolio of fund interests. It covers all aspects relating to general and sector-based investment funds such as private equity, debt, infrastructure and real estate. Tiana Rambatomanga left the firm in 2021.

France > Tax Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood‘s Olivier Couraud  specialises in transactional tax in addition to running a distinguished stand-alone practice assisting founders and executives with their personal tax issues. The tax team has also developed particular expertise in asset finance and shipping finance matters – shipping finance being one area of specialty of the Paris office. In that area, the tax practice regularly advises leading banks on the largest shipping finance transactions, in particular with the structuring of French tax leases. The practice also offers strong litigation expertise.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Couraud

Testimonials

‘Olivier Couraud s team has remarkable expertise in wealth tax, which sets it apart from a large number of tax lawyers.’

‘I particularly appreciate Olivier Couraud, who has remarkable technical skills. He demonstrates remarkable rapidity of analysis and real technicality that he puts very effectively at the service of his clients.’

‘The team is made up of very competent and very involved lawyers and advisers, with excellent knowledge and a very wide variety of profiles which allow us to meet a very wide range of needs.’

‘Very great involvement of Olivier Couraud, excellent and very diligent professional who always provides very good advice.’

‘Real strategic and business-added value, rare ability to put themselves into the shoes of an entrepreneur and to seek solutions beyond the strict legal framework.’

‘Strong involvement, impeccable technical knowledge. Olivier Couraud stands out from the lot of tax specialists that I have met before by his very global approach.’

Key clients

GENERAL ELECTRIC HEALTHCARE

CDER INVESTISSEMENTS

JULIEN CASTEL (VITALLIANCE)

NATIXIS

MATA CAPITAL

FREE 2 MOVE (FORMERLY MHIRI INNOVATION)

LVMH / LES ECHOS – LE PARISIEN GROUP

APAX PARTNERS

PENINSULAR

MIROVA

CIC

BNPP / BPCE

CEPAC

Work highlights

  • Advising GE Healthcare, a medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and digital solutions company, on the tax aspect of the acquisition of Zionexa, an innovator of in-vivo oncology and neurology biomarkers that help enable more personalised healthcare.
  • Advising Apax Partners on the tax aspects of the creation and launch of a new type of fund, Apax Private Equity Opportunities (APEO), an approved FCPR (French risk mutual fund – Fonds commun de placement à risque).
  • Advising CDER Investissements on the tax aspects of the sale of its module rental activity to Kiloutou.

France > Mergers and acquisitions

Stephenson Harwood has been growing its corporate team over the past few years and now has two partners in Guillaume Briant  and Clotilde Billat. The practice is geared for M&A, private equity, reorganisation and joint venture transactions with specific expertise in the technology, telecoms and life sciences industries.

Stephenson Harwood is a law firm with over 1100 people worldwide, including more than 180 partners. Our people are committed to achieving the goals of our clients – listed and private companies, institutions and individuals.
Comprising ten partners and thirty lawyers, across a range of transactional and contentious disciplines, the Paris office provides to both French and international clients, legal and tax support combining high technical skills with a very pragmatic approach.

From its prominent position in banking and asset finance, the office has developed its capabilities in the areas of corporate, real estate and tax law and offers a litigation practice with particular expertise in insurance and the African region.

Our lawyers fully understand our clients business needs and the issues and risks they face. We pride ourselves on providing business minded and pragmatic advice. Many of our lawyers are qualified in multiple jurisdictions, which ensures a seamless, efficient service on cross-border transactions.

We represent many leading international banks, investment funds, directors and managers, general corporates, ship owners, airlines, rail operators and leasing companies.

We provide a broad range of services including asset finance, project finance, acquisition finance, private equity, investments, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, insolvency and restructuring, litigation, insurances and tax law.

We share an entrepreneurial and innovative vision of the profession. Thanks to our expertise and in-depth knowledge of the market, we embrace a facilitating vision for each new case and are focused on creating value. Synergies with the other offices in the network offer the advantages of an international firm while keeping the agility and flexibility of a Paris office close to its clients.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing Partner Nicolas Demigneuxnicolas.demigneux@shlegal.com+33 1 44 15 80 00
Business Development Executive Débora Freitasdebora.freitas@shlegal.com+33 1 44 15 81 96
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Yann Beckers  photo Yann Beckers A banking and finance partner with a focus on acquisition, real estate…
Clotilde Billat photo Clotilde BillatClotilde is a partner in the corporate team. She specialises in private…
Guillaume Briant  photo Guillaume Briant A corporate M&A partner in the Paris office, Guillaume advises public and…
Edward Campbell photo Edward CampbellAn asset finance partner with a particular focus on aircraft finance, Edward…
Olivier Couraud  photo Olivier Couraud Olivier Couraud’s practice covers the tax aspects of a wide range of…
Nicolas Demigneux  photo Nicolas Demigneux A litigation expert, Nicolas specialises in general commercial and insurance litigation, arbitration…
Alain Gautron photo Alain GautronAlain is a highly established figure in France’s banking and finance sector,…
Jeremy Grant  photo Jeremy Grant Jeremy’s practice covers capital markets, structured finance and banking. He has over…
Boriana Guimberteau  photo Boriana Guimberteau Boriana is an IP partner specialising in both contentious and non-contentious issues.…
Laurence Hanley photo Laurence HanleyLaurence co-heads the aviation finance practice in Paris. He has almost 20…
Jean-Julien Lemonnier  photo Jean-Julien Lemonnier Partner
Soazig Preteseille-Taillardat  photo Soazig Preteseille-Taillardat As the partner in charge of the employment law team in Paris,…
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