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Latham & Watkins


France

Banking and finance: transactional work
Banking and finance: transactional work - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins

Leveraged and acquisition finance are key strengths for Latham & Watkins, with real estate and asset finance also forming a significant part of the firm's practice. They key trio are practice head Michel Houdayer, Lionel Dechmann and Xavier Farde who shoulder an often international caseload. Recent highlights range from advising Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs on a €6.1bn term loan bridge facility for Unibail-Rodamco's acquisition of Westfield, led by Houdayer; assisting Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on the financing of Altran Group's €1.7bn acquisition of Aricent, led by Farde; and Dechmann's work for Bank of Ireland, BNP Paribas and SMBC on a €339m senior term loan and revolving credit facility for the acquisition of Trescal International by Talbot Participation. Carla-Sophie Imperadeiro was promoted to counsel in the team at the beginning of 2018. Caisse de Dépôt et de Placement du Québec, Astorg and Assystem Technologies are also among the firm's client roster.

Leading individuals

Lionel Dechmann - Latham & Watkins

Xavier Farde - Latham & Watkins

Next generation lawyers

Michel Houdayer - Latham & Watkins

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Capital markets: debt capital markets
Capital markets: debt capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins stands out through its track record advising on high-profile, high-yield transactions. With French, English and US law capabilities, it handles primarily cross-border mandates, but the team also fields a strong domestic practice. Practice head Thomas Margenet-Baudry advised Credit Suisse on Paprec Holding's offering of €575m 4% senior secured notes due 2025 and €225m senior secured floating rate notes due 2025, the largest high-yield green bond issued in France to date. Novafives, Morgan Stanley and Afflelou also count among the team's clients.

Leading individuals

Thomas Margenet-Baudry - Latham & Watkins

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Capital markets: equity capital markets
Capital markets: equity capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

IPOs form the core of Latham & Watkins' practice, but the team is also adept at handling rights issuing, bookbuilding and equity-linked offerings. Practice head Thomas Margenet-Baudry advised Shandong Ruyi and Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot on the corporate structuring of its IPO as well as on its high-yield refinancing and concurrent consent solicitation regarding the high-yield bonds, showcasing the group's experience in matters combining equity and debt capital markets. Margenet-Baudry also assisted Autodis with its planned €1.2bn IPO. Bain Capital, BNP Paribas and Société Générale also instruct the team.

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Derivatives and structured finance
Derivatives and structured finance - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP

Leading individuals

Thomas Vogel - Latham & Watkins LLP

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Dispute resolution: International arbitration
Dispute resolution: International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

The ‘extremely well-prepared and efficient’ Latham & Watkins ‘provides the confidence a company needs in difficult arbitration’ thanks to its ‘well-structured and sophisticated arguments, special attention to detail and the permanent availability of the whole team to attend to clients' needs’. The 12-lawyer Paris-based practice is particularly recognised for its Latin American and Iberian caseload. It recently dealt with newly raised intra-EU investment issues, as well as tax and environmental matters. The practice is handling numerous ICSID cases for Colombia, including disputes with foreign mining companies over the protection of the Santurban moorlands. It is also acting in numerous oil and gas and energy cases, such as representing a state-owned Central American oil and gas company in an ICC arbitration brought by an Asian state-owned oil and gas company subsidiary regarding the modernisation of a refinery in Latin America. It is also involved in a dispute over a billion-dollar hydroelectric project and is handling commercial arbitration. Global co-chair Fernando Mantilla-Serrano ‘is always present and available and shows exceptional involvement in cases’. Newly promoted partner John Adam is ‘extremely well qualified and experienced’. Fabrice Fages is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Fernando Mantilla-Serrano - Latham & Watkins

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EU, competition and distribution
EU, competition and distribution - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

The practice at Latham & Watkins consists of four partners and was recently bolstered by the arrival of Jacques-Philippe Gunther and Adrien Giraud  from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Frederic Pradelles successfully represented American Airlines before the FCA in a case regarding the unauthorised redistribution of its data by an online travel agent and the suspension of data flow between the two parties. In other highlights, the team assisted Accor with the competition aspects of its leasing of the Pullman Paris Montparnasse hotel in Paris, and Galeries Lafayette appointed Pradelles to secure merger clearance for its acquisition of a 51% stake in La Redoute. Also notable is Gunther's work for Philip Morris regarding the dawn raids on its premises ordered by the FCA in January 2018 on the grounds of suspected horizontal and vertical anticompetitive practices. Mathilde Saltiel joined the team alongside Gunther and Giraud and was promoted to counsel upon arrival; she is also a name to note.

Leading individuals

Jacques-Philippe Gunther - Latham & Watkins

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Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

The ‘very responsive and prompt’ team at Latham & Watkins provides ‘high-quality legal advice and has profound labour law knowledge’. The seven-lawyer team is ‘great at explaining complex scenarios in simple words’ and provides ‘very good risk assessments and insightful explanations regarding political implications’. The practice provides governance and compliance advice, assists with strategic restructuring and site closure projects as well as the employment aspects of high-profile M&A deals. The team assists leading French and international corporations, including a major pharmaceutical company, and financial institutions. It is managing sensitive mass claims in the financial services sector and was also in high demand for M&A and post-M&A support. Practice head Matthias Rubner is 'a highly valued adviser’, who also has ‘excellent language skills in German and English and is very helpful in an international context’. Counsel Emily Grimshaw has ‘in-depth knowledge of labour law’.

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Insolvency
Insolvency - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' ‘in-depth knowledge and practical know-how means the team can help its clients strategise options, not just recite legal facts’. The team regularly acts for sponsors and lenders on financial restructuring matters. It assisted Crédit Suisse as agent with the restructuring of CGG. Practice head Hervé Diogo Amengual ‘is a pit-bull who can fight multiple parties in a litigation scenario’.

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Mergers and acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins demonstrates particular strength in cross-border transactions, acting for private and public-sector clients alike, and shoulders a busy caseload of high-profile transactions. Recent highlights include advising Worldline on its strategic partnership with SIX through which Wordline would acquire SIX Payment Services for €2.3m. Pierre-Louis Cléro and Patrick Laporte, jointly with Munich-based Rainer Traugott, assisted Siemens with its €15bn merger with Alstom. Other clients include Shandong Ruyi, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and PAI Partners. Olivier du Mottay and Thomas Forschbach, who is partly based in London, are also recommended. Bénédicte Bremond made counsel and Alexander Crosthwaite made partner. Practice head Gaëtan Gianasso splits his time between Paris and London.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins focuses on private equity, M&A, capital markets and finance-related transactional tax. The seven-lawyer team has high-end LBO tax expertise and assists the corporate team with the structuring of the market's largest LBO deals. The practice notably assisted PAI Partners with the projected acquisition of Albéa. The team also regularly advises on the tax-aspects of major M&A deals managed by the firm including recently advising Siemens on its merger with Alstom and Worldline on the acquisition of SIX Payment Services (SPS). The team also regularly assists banks with the structuring of major financing acquisition transactions including acting for Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs on a €6.1bn loan bridge facility financing Unibail-Rodamco’s acquisition of Westfield. Xavier Renard and Olivia Rauch-Ravisé are key names.

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France: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: commercial litigation
Dispute resolution: commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins

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France: Industry focus

Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the internet
Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the internet - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins

The team at Latham & Watkins 'perfectly understands the challenges of clients' businesses and has expert knowledge of the IT, telecoms and the internet space in France', which allows it to 'quickly provide appropriate solutions'. 'Extremely capable and trustworthy' practice co-head Jean-Luc Juhan 'knows how to create a privileged link with his clients' and recently assisted a major luxury group with the renegotiation of its global telecoms project with a global market player, and advised a communications company on its contract with an airline regarding the provision of WiFi services on its flights. Myria Saarinen co-heads the team with Juhan and advises enviable client names in the pharmaceutical, technology and luxury sectors on data protection and regulatory compliance matters.

Leading individuals: IT

Jean-Luc Juhan - Latham & Watkins

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France: Private equity

Private equity: LBO
Private equity: LBO - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins

'Clearly one of the best teams in the market', Latham & Watkins continues to advise on headline-grabbing transactions, frequently working with the firm's finance, corporate, tax and antitrust departments. Thomas Forschbach, who splits his time between Paris and London, recently led in advising the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on its acquisition of a 30% stake in GE Water & Process Technologies (GE), a complex carve-out as part of Suez's acquisition of GE. Gaëtan Gianasso, who splits his time between Paris and London, assisted Intermediate Capital Group and Sagesse Retraite Santé with the €2.4bn acquisition of a majority stake in DomusVi. In a recent Franco-Chinese cross-border transaction, Olivier du Mottay acted for Citic Capital on its acquisition of Axilonea from funds managed by Oaktree Capital. 'Very efficient negotiator' Denis Criton has a reputation for being 'clearly the best among the younger generation of private equity lawyers'. Alexander Crosthwaite was recently promoted to the partnership. Ardian, Bridgepoint and PAI Partners are among its other clients.

Leading individuals

Olivier du Mottay - Latham & Watkins

Thomas Forschbach - Latham & Watkins

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Latin America: International firms

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

The growing practice at Latham & Watkins handles a mix of investment treaty arbitration and high-stakes commercial disputes. It recently advised on a number of multimillion-dollar construction disputes in the energy sector in countries including Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia, as well as on a range of commercial arbitrations. Group head Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is representing Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo as the respondent in an ICC arbitration brought by a subsidiary of an Asian state-owned oil-and-gas company regarding a joint venture dispute; he is also defending the Republic of Colombia in an ICSID arbitration brought by Eco Oro Minerals concerning the adoption of regulatory measures in the gold mining sector. The team operates from across the firm’s geographic footprint, with key practitioners based in Paris, Madrid, London, New York, San Francisco and San Diego. Notable practitioners include counsel John Adam, who is a barrister with Spanish and Portuguese language capabilities, and the London-based Charles Claypoole and Sophie Lamb.

Leading lawyers

Fernando Mantilla-Serrano - Latham & Watkins

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Further information on Latham & Watkins LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Latham & Watkins LLP in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Germany

Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, and Dusseldorf

Spain

Offices in Madrid and Barcelona

France

Offices in Paris

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Indonesia

Latin America: International firms

India

Italy

Offices in Milan and Rome

Japan

Offices in Tokyo

London

Offices in London

Myanmar

Malaysia

Philippines

Russia

Offices in Moscow

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

South Korea

Offices in Seoul

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh

United States

Offices in Chicago, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, Orange County, Newark, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, and Century City

Vietnam

Legal Developments in France

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