Firm Profile > Latham & Watkins > Paris, France

Latham & Watkins
75007 PARIS

Banking and finance: transactional work Tier 1

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 HoudayerLionel 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.

Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the internet Tier 1

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.

Private equity: LBO Tier 1

'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 negotiatorDenis 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.

Capital markets: debt capital markets Tier 2

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.

Capital markets: equity capital markets Tier 2

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.

EU, competition and distribution Tier 2

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 LLPFrederic 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.

Mergers and acquisitions Tier 2

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.

Tax Tier 2

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.

Dispute resolution: International arbitration Tier 3

The ‘extremely well-prepared and efficientLatham & 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.

Employment Tier 3

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’.

Insolvency Tier 4

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’.

The firm: Latham & Watkins is a leading international law firm serving multinational companies, start-ups, investment banks, private equity funds, venture capital firms, sovereign wealth funds, governments and other organisations. The firm’s global platform spans Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US, and consists of internationally recognised practices across a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate and regulatory areas. Latham’s lawyers offer unrivalled legal resources and strategic commercial thinking to provide clients with innovative solutions to complex business and legal matters.

The Paris office boasts more than 90 lawyers and regularly handles a wide range of transactions, disputes and regulatory matters on behalf of French, European and international companies, private equity firms and financial institutions. The lawyers’ depth of knowledge in these sectors – achieved through their experience and close ties with the world’s financial institutions and industrial centres – means their clients can expect the highest quality legal services in all aspects of the representation.

Latham & Watkins’ Paris-based lawyers are dedicated to providing consistent quality, creativity and innovative solutions to the most complex legal and business matters. The lawyers work collaboratively across legal disciplines and geographic boundaries to achieve the best results for clients.

With lawyers qualified to practise under French, English, European and US law, the office is constantly recognised as a leader in the French market.

Areas of practice: Very few law firms operating in the French market can match the depth of Latham’s practice as well as the breadth of its geographic platform and the robust technology that underpins its performance. Latham’s lawyers in Paris maintain in-depth knowledge of a wide range of industries, including a robust understanding of the economic and regulatory environments in which they operate. The firm’s clients are leading market participants in the banking, energy, hospitality and leisure, insurance, life sciences, luxury, services and telecommunications sectors and Latham’s lawyers routinely advise both listed and emerging private companies.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance
Capital markets
Competition/European law
Data privacy
Dispute resolution
Intellectual property
International arbitration
Private equity
Real estate
Structured finance
Photo Name Position Profile
 John Adam  photo John Adam
 Semih Bayar Eren  photo Semih Bayar Eren
 Alexander Benedetti  photo Alexander Benedetti
 Bénédicte Brémond  photo Bénédicte Brémond
 Pierre-Louis Cléro  photo Pierre-Louis Cléro
 Denis Criton  photo Denis Criton
 Alexander Crosthwaite  photo Alexander Crosthwaite
 Lionel Dechmann  photo Lionel Dechmann
 Hervé Diogo Amengual  photo Hervé Diogo Amengual
 Michael Ettannani  photo Michael Ettannani
 Fabrice Fages  photo Fabrice Fages
 Xavier Farde  photo Xavier Farde
 Thomas Forschbach  photo Thomas Forschbach
 Etienne Gentil  photo Etienne Gentil
 Gaëtan Gianasso  photo Gaëtan Gianasso
 Adrien Giraud  photo Adrien Giraud
 Charles-Antoine Guelluy  photo Charles-Antoine Guelluy
 Jacques-Philippe Gunther  photo Jacques-Philippe Gunther
 Michel Houdayer  photo Michel Houdayer
 Carla-Sophie Imperadeiro  photo Carla-Sophie Imperadeiro
 Jean-Luc Juhan  photo Jean-Luc Juhan
 Patrick Laporte  photo Patrick Laporte
 Fernando Mantilla-Serrano  photo Fernando Mantilla-Serrano
 Thomas Margenet-Baudry  photo Thomas Margenet-Baudry
 Frederic Pradelles  photo Frederic Pradelles
 Olivia Rauch-Ravise  photo Olivia Rauch-Ravise
 Xavier Renard  photo Xavier Renard
 Matthias Rubner  photo Matthias Rubner
 Myria Saarinen  photo Myria Saarinen
 Mathilde Saltiel  photo Mathilde Saltiel
 Suzana Sava-Montanari  photo Suzana Sava-Montanari
 Thomas Vogel  photo Thomas Vogel
 Olivier du Mottay  photo Olivier du Mottay
Number of lawyers : 2,200+
at this office : 90+
Contact : Xavier Farde (managing partner)
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