Firm Profile > Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP > Paris, France

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
75008 PARIS

Dispute resolution: commercial litigation Tier 1

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represents a stellar client base made up of many leading French listed corporations, as well as large US groups and other international companies. The firm regularly deals with commercial litigation with high financial or reputational stakes. It also handles sensitive shareholder conflicts and high-profile insolvency and restructuring-related cases. Finally, the firm also takes on some arbitration and white-collar crime cases, such as international corruption matters. Didier Malka heads the team, which also includes high-profile corporate partner Claude Serra.

Insolvency Tier 1

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has an impressive track record in the space and is able to handle all types of situations, acting on any side of the table. The practice has been involved in many of the market's landmark domestic and cross-border (France-US) cases encompassing LBO debt restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy situations, as well as asset take-over deals and litigation. Highlights included representing Sequana in its safeguard proceedings; acting for Fraikin in negotiations with its LBO debt financial creditors; and advising a major creditors’ pool on Frans Bonhomme's financial debt restructuring. The firm also assisted Fnac Darty with purchasing several of Ludendo’s assets. The practice is headed by Jean-Dominique Daudier de Cassini, who is an expert in their field. Fabienne Beuzit joined Jones Day.

Private equity: LBO Tier 1

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is frequently sought out by some of the most high-profile players in the market. The team, which is led by David Aknin, acts for domestic and international private equity sponsors across all market segments on high-value transactions. In recent work, it advised Sagard and the managers on the sale of Alvest Group to a consortium formed by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Ardian as well as on a subsequent reinvestment by Sagard and the managers in the group. Other highlights include Aknin and Alexandre Duguay assisting Montagu Private Equity and Astorg with the sale of their interests in Sebia to CVC and Tethys. Emmanuelle Henry's recent stand-out instructions include advising Oaktree Capital Management on the sale of Axilone to Citic Capital. Frédéric Cazals is another key contact. Benjamin de Blegiers joined from Clifford Chance. 3i, Advent International and Carlyle are also clients.

Administrative and public law Tier 2

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is praised for its ‘perfect ability to handle complex matters’. The six-lawyer team is acting for many leading state-owned entities and private sector companies, notably in the transport, public sector housing, energy and telecoms areas. The firm is working on sophisticated regulatory matters, such as advising state agency APE on the privatisation of Française des Jeux. The team also has strong litigation expertise and won several high-profile cases recently. It successfully represented Suez before the Administrative Court of Appeal in its challenge to the decision to award a €400m concession contract to operate a wastewater treatment plant in the Ile-de-France region to Veolia; the court ruled to suspend the execution of the contract. The firm is also involved in landmark infrastructure projects and is notably advising SNCF Réseau, ADP and CDC on the CDG Express airport rail project. Frédéric Salat-Baroux has ‘a great deal of perspective on various subjects and great knowledge of the administrative courts’ in addition to ‘impressive negotiation skills’. Counsel Marc Lordonnois is ‘one of the best lawyers for concession contracts and knows this business perfectly’.

Banking and finance: transactional work Tier 2

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's key areas of expertise include a particular focus on buyouts and other acquisition financing and restructuring transactions. The caseload often includes add-on or build-up transaction financings, as well as instructions with a capital market component. The team acts for a diverse group of clients, ranging from sponsors and portfolio companies to investment banks and alternative lending debt providers. Jointly led by Olivier Jauffret and James Clarke, the practice regularly joins forces with the firm's Paris corporate team, for example when advising Montagu Private Equity and Astorg alongside portfolio company Sebia on refinancing facilities in the context of the Sebia sale to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Téthys and CVC Capital Partners. Counsel Cassandra Porgès provides key support.  Benjamin de Blegiers joined from Clifford Chance. Sanofi, Ardian and Natixis also feature on the client list.

Dispute resolution: Stock market litigation Tier 2

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP recently defended a leading French company in litigation led by activist funds. The practice also successfully defended a CEO in an AMF investigation into the communication of misleading information. Corporate partners Claude Serra and Yannick Piette are the key contacts, as well as litigator Didier Malka.

Mergers and acquisitions Tier 2

Active in private and public transactions, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP primarily acts for industrial and financial groups, private equity sponsors and family-owned corporations. The team has extensive expertise in the restructuring of large listed companies, but excels in the entire range of M&A transactions, both domestic and international. Practice head Claude Serra and Yannick Piette jointly advised Atos on its $3.4bn acquisition of Syntel. A highlight from the life sciences sector saw Arthur de Baudry d’Asson and David Aknin assist Sanofi with the €1.9bn sale of Zentiva to Advent International. Agathe Soilleux is another key practitioner. Benjamin de Blegiers joined from Clifford Chance. CGG, JCDecaux and Casino also feature on the client list.

EU, competition and distribution Tier 3

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's antitrust and competition offering is led by Romain Ferla, who handles the full range of mandates including state aid, cartel, merger control and distribution law issues. The firm recently acted for La Poste in the creation of its joint venture with Suez in the office waste recycling sector, and a trade association representing PVC flooring product manufacturers - the SFEC - instructed Ferla to represent it in the FCA's cartel investigation into the market. Also notable is associate Flora Pitti-Ferrandi, who was recently joined in the junior ranks by associates Anne-Laïla Abback from Bredin Prat and Line Le Geut from Magenta.

Tax Tier 3

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP houses a strong seven-lawyer team that regularly advises alongside the corporate practice on the market's largest M&A and LBO transactions. The practice notably assisted Sagard with the sale of Alvest, Fives and its management with a new buy-out transaction led by CDPQ and PSP, and acted for Sanofi on its sale of Zentiva. The team is also regularly involved in high-profile debt restructuring work and was recently active for CGG in that space. The practice is also sought out to handle litigation, with recent clients in this area including Rothschild & Cie Banque, Studialis and Gecina. Stéphane Chaouat and Edouard de Lamy are the practice heads.

The firm: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a leader in the marketplace for sophisticated, global legal services. Its pioneering ‘one firm’ approach, including the integration of offices on three continents, multiple practice areas, and approximately 1,100 attorneys, allows the firm to partner with many of the world’s most successful organisations on matters as complex and interconnected as the global clients they represent.

Areas of practice: Since merging with Serra Leavy Cazals in 2003, Weil’s Paris office has enjoyed a reputation as one of the leading business law firms in France. The Paris office regularly handles the most challenging transactions, disputes, business and financial restructurings and provides counselling to corporations, private equity funds, financial institutions, public organisations, senior management, board of directors and individuals in sensitive situations.

The firm acts on domestic and cross-border matters alike. Its lawyers are highly experienced in their respective fields. They are recognised for their pragmatic approach and their commitment to clients’ interests. To all the matters Weil undertakes, the firm brings the personal attention of its partners, their extensive experience and unequivocally sound business and legal judgement.

The sophistication, global reach, experience and personal involvement of its partners means that the firm consistently ranks in France at the very top of legal advisors on private equity transactions, public takeovers and reorganisations, distressed M&A, banking and finance, in-court or out-of-court restructurings, as well as tax and competition matters and all types of disputes including criminal investigations that affect companies and their managers. 19 partners and three counsels supported by 50 associates and 20 clerks are available to best respond to the needs of clients.

Recent work highlights include: the representation of Alstom in the sale of its energy business to General Electric and creation of joint ventures with General Electric in the renewable, grid and nuclear businesses; Atos on the acquisition of Xerox ITO; General Electric in the sale of its European fleet business to Arval; Montagu Private Equity and Astorg Partners on the acquisition of Sebia; CVC on the acquisition of Linxens; Qualium on the sale of Quick to Burger King; and Carlyle on the sale of B&B Hotels.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance
Business finance and restructuring
Capital markets
Dispute resolution
Private equity
Number of partners worldwide : Approx 300
Contact : Stéphane Chaouat (managing partner)
Other offices : Beijing
Other offices : Boston
Other offices : Dallas
Other offices : Frankfurt
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : Houston
Other offices : London
Other offices : Miami
Other offices : Munich
Other offices : New York
Other offices : Prague
Other offices : Princeton
Other offices : Shanghai
Other offices : Silicon Valley
Other offices : Warsaw
Other offices : Washington DC
Number of other lawyers worldwide : Approx 900