Firm Profile > White & Case LLP > Paris , France

White & Case LLP
75001 PARIS

Banking and finance: transactional work Tier 1

The team at White & Case LLP is 'always on the spot to help the process and anticipate future issues', offering a 'high level of technicity combined with availability'. The group fields an especially strong practice in acquisition finance and refinancings, with recent highlights including an instruction from Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking for the bridge financing of Thales' €4bn acquisition of Gemalto, a high-profile mandate which was led by practice head Raphaël Richard and Denise Diallo. On the refinancing side, Samir Berlat advised SPIE on the €1.8bn refinancing of its existing debt pursuant to a loan agreement. Richard and Brussels-based Thierry Bosly jointly led for Cobepa and the other shareholders of Exclusive France Holding on the sale of the holding to Permira. Clients also include BNP Paribas, Suez and Antin Infrastructure Partners.

Capital markets: debt capital markets Tier 1

White & Case LLP is 'a leading firm for French debt capital markets work' and impresses with the 'depth of its bench'. The client roster includes investment banks, issuers and shareholders whom it assists with euro medium-term notes (EMTN) programmes, high-yield bonds, sovereign bonds and euro private placements as core elements of a wide-ranging portfolio of expertise. Séverin Robillard and the 'exceptionalGrégoire Karila advised AXA on its issue of €2bn fixed to floating rate ordinary subordinated notes due 2049, structured as Tier 2 capital under the Solvency II directive. The 'approachableCenzi Gargaro, who 'provides expert advice and always reverts very promptly', assisted BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale as joint lead managers with the issuance of a dual series of €850m 5.25% amortising notes due 2030 and €850m 6.625% amortising notes due 2048 by the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, issued according to Rule 144A and Regulation S. Other names to note are practice head Philippe HerbelinThomas Le Vert and Colin Chang, who 'has good technical skills and is available to answer questions at any time'. Clients also include Barclays, Casino and Agence des participations de l'État. Max Turner made partner. Gilles Endréo retired.

Capital markets: equity capital markets Tier 1

A 'market leader, in particular for IPOs', White & Case LLP combines 'technical expertise, commercial sense and courage', making it a 'tier one practice'. The varied practice covers IPOs, share capital increases, equity-linked offerings and block trades. In addition to assisting Crédit Agricole, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners with Altran's €750m share capital increase, it also advised J.P. Morgan as sole global co-ordinator on Vivendi's sale of its entire €2bn stake in Ubisoft, structured as an accelerated bookbuilding international private placement with institutional investors. A recent IPO highlight was advising Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot on its €623m IPO on the Euronext Paris. The main practitioners are practice head Philippe HerbelinColin Chang, Thomas Le Vert and Séverin RobillardMax Turner made partner. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Vallourec and Groupama.

Compliance Tier 1

White & Case LLP combines high-level expertise with an international platform that allows the firm to deal with domestic, US and UK anti-corruption, money-laundering and antitrust compliance issues and investigation work. The firm is retained by many leading French banks to assist with the setting up of compliance programmes and with internal and government-led investigations. It is assisting Cacib with the auditing of its compliance programmes by two independent consultants as part of the bank's 2015 settlement agreement with the US Office of Foreign Assets Control. The firm, which also acts for leading French and international corporations, is assisting several clients with AFA-led audits. Practice head Ludovic Malgrain and the experienced Jean-Pierre Picca are highly recommended. Michel Beaussier is now senior counsel at Coat Haut de Sigy.

Dispute resolution: International arbitration Tier 1

White & Case LLP has an ‘exceptional reputation’ and ‘always provides the best personnel to solve a problem, utilising its worldwide connections’. With a very large Paris base of some 50 lawyers, the firm houses ‘lawyers who have far-reaching legal knowledge and extensive experience, which enables them to successfully win awards for their clients in complex international claims’. The ‘very responsive, informative and approachable’ practice is also praised for ‘keeping clients up-to-date with every step of the process and responding promptly to enquiries’. The firm manages an impressive caseload of high-end matters, including some of the world's largest construction disputes. It successfully represented TVO in complex disputes with Areva and Siemens' consortium relating to the construction of the Finnish Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant. The practice is also representing Grupo Unidos por el Canal in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority over the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project. The firm is also acting for Portuguese telecoms company PT Ventures in $3bn ICC arbitration proceedings over the control of one of Africa’s leading GSM network operators. The practice also has a strong oil and gas practice, especially for gas price review matters. It is handling several highly strategic investment arbitration disputes in that sector, especially in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The team includes many talented names, such as practice head Michael Polkinghorne, Charles Nairac and Elizabeth Oger-Gross, who are all ‘endowed with the highest standard of ethics and are able to utilise a very well-thought-out legal approach’; highly regarded of counsel Christopher SeppäläNicolas BouchardieChristophe Von Krause, who is praised as making the ‘utmost effort to understand his clients' fundamental needs and having the capability to tailor the best strategy’; Andrew McDougallKirsten OdynskiJohn Willems; and newly promoted partner Noor Davies.

Dispute resolution: commercial litigation Tier 2

White & Case LLP has particular strength in banking litigation and is currently defending leading French banks in large-scale domestic financial products disputes. The team is notably acting for BNP Paribas Personal Finance in some 1,500 civil claims over a real estate loans portfolio granted in Swiss francs. Philippe Métais is adept at handling high-stakes mass litigation. The firm also handles commercial litigation and recently defended major retailers such as Intermarché in several cases pertaining to allegedly abusive commercial clauses imposed upon suppliers. It also acted in several unfair competition cases. Atol, Free Mobile and Nespresso are clients. Yann Utzschneider has extensive experience in antitrust, distribution and commercial disputes. Diane Lamarche was a new arrival from Orrick Rambaud Martel.

EU, competition and distribution Tier 2

Yann Utzschneider's team at White & Case LLP recently expanded its offering through the promotion to counsel of Estelle Jégou and Jean-Julien Lemonnier and the arrival of several new associates. In recent highlights, the team successfully defended Hertz in proceedings filed by the FCA against leading car rental companies and a number of airports following dawn raids and a cartel investigation, and Crédit Agricole appointed the group to represent it in investigations led by the FCA and other competition authorities into the alleged manipulation of the Libor and Euribor indexes. Utzschneider is also currently advising Intermarché on three disputes filed by the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance in relation to suspected anticompetitive behaviour towards suppliers. Also notable are Mickaël Rivollier and Orion Berg (both counsel).

Leading individuals

Industry focus: energy Tier 2

White & Case LLP is advising on several large-scale hydro power projects in Georgia and Africa. The firm is notably acting for the state of Georgia on the 434MW Namakhvani hydropower plant project, as well as the Nareva and Enel consortium on a 850MW wind energy programme in Morocco comprising five onshore wind farms. In domestic work, the firm is assisting the ITER Organization on the construction of the eponymous international thermonuclear experimental reactor project. M&A and international arbitration are other strengths. Practice head Paule Biensan, Jacques Bouillon  and François-Guilhem Vaissier are key names.

Industry focus: IT, telecoms and the internet Tier 2

Bertrand Liard heads the IT and intellectual property offering at White & Case LLP with the support of partner Clara Hainsdorf, who focuses on e-commerce, IT law and commercial contracts. The pair continue to advise Facebook on technology, antitrust, consumer protection and liability litigation and pre-litigation matters arising from its activities outside of the US. Natixis appointed the firm to advise on a number of projects including digitalisation, the acquisition of cloud services, and data privacy and protection initiatives. Liard is also assisting financial software company Intuit with the development of its SaaS - QuickBooks Online - in Europe, and supported the corporate team with the IT and licensing aspects of significant corporate transactions.

Insolvency Tier 2

White & Case LLP's team was boosted by the arrival of restructuring and corporate partner Saam Golshani, who joined from Orrick Rambaud Martel in December 2018 along with Alexis Hojabr. The new additions strengthen the firm's existing practice, which is now able to handle all types of situations, from complex domestic cases to cross-border matters, acting for all kind of stakeholders, from hedge and private equity funds to banks and debtors. The team is involved in some of the market's most high-profile cases, notably in the retail sector. Céline Domenget-Morin is another key name; she recently handled a high-profile case in the oil sector. The practice also benefits from leading complementary capital markets and banking and finance expertise.

Leading individuals

Project finance Tier 2

The ‘very professionalWhite & Case LLP has ‘strong experience and leads very well-organised processes’. The firm has a strong presence among French and international lenders for the development and financing of major projects in France and abroad. Domestically, it recently advised the lenders on several motorway projects, including assisting Arcos' lenders with the financing, construction and operation of the A355 motorway concession project. The practice also advised on several major campus projects in Turkey including acting for Japanese banks on the $1.83bn financing of the Ikitelli healthcare campus project. Energy projects are another strength and it is notably advising on several large-scale hydro power projects in Georgia and Africa. In evidence of this, it is advising Eiffage, Themis Energy and Eranove as sponsors on a 200MW hydro power project in Madagascar, as well as Eranove on a 42MW hydroelectric dam project in Mali. Practice head Paule Biensan, Jacques Bouillon, François-Guilhem Vaissier and counsel Marianna Sedefian are key names.

Real estate Tier 2

White & Case LLP's six-lawyer team is retained by leading French and international property investors to handle high-end transactions. The group recently advised on several top end office, retail and residential deals: it assisted Amundi Immobilier's consortium with the acquisition of Coeur Défense - the largest European office complex; Immo Invest (EPI) with the €600m sale of 114 Champs Elysées; and Cardif, Diversipierre and Sogecap with the acquisition of a 6,800 French residential property portfolio. The team also advised on work abroad and on property fund creation. Practice co-heads Frank Peter and Brice Engel make up a very strong duo.

Leading individuals

Administrative and public law Tier 3

White & Case LLP recently advised lenders on several major domestic motorway projects, including advising the lenders to Arcos on the A355 motorway concession project. Headed by Jacques Bouillon, the practice also advises on the renovation of luxury hotels, such as the Paris Ritz Hotel, and also regularly assists with large public infrastructure projects abroad. François-Guilhem Vaissier is also a key contact. Counsel Orion Berg handles regulatory work and assists clients in their dealings with public authorities in the context of government-led investigations. The firm won a significant victory on behalf of Plastics Europe before the Constitutional Council, which ruled that a new law which suspended the sale of bisphenol A food packaging was unconstitutional.

Dispute resolution: White-collar crime Tier 3

White & Case LLP is defending French banks facing domestic, US and UK money-laundering and fraud investigations. The firm is also representing major French companies, CEOs and directors facing international corruption investigations, especially for their undertakings in Africa. International companies and individuals are also clients. Ludovic Malgrain leads the team. Jean-Pierre Picca and counsels Jean-Lou Salha and Anastasia Pitchouguina are also key contacts.

Next Generation Partners

Mergers and acquisitions Tier 3

At White & Case LLP, the arrival of Saam Golshani, Alexis Hojabr and Guillaume Vitrich from Orrick Rambaud Martel significantly increased the group's footprint in the market. The team combines strong cross-border capabilities with a focus on the automotive, technology and financial services sectors, regularly acting in high-profile transactions. It advised Ingenico Group on its €1.5bn acquisition of Bambora from Nordic Capital, a cross-border matter involving France and Sweden, and assisted Faurecia with its strategic partnership and investment in Parrot Automotive. On the domestic side, stand-out matters included multiple instructions from Legris Industries, such as the sale of Savoye Logistics to Noblelift Equipment Joint Stock and the acquisition of Schiederwerk Germany. The client roster also features BNP Paribas, Eren Renewable Energy and Visteon. Key contacts include practice head Hugues Mathez and François Leloup. Jean Paszkudzki made counsel.

Tax Tier 3

White & Case LLP houses a strong transactional team of five lawyers. The practice regularly advises on major banking and finance and capital markets transactions handled by the firm, frequently acting for banks. It recently assisted Société Générale with a €9bn French residential mortgage loan securitisation and JPMorgan, as sole global coordinator, with the €2bn sale by Vivendi of its entire stake in Ubisoft. The team also regularly advises on M&A, private equity and property transactions. It assisted Ingenico Group with its €1.5bn acquisition of Bambora, and acted for Cardif, Diversipierre and Sogecap on the acquisition of a 6,800 unit French residential property portfolio, leased to EDF. Practice head Norbert Majerholc and Alexandre Ippolito are highly experienced.

Department Name Email Telephone
Bank finance Raphaël Richard
Capital markets Philippe Herbelin
Commercial litigation Philippe Métais
Competition, EU and economic regulation Yann Utzschneider
Construction Charles Nairde
Corporate, mergers and acquisitions Hugues Mathez
Energy, infrastructure, project and asset finance Paule Biensan
Employment and benefits Alexandre Jaurett
Financial restructuring and insolvency Céline Domenget-Morin
Intellectual property and information technology Bertrand Liard
International arbitration Michael Polkinghorne
Private equity Vincent Morin
Public law Jacques Bouillon
Real estate Franck Peter
Tax Norbert Majerholc
White-collar crime and regulatory Ludovic Malgrain
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Yann Utzschneider  photo Mr Yann Utzschneider
Contact : Denise Diallo (executive partner)
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White & Case is a global law firm with a longstanding presence in the markets that matter today. The firm’s on-the-ground experience, cross-border integration and depth of local- and US-qualified lawyers help clients work with confidence in any one market or across many.


Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Hugh Verrier