Firm Profile > Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP > Paris, France

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
21-23 RUE DE LA VILLE L'EVÊQUE
75008 PARIS
France

Administrative and public law Tier 1

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is the go-to-firm for large domestic infrastructure projects and public procurements as well as for related performance and litigation issues. The five-lawyer team is retained by leading sponsors, operators and lenders and handles a high volume of highly strategic work. Expertise includes representing sponsors and operators in negotiations or or in legal proceedings with the French state and other local public authorities regarding  damage awards following the termination, abandonment or performance issues of leading infrastructure projects; notably in the transport sector. The team is also assisting clients affected by Gilets Jaunes’ protests and the Covid-19 pandemic in their negotiations with the French state and other public entities to obtain compensation. Sponsors and lenders als mandate the group for major infrastructure projects in France and overseas. Practice head Thierry Laloum is a superstar in the field. He is ably surrounded by special European counsel Charles-Antoine Erignac, senior associate Anne-Laure Barel and associate  Virgile Chanel.

Practice head(s):

Thierry Laloum

Other key lawyers:

Charles-Antoine Erignac; Anne-Laure Barel; Virgile Chanel

Testimonials

‘The team is made up of good technicians who are able to work satisfactorily in a French environment.’

‘I work with counsel Charles-Antoine Erignac who is a nice and pleasant person. He knows his field well.’

‘The team has worked on a large number of innovative projects or cases for many years which enables it to understand the diversity of public law issues. They provide the best advice.’

‘Thierry Laloum is, in my opinion, one of the best practitioners in Paris’.

‘The team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher has demonstrated exceptional pedagogy in explaining complex subjects. Their ability to provide efficient and pragmatic responses has very few equivalents; few firms have this quality.’

‘Thierry Laloum has a remarkable knowledge of public law. He brings invaluable advice which makes it possible to resolve very complex situations which very few are able to do.’

‘Very homogeneous team. Partners and associates are always available. They listen to their clients which is very appreciable. Partner Thierry Laloum admirably unites his team.’

‘Thierry Laloum is extremely brilliant. His strategy at the start always turns out to be the right one. He has an absolutely amazing ability to anticipate. He is totally involved and success is his only goal. He is very attentive to his customers.’

‘ Very professional, interdisciplinary and available team.’

‘A very competent and efficient team with solid experience. A team that actively participated in defining our strategy within very tight deadlines.’

‘Maître Thierry Laloum is an excellent lawyer who is very shrewd in his approach and fully understands our requests and concerns. He is proactive and has always been able to find relevant solutions to our problems. He is very available and provided excellent advice on the definition of our strategy.’

Key clients

Vinci Airports

Caisse des dépôts et consignations

Ceetrus

Colas

Searchlight Capital Partners

STOA

Bouygues Travaux Publics

Vinci Autoroutes

Atlantia

Meridiam

Project finance Tier 1

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s first-class practice combines top public law and project finance expertise, an offer sought after by lenders and sponsors to assist with France’s largest infrastructure projects. The team is notably advising on several ongoing high-profile projects, notably in the train sector, as well as on the creation of a new road tunnel in Marseille. Internationally, matters come from especially from Europe and Africa, but also from other parts of the world. Several port projects and the extension of the Sofia airport in Bulgaria recently kept the practice busy. Practice head Amir Jahanguiri and Michaël Armandou are the key financing contacts, while Thierry Laloum manages the public law practice. Associate Antoine Bouzanquet makes a strong impression.

Practice head(s):

Amir Jahanguiri

Other key lawyers:

Michaël Armandou; Thierry Laloum

Testimonials

‘Very strong experience in project finance and PPP templates. Very strong technical skills. Very strong commercial and clients management skills.’

‘Very strong technical skills and business acumen. Ability to manage complex processes and situations and to drive the various parties involved to successful closing of transactions. The partners Amir Jahanguiri and Thierry Laloum have outstanding experience in their field of expertise and outstanding skills to manage complex processes and the various parties involved across the finish line.’

‘Excellent listening, adaptation to the complexity of projects.’

‘Very strong involvement, good humor, efficiency.’

‘Ability to provide really tailor-made solutions and work very collaboratively.’

‘Excellent capabilities, in particular of Amir Jahanguiri who has been in the field forever.’

‘Very good practice of project financing. The very close proximity of the public law teams to the project financing team is an undeniable asset. Their ability to deliver projects is undeniable.’

‘Amir Jahanguiri and Michael Armandou are undoubtedly among the top lawyers who know the European project finance infrastructure market the best.’

‘Amir Jahanguiri is the best project finance lawyer alive.’

‘Amir Jahanguiri is a top class lawyer, especially in complicated situations.’

‘Excellent teams with extensive background in project finance; capacity of apprehending the specifics and peculiarities of each and every project and situation and accordingly customise related contractual setups;  exceptional capacity in assisting the client with difficult negotiations while keeping legal interests of the client on the safe side.’

‘Outstanding experience in the field of financing infrastructure, both on the sponsors and lenders side. They are problemsolving-oriented, provide reliable advise and smart ideas and are as hardworking as you can get.’

‘Amir Janhanguir and Michael Armandou are both best-in-class infrastructure finance practitioners in the global infrastructure finance market. Antoine Bouzanquet is one of the best associates I have worked with.’

Key clients

Meridiam

CMA CGM

ERAMET

Bouygues Construction

Bouygues Telecom

Vinci Concessions

Rönesans

Atlantia (Autostrade per l’Italia)

Sojitz Corporation

Agence Spéciale Tanger Méditerranée

Government of Djibouti

ArcelorMittal

Veolia

European Investment Bank

Eiffage

Direct Energie

STOA

Société Générale

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria

Allianz

Aviva

Samsung

Talanx

LBPAM

MEAG

Generali

The French State

SNCF Réseau

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

Caixa Bank

CEPAC

La Banque Postale

Marubeni

Alstom

Gulermak

Hydrogène de France

Nareva

Banking and finance: transactional work Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's team represents both borrowers and lenders. In one highlight, it notably advised Air France on securing funding of €7bn, in what was one of the largest loans guaranteed by the French state. The firm's international network of offices combined with broad capabilities spanning leveraged and acquisition finance, syndicated and bilateral lending, equity bridge financings and private placements, make it a popular choice for clients involved in cross-border mandates. The department has increased its offering for restructuring work, with the arrival of structured finance specialist Thomas Binet from Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. in March 2020. Paul Lombard, who chairs the European finance practice group, is particularly focused on innovative financing technology such as NAV facilities and PIK financing.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lombard

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Binet

Testimonials

Efficient, excellent client relations, always professional.

‘We appreciate the quality of advice received from Thomas Binet.

The team is made up of top professionals. Reactive, pragmatic and always a pleasure to work with.

Paul Lombard is always agreeable and makes complex problems seem very simple.

Excellent technical competences, always available and the team provides creative solutions.

‘Paul’s team is incredibly responsive on all of our deals. They are technically excellent, but also demonstrate that they understand the commercial framework in which businesses operate and conduct transactions.’

Key clients

PAI Partners

IK Investment Partners

Tikehau Capital

Latour Capital

Sagard

Ardian Private Debt

Weinberg Capital

Five Arrows

Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille

CVC Credit

Motion Equity Partners

Kartesia Management

Telemos Capital

Dispute resolution: Commercial litigation Tier 2

Leading French and international corporations turn to Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP for strategic corporate, commercial and company governance disputes, often involving high commercial and financial stakes. The team also acts for investment funds and high-ranking executives. It successfully represented Transdev before the Paris Court of First Instance in a dispute concerning SNCM’s partnership with STEF.  The representation of Carl Bayard in initiating legal indemnification proceedings against LMBO, which was fined by the French Financial Market Authority (AMF), was another high-profile instruction. The team is co-headed by Dominique Mondoloni, who is highly regarded, and Grégoire Bertrou. Special European counsel Sophie-Jeanne Laroche is also involved.

Practice head(s):

Grégoire Bertrou; Dominique Mondoloni

Other key lawyers:

Sophie-Jeanne Laroche

Testimonials

‘Dominique Mondoloni is one of the most talented litigators of his generation. He is very smart, acute and agile. His associate Alexis Bessis is very good, too.’

Key clients

Carl Bayard

Nokia

Agence Française de Développement

Arkema

Transdev

KR Média

Besix

Merck Médication Familiale

Air France / Air France-KLM

Sportfive

EU, competition and distribution Tier 2

The varied practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises across all areas of EU and competition law for domestic clients, and in recent years has gained prestigious new clients from the transport, finance and energy sectors. The team has developed its state aid practice significantly and recently acted on several high-profile state aid matters arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. With a strong track record in complex merger control at French and EU level, and in antitrust matters and investigations, the team is also experienced in follow-on litigation. Practice leader Faustine Viala is highly experienced in merger control, abuse of dominance and cartel cases, and state aid issues.

Practice head(s):

Faustine Viala

Testimonials

This team works in multifiling for merger control operations. It consolidates the data flows to be transmitted to other law firms in the various jurisdictions concerned by notifications.’

‘The partner in competition law is Faustine Viala. She knows the company and its activities perfectly. Very good knowledge of our problems. She always finds solutions. The employees are all of a good standard.’

Excellent interpersonal skills from Faustine Viala. Listening to the needs of its customers, responsive, direct and simple. Faustine takes the subjects head on and tries to find solutions relentlessly.’

We work regularly with Faustine Viala, whose irreproachable technical competence, creativity, availability, and vision on the subjects we appreciate. As a competition specialist, she has an excellent approach to subjects relating to the “small” competition law.’

Team of experts, capable of handling high-stakes competition law cases, both in merger control and anti-competitive practices, with the same quality and finesse of analysis, capable of offering pragmatic solutions and adapted to the specificities of the sector.’

‘Faustine Viala is an excellent lawyer, a true expert in her field, with a good and quick understanding of the issues, and able to simplify complex subjects. She is very involved in cases, shows anticipation and offers solutions adapted to the reality of the business.’

The Willkie Farr & Gallagher antitrust team has a great capacity to work, and is extremely responsive on all matters surrounding it. The team quickly and well solves the problems that come to it.’

‘Faustine Viala is always relevant in her remarks and observations. She has great technical qualities and a very good commercial sense. Highly responsive, Faustine is always available.’

The team has a good knowledge of the stakeholders of the French competition authority. The team analyses the client’s arguments well and knows how to transcribe them to the Competition Authority.’

Key clients

Air France

TOTAL

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC)

Ardian

Bel Group

Bpifrance

CMA CGM

Elior Group

Arkema

Casino

PAI Partners

Kuehne + Nagel

Lagardère Group

Latour Capital

Materne

Insight Partners

IK Investment Partners

Naval Group

Dalkia

Webhelp

Oaktree Capital

CVC Capital Partners

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Cérélia

Private equity: Fund formation Tier 2

The Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP team led by practice head Nathalie Duguay demonstrates strength across a wide range of funds - with distressed, debt LBO, mezzanine and venture funds as well as funds of funds and infrastructure funds among the most frequently advised on transactions. Impact funds are also increasingly visible in the group's caseload. The Paris team is an integral part of the firm's international fund-formation practice, with the New York, Washington and London offices as other major locations. Funds established by the team are routinely large-cap, with mid-market transactions also undertaken. Additionally, the practice offers fund-financing expertise thanks to the capabilities of the corporate finance team led by Paul Lombard.

Practice head(s):

Nathalie Duguay

Other key lawyers:

Raphael Bloch

Key clients

21 Invest France (f/k/a 21 Centrale Partners)

Abénex Capital

Alpha Private Equity

Apax Partners

Astorg Partners

BlackFin Capital Partners

Comitium

Ekkio Capital

Five Arrows Managers

Kasada Capital Management

PAI Partners

Sagard

Wendel

Private equity: LBO Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is highly regarded for its experience in transactions across all market segments, with a particularly busy caseload of mid-cap deals and a noticeable uptick in matters from the growth equity market. The team is a mainstay of the Paris market and a cornerstone in the firm's pan-European private equity offering which, particularly when combined with the firm's powerful US practice, make it an impressive proposition. The practice group's broad sector scope, with the healthcare industry -in particular- generating numerous transactions, further adds to the team's appeal for both domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Grégory de Saxcé, Edouardo Fernandez, Grégoire Finance, Gabriel Flandin, Christophe Garaud and Cédric Hajage co-lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Grégory de Saxcé; Eduardo Fernandez; Grégoire Finance; Gabriel Flandin; Christophe Garaud; Cédric Hajage

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical skills, Great availability of the team. Creativity in solving problems.’

Key clients

PAI Partners

IK Investment Partners

Oaktree Capital Management

CVC Capital Partners

Qualium Investissement

Latour Capital

Sagard

Equistone Partners Europe

Aleph Capital

Arch Capital Group

Ekkio Capital

The Carlyle Group

Warburg Invest

Weinberg Capital Partners

Intermediate Capital Group

Cobalt Capital

OpenGate Capital

Vaultier7

Montefiore Investment

B I M

Shipping finance Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has developed a niche shipping finance practice, acting primarily for liners and shipyards such as CMA CGM, as opposed to financial institutions. The team has advised on the construction financing of new build vessels as well as shipbuilding contracts and refund guarantees. Corporate finance specialist Brice Pommiès leads the department and is well versed in advising on sale-and-leasebacks, high yield financings, restructurings and corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Brice Pommiès

Key clients

CMA CGM

Chantiers de l’Atlantique (f/k/a STX France)

Neptune Orient Lines (NOL)

Insolvency Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP ’s practice is now solely headed by Lionel Spizzichino after star partner Alexandra Bigot left in June 2020 for Latham & Watkins. The practice often assists leading investment funds, acting as shareholder or bondholders in debt restructuring proceedings. It has strong ability handling complex matters, often featuring cross-border aspects. For instance, a combined Paris, London, Milan and New York office team advised the CoCom on the debt restructuring of Lecta and its French subsidiary Condat. Special European counsel Audrey Nelson  also contributes.

Practice head(s):

Lionel Spizzichino

Other key lawyers:

Audrey Nelson

Testimonials

Willkie Farr  & Gallagher LLP’s team, led by Lionel Spizzichino, is particularly efficient and its international network makes it possible to manage large, complex cross-border cases.’

‘Lionel Spizzichino is absolutely inseparable from the success of the team.’

‘The restructuring team of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Paris is exceptional. They demonstrate an unparalleled negotiating capacity, which enables them to bring together various parties around a consensus.’

‘The team does not hesitate to connect its clients together when it becomes relevant.’

‘I particularly appreciate the perfect integration of the US, UK and French offices’ teams which enables them to offer a global offer in multi-jurisdictional restructuring.’

‘Lionel Spizzichino is particularly client-friendly, available, well connected and able to think like an investor.’

‘The insolvency practice, led by Lionel Spizzichino, is truly outstanding. It provides everything its clients need: high-level technical legal analysis (through a deep bench of skilled associates), but also practical advice, the legal strategy to achieve commercial goals, good execution, and the ability to handle difficult negotiations.’

‘Lionel Spizzichino is a very experienced partner with unrivalled client dedication, outstanding commercial judgement and excellent relationships with all the key actors in France. He is definitely a safe pair of hands to navigate the French system and also an absolute pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Air France / Air France KLM

OpenGate Capital

Recommerce

21 Invest (f/k/a 21 Centrale Partners)

Alès Groupe

HLD

J.P. Morgan

ArcelorMittal

The Carlyle Group

The CoCom of Lecta: Apollo, Cheyne Capital, Credit Suisse Asset Management, CVC Credit Partners, GoldenTree Asset Management, Tikehau Capital

Mergers and acquisitions Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP fields a 'very strong team on cross-border operations'. The practice is well versed in acting for privately held and publicly listed companies on a range of mandates including contested takeovers, strategic alliances, management buyouts, leveraged recaps, and corporate reorganisations. Active in the transport, automotive, tech and chemical sectors, the department is able to call on expertise from the firm's finance, litigation, restructuring and tax teams to assist on transactions. Among the practice's deep bench, Annette Péron, Daniel Hurstel, Cédric Hajage, and Eduardo Fernandez are among the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Fernandez; Cédric Hajage; Daniel Hurstel; Annette Péron

Testimonials

The best team I have ever worked with in the last 20 years. A team with which it is, in human terms, very pleasant to work. Very strong team on cross-border operations.

High availability at any time. Extremely efficient team. Very open-minded personalities.

Key clients

CMA CGM

Bonduelle

Thales Group

Orange S.A.

Arkema S.A.

Air France

Elior Group S.A.

Lagardère

Groupe Monnoyeur

Bpifrance

ISS A/S

Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille

Bel Group

Dispute resolution: White-collar crime Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Practice head(s):

Grégoire Bertrou; Dominique Mondoloni

Key clients

SCAEL (Société Coopérative d’Eure et Loir)

Air France / Air France KLM

Department Name Email Telephone
Partner, Corporate & Financial Services Eduardo J. Fernandez efernandez@willkie.com +33 1 53 43 45 30
Partner, Corporate & Financial Services Christophe Garaud cgaraud@willkie.com +33 1 53 43 45 13
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Michael Armandou  photo Mr Michael Armandou Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/a/armandou-michael
 Grégoire Bertrou photo Grégoire Bertrou Please see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/b/bertrou-gregoire
Mr Thomas Binet  photo Mr Thomas Binet Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/b/binet-thomas
 Nathalie Duguay  photo Nathalie Duguay Please see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/d/duguay-nathalie
 Charles-Antoine Erignac  photo Charles-Antoine Erignac Please see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/e/erignac-charles-antoine
Mr Eduardo Fernandez  photo Mr Eduardo Fernandez Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/fernandez-eduardo-j
Mr Grégoire Finance  photo Mr Grégoire Finance Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/finance-gregoire
Mr Gabriel Flandin  photo Mr Gabriel Flandin Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/flandin-gabriel
Mr Jeffrey Fouts  photo Mr Jeffrey Fouts Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/fouts-jeffrey-w
Mr Christophe Garaud  photo Mr Christophe Garaud Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/g/garaud-christophe
 Philippe Grudé photo Philippe Grudé Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/g/grude-philippe
 Cédric Hajage photo Cédric Hajage Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/h/hajage-cedric
Mr Daniel Hurstel  photo Mr Daniel Hurstel Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/h/hurstel-daniel
Mr Amir Jahanguiri  photo Mr Amir Jahanguiri Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/j/jahanguiri-amir-h
 Gil Kiener  photo Gil Kiener Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/k/kiener-gil
 Igor Kukhta  photo Igor Kukhta Please see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/k/kukhta-igor
Mr Thierry Laloum  photo Mr Thierry Laloum Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/l/laloum-thierry
 David Lambert  photo David Lambert Please see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/l/lambert-david
Ms Sophie-Jeanne Laroche  photo Ms Sophie-Jeanne Laroche Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/l/laroche-sophiejeanne
Mr Paul Lombard  photo Mr Paul Lombard Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/l/lombard-paul
Mr Dominique Mondoloni  photo Mr Dominique Mondoloni Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/m/mondoloni-dominique
 Audrey Nelson  photo Audrey Nelson Please see https://www.willkie.com/professionals/n/nelson-audrey
 Annette Péron photo Annette Péron Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/p/peron-annette
 Brice Pommiès photo Brice Pommiès Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/p/pommis-brice
Mr Lionel Spizzichino  photo Mr Lionel Spizzichino Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/s/spizzichino-lionel
Ms Faustine Viala  photo Ms Faustine Viala Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/v/viala-faustine
Mr Grégory de Saxcé  photo Mr Grégory de Saxcé Please see http://www.willkie.com/professionals/d/de-saxce-gregory
Total number of lawyers : Approx. 750
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