Firm Profile > Dechert LLP > Paris, France

Dechert LLP
PARIS 75008

Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Dechert LLP's team 'has all and any capabilities clients could possibly require' and its lawyers 'are totally dedicated to their clients, always willing to help, challenging ideas and available whenever needed'. The firm's enviable client base includes names such as Roche, which recently instructed a team led by Mélanie Thill-Tayara and supported by Sophie Pelé and associate Marion Provost to advise on antitrust proceedings pertaining to the off-label use of its drug Avastin. Corporate experts Isabelle Marguet and the 'tremendously experiencedAlain Decombe acted for private equity fund Astorg on its acquisition of Compeed assets from Johnson & Johnson, while Jacques Sivignon is leading the advice to a pharmaceutical company on a dispute arising from the brutal termination of a distribution agreement. For intellectual property work, clients can rely on the 'technically excellent, creative and always availableMarie Fillon, who 'has the amazing ability to listen to the client and understand not just the context but also the specifics of every case'. Marianne Schaffner departed for Dentons.

Private equity: venture/growth capital Tier 1

Dechert LLP has core strengths advising on financing rounds in the life sciences sector, especially biotech and medtech matters where the team focuses on innovative technologies. The group acts for funds and target companies, with French and international investors making up a significant portion of the client list. Practice heads François Hellot and Anne-Charlotte Rivière are the key names. Recent highlights including acting for Sofinnova, Morningside Ventures Investments, Bpifrance Investissement and Inserm Transfert Initiative as existing investors on a new Series B financing round for Enyo Pharma, totaling €40m, and assisting Paris Region Venture Fund and Educapital with their €1.1m investment in AppScho, a company offering mobile solutions in the higher education sector. Senior associate Xavier Leroux provides key support. BNP Développement, new client Gecko Medical and Lysogene also feature on the client list.

Dispute resolution: commercial litigation Tier 2

Dechert LLP is ‘extremely helpful’: the firm ‘combines clients' arguments and evidence into a cohesive briefing for the French courts’ and ‘engages well with American and multinational clients’. The ten-lawyer practice represents leading US chemical and healthcare companies, as well as international investment funds, and is also retained by major French companies. It has expertise in financial, commercial and cross-border cases, as well as exequatur proceedings and arbitration. Finally, the practice is also handling major issues in the industrial sector. It is notably defending Dow Chemical against a claim brought by a French individual for compensation for damage caused by a herbicide used during the Vietnam War. It is also representing French electricity network operator Enedis in separate disputes with Engie, Eni, a French consumer association and 5,000 plaintiffs opposing the installation of Linky electricity meters. Albéa, Allergan and Baxter Healthcare are clients. The ‘very versatileLaurent Martinet provides ‘great leadership’ and ‘gets straight to the point’. Jacques Sivignon is an excellent litigator who is always on top of his brief’.

Dispute resolution: International arbitration Tier 2

Dechert LLP's 25 Paris-based lawyers are ‘very efficient, hardworking and dedicated to finding creative solutions’. The team provides ‘very careful analysis, always keeping a sharp eye on the details’, in addition to being ‘accurate, prompt and very client-centred’. The practice is the market's leader for Latin American investment arbitration, and is also becoming a key player in representing Eastern European states in major cases. The firm is notably acting for Ecuador in six cases, including a dispute with Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum over major environmental pollution and corruption allegations. The firm, which handles both commercial and investment arbitration, is also handling disputes in the telecoms sector and increasingly in the construction field; it is representing European investors Rizzani de Eccher, OHL and Trevi in Kuwait's first ICSID investment arbitration over a billion-dollar expressway construction project. Finally, the practice also has expertise in handling exequatur cases involving states. The Czech Republic, Poland, Colombia and Bolivia are clients. Eduardo Silva Romero, who co-chairs the firm's global practice, is highly recommended. Other key members of the team include Xavier NyssenJosé Manuel García Represa, who is an ‘excellent tactician and litigator who combines all the skills required for successful international arbitration’, including ‘strong leadership and a talent for making difficult legal issues understandable and solvable’; ‘top-quality lawyer and litigator’ Philip Dunham, who is ‘exceptionally intelligent, creative and hardworking’, and has ‘impressive organisational and leadership skills and outstanding analytical ability, along with a profound knowledge of FIDIC rules’; and national partner Erica Stein.

EU, competition and distribution Tier 2

Dechert LLP represents both incumbents and new market entrants in the full range of competition and antitrust matters at both the French and EU levels under the leadership of Mélanie Thill-Tayara. Renowned for its strength in the healthcare and life sciences sector, the team recently bolstered its offering in the digital and new technologies space with the hire of Laurence Bary from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. In recent highlights, the team handled the competition aspects of Continental's minority equity investment into French startup EasyMile, and senior associate Marion Provost was part of the team which assisted Astorg and its portfolio company HRA Pharma with its acquisition of Compeed assets from Johnson & Johnson. On the contentious side, Thill-Tayara continues to act for Deutsche Bahn as one of the defendants in the chemical commodities cartel case, and a consumer packaging company instructed the practice to handle its response to cartel fine proceedings and dawn raids.

Intellectual property: Trade marks and designs Tier 2

Dechert LLP's Paris office fields intellectual property expert Marie Fillon, who was recently joined by associates Louis de Chezelles and Guillaume Bensussan from HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER and DTMV & Associés, respectively. She recently secured a full victory for Elior in the Court of Appeal in its trade mark litigation against Enterprise Holdings, and acted as part of a cross-office multi-disciplinary team to advise on the intellectual property aspects of HRA Pharma's takeover of the Compeed brand from a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Another notable client is Ekkio Capital, which appointed Fillon's team to advise on the intellectual property elements of its acquisition of FX Solutions. Marianne Schaffner departed to join Dentons.

Private equity: Fund formation Tier 2

Dechert LLP's team of 'well-rounded experts' is 'unique because of its ability to deal with highly complex technical issues and ability to combine tax matters with fund formation matters'. Known for its 'strong business acumen', the 'excellent' team advises sponsors, institutional investors, principals of private investment and private equity funds, with expertise in the full range of investment fund-related services. Secondary transactions are a particular strength. Following the departure of former practice head Olivier Dumas to Joffe & AssociésAntoine Sarailler and 'very responsive', 'private equity leaderSabina Comis jointly head the practice. In a recent highlight, Comis led in advising Rothschild Asset Management on the creation of a French société de libre partenariat as a feeder fund for PAI Europe VII-1, including advice on regulatory and tax issues. 123 Investment Managers and 17Capital are new clients, while Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity is among the firm's other clients.

Employment Tier 3

Dechert LLP‘s ‘excellent and responsive’ seven-lawyer team, which is praised for its ‘commercial approach’ and ‘complete knowledge of issues’ , advises a well-established international client base, including several companies specialising in the new technologies and life sciences areas. The practice handles complex and sensitive matters including inventors’ remuneration, Brexit, cyber security and data protection issues. The team also has strong expertise handling highly sensitive harassment cases and experience advising on M&A transactions and managing site closures, mass redundancies and litigation. It recently assisted HRA Pharma with its acquisition of Compeed and Orange Business Services with its acquisition of Enovacom. Pepsico is also a client. Practice head Philippe Thomas is ‘sensible and commercial’ and senior associate Thibault Meiers has ‘great knowledge, is highly available and is very practical’.

Intellectual property: Patents Tier 3

Dechert LLP provides clients with a 'very wide scope of expertise' and fields a team of practitioners led by Marie Fillon, a 'rising star within the French intellectual property ecosystem', who is 'very reactive and available' and 'always gets straight to the point when answering difficult questions'. She recently acted for Astorg as part of a multi-disciplinary team on its acquisition of a controlling stake in medical devices company Echosens, and handled the intellectual property aspects of HRA Pharma's takeover of the Compeed brand from Johnson & Johnson. Along with a number of disputes, the team also advised on the negotiation of licences, R&D agreements and the revision of employee-inventor policies. Associates Guillaume Bensussan and Louis de Chezelles recently joined from DTMV & Associés and HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER, respectively. Marianne Schaffner departed the firm to join Dentons.

Mergers and acquisitions Tier 3

Dechert LLP impresses with 'strong technical skills', 'deep knowledge and experience' and the team is noted as 'exceptionally proactive'. Deeply rooted in the life sciences sector, the group has expanded to advise clients from a broad array of sectors, frequently French-listed companies or multinational players from the telecoms, technology, food and energy sectors. The 'astute' Ermine Bolot 'knows how to address the challenges of an international industrial group' and is noted for her 'ability to propose innovative angles in negotiations'. Joint practice heads Bolot and Alain Decombe, who provides 'a unique mix of legal expertise and in-depth understanding of a company's organisation and needs', advised Neovia's shareholders on negotiating an exclusive agreement for the sale of all of Neovia's shares to Archer Daniels Midland Company. Other clients include American Express, Eurovia and GlaxoSmithKline. Isabelle Marguet is another key contact. Laurent Faugerolas left the firm.

Real estate Tier 3

Dechert LLP's in real estate finance capabilities were bolstered by hiring Privat Vigand from Mayer Brown. Vigand has strong expertise advising leading French banks on high-profile office, retail and other investment deals. He recently advised Cacib, BNP Paribas and CFF on the financing of the refurbishment of an existing building and on the construction of the Morland real estate complex located in Paris.

Tax Tier 3

Dechert LLP stands out for ‘its ability to deal with highly complex technical issues thanks to its exceptional tax knowledge’. The ‘well-rounded expert’ team has ‘strong business acumen and combines great domestic knowledge with superb transnational expertise’. The ‘highly responsive and solutions-oriented’ seven-lawyer team has a strong private equity practice spanning LBO transactions, managers' carried-interest and the structuring of private investment fund work. Recent highlights include assisting Five Arrows Principal Investments with its investment in A2Mac1, as well as Astorg with the acquisition of a stake in Echosens SA. The team also has strong international tax, transfer pricing and wealth and estate planning tax expertise alongside strengths in tax restructuring, M&A-related tax matters and R&D tax issues. It advised Continental on the restructuring of its French activities and handled R&D tax credits matters for Baxter. Other areas of strength include tax audits, particularly transfer pricing tax audit matters. Other clients include 17 Capital, AG Real Estate and Blisce. The practice is jointly headed by Bruno Leroy, who has ‘great domestic and international knowledge’, ‘is very good at understanding his clients' expectations, and also very good at defending clients against the tax administration’, and Sabina Comis, who is ‘one of the few lawyers in Paris, who is able to handle heavy tax structuring and fund formation matters at the same time’ making her ‘a private equity industry leader’. Senior associate Damien Fenard is praised for his ability to ‘listen to clients' needs, his availability, and his great expertise and efficiency’.

Dechert’s team in France consists of approximately 90 highly regarded lawyers who collaborate with colleagues throughout Europe, the United States, Asia and the Middle East. We structure corporate and financial transactions, advise on a wide range of regulations, IP, antitrust and employment matters and resolve disputes through litigation or arbitration.

Dechert lawyers in France are widely recognized by market sources and leading legal directories. Our dynamic, results-focused team includes professionals with dual training in law and business. In addition to French law, many are qualified to practice U.S. or English law and are members of the bar in Paris, England and New York.

French and multinational companies rely on our ability to blend a robust knowledge of local law with wider international experience. We apply the insights and experience that come from working across many jurisdictions, cultures and business traditions.

Clients come back to Dechert when facing their most complex or intricate challenges, trusting that our in-depth market knowledge and tireless dedication will help achieve commercial objectives.

Department Name Email Telephone
Office Managing Partner Alain Decombe +33 1 57 57 82 82
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Ermine Bolot  photo Ms Ermine Bolot
Ms Sabina Comis  photo Ms Sabina Comis
Mr Alain Decombe  photo Mr Alain Decombe
Mr Philip Dunham  photo Mr Philip Dunham
Mr José Manuel García Represa  photo Mr José Manuel García Represa
Mr François Hellot  photo Mr François Hellot
Mr Xavier Nyssen  photo Mr Xavier Nyssen
Ms Anne-Charlotte Rivière  photo Ms Anne-Charlotte Rivière
Mr Jacques Sivignon  photo Mr Jacques Sivignon
Ms Mélanie Thill-Tayara  photo Ms Mélanie Thill-Tayara
Mr Philippe Thomas  photo Mr Philippe Thomas
Number of lawyers : Approximately 1000 worldwide
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