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Clifford Chance

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We are the go-to firm in France. We have 50 years of unrivalled experience advising domestic and international clients.

A top-tier national firm with a global network

We opened our Paris office in 1962 and are recognised as one of France's leading law firms. We have 32 partners and over 200 lawyers. Our clients include leading French and international corporates, banks and financial institutions.

We are actively involved in the French legal community and have close working relationships with government and regulatory bodies. Many of our partners and counsel sit on working parties that advise on industry regulations and state legislation.

Our lawyers are used to working with colleagues from our international network to deliver practical advice on complex issues.

Our clients come to us because of our outstanding expertise across the whole spectrum of legal products, our client-friendly approach and our can-do attitude.

In 2013 we were awarded France Law Firm of the Year at the Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence.

Our approach is tailored to our clients' industry sectors

We believe that the most effective advice is grounded in industry knowledge and local market experience. We have established a number of global cross-practice groups that have detailed knowledge of our clients’ industries and businesses and provide focused, practical and comprehensive advice.

We are known for our innovative solutions and market firsts

We provide clients with top notch legal advice in areas where our competitors simply do not have the required expertise. We have been at the forefront of innovative solutions and market firsts. For example, we advised the coordinating committee of senior creditors of the Group HIME / SAUR negotiation and the first French 'lender led' implementation of the debt restructuring of the Saur Group in the framework of a mandate ad hoc and conciliation procedures. 

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

  • "This international titan's efforts across a spectrum of sectors have been noted, with the firm gaining particular prominence in the areas of banking and finance, projects and public law. The much-admired group serves a range of eminent clients, including several European states. The past year has seen it continue to advise the EFSF on sovereign bailouts."
    France Law Firm of The Year: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, 2013
  • "Practically perfect, one of the best firms I have ever worked with. The quality of the lawyers is world class. They bring their expertise and knowledge and apply it to our business. They consider both the commercial and legal aspects and explain things in ways we can understand. Finally they are great to work with; I feel comfortable talking to them about anything, and they make sure that negotiations stay friendly."
    European Law Firm of The Year: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, 2013
  • Financial Regulation Team of The Year:
    IFLR Europe Awards, 2013
  • "IFLR introduced this award to recognise outstanding regulatory advice and services offered to local and foreign financial institutions, and firms that take a lead role on policy input and reforms."
    Debt & Equity-linked Team of The Year: IFLR Europe Awards, 2013
  • Debt & Equity-linked Deal of The Year - Greek PSI:
    IFLR Europe Awards, 2013
  • Clifford Chance Paris is ranked a Tier One legal advisor by value and by volume for M&A French transactions by Mergermarket, 2012.

Recent assignments 

Examples of our work include advising: 

  • EFSF in relation to the Greek debt buy-back transaction and to the Greek PSI bond exchange transaction 
  • ESM Debt Insurance Programme and inaugural issue of €39 billion to finance bank recapitalisation in Spain; European Sovereign Bond Protection Facility, a new vehicle and programme set up to create a new form of financial instrument – sovereign bond protection certificates
  • the Belgian Government on a secured state aid clearance for the aid package granted to the Dexia group by Belgium, France and Luxembourg and the issuance of the definitive guarantee
  • the French Ministry of Economy and Finance in connection with the announced bail-out plan of the Crédit Immobilier de France (CIF)
  • Wendel on its first investment in Africa. Wendel invested in the IHS Group, active in the telecom tower infrastructures business in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun and Côte d'Ivoire
  • Bridgepoint in the sale of the Permaswage Group, an aerospace component supplier, to Precision Castparts Corp (PCC) for €600 million
  • Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in relation to the creation of the €1 billion NOVO Funds which will invest in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-cap enterprises
  • Royal Dutch Shell plc on the antitrust aspects of its acquisition of part of Repsol S.A.´s LNG portfolio outside of North America for a cash consideration of US$4.4 billion
  • PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN in respect of the restructuring of its corporate facilities (€1.216 billion Forward Start Facility and €4 billion Club Deal Facilities) – this was one of the most significant corporate facilities for Q1 2013
  • the consortium of EDF, SNAM SpA and GIC Special Investments Pte. Ltd on the financing of the acquisition from Total of Total Infrastructure Infrastructure Gaz de France (TIGF) and on the tax structuring of this financing
  • the lenders, AfDB, IFC and Proparco, in relation to the financing of the conversion of the Ciprel Power Plant into combined cycle in Côte d'Ivoire
  • International Finance Corporation and Société de Promotion et de Participation, who are both co-lenders in relation to lending to Azito Energie S.A., which owns Azito Power Plant in Côte d'Ivoire. This received the PFI African Power Deal of the Year: 2012
  • Apollo in the acquisition and financing of an 11-asset portfolio from Icade. This wasone of the most prominent logistics transactions of 2013
  • Natixis Asset Management and AEW Europe on the structuring of its first European Fund dedicated to the purchase of senior real estate loans
  • Prologis on the sale of a portfolio of 17 real estate assets to Blackstone for approximately €215 million
  • Risanamento in connection with the transfer of the 118 avenue of the Champs-Elysées building to Pramerica
  • Carrefour on the reorganisation of its partnerships with Majid Al Futtaim Holding (in the Middle East) and Sabanci Holding in Turkey
  • Crédit Agricole on the sale of the entire share capital of Emporiki, Bank of Greece SA, to Alpha Bank
  • Société Générale in relation to the acquisition of Credit Agricole's 50% stake in Newedge Group for €275m, bringing Société Générale's stake in Newedge Group to 100% and the sale by Société Générale of a 5% stake in Amundi to Crédit for €337.5 million bringing Crédit Agricole’s stake in Amundi to 80% and Société Générale’s stake in Amundi to 20%
  • EDF on its €2.5 billion and £1.25 billion hybrid bond issues
  • PAI on the financing of the acquisition of ADB Light House 
  • the lenders on the Phase I financing of the Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir motorway (including the Izmit Gulf crossing suspension bridge) in Turkey
  • the lenders on the structuring and the financing of a private Stadium in Lyon (for the football club Olympique Lyonnais)
  • the consortium led by Bouygues Travaux Publics in connection with the bidding, structuring and the financing of a ring road PPP project in Marseille, and transaction advisers on securitization aspects
  • the coordinating committee of senior creditors of the Group HIME / SAUR in the negotiation and the first French 'lender led' implementation of the debt restructuring of the Saur Group in the framework of a mandate ad hoc and conciliation procedures.

Directory listings and client comments

Directory listings

Chambers, Legal 500 and IFLR 2013

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, PFI / PPP, Project Finance, Projects / International Projects, Public Law, Real Estate

Areas of expertise

 Legal Areas