Global Head of Real Estate
François Bonteil specialises in all areas of real estate work including real estate M&A (acquisitions and disposals of property-owning companies and portfolios of real estate assets), real estate private equity (joint ventures / shareholders' agreements), real estate services (including commercial leasing, development and asset management) and real estate finance (acquisition / mortgage financings , corporate and funds financings).
Career and qualifications
Admitted as an avocat in Paris 1989
- Jones Day New York 1991
- Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in New York 1992
- Jones Day Paris 1994
- Partner since 2000
- Joined Clifford Chance as a Partner 2004
Awards and citations
- François Bonteil has extensive experience in acting for property managers and real estate funds on real estate acquisitions and disposals. Sources are full of praise, highlighting Bonteil for his longevity in the market as well as his negotiation skills.
Chambers Europe 2020, Real Estate - France
- "Clifford Chance stands out for handling large investment transactions, including pan-European portfolio deals, in the office, retail and logistics sectors. The 12-lawyer team advises several prominent French and international investors and recently gained a number of blue-chip names as clients In recent work, the group advised on office building and office tower investments and property financing. Highlights included assisting Partners Group with the acquisition of the CB16 office tower in La Défense, as well as Ivanhoe Cambridge as borrower with the financing of the construction of the Duo office towers in Paris. The team also advised RFR Holding on the acquisition of a property located on la Croisette in Cannes, and assisted tenants with leasing negotiations pertaining to office spaces. AEW Ciloger, Blackstone Real Estate and Gecina are also clients. Practice head François Bonteil is an expert in the field and Alexandre Couturier is another key name. Counsel Anne-Sophie Plé is also noted."
Legal 500 EMEA 2019, Real Estate - France
- François Bonteil is "a market leader in Paris, who is very knowledgeable, practical and experienced," according to clients. He has considerable expertise in real estate acquisition, sale and financing mandates. He is active in the office, hotel, retail and logistics sectors. He assisted AEW Ciloger with the EUR162 million acquisition of the Saint-Sébastien shopping centre in Nancy.
Chambers Europe 2019, Real Estate - France
Chambers Europe 2019, Real Estate: Finance - France
- "The very strong Clifford Chance is second to none for advising leading French, Anglophone and more recently Asian investors on high-end office, retail and logistics building and portfolio transactions and further stands out for its ability to coordinate large-scale pan-European transactions. The 12-lawyer team has an impressive track record and was recently involved in many high-profile transactions: it assisted AEW Europe with the share-deal acquisition of 102 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, as well as Icade with its tender offer for Eurazeo's majority stake in ANF Immobilier and resale of a Marseille-based property portfolio. LaSalle Investment Management, Prologis, PGGM, Union Investment Real Estate and AXA Investment Managers are other notable clients. François Bonteil is one of the market’s most sought after advisers, while Alexandre Couturier is following in his footpath."
Legal 500 EMEA 2018, Real Estate - France
- "François Bonteil remains a key player in the French real estate market. Sources praise his "really good business" acumen as well as noting his experience in cross-border matters. He advises on a wide range of real estate transactions, particularly acquisitions and disposals, financing and development operations."
Chambers Europe 2018, Real Estate - France
- "The ‘quick, efficient and practical’ Clifford Chance ‘outperforms others on a consistent basis’. The 12-lawyer team ‘functions as a business partner, bringing in all necessary expertise and making sure everything is taken care of’. The firm advises leading French and international investors on headline investments in the office, logistics and hotel sectors., including many portfolio acquisitions. Recent highlights include assisting Logistis investment fund with the €200m acquisition of the Corridor portfolio and advising Westbrook Partners on the sale of a trophy building located on Avenue des Champs Elysées. Practice head François Bonteil ranks among the best in his field. Alexandre Couturier and the counsels Anne-Sophie Plé and Karen Bortolotti are also recommended."
Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Real Estate - France
- François Bonteil has extensive experience advising on international matters thanks to his dual qualification in Paris and New York. He handles both general real estate and real estate finance matters. He represents clients in acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, financing and restructuring matters. He also advises investors on real estate fund formation.
Chambers Europe 2017, Real Estate - France
- François Bonteil is an outstanding real estate practitioner with experience in financing aspects as well. Recent work of his includes acting on OPCIMMO's acquisition of Amundi Immobilier from Blackstone, assisting the target company with the real estate aspects of the deal.
Chambers Europe 2016, Real Estate - France
- "Clifford Chance handles high-end investment and pan-European portfolio acquisitions and leasing work, having built an impressive client base of leading French and international players. It assisted AEW Europe with the €1.3bn financing and acquisition of the Celsius shopping centre portfolio and advised DTZ Investors on purchasing assets located in Paris’ Triangle d’Or. The practice is supported by strong complementary tax and finance expertise. It advised Qatar Holding and Harrods Estate with the negotiation of a retail lease of Virgin’s former Champs-Elysées premises. Practice head François Bonteil is highly regarded. The firm hired ‘the professional and business-oriented’ Alexandre Couturier from King & Spalding LLP to reinforce the practice. Counsels Anne-Sophie Plé and Karen Bortolotti are also key figures".
Legal 500 EMEA 2016, Real Estate - France
- Practice head François Bonteil is described by one source as "very business-oriented and experienced." He also receives praise from clients: "He's not just a legal expert who applies the rules; he finds an agreement while protecting our rights."
Chambers Europe 2014, Real Estate
- "Clifford Chance is ‘a top firm for large, complex transactions’ and other investments. The 11-lawyer practice advised Risanamento Europe on the sale of a major portfolio. The team is ‘extremely competent and reinsuring’; ‘no detail is forgotten or left to chance’. Practice head François Bonteil has ‘excellent operational knowledge and the ability to lead difficult negotiations’. Counsels Atusa Family and Anne-Sophie Plé are also recommended."
Legal 500 2014, Real Estate
- Market-leading lawyer François Bonteil "provides clients with solutions and lines not to cross".
Legal 500 2013, Real Estate
- "Long-experienced practice head François Bonteil advises on a wide range of real estate matters, including real estate finance. Recent mandates include acting for LaSalle Investment Management on the EUR100 million sale of the property company owning the office building L'Olympe in Saint-Denis to Tishman Speyer".
Chambers Global 2012, Real Estate
- "Commercially minded" lead partner François Bonteil is present on both pure real estate and real estate finance matters. He has been a prominent figure on the market for many years, and maintains a strong reputation.
Chambers Europe 2011, Band 1 Individual Ranking