Gilles Lebreton specialises in LBOs, public-to-privates, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, corporate law and securities law.
Gilles regularly advises on matters related to acquisition finance, debt rescheduling and private equity. He also specialises in the industrials sector and particularly in aerospace & defence.
News and client work
Career and qualifications
- University Paris II (DESS Business and Tax Law) 1991
- Joined Clifford Chance 1993
- Partner since 2004
Awards and citations
- Gilles Lebreton handles both domestic and cross-border acquisitions, acting for a client base of insurance companies, corporates, infrastructure and private equity funds. Ranked Band 4
Chambers Europe 2022, Private Equity: High-end Capability - France
- Gilles Lebreton is ranked as "Highly regarded".
IFLR EMEA 2021, Financial restructuring, Investment funds, M&A, Private equity - France
- Gilles Lebreton handles both domestic and cross-border acquisitions, acting for a client base of insurance companies, corporates, infrastructure and private equity funds.
Chambers Europe 2021, Private Equity: High-end Capability - France
- Gilles Lebreton represents private equity funds, pension funds and asset managers in acquisitions. He handles both domestic and cross-border transactions.
Chambers Europe 2020, Private Equity - France
- "Active in the large- and mid-cap segments of the market, Clifford Chance acts for private equity houses, banks and specialised infrastructure funds. With considerable sector expertise and strong cross-border capabilities, the team, which is led by practice heads Fabrice Cohen and Marianne Pezant, has handled several recent high-profile instructions. Highlights included advising PAI Partners on the acquisition of Asmodee group from Eurazeo, valued at €1.2bn, and assisting Permira with the acquisition of Exclusive Networks from Cobepa, Edmond de Rothschild, Sogecap and the management. Laurent Schoenstein led the advice to Cube Infrastructure Managers on the disposal of Idex Group and Taranis. Gilles Lebreton is also noted. Clients also include Apax Partners, Cinven and BlackRock."
Legal 500 EMEA 2019, Private Equity: LBO - France
- 'The team of 'great professionals' at Clifford Chance 'combines deep experience, the ability to deliver fast under pressure, a pragmatic approach and the ability to find creative solutions'. Recent highlights include multiple cross-border cases, among them advising Engie on the $2.04bn sale of its liquefied natural gas business to Total, a matter led by the 'client-oriented and business-minded' Mathieu Rémy. Fabrice Cohen, who is 'very pragmatic, with a risk-oriented mindset', advised Europcar on its €1bn acquisition of Goldcar from Investindustrial. Domestically, Marianne Pezant assisted Carrefour with the creation of a common vehicle with Fnac Darty, creating a purchasing partnership for domestic appliances and consumer electronics in France. Other noteworthy practitioners include Gilles Lebreton, Laurent Schoenstein and counsel Olivier Jouffroy, 'a very good professional who is able to manage pressure very well'. Julien Brun made counsel. Benjamin de Blegiers joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in 2019. Vacalians, Airbus, Axel Springer and Plastic Omnium all count among the team's clients."
Legal 500 EMEA 2019, Mergers and Acquisitions - France
- Gilles Lebreton draws on his corporate expertise to assist multinational private equity investors with high-value LBO transactions and acquisitions, with a particular focus on the infrastructure arena.
Chambers Europe 2019, Private Equity: High-end Capability - France
- "Clifford Chance acts for private equity funds, banks and infrastructure funds on mid-cap to large-cap transactions, with expertise in numerous sectors including healthcare, telecoms, infrastructure and financial services. The team is a key name for complex cross-border transactions, but also handles domestic matters. Fabrice Cohen, Marianne Pezant, Gilles Lebreton and Laurent Schoenstein are the key names. In one example of the department’s cross-border strength and experience in auction processes, the team advised KKR Infrastructure on its agreement to purchase Q-Park NV from a group of institutional investors in a cross-office matter involving the firm’s Amsterdam, London and Luxembourg offices. Other highlights include advising Temasek Holdings on its minority stake investment in Axéréal Malt Holdings, in a matter that involved high-stakes joint venture negotiations to secure the liquidity and sustainability of the investment, and assisting private equity investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice with its purchase of France’s largest furniture retailer But, an acquisition in consortium with WM Holding, an investment vehicle of an Austrian furniture retailer. Other major instructions came from Carlyle and Triton. Blackstone, Apax Partners and Ardian Private Debt are other clients."
Legal 500 EMEA 2018, Private Equity: LBO - France
- "Clifford Chance’s team provides ‘excellent advice that is adapted to each individual situation’, and stands out for its partners’ ‘strong involvement in the cases’ and ‘ability to deliver important work in a short time’. The group handles domestic and cross-border transactions, with expertise spanning public and private M&A as well as joint ventures and corporate reorganisations. Fabrice Cohen, the ‘very experienced’ Mathieu Remy, who ‘combines technical expertise and editorial excellence with strong interpersonal skills, which is a major advantage in difficult negotiations’, the ‘intelligent and subtle’ Marianne Pezant, Gilles Lebreton, Thierry Schoen and Laurent Schoenstein are key names and are supported by recently promoted counsel Alexandre Merle. The group advised Europcar on the €1bn acquisition of Goldcar and acted for the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and CDC Infrastructure on the sale of a 15% stake in Holding d’Infrastructures de Transports. The team also assisted Cerberus Capital Management with the disposal of MCS Group to BC Partners. Other clients include Airbus Group, EDF and L’Oréal."
Legal 500 EMEA 2018, Mergers and Acquisitions - France
- "Gilles Lebreton is singled out by clients as being a "very calm and efficient lawyer, who understands the issues very well and who facilitates the transactions." He acts for clients on domestic and cross-border private equity transactions."
Chambers Europe 2018, Private Equity - France
- "Clifford Chance advises leading private equity houses, such as Apax Partners, Carlyle and KKR on large LBOs. Highlights included assisting PAI Partners with the €800m acquisition of B&B Hotels, advising CD&R on the buyout of BUT and assisting Cinven with the sale of Prezioso. Fabrice Cohen, Gilles Lebreton and Laurent Schoenstein are the key names in the practice. Marianne Pezant is now a partner."
Legal 500 EMEA 2017, LBO - France
- "Clifford Chance advises many leading French and multinational corporations. The practice fields over 40 lawyers and is regularly involved in large transactions, especially in the energy, financial services and defence sectors. It recently assisted EDF Energies Nouvelles with the acquisition of Dong’s 30% stake in Eolien Maritimes France and the subsequent sale of 50% of the acquired share capital to Enbridge. It also advised Mondelēz on the sale of its French confectionery business. Airbus, Carrefour and L’Oréal are also clients. Fabrice Cohen, the ‘serious and technical’ Gilles Lebreton, Mathieu Remy, Thierry Schoen and Laurent Schoenstein are the key names in the practice. Marianne Pezant was promoted partner."
Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Mergers and Acquisitions - France
- "Clifford Chance is ‘top of the range for equity capital markets work across Europe’, particularly for banks. The team has ‘a commercial approach’ and is ‘able to deal with complex transactions’ across French, UK and US law, often representing banks. Recent work includes advising Société Générale on Amundi’s IPO and a Rule 144A private placement in the US, as well as assisting Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley with Solvay’s €1.5bn rights issuance with a Rule 144A placement in the US. The ‘outstanding’ US-qualified attorney Alex Bafi is ‘extremely experienced across geographies and a variety of transactions, and able to handle delicate issues in a deal through a very professional approach’. Aline Cardin and Gilles Lebreton are also highly regarded"
Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Capital Markets: Equity - France
- Gilles Lebreton specialises in high-end private equity transactions. He has extensive experience in working on LBO and M&A matters. He represents private equity funds and international corporations active in various industry sectors such as retail and consumer goods.
Chambers Europe 2017, Private Equity - France
- Gilles Lebreton advises on M&A transactions and leveraged buyouts in the private equity sphere. One deal of late for him involved advising Ergon Capital and Sagard on the auction sale of the Corialis Group.
Chambers Europe 2016, Private Equity - France
- "Clifford Chance’s ‘high-level lawyers’ are ‘very expert, responsive and easy to work with’; the 40-lawyer team provides an ‘outstanding service’. It is especially recommended for handling ‘complex M&A transactions in France and abroad’ and has particular expertise in the defence, healthcare, banking and energy areas. Recent work includes handling many strategic public and private M&A transactions, such as advising Airbus on its joint venture with Safran and assisting Jacobs Douwe Egberts with the sale of Carte Noire. Clients include Société Générale, Rexel and Numericable. Mathieu Remy ‘combines perfect technical legal skills and business acumen with added value advice on complex situations’. Fabrice Cohen, Gilles Lebreton, Thierry Schoen and Laurent Schoenstein are also particularly recommended, and Catherine Astor-Veyres, Aline Cardin, Dessislava Savova and Yves Wehrli are other key figures".
Legal 500 EMEA 2016, Mergers & Acquisitions - France
- "Clifford Chance advises various leading investment funds on large transactions and notably assisted Cinven with its agreement to acquire Labco, as well as advising Sagard and Ergon Capital on the sale of Corialis. Butler Capital, Permira, Perceva and Wendel are also clients. Fabrice Cohen, Gilles Lebreton, Thierry Schoen and Laurent Schoenstein are the key figures".
Legal 500 EMEA 2016, Private Equity: LBO - France
- "Gilles Lebreton is noted for his experience in M&A, restructuring and LBOs. He recently advised Wendel on its USD175 million investment in the IHS Group."
Chambers Europe 2014, Corporate/M&A: High-end Capability
- "Gilles Lebreton of Clifford Chance Europe LLP advises on a range of private equity transactional matters, including LBOs and public-to-private transactions. Recent highlights include advising Permira on its USD1.5 billion acquisition of Genesys from Alcatel Lucent."
Chambers Europe 2014, Private Equity: High-end Capability
- Clifford Chance was recently involved in high-profile distressed M&A transactions, notably in the banking sector where it assisted the French government with Crédit Immobilier de France’s bail-out. The firm also represented major French groups such as Carrefour in strategic deals in emerging countries. Mathieu Remy, who ‘can be trusted blindly’, has an outstanding transactional record. Other key names in the 36-lawyer team include Thierry Schoen, Yves Wehrli, Gilles Lebreton, Laurent Schoenstein, Catherine Astor-Veyres, Aline Cardin and Dessislava Savova, who advises on commercial and contractual aspects of M&A transactions.
Legal 500 2014, Mergers and Acquisitions
- Gilles Lebreton continues to go from strength to strength. One observer notes: "Despite being a young partner, he is already one of the pillars of the practice".
Chambers Europe 2013, Corporate / M&A
- "Gilles Lebreton, who has substantial experience in large and sophisticated transactions".
Legal 500 2013, Private Equity
- Gilles continues to go from strength to strength. One observer notes: "Despite being a young partner, he is already one of the pillars of the practice”.
Chambers Global 2013, Corporate/M&A - France
- Fellow public M&A partner Gilles enters the rankings following admiring market feedback. Clients praise his dedication and observe that "he is both a great technician and good at managing transactions intelligently".
Chambers Global 2012, Corporate/M&A
- "Sources hold Gilles Lebreton of Clifford Chance Europe LLP in high regard, noting his intelligent approach to problem solving. He recently advised the buying consortium on the large-cap LBO of SPIE".
Chambers Global 2012, Private Equity