Laurent Schoenstein specialises in mergers and acquisitions, private equity operations and cross-border transactions (including joint ventures and corporate reorganisations), with a particular focus on the energy sector and industrial operations.
News and client work
Career and qualifications
- Admitted as an avocat in Paris, 1998
- Joined Clifford Chance Paris, 1998
- Counsel since 2004
- Partner since 2008
Awards and citations
- "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, France, Private Equity: LBO, 2019
- "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. Vacalians, Airbus, Axel Springer and Plastic Omnium all count among the team's clients."
Legal 500 EMEA, France, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2019
- "Yves Wehrli heads the Paris office of Clifford Chance and its sports team, which handles matters pertaining to sponsorship deals, TV tenders, construction and financing issues, corporate deals, and dispute resolution. In recent highlights, the practice advised the French Football League on the invitation to tender regarding the sale of its TV rights for Ligue 1 to Spanish broadcaster Mediapro; the transaction exceeded the symbolic billion euro threshold for the first time in France. In addition to advising on the organisation of the 2018 Gay Games, including providing key commercial contracts and strategic advice, the firm is assisting Racing Club de Lens with an investigation by a local financial court regarding the rent paid by the club to the city owning the stadium for its use. Laurent Schoenstein is also a key name to note and banking expert Benjamin De Blegiers assisted with the financing of a new stadium and the acquisition of new players."
Legal 500 EMEA, France, Media and Entertainment: Sports, 2019
- "Market access, pricing policies, competition, public procurements, intellectual property, compliance and corporate matters all fall within the expertise of Clifford Chance's cross-disciplinary offering. Reinforced by the arrival of antitrust expert David Tayar from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, the team recently advised on the breakup of a joint venture between two leading global pharmaceutical players for the distribution of over-the-counter products; Tayar is also representing Teva in an investigation by the European Commission regarding a patent settlement with Cephalon. Thomas Baudesson and senior associate Gaëlle Merlier teamed up to defend a major pharmaceutical company against a series of product liability claims, including criminal charges. On the corporate front, Laurent Schoenstein assisted Synlab Labco with its acquisition of Seldaix, while regulatory expert Olivier Gaillard continues to advise on new anti-gift and transparency regulations. Other key clients include Pfizer, GSK and Novo Nordisk."
Legal 500 EMEA, France, Industry Focus: Healthcare and Life Sciences, 2019
- "Combining first-class public law, project, finance and M&A expertise, Clifford Chance has impressive capabilities that are difficult to match. In France, the firm is advising sponsors on the country's largest offshore wind projects, and also advised on major gas, heat and renewables infrastructure M&A transactions. It assisted Cube Infrastructures with the disposals of district heating supplier Idex and Taranis. The practice is equally strong in the oil and gas and power sectors at international level, often acting for lenders and also for sponsors. It is advising on large-scale LNG, gas power, geothermal and hydro projects, primarily in Africa but also in other jurisdictions including Georgia and Indonesia. Highlights included assisting Sace with the financing of the Coral Floating LNG project in Mozambique, as well as Cacib with the financing of the Muara Tawar gas-fired power plant in Indonesia, and the government of Ethiopia with a 500MW geothermal project. The group also advises on highly strategic new pipeline projects. Key names include David Préat, Laurent Schoenstein, Benjamin De Blegiers, Anthony Giustini, Nikolaï Eatwell, Delphine Siino Courtin, Richard Tomlinson and Daniel Zerbib."
Legal 500 EMEA, France, Industry Focus: Energy, 2019
- "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, France, Private Equity: LBO, 2018
- "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, France, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2018
- "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, France, LBO, 2017
- "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, France, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2017
- "Clifford Chance’s impressive energy projects practice often advises lenders and is involved in numerous large hydropower, conventional and renewable energy project financings in Africa, as well as high-profile renewable energy projects in France. The practice is assisting the lenders with the financing of the 450MW Azura gas turbine power project in Nigeria and has been advising Eolien Maritime France on three major offshore wind farm projects. The firm also handles oil and gas and mining work, as well as some energy M&A. Key figures in the practice include co-head of the firm’s Africa practice Anthony Giustini, co-head of the North Africa practice Delphine Siino Courtin, Nikolaï Eatwell and David Préat, who is a reference in public law. Laurent Schoenstein is also involved in some M&A-related work; Richard Tomlinson was promoted to partner".
Legal 500 EMEA, France, Industry Focus: energy, 2016
- "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, France, Mergers & Acquisitions, 2016
- "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, France, Private Equity: LBO, 2016
- "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, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2014
- "The India desk advises Indian and foreign companies and lenders on Indian securities, banking, projects, M&A and dispute resolution matters, with Oliver Bretz and Laurent Schoenstein as the key contacts in Paris. A notable mandate for the group was advising Standard Chartered Bank on the financing of the Jammu Udhamper highway".
Chambers Global, Corporate / M&A, France, 2013