Xavier Comaills specialises in the formation and fundraising of private equity investment funds and in particular concerning French and European funds' managers.
He has extensive experience in primary fundraising and is also leader on secondary transactions including sale of portfolio interests but also GP-led secondary transactions. Xavier also advises institutional limited partners with respect to their investments in private equity and real estate funds. Xavier is also an expert on carried interest structuring.
News and client work
Career and qualifications
- ESLSCA 1993
- Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (DEA in business law) 1997
- Admitted as an avocat in Paris 1998
- Participated in the creation of SJ Berwin 2001
- Joined Ashurst as a Partner 2008
- Joined Clifford Chance as a Partner 2013
Awards and citations
- Xavier Comaills is widely respected by market sources for his wealth of expertise advising on complex fund formation mandates. He is active across the healthcare, IT and infrastructure sectors.
Chambers Europe 2020, Private Equity - France
- "Clifford Chance focuses on French, Luxembourgish and pan-European funds, which the practice assists with the full spectrum of fund formation-related services as well as with secondary transactions, an especially active area for the group both on the buyer and the seller side. Practice head Xavier Comaills is the key name; his recent highlights include advising Archimed on the creation of a new small- and mid-cap buyout fund with a focus on European companies from the healthcare sector and assisting Mirova with the creation and fundraising of its second infrastructure fund. Advising on debt funds and seed and growth capital funds are other areas of expertise. Other clients include Cathay Capital, Bpifrance Investissement and Ardian."
Legal 500 EMEA 2019, Private Equity: Fund Formation - France
- Xavier Comaills primarily advises on the creation of both mid-cap and large-cap funds, as well as the structuring and fund-raising of secondary debt funds. He boasts particular expertise in the health and infrastructure sectors and retains his reputation as a market leader, with sources describing him as "very strong."
Chambers Europe 2019, Private Equity: Fund Formation - France
- "Clifford Chance’s broad practice includes the formation of funds under French and Luxembourgian law as well as the creation of pan-European investment funds. The team has experience in assisting with LBO funds, mezzanine funds and primary and secondary debt funds, but also covers venture capital funds and infrastructure funds. Xavier Comaills heads the group, which also includes real estate investment fund specialist Eric Davoudet. The team has a core focus on upper-mid and large-cap operations. Recent highlights include acting for Natixis Asset Management Subsidiary Mirova on the creation of and fundraising for its Mirova Core Infrastructure Fund II with a target value of €1bn and advising Sofinnova Partners on the creation of a new fund in industrial biotechnology. Other work includes assisting Montefiore Investment with the creation of a mid-market LBO fund focusing on European service companies, and advising Cathay Capital on the restructuring of an innovation fund. The team also acted for Cathay Capital on a rare €270m small-cap fund creation and fundraising matter. In the debt fund space, it advised Groupe Bruxelles Lambert on the structuring of and fundraising for a secondary debt fund with a target value of €850m and assisted Tikehau Investment Management with the formation of and fundraising for pan-European private debt fund Tikehau Direct Lending III. Other clients include Kartesia Advisors and Parquest Capital."
Legal 500 EMEA 2018, Private Equity: Fund Formation - France
- "Xavier Comaills remains a market leader in fund formation. He is recognised for his "strong experience in this field, especially for multi-country funds." He has an impressive track record advising French and international clients on fund-raising and on private equity fund formation."
Chambers Europe 2018, Private Equity - France
- "Clifford Chance has strong experience of advising leading investment funds on the structuring and fundraising of a wide range of funds, including private equity and private debt funds. The practice assisted Montefiore with the creation of a fourth LBO fund and acted for Bpifrance Investissement on the creation of a fund to invest in French funds which focus on distressed investments. Xavier Comaills is a market-leading figure. Counsel Tiana Rambatomanga is a rising star and tax experts Alexandre Lagarrigue and Eric Davoudet are other names to note."
Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Fund Formation - France
- Xavier Comaills focuses on fund formation and fund-raising matters and remains a leading figure in this area. He represents LBO funds, mezzanine and debt funds, as well as venture capital funds.
Chambers Europe 2017, Private Equity - France
- Xavier Comaills is a leading figure in the fund formation market, with clients saying: "He is commercial and knows a lot." His recent work includes assisting Kartesia Credit Opportunities with the fundraising of a credit fund investing in LBO loans.
Chambers Europe 2016, Private Equity - France
- Xavier Comaills of Clifford Chance Europe LLP is renowned for his experience in the field of fund formation. He has notable expertise concerning the creation of LBO, real estate, infrastructure, venture capital and mezzanine funds. In the words of one client: "He's very involved personally and spends a lot of time on the transaction. He's smart and highly specialised in this field."
Chambers Europe 2014, Private Equity: Fund Formation
- "In 2013, Clifford Chance hired Xavier Comaills’ highly rated five-lawyer team from Ashurst LLP. The new practice advises on private equity funds and has specialist expertise in debt funds. Highlights included assisting CDC with the creation of the first funds aimed at financing SMEs. Tax partners Alexandre Lagarrigue and Eric Davoudet are also key names in the practice."
Legal 500 2014, Fund Formation