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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
France<br />


Our Paris office opened in 1962 and is recognised as one of the 'go to' law firms in France. We have more than 60 years of unrivalled experience in advising domestic and international clients, who 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 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 2021 and 2018, we were awarded 'France Law Firm of the Year' at the Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence. In 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 respectively, we were awarded 'France Law Firm of the Year' at the IFLR Europe Awards.

Our Paris Office is also proud to have contributed to the Firm's winning of the IFLR European Award 'International Law Firm of the Year' in 2022 and 'Europe-wide Law Firm of the Year' at the Chambers Europe Awards in 2021.

Our lawyers have also contributed to the following awards obtained by our teams at the IFLR Europe Awards 2022:

  • Project Finance Team of the Year
  • Loan Team of the Year
  • Financial Services Regulatory Team of the Year
  • Debt & Equity-linked Team of the Year

In 2022, Clifford Chance won the gold rating in the Stonewall Global Workplace Equality Index its first time entering the criterion. The index is a benchmarking tool for global LGBTQ+ workplace equality, designed to identify how global firms are progressing towards LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace. At the same time, our firm was listed as the top law firm in the 2023 Financial Times and Statista Diversity Leaders List. The prestigious list considers companies operating across Europe to measure the quality of their leadership in the areas of inclusion and diversity.

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. Our firm is full service and offers deep expertise in many legal practices and sectors.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the main matters on which we have been working on recently. For several of them, we have included details to explain their significance.

Recent highlights

  • IJ Global Awards 2023 - Offshore Wind Deal of the Year - Europe - for Project Eolmed Floating Wind Offshore
  • IJ Global Awards 2023 - Oil & Gas Deal of the Year - Europe - for Dunkerque LNG refinancing
  • IJ Global Awards 2023 - Fibre Deal of the Year - Europe - for Vauban's SDFAST - Project Obelix
  • PFI Awards 2022 - Middle East and Africa Central Asian Deal of the Year - for Zarafshan
  • IFLR Europe Awards 2022 - Project Finance Deal of the Year - Karapinar Solar Plant
  • IFLR Africa Awards 2022 - Project Finance Deal of the Year - Temane
  • ProximoInfra Awards 2022 - European Roads Deal of the Year - D4
  • ProximoInfra Awards 2022 - European Solar Deal of the Year - Karapinar
  • ProximoInfra Awards 2022 - European Offshore Wind Deal of the Year - Courseulles-sur-mer
  • IJ Global Awards 2021 - First ever PPP Infrastructure / Road Project in the Czech Republic - Europe Transport Deal of the Year - D4 (Czech Motorway)
  • IJ Global Awards 2021 - Africa Water Deal of the Year - Green Bond for DBSA
  • IJ Global Awards 2021 - Africa Power Deal of the Year - Central Termica de Temane power project (CTT)
  • IJ Global Awards 2021 - Europe Export Finance Deal of the Year - Kaylon Enerji’s Karapinar Solar Project
  • PFI Awards 2021 - PPP Deal of the Year - D4 (Czech Motorway)
  • PFI Awards 2021 - Africa Power Deal of the Year - Temane
  • PFI Awards 2021 - European OWS Deal of the Year - Courseulles-sur-mer
  • PFI Awards 2021 - European ESG Deal of the Year - Karapinar
  • IJGlobal ESG Awards 2021- Energy Deal of the Year - APAC & Africa - DBSA - issue of its first green bonds
  • Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2021 - Law Firm of the Year
  • PFI Awards 2020 - European Green Deal of the Year - Fécamp
  • PFI Awards 2020 - European Fibre Deal of the Year - Astérix
  • IFLR Europe Awards 2020 - Deal of the Year: Project Finance - IFC / City of Belgrade Waste Management PPP  
  • IJ Global Awards 2019 - European Innovation Deal of the Year - Allego
  • IJ Global Awards 2019 - European Waste Deal of the Year - Belgrade Energy from Waste
  • IJ Global Awards 2019 - African Transport Deal of the Year - New Owendo International Port PPP
  • PFI Awards 2019 - Offshore Wind Deal of the Year - Saint-Nazaire
  • IFLR Middle East Awards 2019 - Equity Deal of the Year - Arabian Centres Company
  • IJ Global Awards 2018 - European Water Deal of the Year - SAUR
  • IJ Global Awards 2018 - European Distribution Deal of the Year - Cube Infrastructure Management/Idex
  • IJ Global Awards 2018 - African Power Deal of the Year - Nachtigal
  • PFI Awards 2018 - Global Multilateral Deal of the Year - Nachtigal

Recent highlights include advising:

  • Mannai Corporation on the disposal of Inetum to a group of investors led by Bain Capital Private Equity which includes NB Renaissance. - Corporate/M&A
  • Plastic Omnium on its acquisition of the ACTIA Power division of ACTIA group. - Corporate/M&A
  • Hitachi on its agreement to acquire Thales' Ground Transportation Systems business. - Corporate/M&A
  • DuluxGroup, a subsidiary of Nippon Paints, on the acquisition of Cromology, one of the leaders in decorative painting in Europe, from Wendel. - Corporate/M&A
  • Caisse des dépôts et consignations, as reference shareholder of Euronext N.V., on the acquisition of Borsa Italiana Group by Euronext N.V. and the renegotiation of the arrangements between the reference shareholders of Euronext following the entry of CDP Equity and Intensa Sanpaolo. - Corporate/M&A
  • Crédit Agricole Assurances on the disposal of La Médicale to Generali. - Corporate/M&A and Financial Services Regulatory
  • Amundi, a global leader in asset management, on the acquisition of another French asset manager, Lyxor, including its subsidiaries and branches, to create the 'European leader' in the ETF market (one of the major FIG M&A deal for year 2021). - Corporate/M&A and Financial Services Regulatory
  • BNP Paribas Personal Finance (BNPPF) in the context of carmaker Stellantis' (PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) reorganisation of its leasing and financing operations in Europe through a joint venture with BNPPF, Santander Consumer Finance and Credit Agricole Consumer Finance (CACF). - Corporate/M&A and Financial Services Regulatory
  • SIG (joint investment vehicule of Caisse des dépôts et consignations and CNP Assurances) on the acquisition from Engie of an additional 11.5% stake in GRTgaz. - Corporate/M&A
  • TotalEnergies/Saft in the context of the entry of Mercedes-Benz in Automotive Cells Company (ACC), whose business is the design, manufacture and sale of battery cells and modules for electric vehicles. - Corporate/M&A
  • The Consortium composed of Meridiam, Global Infrastructure Partners and the CDC Group (Caisse des dépôts et consignations and CNP Assurances) on the acquisition of the new Suez. We also advised the lenders on the financing of the acquisition of the new Suez by the consortium of investors. - Private Equity and Finance
  • The consortium - formed by DIF Capital Partners and PGGM - on its entry into exclusive negotiations with EQT Infrastructure for the acquisition of 50% of its stake in Saur. - Private Equity and Finance
  • Cinven on an agreement with Germany-listed Life Sciences giant Bayer AG to acquire its Environmental Science Professional (BESP) business. - Private Equity
  • PAI Partners on the disposal of the Asmodee group to Embracer Group AB. The transaction constitutes the second largest LBO exit in France in 2021 and the largest exit to a corporate buyer since 2019, which results in the creation of Europe's largest gaming group. - Private Equity
  • Exclusive Networks S.A., a leading global specialist in innovative cybersecurity technologies, and its majority shareholder Permira, on Exclusive Networks' Initial Public Offering (IPO) and listing of shares on Euronext Paris, which included an offering to the public in France and to institutional investors (including in the US pursuant to Rule 144A). - Private Equity / Public M&A and Capital Markets
  • Cathay Capital in the context of the merger between Siaci Saint Honoré and the Burrus Group to create Europe's leading independent insurance broker with an international remit, valued at €2.5 billion. The transaction constitutes the largest LBO in the brokerage sector in France since 2019. - Private Equity and Financial Services Regulatory
  • Société du Grand Paris (SGP) regarding public procurement contracts for the design and the construction of the western and the eastern sections of the Line 15, part of the new Paris metro network project "Grand Paris Express". - Public Law
  • SNCF Gares & Connexions on the performance of the works concession, coupled with a public domain occupation agreement, for the refurbishment of the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris, which is the first railway station in Europe. - Public Law
  • The arrangers on a EUR400 million (EUR340 million TLB and EUR60 million RCF) senior facilities financing for CVC's EUR550 million acquisition of Panzani, the dry pasta, couscous, sauces and semolina business headquartered in France.
  • The Lenders on the financing of the acquisition of Equans from Engie by Bouygues Group (the biggest acquisition in Bouygues' history and one of the largest recent acquisitions in the French market). - Banking & Finance / acquisition finance
  • The sponsoring banks and the financing banks on the simplified tender offer for Tarkett. – Banking & Finance / Acquisition Finance
  • Ares Management Limited on the unitranche bonds financing of the acquisition of Quick Restaurant by H.I.G. Capital. - Banking & Finance / Acquisition Finance
  • MerdIiam and Vinci Concessions on the financing of the D4 Motorway PPP Project (first motorway public-private partnership (PPP) awarded in the Czech Republic) - European Roads Deal of the Year, ProximoInfra Awards 2022. - Banking & Finance / Infrastructure Finance
  • Eolien Maritime France (the joint venture between EDF Renouvelables and Maple Power (Enbridge & CPPIB) and the project company) on the financing of an offshore wind farm off the coast of Courseulles-sur-Mer, with an installed capacity of 448 MW (64 DD-7.0-154 7MW Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbine generators) - European Offshore Wind Deal of the Year, ProximoInfra Awards 2022. - Banking & Finance / Infrastructure Finance, Public Law, Corporate
  • Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Japan International Cooperation Agency, First Abu Dhabi Bank, International Finance Corporation and Natixis as finance parties for the 500 MW Zarafshan wind power project in Uzbekistan.
  • Biovéa Energie S.A. (and its shareholders EDF, Meridiam and Biokala) on the structuring and financing of the Biovéa Project located in the town of Aboisso, 100 km east of Abidjan, in Côte d'Ivoire.
  • The lenders (three Development Finance Institutions) on the financing of phase 1 of the capital investment program of the Project Company, consisting in the design, development, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, permitting, financing, construction, testing, commissioning, completion, ownership, operation, maintenance and transfer of a greenfield solar photovoltaic plant with a total capacity of approximately 34,116 MWp to be located in Chad.
  • Central Térmica de Temane, S.A. (the "Project Company") in connection with the Central Térmica de Temane Project to be developed and operated by the Project Company under the sponsorship of Globeleq Africa Limited, Electricidade de Moçambique, E.P. and Sasol Africa Proprietary Limited (Africa Power Deal of the Year - PFI Awards 2021). - Project Finance
  • The lenders (IFC and Proparco) on the financing of 4 solar PV plants in Natitingou (10MW), Djougou (10MW), Bohicon (15MW) and Parakou (15MW) in Benin developed by GreenYellow (the first IPP project developed in Benin). - Project Finance
  • A consortium of Turkish and international banks and UK Export Finance on financing in relation to the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a photovoltaic power plant in the Karapinar region of Turkey, near Konya (Project Finance Deal of the Year - IFLR Europe Awards 2022, European Solar Deal of the Year - Proximo Infra Awards 2022, Europe ESG Deal of the Year - PFI Awards 2021, Europe Export Finance Deal of the Year – IJGlobal Awards 2021). - Project Finance
  • The DFI lenders and the local lenders in connection with the financing of the construction, development and operation of a 420 MW hydro power project on the Sanaga river in Cameroon (Nachtigal) - IJ Global Awards 2018 – African Power Deal of the Year – and PFI Awards 2018 – Global Multilateral Deal of the Year. - Project Finance
  • The international banking syndicate on the c. EUR 9.4 billion initial public offering of Porsche AG (Europe's largest IPO by market cap). - ECM
  • Azelis, a leading global innovation service provider for the speciality chemicals and food ingredients industry, and its majority shareholder EQT, on Azelis's initial public offering and the listing of its shares on Euronext Brussels. The third largest IPO ever on Euronext Brussels. - ECM
  • The syndicate of banks on Euronext's rights issue and share capital increase raising proceeds of €1.8 billion as part of the financing of the acquisition of Borsa Italiana Group. - ECM
  • Primary Bid on the launch of its securities offering in France. - ECM
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) on the issuance of its first euro-denominated digital bond on a private blockchain. The landmark transaction is the EIB's second euro-denominated digitally native bond issuance and its first under Luxembourg law. The EUR 100 million, two-year bond was issued, recorded and settled using private blockchain-based technology, via Goldman Sachs' tokenisation platform – GS DAPTM. The transaction is also the first syndicated bond issued by a public institution to be admitted to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s Securities Official List. - DCM
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) on the issuance of its first GBP-denominated natively digital bond. - DCM
  • L'Oréal on its inaugural sustainability-linked public bond offering for an aggregate nominal amount of EUR 3 billion. - DCM
  • The global coordinators and joint lead managers on the issue of €650 million 1.25% sustainability-linked bonds due 6 April 2029 by Sanofi. -  DCM
  • Pernod Ricard on its EUR 1.1 billion aggregated Sustainability-Linked bond issuance.
  • Tikehau Capital, the global alternative asset management group, on its inaugural public sustainable bond issuance. This is the first ever public sustainable benchmark bond issued by an alternative asset manager in Euro and the coupon is the lowest obtained by Tikehau Capital since its inaugural bond issuance in 2017. - DCM
  • The joint lead managers on the issuance of Euro 700,000,000 2.23 per cent. Notes due 19 July 2032 by Région Ile de France under its Euro 7,000,000,000 Euro Medium Term Note Programme. Sustainable bond issuance by Région Ile de France. Innovative issuer having issued numerous green bonds, sustainable bonds and covid linked bonds under the above mentioned EMTN programme. The EMTN programme of Région Ile de France is now 100% ESG. Biggest issuer among French local authorities. - DCM
  • Advising the mezzanine investors in relation to the new EUR 1.8 billion securitisation transaction arranged for the financing of the fleet of Fraikin. This transaction is a landmark transaction, and one of the biggest and most complex in the market. - Structured Finance & Derivatives
  • Carrefour Banque in relation to its public 'STS' (simple, transparent and standardised) securitisation of revolving credit receivables associated with 'Pass' cards issued by Carrefour Banque. - Structured Finance & Derivatives
  • Covéa in relation to the bidding process and conclusion of USD 3.8 billion Contingent FX Hedging transactions in connection with its attempted acquisition of Partner Re (the largest insurance M&A deal in France in 2022). - Structured Finance & Derivatives
  • Bpifrance Investissement with respect to the creation of FCPR Bpifrance Entreprises 2, a fund dedicated to financing more than 1,500 French startups, SMEs and ETIs indirectly through investments in private equity funds managed by 76 mainly French management companies. - Funds Formation
  • Sofinnova Partners on its new Sofinnova Capital and Sofinnova Industrial Biotech generation funds, Sofinnova Capital X and Sofinnova Industrial Biotech II. - Funds Formation
  • Kurma Partner with respect to the creation and fundraising of Kurma Growth Opportunities Fund dedicated to healthcare and biotechnology. TEAM
  • Cathay Innovation on the structuring and fundraising of its new generation venture capital fund focusing on the tech sector, Cathay Innovation III.
  • Onbrane, a blockchain enabled primary debt platform on the French regulatory rules applicable to its business. Onbrane is one of the few French Fintech acting as a primary debt blockchain based platform. This matter is key in shaping the future regulatory landscape for the activities of such platforms in France. - Financial Services Regulatory / Fintech
  • Legrand, an electric and digital infrastructure solutions/products company, on the worldwide launching and implementation of its project involving notably the design and deployment of the legal strategy and with respect to e-commerce and applications complex issues (e.g. interaction between applicable (and sometimes conflicting) regulations, new legal issues triggered by the use of connected objects). - Commercial, Tech & Data
  • Sephora regarding a breakthrough cooperation that sees Sephora become Zalando's strategic partner for prestige beauty on Zalando's online platform for numerous countries in Europe. - Commercial, Tech & Data
  • The LFP (French Professional Football League) in a very sensitive dispute regarding the TV broadcasting rights of the Ligue 1 championship, following the default of the main broadcaster, Mediapro, in the wake of the difficulties faced by the football industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors in $68 billion civil litigation proceedings initiated before the Paris Civil Court by Turkish individuals against 52 defendants. - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Successfully assisting Airbus SE achieve a French style DPA ("Convention judicaire d'intérêt public" - CJIP) with the French, UK and US authorities. Clifford Chance continues to represent Airbus SE as part of its post-settlement cooperation with the enforcement authorities and on certain aspects of its monitorship. This matter represents the first ever joint investigation between the Parquet National Financier and the UK Serious Fraud Office. First ever joint lawyer-led investigation in France. It is a milestone matter for the Parquet National Financier and the French White-Collar Crime Market.
  • General Electric on the complex antitrust issues of the $30bn sale of its aircraft leasing business to AerCap. - Antitrust
  • Teva on all EU antitrust investigations concerning them, both with respect to allegations of abuse of dominance and anticompetitive agreements, which are currently pending before the Commission or the EU courts. - Antitrust
  • Representing POSCO E&C on a US$2 billion plus ICC arbitration, arising in connection with the development and construction of Songdo, a new "smart" city near Incheon, Seoul. The dispute is of particular importance as it is one of, if not "the", largest international commercial arbitrations emanating out of South Korea. - International Arbitration
  • Unilever Group in the implementation of a worldwide reorganisation of its activities relating to the Beauty and Personal Care Products. - Employment
  • Amazon in various court proceedings relating to collective labor relations, in particular relating to multiple strike actions triggered by trade unions across several sites in France, and to the professional elections of Economic and Social Committee members. - Employment
  • ING, as lender, in the difficulties and sale of GEFCO Group to CMA CGM. This case was a very emblematic one because of its context and extremely fast closing (the first reorganisation resulting from the international sanctions taken by Western Governments in the context of the Ukrainian war). - Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Representing and advising the largest group of lessors in the context of restructuring of the Lion Air representing approximately 80% of the Lion Air's fleet.
  • Atream, a member of consortium with Fidera and Alcentra, on the recapitalization process of the Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs Group. - Restructuring & Insolvency, Real Estate, and Corporate
  • CNP Assurances on the legal aspects of the acquisition of a portfolio of more than 7,600 housing units of high environmental quality from CDC Habitat, valued at €2.4 billion. This is the largest residential share deal of the year. - Real Estate
  • Atos, one of the leading French corporate, on an ambitious separation plan resulting in spinning the group off into two publicly listed companies, both leader in their representative markets. This transaction involves the reorganization of circa 110 companies located 71 jurisdictions and the entire refinancing of the group. - Tax

Directory and client comments

Clifford Chance's Paris office is renowned as one of the strongest international firms in the French market. It attracts a high-calibre client base through its market-leading position in various transactional and contentious areas and has notable appeal for handling cross-border matters. While offering a distinguished and comprehensive service, the practice is most highly rated in banking, capital markets, litigation and corporate compliance.

The law firm's thriving hub in Paris fulfils an important role in the firm's wider international strength. It is an important location for the firm's African expertise and it is particularly well equipped to lead pan-European cross-border matters, as well as in a global context. A broad range of clients refer to the firm's international capabilities in Paris and value both the team's role as French counsel on inbound work and its strength in managing outbound mandates.

A client notes:  "Clifford Chance's geographical footprint is also one of its competitive advantages. The quality of its network is second to none."

According to the testimony of another source:  "Clifford Chance is able to integrate all international dimensions in an extremely smooth way, either by mobilising the local teams of the firm or by putting it in the hands of the best local firms when Clifford does not have everything in house."

Chambers Global 2023 – France: International & Cross-Border Capabilities Department – Band 1



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Debt Capital Markets: Blockchain in France – where are we now?

In the first episode of our Debt Capital Markets mini-series from our Paris office, we look at the regulatory framework that has been put in place for blockchain transactions in France, as well as the main challenges to the development of a market for securities issued, recorded, settled and/or traded on blockchain platforms in France. Blockchain specialist Laetitia Grimaud-Agaesse (in-house capital markets lawyer at Natixis) was the guest for the episode which is presented by Alexander Tollast, Senior Associate.


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