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Clifford Chance

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We are the 'go to' law firm in France. We have 50 years of unrivalled experience of advising domestic and international clients.

A top tier national firm with a global network

We opened our Paris office in 1962 and are recognised as one of France's leading law firms. We have 37 partners and over 180 lawyers. Our clients 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 2017, we were awarded 'France Law Firm of the Year' at the IFRL Europe Awards 2017. In 2016, we were awarded 'France Law Firm of the Year' at the Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence and at the IFRL Europe Awards 2016.

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. We advised the coordinating committee of senior creditors of the Group HIME / SAUR in the negotiation and the first French "lender led" implementation of the debt restructuring of the Saur Group in the framework of a mandate ad hoc and conciliation procedures. 

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

  • France Law Firm of the Year: IFLR Europe Awards, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
  • France Law Firm of the Year: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, 2016, 2015, 2013

Recent assignments

Examples of work include:

  • Corporate / M&A – Airbus Group on the creation with Safran of their new joint venture named Airbus Safran Launchers
  • Infrastructure Finance – Advising Atlandes in connection with the refinancing of its outstanding indebtedness raised on 18 January 2011 relating to the A63 Autoroute des Landes motorway concession
  • Infrastructure Finance – Advising Alis in relation to the refinancing of its current debt financing incurred to finance the A28 Motorway concession
  • Acquisition Finance – The lenders on the financing for the acquisition by Ardian and Predica of Vinci Park SA for an enterprise value of EUR€1.96 billion
  • Acqusition Finance  Advising lenders on the financing of the acquisition of Verallia (one of the leading manufacturers of glass bottles and jars in the world, St Gobain) by Apollo Management International. This includes two tranches of high yield notes, one large term loan facility and a revolving facility
  • Capital Markets – Advising Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley on the financing of Solvay's EUR€5 billion acquisition of US chemicals company Cytec, which manufactures advanced composite materials, including for Airbus, Boeing, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in the United States. Solvay is a major Belgian chemicals group, and it is financing the acquisition through a range of sophisticated capital markets products totalling USD$6.8 billion
  • International Projects – Advising commercial banks, multilateral financial institutions, European development institutions as common senior lender counsel on the financing for the construction of the project. Azura-Edo IPP is a 450MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power station in Edo State, Nigeria
  • International Projects – OPIC and IFC on all aspects of the financing of the renovation of a 52.9MW combined cycle power plant running on heavy fuel with the option of conversion to natural gas located at the site of Cap des Biches in Rufisque (23km east of Dakar) in Senegal (the "Existing Project"). The Existing Project transaction closed in December 2015. We are now advising OPIC and IFC for the financing of an expansion of 33MW to the Existing Project (the "Expansion" and together with the Existing Project the "Project"). Sponsor is ContourGlobal LP
    Infrastructure Refinancing Law firm of the Year – Magazine des Affaires 2015
    Acquisition Financing LBO Law Firm of the Year – Magazine des Affaires 2015
  • Restructuring – Advising Margarita Louis Dreyfus in connection with the sale of Olympique de Marseille
  • Restructuring – The senior creditors’ coordination committee on the restructuring of the group HIME / SAUR
  • Banking & Finance – The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) in relation to the eurozone crisis management
  • Banking & Finance – Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), acting on behalf of 18 insurance companies and the French Pension Reserve Fund (FRR), on the creation of the first 2 funds for the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (PME) and mid-cap enterprises (ETI) – the "NOVO" funds
  • Private Equity – Cinven on the acquisition of Labco, one of the largest European operators of medical diagnostic laboratories, from a consortium of investors
    Private Equity Deal of the Year – Cinven's parallel acquisitions, merger and financings of Labco (EUR€1.3 billion) in France and Synlab (EUR€1.7 billion) in Germany
  • Private Equity – PAI Partners / B&B hotels: PAI Partners on the acquisition of the entire share capital of the B&B hotels group held by Carlyle, Montefiore and the management team
    IFLR Europe Awards 2016 – Private Equity Team of the Year
  • Funds Idinvest Partners: Advising on the structuring and fundraising of a French investment fund with a Sovereign Wealth Fund regarding private equity investments in France
  • Real Estate – AEW Europe on the acquisition and the financing, from the CBRE Retail Property Fund, of the "Celsius" portfolio which comprises 10 shopping centres across France and Belgium

Directory listings and client comments

  • "The Paris arm of international powerhouse Clifford Chance continues to be praised for its leading position in the French market. The exceptional team boasts an extensive client portfolio of key players within the financial sector who benefit from the firm's vast global network and full service offering. The Paris office provides clients with expertise in a number of practice areas and industry sectors, as diverse as acquisition finance, international projects, public law and sport. A standout recent mandate for the department in the private equity sphere has been assisting Cinven with its EUR1.3 billion acquisition of Labco from a consortium of investors."
    France Law Firm of the Year: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, 2016

Areas of expertise

 Legal Areas