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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

France

Our Paris office opened in 1962 and is recognised as one of the 'go to' law firm in France. We have more than 50 years of unrivalled experience of advising domestic and international clients. 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 IFLR Europe Awards. In 2016, we were awarded 'France Law Firm of the Year' at the Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence and at the IFLR Europe Awards. Our Paris Office is proud to have contributed to the Firm's winning of the IFLR European Award 'International Law Firm of the Year' in 2020 and 2019 and to be, like our other European offices, part of the following IFLR 2020 European Awards:  M&A Team of the Year, Equity Team of the Year, Structured Finance & Securitisation Team of the Year, Debt and Equity-linked Team of the Year.

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 have recently advised Société du Grand Paris on various Green Bonds issuances under EMTN programme. This programme is the first fully green EMTN programme on the European market. We have also advised Bpifrance Financement on the issue of EUR 1.5 billion 'Covid-19' response bond. This was the first French Covid-19 related bond issuance launched in the market with a dedicated social bond framework. The proceeds of the bonds were used to mitigate the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on French companies.

In the past years, we advised Natixis in connection with the first Equity Bridge Facility qualifying as Green Loan under the LMA Green Loan Framework for ICAWOOD, a fund launched in 2019 by ICAMAP and Ivanhoé Cambridge to develop new-generation low-carbon offices in the Greater Paris region. This deal was the first Green Loan type of financing of the kind; first Fund Equity Bridge Facility complying with the LMA Green Loan Framework.

Recent highlights

  • 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 recognition for our firm:

  • France M&A Legal Adviser of the Year: Mergermarket Europe M&A Awards 2018

Examples of work include advising:

  • Dongfeng Motor Group, a reference shareholder of Peugeot S.A., on the merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA. Corporate / M&A
  • Crédit Agricole on the partnership between CACEIS and Santander Securities Services in investor services. Corporate / M&A / Regulatory
  • Carrefour on the takeover of the Bio c' Bon group. Corporate / Restructuring
  • PAI Partners on disposal of the B&B Hotels group to Goldman Sachs. Private Equity
  • Mitsui & Co on its investment in Ceva Santé Animale SA, a global animal health company based in Libourne, France. Private Equity
  • Dedalus Holding S.p.A, a company 60% majority-owned by Ardian and operating internationally in the clinical healthcare software sector, on the submission of a firm offer and launch of an exclusive agreement to acquire part of the healthcare software business of Agfa-Gevaert, a multinational company that develops, manufactures and distributes analogue and digital imaging systems and IT solutions. Private Equity
  • Bpifrance Investment on the fundraising and first closing (€4 billion) of LAC I, its new investment fund dedicated to listed French companies. Private Equity: Funds Formation
  • The Coca-Cola Company on its strategic, board-level GDPR compliance project spanning across the European Economic Area and several countries outside Europe. Commercial, Tech & Data
  • BlackRock on its acquisition of the CREED trademarks portfolio. Intellectual Property
  • Meridiam on its acquisition of Allego from the Dutch Grid operator Alliander. Infrastructure Finance / Private Equity
  • Vauban Infrastructure Partners on the structuring and the financing of (i) the acquisition of the rights of use acquired by Bouygues Telecom from Orange as part of the co-financing of the optical fibre lines in less densely populated areas already rolled-out and (ii) the acquisition of rights of use on new FTTH lines to be rolled-out by Orange through a co-financing arrangement. Infrastructure Finance / M&A / Public Law
  • AKIEM Group on a EUR 1 200M financing package to refinance its current debt and support its future growth. Infrastructure Finance
  • Eolien Maritime France in connection with the development, financing, construction and operation of three of the first major offshore wind farm projects in France, located off the Atlantic coast in Fécamp (498MW), Courseulles-sur-Mer (450MW) and Saint-Nazaire (480MW) in France. Public Law / Infrastructure Finance & Corporate
  • AfDB and EAIF on the financing of multi-purpose port terminal at Owendo, Gabon. Project Finance
  • EBRD, IFC and OeEB in connection with the solid waste to energy PPP project in Belgrade (Serbia). Project Finance
  • Société du Grand Paris in the restructuring into design-build contracts of the contracts awarded for the construction of lines 15 East and 15 West of the Grand Paris Express public transport network, for their award procedure and the monitoring of their execution. This is currently the France’s largest construction site. Public Law
  • Corporate groups and banking clients/lenders on the setting up of corporate loan financings guaranteed by the French State during COVID 19 lockdown period. Banking & Finance
  • Dassault Systèmes on the financing of the acquisition of Medidata. Acquisition Finance
  • BNP Paribas and Société Générale on the financing of the acquisition of Courir, a member of the Go Sport Group, by Equistone. Acquisition Finance
  • RCI Banque on the issuance of a Tier 2 ("T2") capital instruments in the form of a bond issuance under the new rules set out in CRR2 and on the eligibility of such instruments to the TLAC and to the MREL under BRRD 2 and SRMR 2. Financial Services Regulatory
  • Coinbase on the treatment of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies exchange platforms under local regulation providing advice on the legal characterization on transactions on cryptocurrencies and the legal regime in anticipation of regulatory changes in France. Financial Services Regulatory / Fintech
  • French banks and International and French corporate clients on COVID Financing. Debt Capital Markets
  • International and French corporate and banking clients in numerous green bonds financing, which are more and more developed in France and where our Paris office is one of the leaders in setting up of these type of financings. Debt Capital Markets
  • Regular advise to different supra-national financial institutions in different products of Capital Markets.
  • The syndicate of international, local and regional bookrunners and financial advisors on the success of the initial public offering of Arabian Centres Company, the largest shopping mall developer, operator and owner in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Equity Capital Markets
  • CIC as sponsor in relation to the structuring, setting up and documentation of its new ABCP conduit, including a French commercial paper program and an English law European commercial paper program. Structured Finance
  • Crédit Agricole CIB as Agent/Arranger and Ester Finance Titrisation as Purchaser in the setting up of a new off-balance sheet insured trade receivables assignment programme for a UK car manufacturer. Structured Finance
  • EIB on their purchase of notes under the PKO Leasing securitiation and EIF on their guarantee of a tranche of notes on the PKO Leasing securitization. Structured Finance
  • XPO and Ingram Micro on pan-European trade receivables programme. Structured Finance)
  • AEW, acting on behalf of a French institutional investor, on the sale to BauMont Real Estate Capital, acting on behalf of the sovereign fund GIC, of the PB6 Tower located in La Défense. Real Estate
  • Ligue de Football Professionnel in the context of the commercial litigation initiated by Groupe Canal + (TV broadcaster) in relation to the financial consequences of the rescheduling of football games further to the "yellow vests" movement. Commercial Litigation / Corporate
  • Successfully assisted Airbus S.E. in concluding a global joint resolution with the French Parquet National Financier, the UK Serious Fraud Office and the US Department of Justice. Corporate Compliance & Investigations
  • Starbucks in the procedure before the Commission and General Court regarding the Commission's decision that a tax ruling granted by The Netherlands conferred illegal state aid on Starbucks. EU Competition 
  • Oracle in relation to a complaint of abuse of dominance against Google in the online advertising sector, lodged before the French Competition Authority. Antitrust

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. […]
    It [Paris] 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 the team's role both as French counsel on inbound work and its strength in managing outbound mandates.
    Clients praise the firm’s ability to execute successful cross-border deals, observing that the team is “accustomed to the international context and different cultures.” … “high-class practice,” … “They cover French, English and US law, which is needed for top-of-the-market deal
    s.””
    Chambers Global 2020 – France: International & Cross-Border Capabilities Department

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