Economically, politically and culturally, France is a key player on the world stage. Similarly, McDermott’s Paris office plays an important role in our international firm, helping French businesses strengthen their positions domestically, throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and around the world. Our highly experienced lawyers also advise foreign and multinational investors, companies and financial institutions seeking to enter the marketplace in France.
Like our clients, we have pursued an intelligent, practical growth strategy, building the Paris office in a manner that best serves the needs of our diverse clients. Our 60-lawyer team provides cross-disciplinary counsel to some of the country’s best-known companies in all key areas of law, including corporate transactions, EU competition, finance, labor and employment, litigation and dispute resolution, private equity, public law and tax, intellectual property, among others. We have strong industry teams as well, with extensive experience in life sciences, construction and engineering, distribution, energy, oil and gas, telecommunications, and transportation.
We provide comprehensive, sophisticated solutions to the challenges facing today’s businesses. Our multilingual lawyers guide privately held, publicly traded and state-owned enterprises through the laws and regulations that govern foreign investments in France, drawing on their firsthand understanding of global business practices to negotiate common ground and close deals quickly.
Our Paris-based practice groups and individual lawyers have been recognized year after year for the quality, consistency and creativity of their legal counsel by respected industry publications and ratings agencies. Global Competition Review has repeatedly included our Antitrust & Competition practice among the top 20 firms in its “GCR 100 Global Elite” list, and in 2015, M&A Today named McDermott “Law Firm of the Year – Employment & Labour – France.” Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Global Arbitration Review, The Legal 500 EMEA, Décideurs Stratégie Finance Droit, Décideurs Juridiques, Option Droit & Affaires, Magazine des Affaires and the IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate Guide have also included our Firm in their listings of top practices in the French and global markets.
Africa / Energy
Our Africa/Energy team is recognized as a leader in Africa-related projects and transactions. We have more than 30 years of experience in the African continent, notably in the fields of energy, mining, climate change, telecommunications and transportation, and are involved in matters relating to corporate/M&A, privatizations, sector restructuring, project and structured finance, public works and infrastructure. Our team delivers experienced, high-quality legal advice and services at each stage of an investment project.
Banking & Finance
Our team advises clients on a wide range of finance transactions, from acquisition finance and working capital loans, to equity and debt securities issuances, including convertible and eurobond issues, euro-commercial paper and medium term notes. We also counsel clients on the refinancing or restructuring of debt and the rescheduling of defaulted bonds. Our lawyers have played a key role in the negotiation, documentation and closing of credit-linked note issuances, asset-backed commercial paper transactions, exchange-traded fund transactions, credit derivatives and various types of securitizations.
Dispute Resolution & International Arbitration
Our dispute resolution team represents multinational and domestic corporations in the French courts with regard to business disputes in France. Our litigators work with the Firm’s antitrust and competition, corporate, employment, intellectual property and tax lawyers to serve public and privately held companies on a full range of civil, criminal and administrative matters. We also provide international trade advice and have extensive experience in the enforcement of foreign judgments and awards in France. Our international arbitration team represents clients in arbitrations in Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Paris, New York, Vienna, and Zurich under the rules of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce and the London Court of International Arbitration, as well as in ad hoc arbitrations. Among other industries, our sector experience includes construction and engineering, oil and gas, distribution, telecoms and the internet.
Our Paris office serves as an integral part of McDermott’s industry-leading, global Antitrust & Competition practice. Our lawyers work with colleagues across all of our US and European offices, and in collaboration with MWE China Law Offices, to advise clients on the full range of competition issues. We provide seamless, sophisticated EU and national competition advice and effective, results-oriented representation before the European Commission and other EU institutions, as well as national competition authorities. In addition to our knowledge of European and national regulatory frameworks, we have a deep understanding of the industries in which our clients operate.
Our Intellectual Property practice advises French and foreign companies engaged in a wide variety of sectors, including the chemical, energy, fashion, food processing, media, perfume, pharmaceutical and technology industries.
Our team assists clients, as advisor and as litigation counsel, at the stages of protection, exploitation and defense of their intellectual property rights, including trademarks, patents, know-how, authors’ rights, designs and models. Our lawyers also have significant experience in matters of unfair competition and parasitism, and advise on issues of misleading advertising, comparative advertising and image rights.
Our team has also developed significant experience in mediation in intellectual property matters before the Centre for Mediation and Arbitration of Paris (CMAP).
Labor, Employment & Benefits
McDermott’s Paris-based labor, employment and benefits lawyers counsel businesses on the legal, business and regulatory issues that arise in the context of domestic and transnational commercial and corporate transactions and international trade. We conduct due diligence investigations and audits, and provide advice on employment contracts and separation agreements, restructuring plans, reductions in force, workplace policies and other employment-related best practices. We also represent clients in ongoing matters, including terminations, discrimination, harassment, breaches of restrictive covenants, union negotiations, strikes and other collective conflicts.
Our Life Sciences team focuses its practice on clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device and related health care industries. Our lawyers represent French, European and US life science companies in relation to acquisitions and divestitures, outsourcing projects, product development, cooperation and licensing agreements, regulatory issues and general corporate and commercial law matters.
Mergers & Acquisitions
McDermott’s Paris-based corporate transactional lawyers, in conjunction with lawyers from the Firm’s offices throughout the United States and Europe, have successfully negotiated and closed numerous domestic and cross-border deals in France on behalf of businesses worldwide. As a result of our strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices, we also provide transaction counsel to businesses in France and China seeking to enter or further develop their presence in these key markets. Our corporate lawyers provide end-to-end advice on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), including transactions involving distressed assets and that require in-depth knowledge of corporate restructuring and bankruptcy law. We represent clients in a wide range of industry sectors, including energy, tourism and telecommunications.
We advise a range of private equity funds, with a focus on funds active in the middle market. We are at our best when we work with clients as a valued business partner; in many cases, we lead the initial acquisition, and then serve as trusted advisors for the portfolio company’s ongoing business activities, potential future add-on acquisitions, and eventual disposition. We work closely with lawyers from throughout the Firm’s core practice groups to address day-to-day operational and tactical matters, ensure compliance with French, EU and international regulations, and respond to other strategic business and financial questions. We counsel clients on all aspects of private equity transactional activity, including buyouts that create new platforms, recapitalizations, investments for growth, non-control and minority positions, distressed acquisitions, exit strategies and initial public offerings.
Our team advises public bodies, including local governments and semi-publicly owned companies, as well as private entities on all aspects of public law, including administrative and regulatory law, competition law and constitutional law. We have particularly deep understanding of businesses operating in highly regulated industries, including telecommunications, aerospace, energy, oil and gas. We regularly represent clients in cases before administrative and commercial courts, before EU and French competition and other regulatory authorities, and in their dealings with the French government and in litigation matters. We are also highly regarded for the negotiation, completion and performance of public contracts, as well as in the management of the public domain and of civil servants.
McDermott advises local and international corporations, private equity houses, asset managers, entrepreneurs, investment banks and sovereigns on the full range of international tax issues, including matters arising in relation to corporate restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, and the creation of joint ventures. Our team provides ongoing guidance to multinational companies on the organization and operations of their tax departments, helps identify potential tax risks, and develops effective strategies to reduce the impact of taxation rates. In addition to being well versed in domestic and international tax law, our practitioners have a full understanding of accounting and finance matters.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on its offer to create a partnership with Alstom in the energy field in the form of a joint venture including Alstom’s energy assets, steam turbines, hydro and grid businesses
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd in their potential investment in Areva NP, a reactor unit of French nuclear giant Areva SA
Servier, a French pharmaceutical laboratory, within the framework of the exclusive worldwide licensing option with Cellectis for UCART19, and its strategic agreement with Pfizer
Servier, a French pharmaceutical laboratory, on its strategic partnership—one of the largest biotechnology partnership agreements outside the United States—with Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc., to develop and commercialize ITCA 650, Intarcia’s phase-3 investigational therapies for the treatment of type-2 diabetes, outside the United States and Japan
DBV Technologies, S.A., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on changing the field of immunotherapy, with its US$281.5 million public offering (approximately €255 million) of new shares in the form of American Depositary Shares
Colliers International on all aspects of purchasing a controlling stake in the AOS Group real estate consulting firm
The buyers of Groupe La Redoute – Relais Colis, in structuring employee ownership and operation of the first mutual fund recovery set up in France with the capital of New R, the holding company controlling La Redoute – Relais Colis, now 100 percent owned by its employees and management
The shareholders of Santiane Group, a provider of health insurance products for individuals, professionals and businesses, on the sale of the group to Blackfin Funds
The founders of Showroomprivé, specialist in e-commerce, with its initial public offering on Euronext Paris
ActoMezz, and its mezzanine investment team ACG Capital, as part of the acquisition of NACC by Pragma Capital