In 1967, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher decided to widen its expansion outside the U.S. and established its first international office in Paris. Today, our Paris office consists of a dynamic team of lawyers who are either dual or triple-qualified, having trained in both France and abroad.
- Chambers Global 2013 describes partners from our Paris office as 'leaders' in the fields of Corporate/M&A, Tax and Restructuring/Insolvency.
- Chambers Europe 2012 recommends us for Restructuring/Insolvency, Corporate/M&A, Tax and Public Law.
- The 2012 edition of Legal 500 EMEA recommends our Paris office in the fields of Mergers & Acquisitions, Insolvency, Private Equity, Administrative & Public Law and Tax. The team is described as ‘well placed to assist clients on complex transactions’ providing ‘creative advice that goes beyond the pure legal aspects’.
- Practical Law Company's most recent 'Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook' recommends the Paris office as a key player in this field.
- The French publication Le Guide des Cabinets d'Avocats d'Affaires by Caura Barszcz, has described Gibson Dunn as a "firm going places and worth knowing... one of our favorites". The same publication described Gibson Dunn as a "Haute Couture law firm, which explains its appeal to both lawyers and clients".
Our Paris office specializes primarily in complex corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, asset and investment management, public offerings, and financing. We represent many multinational firms in both domestic and cross-border, and public and private transactions, including acquisitions of distressed companies.
Our long-term presence in Europe has given us considerable experience in representing clients with international business interests that require a coordinated response across borders. Our lawyers are distinctively positioned to offer the highest-quality legal advice to corporations considering activities in France. Our role is not only to advise on French legal issues but also to assist clients in familiarizing themselves with the French business community and ways of doing business in France. Our approach ensures that we meet the goals of our clients using the means available under French law.
Our Paris lawyers offer innovative solutions to unprecedented challenges faced by high-profile clients. We represented a major investment fund in the first ever ousting in France by minority shareholders of the incumbent board of directors of a listed company during an annual shareholders' assembly. This landmark event was described by the Financial Times as "another triumph in the battle for shareholder democracy in France."
Our Paris restructuring team regularly advises on all aspects of restructuring, insolvency and financial distress. We have wide cross-jurisdictional expertise and work seamlessly with our other offices to identify and realize our clients' objectives. We also advise potential purchasers in distressed M&A transactions.
Our lawyers have participated in some of the most complex insolvency-related proceedings and transactions of recent years, including, among other high-profile restructuring matters such as Belvedere, Eurotunnel, Autodis or BCBG, and have secured in the last 3 years two highly-regarded French Supreme Court decisions (Eurotunnel and Coeur Défense named after the largest European office property) that are changing the face of French restructurings.
The prominent French legal gazette, Dalloz, hailed the Coeur Défense March 8, 2011 ruling -which was confirmed in January 2012- as (proposed translation) “having more decorations than a general of the red army.” (Recueil Dalloz 2011 p. 919) Another prominent French gazette, la Gazette du Palais, described the decision as being “at the heart of the legal news, at the heart of the business world, of the complexities of the financial world and of the crisis which affects the world economy.”
In summary, the ruling decided, among other things, that French court-driven insolvency proceedings were open to CMBS debtors and SPVs, including in the context of a CMBS structure. A more detailed summary, written by the Gibson Dunn partners involved in the case, can be found at the following page:
The Eurotunnel French Supreme Court ruling (June 2009) was praised as a “welcome and long awaited decision” (Rev. des procédures collectives). It ruled that foreign creditors had standing to challenge the jurisdiction assumed by French courts over foreign debtors (on the grounds of the Center of Main Interests notion).
In other words, in less than 3 years, Gibson Dunn obtained from France's highest court two judgments that were not only favorable to its clients but also dramatically changed the face of French insolvency proceedings.
Our public law practice has considerable experience in advising on privatizations, public-private partnerships, regulatory law and complex transactions. We have extensive experience representing and assisting the French State, governmental bodies and state-owned and private entities in their development, the management of their regulatory environment, and their administrative and arbitration proceedings.
Our Paris office tax team advises domestic and international corporate clients and investment funds on the tax structuring of French and international corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, private equity/venture capital and structured finance transactions. The team has significant experience in advising corporate clients and investment funds investing in real estate or hotels in France and has particular expertise with regard to the French equivalent of the REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) regime. Our team has also significant tax experience in the context of complex tax controversy matters and an in-depth tax ruling practice.
Our firm enjoys a worldwide reputation as a litigation powerhouse. The Paris office team is a fast-growing part of that practice and plays an active role in guiding clients in the strategic management of disputes and arbitration.
Our practice focuses on commercial and civil litigation, administrative/public law (including zoning law), mediation, regulatory investigations and restructuring/insolvency cases, as well as antitrust disputes and international arbitration. We advise companies across a broad spectrum of industries, with particular capabilities in the financial institutions, insurance, transport and energy sectors. We also work closely with our pre-eminent US Litigation Group and with colleagues in Europe, the Middle East and Asia on a variety of major cross-border disputes, compliance-related investigations and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters.
We frequently represent clients from both the public and private sectors before a wide range of French regulators (Commission de Régulation de L'Energie, Autorité de la Concurrence), administrative or judicial courts, at both trial and appellate levels, as well as arbitral tribunals.
Our Paris-based lawyers have regularly assisted clients in relation to the acquisition or disposition of real estate assets located in France involving extensive due diligence, urban planning and tax structuring. Our Paris lawyers also regularly give advice regarding the leasing of industrial, office, retail and commercial space and telecommunications sites.
Labor and Employment
Our Paris lawyers also represent corporations in developing and negotiating executive and employment agreements and in the management of their contractual and labor law issues.
For more information, please contact Bernard Grinspan , the Partner-in-Charge of our Paris office, at +33 1 56 43 13 00.