France - TMT: Telecommunications Lawyers & Law Firms - Europe - Chambers and Partners
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Europe Guide

TMT: Telecommunications — France


Baker McKenzie SCP - TMT Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the Department
- Heads of department: Rémy Bricard and Laurent Szuskin
- 6 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Market-leading practice with strong capabilities in technology and telecommunications. Lawyers have long-standing expertise in high-value IT outsourcing contracts, integration projects and disputes. Growing focus on data protection law is underlined by new hires within the personal data team. Popular with clients from a wide range of industry sectors, including banking, insurance, technology and food and drink, for assistance with regulatory compliance. Also advises automotive and fintech companies on new digital projects.

Strengths The lawyers are praised for their "availability, speed and ability to mobilise a lot of grey matter in no time."

Clients also appreciate the firm's strength in international matters, highlighting that the team is "not only good for French law matters but also helpful for international cases."

Significant Clients Oracle, Valeo, Elior, Google, Oberthur Technologies.

Notable practitioners

Rémy Bricard is a long-standing leader in the field of IT. He is reputed his work on contracts, such as licensing and outsourcing, as well as his advice on new technology projects. He is also active in IT litigation matters and assists with data protection compliance. According to one source, "he is very constructive, always trying to find good solutions for clients, and making sure the solution works from a legal standpoint."

Leading IT lawyer Laurent Szuskin is experienced in a broad range of matters, including licensing and supply agreements, as well as the regulations concerning new technologies in the financing and transport sectors. One client commends him for his "impressive knowledge of hi-tech issues and a great track record," while another interviewee describes him as "sharp, able to understand client issues and business-oriented."

Interviewees describe Christian Blomet as a "very good lawyer." He assists public bodies and service providers with a number of telecommunications regulatory mandates, both in France and abroad. Blomet represents clients in negotiations and litigation.

According to market sources, Emmanuel Guillaume has an "excellent reputation" in the telecoms sector. He assists telecoms suppliers with contentious and non-contentious matters, particularly advising on regulatory and competition law issues.

About the Team (content provided by Baker McKenzie SCP)

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BEHRING - TMT Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the Department
- Head of department: Anne-Solène Gay
- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Rises to the second tier following extensive praise from the market. Well-regarded boutique firm advising clients on competition, transactional, regulatory and public law matters, most notably within the area of telecommunications. Instructed by major telecoms operators, governments and international financial institutions. Also actively assists both French and global clients with IT contracts, data protection issues and dispute resolution cases.

Strengths Sources emphasise the team's expertise in the telecoms sphere, both domestically and internationally. "They are real telecom experts and they have very good credentials in telecommunications and in Africa," comments one client, adding: "They are reasonable in their fees and they are flexible in their approach, all of which is important for the kind of projects we are involved in."

The lawyers stand out for their responsiveness, with one source remarking: "The team is much more reactive and constructive in its approach than most of the other firms that are specialised in telecoms in France."

Work highlights Assisted Wilco with regulatory matters concerning international prepaid SIM cards, including distribution agreements and data protection matters.

Advised Swiss Post Solutions on negotiating an IT outsourcing and BPO contract with its clients, as well as on data protection regulation.

Significant Clients Serena Data Ventures, Government of Togo, Government of Côte d'Ivoire, Netis Systems, Nomad Films.

Notable practitioners

Anne-Solène Gay enters the top band, as one of the most active and established telecoms practitioners in France with outstanding market feedback. "Anne-Solène Gay is an excellent negotiator," reports one source, adding: "She always takes an efficient and constructive approach and makes sure that the negotiation does not get stalled." Another commentator describes her as "one of the best TMT lawyers in Paris." She advises on contracts and licensing matters and represents both French companies and African states.

About the Team (content provided by BEHRING)

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Bird & Bird - TMT Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the Department
- 9 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notable experience in IT, telecoms and data protection law. Skilled in handling contentious and regulatory matters in the telecoms sector. Also recognised for its experience dealing with new technologies, such as matters related to Internet of Things and cloud computing. Acts for international and domestic clients, including recent client win Essilor International.

Strengths One source reports that "their interpretations are based on solid legal analysis. They keep in mind the recent views of the regulator and their approach is business-oriented."

Work highlights Advised Mylan on developing a mobile application for use in the healthcare sector.

Acted for Cellnex Telecom on an agreement with Bouygues Telecom to acquire radio sites and the development of new sites for the roll-out of 5G infrastructure.

Significant Clients Groupe SEB, Hiscox, Legrand, Dailymotion, Société du Grand Paris.

Notable practitioners

Stéphane Leriche has a particular focus on transactional work within the technology sector, advising clients on commercial contracts concerning IT, telecoms and e-commerce. Leriche recently acted for Sodexo on the strategic partnership with a start-up, Wynd, in connection to Sodexo's digital transformation programme.

According to clients, Ariane Mole is "knowledgeable in the field and thorough and timely in her analysis." Sources also regard her as "a good expert" for data protection matters and she advises clients on data protection compliance and the drafting of privacy policies. She recently assisted Equinix with data protection compliance concerning the acquisition of TelecityGroup and the implementation of the GDPR.

About the Team (content provided by Bird & Bird)

Our team is one of the largest on the French market and relies on a dedicated task force of nine partners. Our Tech & Comms Team is organised around the following key areas:
    Information technologies
•    Data Management and Data Protection
•    Internet and Ecommerce and digital business
•    Telecoms

The telecom team works for electronic communications operators and investors in France as well as in emerging markets. The team has also an extensive experience on infrastructure projects in particular for operators, public entities, governments and international institutions with a particular focus regarding RIP in France and telecom infrastructures in Africa.
•    Media
Our Media Group is a multi-disciplinary group dedicated to providing a full range of commercial legal services to clients in the media sector. We draw on the strength of leading lawyers who are experts in media, e-commerce, communications, IT, IP.
•    Fintech
In digital payment , we assist clients with the regulatory and legal aspects of payment service businesses, ranging from peer-to-peer payments, card products and classic money remittance to the issuing of electric money and attendant anti-money laundering processes including online identification. We also advise in connection with the mining and trading of virtual currencies like Bitcoin. We assist our clients regarding the legal challenges linked to distributed ledger and smart contracts, public and private ledger implementations.

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Franklin - TMT Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the Department
- 7 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded practice in the fields of technology and telecommunications. Represents leading telecoms and IT companies in disputes, as well as in transactional mandates and competition law investigations. Highly esteemed by telecoms clients for advice on outsourcing matters. Assists IT companies with the regulations around cloud services, the Internet of Things and encryption. Dedicated India desk assists a number of Indian clients with French law matters.

Strengths Clients appreciate that the lawyers are "available, knowledgeable and great at customer interaction" and particularly highlight their "communication skills and understanding of different cultures."

Sources also compliment the firm on its junior team: "I have been impressed by my interactions with Franklin's more junior attorneys."

Notable practitioners

Bradley Joslove is a first-class practitioner in the technology sphere, advising clients on encryption regulations and cloud service legislation. He frequently represents clients in IT law disputes. "He is extremely knowledgeable on all of the relevant legal issues affecting internet businesses, and also has an efficient and practical approach to problem solving," praises one client.

About the Team (content provided by Franklin)

Franklin has been advising clients in the telecommunications sector for many years and leverages its extensive industry knowledge and experience to provide tailored, insightful advice in a sector facing massive changes.

Franklin advises French and international operators and investors on a broad range of transactions: market entry, acquisition and refinancing of operators or assets, collaboration between operators, outsourcing and insourcing, content acquisition, telephone, internet and content services (B2B, B2C and wholesale), network and infrastructure deployment, concession-type contracts, etc. Our attorneys also represent clients in regulatory enforcement actions by the French telecoms and media watchdogs and in litigation before France’s highest administrative court, civil and commercial courts and competition authorities.

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Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI - TMT Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the Department
- Heads of department: Olivier Cousi and Thierry Dor
- 2 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises a number of domestic and international telecoms providers, with a particular focus on the African market. Acts on both contentious and non-contentious mandates, ranging from arbitration to regulatory compliance. Represents clients in negotiations for a variety of agreements within the telecoms sector.

Strengths Clients praise the team's multidisciplinary approach.

Another source underlines the team's good understanding of the client's needs.

Work highlights Acted for the Economic Community of West African States on creating guidelines to evaluate significant market powers within the telecoms sector.

Advised the State of Cape Verde on an arbitration concerning the compliance of telecom services provided by Cabo Verde Telecom.

Significant Clients Vodafone, Facebook, Cable & Wireless, Maroc Telecom, Orange.

Notable practitioners

Olivier Cousi specialises in media, entertainment and telecoms. He is active on IP law and the regulation of electronic communications in both France and Africa. He is described as "a rigorous lawyer with a certain intellectual agility," while another source compliments him on "his ability to adapt to the local context."

Thierry Dor has a particular focus on IT litigation and also assists clients with transactional matters in the technology industry. Market commentators describe Dor as "very pragmatic" and "very constructive," with one adding that "we can talk to find a solution" in negotiations.

About the Team (content provided by Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI)

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Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP - TMT Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the Department
- Head of department: Christine Gateau, Winston Maxwell and David Taylor
- 5 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong audio-visual and media practice, boasting additional expertise in telecoms matters. The team handles regulatory, corporate and contentious issues for domestic and international clients alike. Also offers unparalleled advice on domain names and other internet-related soft IP matters. Especially active of late in high-stake disputes in the online media sphere. Further impressive UK and US law capabilities offered.

Strengths The team stands out for the quality of its strategic advice, as one source mentions: "They are extremely good at explaining strategy and do a really good job explaining French law."

Work highlights Advised eBay and PayPal as defendants on a EUR980 million claim for infringement of author's rights relating to software.

Represented Wikimedia Foundation in proceedings before the Paris Court of Appeal in relation to Elizabeth Teissier's claim concerning the right to modify the content of the page dedicated to her on Wikipedia.

Significant Clients Facebook, Groupon, 20th Century Fox.

Notable practitioners

Winston Maxwell is a highly regarded and experienced lawyer advising telecom and internet clients on regulatory and data protection matters as well as media law issues. He acted for Fundamental Films on negotiations concerning revenue shares and distribution terms. "Winston Maxwell is a great lawyer, who has a response to any issue and always makes himself available despite being extremely busy, as well as paying the greatest attention to his clients’ needs and expectations," enthuses one client.

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Jones Day - TMT Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the Department
- Heads of department: Rémy Fekete and Olivier Haas
- 7 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Dedicated telecoms team advising on transactional, competition, regulatory and contentious matters. Assists major telecoms operators as well as states and banks with digital technology and internet-related issues. Represents a number of African telecoms groups, including recent client wins Optimum Telecom Algérie and Atlantique Telecom.

Strengths The team is highly praised for the level of service offered, with one interviewee highlighting the firm's "quality, availability and responsiveness."

One source particularly emphasises their "knowledge in dealings in Francophone African countries."

Work highlights Advised CBS on the negotiation of a major output deal with Canal+ Group concerning an exclusive licensing and trade mark agreement for the SHOWTIME brand in France.

Assisted Millicom with a sale and lease-back operation in Paraguay and the drafting of the agreements regarding the sale of its towers.

Significant Clients Fédération Française de Tennis, Lycamobile, Méditel, Solvay, Société Générale.

Notable practitioners

Rémy Fekete is reputed for his "unmatched expertise in the TMT" sector and in particular in the African telecoms market. He has broad expertise in the field of telecoms law, assisting with transactional mandates, outsourcing and telecoms regulations. He recently advised the Presidency of the Republic of Benin on matters related to the electronic communications sector, including drafting the Sector Policy Statement and a Digital Code.

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Band 1

Christophe Clarenc

Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christophe Clarenc of Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés is particularly popular with telecommunications companies for competition, unfair trade and regulatory matters. Sources enthuse that "if I had a tough case, he would be a good guy to defend it."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Jones Day

From the Chambers Europe guide

Rémy Fekete is reputed for his "unmatched expertise in the TMT" sector and in particular in the African telecoms market. He has broad expertise in the field of telecoms law, assisting with transactional mandates, outsourcing and telecoms regulations. He recently advised the Presidency of the Republic of Benin on matters related to the electronic communications sector, including drafting the Sector Policy Statement and a Digital Code.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Fréget - Tasso de Panafieu

From the Chambers Europe guide

Olivier Fréget is one of the founding partners of Fréget - Tasso de Panafieu. He focuses on competition law mandates within the telecommunications sector, advising clients on both French and European regulations. Market commentators praise his "really great views on the market."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

BEHRING

From the Chambers Europe guide

Anne-Solène Gay enters the top band, as one of the most active and established telecoms practitioners in France with outstanding market feedback. "Anne-Solène Gay is an excellent negotiator," reports one source, adding: "She always takes an efficient and constructive approach and makes sure that the negotiation does not get stalled." Another commentator describes her as "one of the best TMT lawyers in Paris." She advises on contracts and licensing matters and represents both French companies and African states.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Lucien Rapp of Watson Farley & Williams LLP has extensive experience assisting international bodies with telecommunications regulations. He is highly regarded by both French and international clients from the utilities and aviation sectors for advice on telecoms projects. "He is someone I trust, and he has good knowledge of the sector," reports one source. He often acts as an arbitrator on international disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Baker McKenzie SCP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Interviewees describe Christian Blomet as a "very good lawyer." He assists public bodies and service providers with a number of telecommunications regulatory mandates, both in France and abroad. Blomet represents clients in negotiations and litigation.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Emmanuel Guillaume

Baker McKenzie SCP

From the Chambers Europe guide

According to market sources, Emmanuel Guillaume has an "excellent reputation" in the telecoms sector. He assists telecoms suppliers with contentious and non-contentious matters, particularly advising on regulatory and competition law issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Winston Maxwell is a highly regarded and experienced lawyer advising telecom and internet clients on regulatory and data protection matters as well as media law issues. He acted for Fundamental Films on negotiations concerning revenue shares and distribution terms. "Winston Maxwell is a great lawyer, who has a response to any issue and always makes himself available despite being extremely busy, as well as paying the greatest attention to his clients’ needs and expectations," enthuses one client.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Christophe Fichet

Simmons & Simmons LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christophe Fichet of Simmons & Simmons LLP advises on a range of telecoms matters, including transactional support, licensing and data-hosting issues. Clients appreciate that he "listens, understands and comes up with a solution."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Martine Georges-Naïm

Bersay & Associés

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sources describe Martine Georges-Naïm of Bersay & Associés is a "strong telecoms lawyer" and she is particularly singled out for her work on regulatory matters. She advises telecommunications providers on competition and regulatory mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Florence Guthfreund-Roland

DLA Piper France LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Florence Guthfreund-Roland assists clients from the telecoms sector with licensing matters, as well as the Internet of Things and cloud computing. She often acts for clients in Africa.

^ See whole ranking table