Global law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has added seven partners and their teams to its Paris office. This is the largest addition of a team of lawyers since the firm’s merger in 2018 and supports a firm-wide plan to build a balanced portfolio of capabilities across geographies. BCLP has a robust Paris practice with capabilities in corporate, litigation, arbitration, compliance, white collar, and labour & employment. The firm is now expanding its offerings in tax, real estate, finance and renewable energy with the additions of Partners Henry Ranchon and Laurent Schittenhelm (real estate), Christine Daric and Olivier Mesmin (tax), David Blondel and Olivier Borenstejn (finance), and Jean-Pierre Delvigne (public law and renewable energies). This range of experience complements the firm’s global platform and further builds on the firm’s experience in Paris and across Europe.
Henry Ranchon advises French and overseas-based property companies, real estate investment funds and developers on investing in and developing the full range of real estate projects. He handles all aspects of these transactions, and offers clients deep experience in corporate real estate, structuring (regulated or unregulated real estate funds), joint ventures, acquisitions, developments & construction, leasing, asset management and disposals. He regularly advises debt funds, real estate investors and developers on financing their projects, offering experience in the full range of senior and mezzanine debt financing structures. Before joining BCLP, Ranchon was a partner at Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés, Wragge & Co. and Franklin.
Laurent Schittenhelm has substantial expertise handling all manner of real estate transactions, including the most complex. His practice focuses on portfolio acquisitions and disposals through share deals and/or asset deals; commercial leases; and asset and property management agreements. He has a particular focus on real estate development including the full range of asset classes. He also advises on drafting and negotiating shareholder agreements and represents clients in commercial lease and other disputes. Schittenhelm began his career at Baker & McKenzie; he then continued with the firm Clifford Chance. Before joining BCLP, Schittenhelm was a partner at Franklin.
Christine Daric handles corporate and real estate taxation matters. She is particularly experienced in general and international taxation as it applies to companies, the structuring and determination of the taxation strategy of real estate or hotel investments in particular (structuring, taxation audit, financial modeling, negotiations and structuring of investment funds). As a taxation adviser to the Fédération des Sociétés Immobilières et Foncières, she has been involved in the design, negotiation and evolution of the SIIC taxation regime since 2003. Prior to joining BCLP, Daric was a partner at Baker & McKenzie, Fairway and Franklin.
Olivier Mesmin focuses on corporate and real estate taxation matters. Olivier advises French and international clients in the context of their investments, the implementation of intragroup reorganizations, the design of their tax strategy transactions, or also in the context of their relationships with the tax authorities, in particular in the course of tax audits or the application for tax rulings. As taxation adviser to the Fédération des Sociétés Immobilières et Foncières, Olivier participated in the design and negotiation of the SIIC taxation regime introduced in 2003 (French REIT regime) and in all the successive changes to the regime. Before joining BCLP, he was a partner at EY Sociétés d’avocats, Baker & McKenzie, Fairway and Franklin.
Daric and Mesmin are ranked in the top tier for Tax in France and are widely recognised in France and overseas for their tax advice to clients in the real estate sector.
David Blondel advises primarily French and overseas banks, with a focus on structured finance and debt restructuring. He offers sector-specialist expertise in corporate real estate, renewable energy, corporate acquisitions and infrastructure. Blondel has more than 15 years of experience in the banking sector as Head of Legal, Finance & Real Estate Investment with Natexis Banques Populaires and then as a partner in several French and global law firms. Prior to joining BCLP, David was a partner at Kramer Levin, Lefevre Pelletier & Associés, Wragge & Co and Franklin.
Olivier Borenstejn is the trusted adviser to leading banks and corporations, advising across the full range of financing mandates. He brings strategic and legal counsel for clients, drafting and negotiating the financing arrangements for complex business transactions. His expertise encompasses acquisitions and LBOs, project finance, real estate finance and public/private partnerships. He is also able to provide high-level counsel on banking and financial regulatory matters. Borenstejn began his career at Mayer Brown, later moving to Clifford Chance, Jeantet and Reed Smith. Before joining BCLP, he was a partner at Franklin.
Jean-Pierre Delvigne provides counsel and litigation representation for manufacturing groups, investment funds and financial services providers on a broad range of public, environmental and renewable energy law issues. He offers deep expertise in handling complex projects, assisting clients at every stage. Delvigne also offers strategic counsel, helping clients to anticipate and comply with legal reforms to which he contributes as a member of various professional organisations and working groups.
Rémy Blain, managing partner of the Paris office for the past five years, will continue in this role. In order to accommodate these new colleagues, the firm has secured additional temporary office space at another location while a permanent space for the newly expanded Paris office is secured.
“The strengthening of our skills, supported by lawyers with a strong reputation in their fields, is fully in line with BCLP’s strategy to be a key player in France and continental Europe,” Blain says. “Attracting a team of this caliber demonstrates our desire to invest and grow ourselves, not only in Paris but also in Europe. This is a strong message to our respective clients who will benefit from broader and integrated service offerings.”
“We very much look forward to welcoming this group of talented lawyers to the firm,” says Co-Chair Lisa Mayhew.
“The experience they bring will significantly expand our capabilities in Paris, but also will expand what we can deliver to clients across Europe and worldwide,” adds Co-Chair Steve Baumer.
With the arrival of this team the Paris office becomes the firm’s third-largest European office. Already well established in London and Germany, BCLP is continuing its growth in Europe to service the needs of clients on both a global and national level.
“There are many synergies between our practices in France and those across the firm, and that played a key role in our decision. BCLP is well known in the real estate sector, which is also one of our flagship practices,” says Real Estate Partner Henry Ranchon.
BCLP’s Real Estate Group has a broad and renowned offering across the full cross section of the industry, and as one of the most active firms across the real estate sector. The firm is well informed of market trends and developments, providing clients with a commercial perspective, as well as a legal one. This will be further strengthened by the addition of the real estate team joining in Paris.
The tax lawyers joining in Paris will play a strategic role within BCLP’s Tax Advice & Controversy Group, which provides comprehensive tax advice around the globe and works together across the firm’s network of offices to give experienced tax advice on large, complex, multi-disciplinary, cross-border transactions.”
“BCLP’s global platform allows us to support our clients as they face challenges in their development, globalisation and transformation, particularly in countries where the economic stakes are high,” added Christine Daric, taxation partner. “We fully recognise ourselves in BCLP’s DNA: We share many of the same core values including a spirit of collaboration in order to serve our clients, wherever they are in the world.”
The BCLP Finance team advises all segments of the financial services industry, providing business-sensitive solutions to complex problems and provides fully-integrated global services and will be bolstered with the addition of these new capabilities in Paris. Additionally, clients will benefit from the Public Law Group’s experience advising public and private sector clients on public contracts and procurement across regulated industry sectors.