Presiding Partner: Michael W Blair
Number of lawyers worldwide: approximately 650
Debevoise’s European team encompasses English, European and US-qualified lawyers who advise clients throughout the world. It works closely with the firm’s teams in the US, Russia and Asia to lead and coordinate on mandates that cross continents, including into emerging markets such as India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. This global perspective is brought to bear on all relevant matters, but where a matter has a distinctly local feel, Debevoise creates teams in Europe to provide the highest-quality local insight and advice.
The team is also distinct by the calibre of its partners. It includes recognised leaders across the core practice areas of the firm who work closely as a coherent group. This is a powerful combination – a group of top-ofclass lawyers working cohesively – which ensures clients receive the best advice from the best people at all stages of a matter. In addition to possessing leading lawyers in distinct practice areas, Debevoise’s European team places an emphasis on embedding itself in the industries in which its clients operate.
Main Areas of Practice:
Since opening in 1989, the London office – the firm’s second-largest – has developed remarkable talent in Debevoise’s core practice areas, including private equity, insurance, international disputes and investigations, financial institutions, M&A, finance, capital markets and tax. In the corporate and transactional arena, where English and New York law have come to occupy leading positions in much of the world, the London office boasts deep expertise in both. Some 30% of Debevoise’s London lawyers hold US qualifications, and more than 75% are English law-qualified. Further, 10% of the firm’s London lawyers are dual-qualified in both England and the US. The office’s leading dispute resolution practice similarly spans legal regimes, as well as international borders, languages, industries and court systems. Led by a team of nine partners, the practice’s advocacy-led approach makes it distinct in the market, with capabilities ranging from international commercial arbitration, domestic and international commercial litigation and public international law, to white collar crime and regulatory defence. Debevoise’s London transactional group has advised on some of the largest public listings, globally significant M&A transactions, and innovative acquisition financings and strategies for corporate clients, and has a market-leading fund formation practice supporting its extensive fund sponsor client base.
Debevoise’s Frankfurt office has built an enviable reputation in handling high-end domestic and international matters. Since opening in 2001, the Frankfurt office has developed deep experience in some of Debevoise’s core practice areas, including M&A, private equity, finance, antitrust, corporate governance, investigations and international disputes. The Frankfurt team advises leading German and international industrial and commercial clients, and is led by senior lawyers with long-standing experience in the market and across jurisdictions. Debevoise’s Frankfurt office also has a proven track record in handling large, market-shaping matters in litigation. The Frankfurt corporate defence team established much of the current best practice around simultaneous investigations conducted by different regulatory agencies. Debevoise’s Frankfurt office is characterised by a team of lawyers passionate about the law and client service. Reflecting the firm’s wider commitment to create the most effective client solutions possible, the Frankfurt office places a premium on hiring and developing lawyers who approach client work with an emphasis on quality.
Debevoise’s Paris office has serviced a domestic and international client base for more than 50 years. Today, the firm has a team of highly skilled lawyers in France who work as part of an international team on a range of corporate and contentious matters. The Paris team works with international clients as well as large French corporates. Its French client base includes many CAC 40 companies, while the team also works closely with international colleagues on behalf of global clients with interests in France. Through providing French and international law advice, the team is well placed to advise domestic clients when their businesses look beyond France’s borders, particularly in global offerings of equity and equity-linked securities. The M&A practice in Paris is renowned for its ability to handle complex, cross-border transactions involving French companies. Its track record in this area has drawn praise from throughout the market. Underpinning much of the Paris team’s corporate work is a highly regarded tax practice, which provides advice on the tax issues essential to all corporate activity, drawing on its experience in national and international taxation law. The Paris office also includes a thriving contentious practice, focusing on litigation, arbitration, white collar crime and internal investigations. The team regularly represents governments, international companies and NGOs in litigation before the courts of France and other countries. It is also one of the few firms in Europe with resident partners experienced in matters relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other US statutes applicable to European firms, making the Paris team ideally placed to advise clients subject to investigation by US authorities.
Debevoise’s Moscow office is one of the strongest in the region, regularly advising Russian companies and global corporations on a range of internationally significant matters. It is at the centre of the firm’s work in Russia and the CIS. The office is led by a team of senior partners who are consistently recognised as among the most prominent and trusted advisors in the region. They advise on both corporate and contentious matters, and have particularly strong sector experience. Debevoise’s team in Russia has strong knowledge of energy and natural resources, including mining, power, utilities, oil and gas. It works regularly with the region’s most established companies in these sectors in areas such as finance, capital markets, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, international dispute resolution, real estate and infrastructure. Debevoise’s Moscow office also has a strong transport practice, with particular experience in the aviation and automotive sectors. The team works regularly on internationally significant financings, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and general compliance matters for major clients in these areas. Other key sector specialties in the Moscow office include natural resources, financial institutions, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, media and technology.