Managing Partner: Didier Martin
Number of partners worldwide: 45
Number of lawyers worldwide: 180
Languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish
Bredin Prat is a pre-eminent independent law firm with offices in Paris and Brussels. Founded in 1966, it is widely recognised for providing a high standard of legal advice, expertise and sophistication in its selected practice areas. Over the last few years, the firm’s growth from a leading French corporate and litigation ‘boutique’ to an over 180-lawyer-strong firm has mirrored the evolution of its domestic and cross-border practice and client base. This expansion has strengthened the firm’s commitment to furthering its experience in specific chosen practice areas; experience built by a very low associate-to-partner ratio and the intense personal involvement of its partners. The firm takes particular pride in being recognised by peers, clients and professional observers as having a ‘deep bench’ of business sensitive talent, with many of its partners — from all generations — being widely viewed as leaders in their respective fields. Bredin Prat specialises in business law, particularly domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. It also advises on finance and capital markets, competition, tax, litigation and arbitration, restructuring and insolvency, employment law, public law, and tech law.
Main Areas of Practice:
Bredin Prat has worked on the majority of landmark M&A transactions (both public and private) in France over the past 30 years, including high-profile privatisations, recommended and hostile tender offers, and contested takeovers.
Bredin Prat has built a strong private equity practice representing major French and international private equity funds and investment companies in significant buyouts of private and public companies. Working with teams specialising in tax and financing, the corporate practice is able to oversee entire transactions, from their financing to their legal and tax structuring.
Bredin Prat advises issuers on public offerings and private placements of securities in France, including initial public offerings, equity and convertible issues and privatisations.
Bredin Prat’s financing team provides advice on a broad spectrum of financing transaction principally as legal adviser to borrowers and issuers. In particular, the firm has developed a high-profile expertise in acquisition finance (including the financing of tender offers). The team also handles project finance and asset finance transactions on a regular basis. The firm regularly works on restructuring transactions, involving amending or extending arrangements, recapitalisations, debt-to-equity conversions or issues of sophisticated debt instruments.
Bredin Prat has a very strong restructuring and insolvency practice with extensive experience in managing high-profile domestic and cross-border financial restructurings, distressed M&A transactions and insolvency situations.
The litigation practice has been a cornerstone of the firm’s activities since its creation. Today, it is widely recognised for having one of the leading practices in France with expertise in civil, commercial and securities litigation as well as white-collar crime.
The team advises its corporate clients on their high-profile litigations and complex disputes with their competitors, customers and consumer associations, and on matters related to partnership and joint venture disputes. It also handles litigation with respect to takeovers and mergers, as well as matters related to the civil or criminal liability of corporate directors and executives.
The practice handles large disputes between shareholders of listed and unlisted companies and often advises on litigation arising out of public offerings. The firm prides itself on its excellent reputation with the French courts, both of first instance and of appeal, and has extensive experience dealing with regulatory bodies such as the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
Corporate & White-Collar Criminal Law Practice:
Bredin Prat has a leading corporate and white-collar criminal law practice, assisting and representing companies and their executives before the French courts, at all levels, and before the stock exchange authorities in France and abroad. It regularly assists clients in multi-jurisdictional criminal investigations and proceedings such as alleged criminal antitrust matters, money-laundering, securities fraud, violations of corporate and stock exchange regulations, financial regulation and corrupt practices offences.
Bredin Prat’s arbitration practice focuses on disputes under international investment treaties, as well as domestic and international commercial arbitration. The team handles commercial and investment claims, governed by French, foreign and international law, brought under various arbitration rules, and administered by the major institutions, as well as ad hoc arbitrations. Bredin Prat’s arbitration lawyers are regularly asked to sit as arbitrators in arbitration proceedings involving highly-specialised matters, under the aegis of arbitration institutions such as the ICC, ICSID, the LCIA, the DIAC and the AFA.
Competition & EU:
Bredin Prat advises leading French and international companies on all aspects of competition law. The firm is regularly involved in high-profile merger and antitrust investigations before the national and European competition authorities and courts. It also advises clients on State aid issues, as well as on deregulation in the telecom, energy, transport and postal services sectors.
The firm has a renowned tax practice in the areas of M&A (often involving pre-transaction comfort and rulings from tax authorities), private equity, corporate restructurings, innovative financial products and real estate transactions. The team regularly advises major French and international clients on domestic and cross-border transactions on all tax issues. The team has also a renowned expertise in high-level tax litigations in a variety of situations, ranging from the first discussions and/or negotiations with the French tax authorities in the context of a tax audit, to assisting clients during dawn raids, defending cases before the Supreme Court or advising on questions of constitutionality before the Constitutional Council as well as defending clients in alleged abuse of law cases and in criminal proceedings involving tax fraud.
The highly regarded employment law practice specialises in French and multi-jurisdictional employment law issues. The team is able to deliver full-service advice on all aspects of employment law, ranging from transactional work to complex litigation and day-to-day employment matters. It has extensive experience assisting clients with the employment law aspects of M&A transactions, as well as providing support with the implementation of restructurings, site closures and strategic reorganisations. The team works closely with clients from the outset to help them navigate the employment issues that are triggered by these types of operations, such as information/ consultation procedures with the employee representative bodies and negotiations with trade unions.
The public law team regularly assists public authorities and economic operators in the preparation, negotiation and drafting of public contracts. The team also works alongside the corporate and M&A teams on acquisitions and reorganisations of wholly or partly State-owned or privately-held companies having entered into public contracts or operating under administrative authorisations. The firm covers all of the legal, regulatory and contractual aspects of regulated industries. The team also advises on environmental law issues, particularly regulations governing classified facilities (remediation obligations) or concerning hydroelectric concessions.
The technology team regularly advises a broad French and international client base from various sectors (infrastructure, TMT, services, leisure, healthcare, luxury, banking and finance, retail, energy, automotive, transport, etc.) on legal issues relating to new and emerging technologies and digitisation.
Nearly 50% of the firm’s client base consists of non-French clients, in particular from the US, the UK and the main jurisdictions in continental Europe. Bredin Prat regularly advises on a wide variety of complex cross-border transactions and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Several of the partners and associates are also qualified in common law jurisdictions (US, England and Wales) and in other civil law jurisdictions (Europe, Latin America, etc.) and some of them are of foreign or dual nationality. The firm co-pioneered a cross-border integrated team approach for pan-European matters with its key ‘Best Friends’— the leading independent firms in their respective jurisdictions — BonelliErede (Italy), De Brauw (Netherlands), Hengeler Mueller (Germany), Slaughter and May (UK) and Uría Menéndez (Spain). In addition to working together on transactions, the Best Friends have built and maintain strong ties via joint initiatives, such as publications, training programs and cross secondments. Bredin Prat has expanded the ‘Best Friends’ approach to other leading law firms abroad, not only in Europe but also in Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and the United States.