Insight

Legal Distinction on Display: 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in France™

The industry’s best lawyers and firms working in France are revealed in the newly released, comprehensive the 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in France™.

French flag in front of country's outline
Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

June 18, 2024 05:00 PM

Each year, Best Lawyers seeks to find the top legal firms in the field, surveyed and determined by distinguished peers. The annual Best Lawyers in France™ edition celebrates the most acclaimed firms and top legal talent in jurisdictions throughout the country.

This year marks a milestone with the 15th edition of The Best Lawyers in France – the most extensive edition in history, with the highest number of firms represented and nominations received. Discover the best in the business amidst France’s forward-thinking legal system of today.

This year, a staggering 40% of lawyers invited to vote cast more than 140,000 evaluations of their peers for this year's Best Lawyers awards.

The 15th edition recognizes 3,458 lawyers from 711 listed firms, with 81 “Lawyer of the Year” honorees. The recipients are located in 77 practice areas across 15 metropolitan areas in France. While Paris is home to 93% of the lawyers recognized, other notable regions include Lyon, Angers, Marseille and Bordeaux.

The 2025 edition highlights the work of 711 firms in France, with 5,333 individuals across the industry – nearly double the number of surveyed peers as the 10th edition in 2020. The Best Lawyers in France publication proves to be the go-to source for the best legal professionals and insights into future trends in the field.

Top Practice Areas in France

According to the number of recognized lawyers, the leading practice areas in respective order include Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Tax, Litigation and Labor and Employment law. There are 420 recognized lawyers in Corporate Law, 403 in Mergers and Acquisitions Law and 371 in Tax Law.

These three leading practice areas, accounting for 63% of the top five, are all corporate in nature. France has ambitions to become an attractive European financial hub, with reforms such as multiple vote share structures, the introduction of fractional shares, the electronic consultation of corporate bodies and venture capital mutual investment funds to support companies with a market capitalization of up to €500 million.

Other notable reforms include the newly updated FDI regulation, which puts stricter controls on foreign businesses and investors, and the 2024 Finance Tax Law, which ensures a global minimum level tax rate of 15% for multinational enterprise groups and large-scale domestic groups. These changes to the French legal system are reflected in the top three practice areas of 2025, and as such, the interest and need to seek the best lawyers and firms to support the transitions.

Recognized firms have worked on a wide range of cases and deals within the top practice areas, such as successfully advising an acquisition affecting 12,000 French employees, leading a group of firms creating an AI tool based on European law, closing a $1.1 billion deal for a copper mine amid the focus on decarbonization and bringing novel innovations such as electronic CBD cigarettes to market.

Ones to Watch: Legal Titans in the Making

The Ones to Watch, an award given to lawyers early in their careers, featured in this edition of The Best Lawyers in France speaks to the legal industry's future and signals what lies ahead. The top three practice areas in France with new talent are Litigation, Tax and Labor and Employment Law, which could hint at where up-and-coming talent is most leveraged and the potential practice areas to watch.

The focus on Tax Law remains strong, but we can see more Litigation cases and support for Labor and Employment Law.

Participation in creating Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in France was even more enthusiastic, as more than half of lawyers invited to vote on their peers participated.

2025 “Law Firm of the Year” Honorees

Finally, the pinnacle award announced in our 2025 debut is the coveted "Law Firm of the Year" designation. These awards are given to a single firm demonstrating excellence in a specific field nationwide. They are determined based on a handful of factors, including feedback from lawyers recognized by Best Lawyers on individual lawyer and firm-wide work, the size and coverage of the firm in a specific practice area, historical analysis of the firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards in this area and research surrounding the firm’s overall scope and areas of expertise.

Winners of the 2025 "Law Firm of the Year" recognition include:

  • Advant Altana, Construction Law
  • Allen & Overy, Banking & Finance Law
  • Baker McKenzie, Public Law
  • Bird & Bird, Intellectual Property Law
  • Boivin & Associés, Environmental Law
  • Bougartchev Moyne Associés, Criminal Defense
  • Bredin Pratt, Competition/Antitrust Law, Capital Markets Law
  • Clifford Chance, Project Finance and Development Practice
  • CMS Lefebvre, Tax Law
  • Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • De Gaulle Fleurance, Information Technology Law, Media Law
  • De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • DLA Piper, Aviation Law
  • Féral, Privacy and Data Security Law
  • Flichy Grangé Avocats, Labor and Employment Law
  • GBS Disputes, Arbitration and Mediation
  • Gide Loyrette Nouel, Litigation
  • HFW, Insurance Law
  • Joffe & Associés, Sports Law
  • Lacourte Raquin Tatar, Real Estate Law
  • Simmons & Simmons, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Private Equity Law

France’s legal system is changing and evolving so that laws and economic innovations coexist. The 15th edition of The Best Lawyers in France legal rankings highlights an important moment in time and hints at an exciting future ahead.

Headline Image: iStock/pop_jop; iStock/rambo182

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