Jean-François is a French attorney member of the Paris bar.
He started his carreer at the American law firm Coudert
Brothers of which he became a partner in 1990. He was specializing in
cross border M&A, Joint Venture and Privatisation transactions in
various industrial sectors and geographical areas. He assisted in
particular French industrial groups (Lafarge, Renault Véhicules
Industriels) involved in the first privatisations in Eastern Europe and
conglomerates (Mitsubishi Corporation) in major real estate investments in
In 1994 Jean-François created the law firm Sokolow, Dunaud, Mercadier & Carreras of which he was the managing partner. At Sokolow, Dunaud, Mercadier & Carreras, Jean-François assisted industrial groups and investment funds in their transactions in France and abroad, in particular in the media sector (EMAP Plc), the retail sector (PPR), the telecom sector (Swiss Post, Asom AG) and the real estate sector (Pradera AM Plc).
At Norton Rose which he joined in Paris in 2004, Jean-François as partner in charge of the Corporate finance department assisted clients in the agro-food sector (Nestlé, Carlsberg), the real estate sector (Alpha Real Capital and Pradera AM Plc), the banking sector (HSBC) and the mining sector (Glencore International AG and Katanga Minin Ltd). As from 2008 Jean-François focused more and more his activity on the African continent assisting clients on their investments mainly in the French speaking jurisdictions. He also kept an important acitvity in the real estate sector in France where he assisted principally UK property funds on their acquisitions of French office buildings, retail and industrial property assets. He was also involved in the strategic development of the global firm as member of its Executive Committee.
In January 2011, Jean-François opened the Paris office of the Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie with the strategy to develop the firm as one of the leading law firms for legal work on the African continent. Further to Heenan Blaikie LLP's liquidation in January 2014, the Paris office became the independent law firm Heenan Paris AARPI.
Heenan Paris is assisting Governments and industrial companies on transactions and projects in Africa, in particular in Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, the Republic of Guinea, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.
In addition to Best Lawyers, Jean-François is recognized as a leading lawyer in corporate finance by Chambers Global and The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, Décideurs Finance et Droit, Legal 500 and by Who's Who Legal in mining law.