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Paul Lignières

Public Law Partner, Paris

“I have more than 20 years’ experience of advising on public law, offering clients in-depth knowledge of the market, unrivalled access to regulators, direct experience of working for the World Bank, strong academic credentials and renowned negotiating skills to ensure they successfully complete their strategically important negotiations.”

Overview

Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Overview

Paul is widely regarded as one of the top public law practitioners in France, advising on regulations, public law litigation and corporate transactions in regulated sectors. He has been involved in a wide variety of projects in government-related areas, including privatisations, liberalisation of regulated sectors, Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), public procurement, competition law applied to public entities, state aid, and environmental law.

Paul is also co-head of the firm’s Francophone Africa Desk, advising domestic and international corporates and international financial organisations clients on their Africa-related corporate, finance and projects transactions both into and out of Africa.

Paul previously worked as a senior private sector development specialist in the infrastructure division of the World Bank in Washington D.C. from 1999 to 2001 and was a director of Coopers & Lybrand Tax & Legal (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) from 1993 to 1999.

Paul was managing partner of the firm’s Paris office from 2010 to 2016.

Paul is ranked as a leading lawyer in all major professional directories, such as The Legal 500 EMEA, IFLR1000 and Chambers quoting that he is “one of the brightest lawyers in the market” and “Interviewees comment on his “excellent technical skills and connections with the major players in the area”; “He has in-depth understanding of the relevant financial and political structures and a level of access to key decision-makers that is astonishing”; “Clients praise his first-rate negotiating skills and his ability to put things into a wider context”. “He's very hands-on and innovative in his style”.

Work highlights

Paul has been involved in many landmark transactions. Highlights include advising:

  • on the structuring and financing of the first IPP project in Mali 
  • the French government on the structuring of the main instruments of the French €26bn Economic Stimulus Plan in 2008
  • on several privatisations, including the IPOs of Gaz de France, EDF Energies Nouvelles and Aéroports de Paris, and the privatisations of French regional airports and Santiago airport in Chile
  • on the public law aspects of several corporate mergers, including the mergers of Suez and GDF, Rungis and Semmaris, and Transdev and Veolia Transport
  • on mergers and acquisitions in regulated industries, including transactions involving Pisto (Compagnie Industrielle Maritime), The Saur Group and the Millau Viaduct
  • on the public law aspects of many projects, including Calais port, Douai hospital and Quinze-Vingts hospital
  • High Speed Lines (TGV) CNM, SEA and GSMR project
  • on a pro bono basis, Adie, a charity that provides finance to those outside the financial mainstream, on a constitutional challenge to a French law that acted as an unnecessary barrier to small entrepreneurs setting up in business

Professional experience

Paul is a member of the management committee of the Chair of Mutations of Public Action and Public Law (MADP), which leads research into the reform of the state, and lectures at SciencesPo, an international renowned university.

Paul is co-editor of Droit administratif, a leading LexisNexis publication on French administrative law.

Paul regularly speaks at conferences and is the author of numerous publications and several books including:

Le Temps des Juristes: Contribution juridique à la croissance européenne, LexisNexis, 2012

Partenariats public-privé, LexisNexis, 2005

Education and qualifications

Paul studied economics and finance at the University of Toulouse 1, and holds a diploma in business and tax law from the University of Montpellier and a PhD in public law from the University of Montpellier I.

Paul speaks French and English.