The energy sector faces considerable challenges, including the increase in consumption; the strategic goal of energy independence; climate issues; the evolving regulatory framework with, in Europe, the construction of the internal market; heightened pressure from national and European competition authorities; and the massive investment requirements associated with means of production (traditional and renewable) and infrastructure (supply networks, storage facilities, liquefaction trains, methane terminals etc.)
To assist you in meeting these challenges, CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre adopts an approach based on a detailed knowledge of your sector, on synergy between our offices and those of other CMS firms, and on the legal and practical knowledge of our lawyers.
Our Practice Areas
The public bodies and businesses in the energy sector are having to adapt to today’s rapidly evolving environment, which encompasses issues of public law and economic regulation, competition law, taxation, law of real property, business law and employment law. In order to give them practical and pro-active advice, our lawyers’ expertise is at their disposal in a range of specific areas:
- Advice and assistance in the application of legislation and regulations (both European and national), and monitoring of the rapid development of norms (liberalisation, regulation, taxation of energy and the status of the gas and electricity industries). Taxation of energy includes the French taxes or charges known as Contribution au Service Public de l'Electricité, Taxe Locale sur l'Electricité, Taxe Intérieure de Consommation sur le Gaz Naturel, VAT and other taxes.
- Input to feasibility studies and assistance with projects of any size (mergers, acquisitions, traditional and novel forms of joint venture, and construction of traditional or renewable production units).
- Advice and assistance in relation to market concentration (at national or European Community level), anti-trust law and state aid.
- Support in relation to negotiations between (1) public authorities allocating franchises for the production and distribution of energy and (2) energy companies, and between (1) regulated operators and (2) businesses using infrastructure which is open to third parties.
- Legal assistance with start-ups and innovative projects connected with developments in the applicable rules, the transformation of technology and environmental considerations.
- Assistance with intended changes of legal form in the public sector and the application of the law relating to privatisation.
- Optimisation of schemes relating to taxation and employment issues.
- Litigation (before administrative tribunals and French and European Community private-law courts) and dispute resolution.
To guarantee you first class legal and tax expertise, our energy lawyers have the support of a multi-disciplinary team with experts in all areas of law, in particular public law, taxation, environmental law, competition law, business law, construction law and law of real property, and employment law. They also work in close, regular collaboration with economists and consultants specialising in the energy sector.
This integrated approach reflects our determination to go beyond technical legal or tax issues in understanding all our clients’ business interests. It means that our lawyers can:
- Take all aspects of your strategy into consideration, understood in the rapidly changing context of upir business sector.
- Help you to carry out your business operations and achieve your strategic goals, at both national and international levels.
- Take a pro-active, long term perspective in giving advice, bearing in mind that effective strategies cannot be based on short term considerations in the energy sector.
The organisations which have put their faith in us are public and private. They include states, national and local authorities in France and overseas, public and private companies, utilities, niche operators, multinationals, investment funds, SMEs and start-ups. We work for them on national and international projects, in teams which are integrated with our various offices and those of other CMS firms.
We guarantee high standards of service and professional ethics to all our clients, giving reliable advice which is tailored to their objectives.
In France, 14 lawyers are at your disposal with specific expertise in energy law and in the fields of business, competition, employment and tax law relating to the energy sector. They work in close collaboration with our energy lawyers based in Africa, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.