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CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre reinforces its real estate division

20/09/2017

CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre reinforces its real-estate division with the arrival of Pierre Popesco and Florence Chérel, previously with Herbert Smith Freehills, on 1 January 2018.

This will give CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre one of the largest legal and tax law teams on the Paris market in the field of real estate.

CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, one of the leading law firms in France, today announces the strengthening of its real-estate division with the arrival of a recognised team from the Paris office of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, led by Pierre Popesco and Florence Chérel.

Pierre Popesco, Florence Chérel and Benjamin Bill join CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre as partners. They are accompanied by associate counsel Jean-Marc Peyron and seven associates.

They join the current team of four associate partners: Aline Divo, Philippe Riglet and Jean-Luc Tixier (real estate) and Christophe Blondeau (corporate/M&A).

The new real-estate legal division of CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre will now have more than 40 associates. This division will be one of the largest on the Paris market in terms of real-estate transactions in fields covering mergers-acquisitions and restructuring, real-estate investments, leases and management of real-estate assets, construction, real-estate development, disputes, real-estate financing, planning and real-estate public law. The new team will be supported by Banking Finance/Regulatory and Tax, giving it a range of services unrivalled on the market.

This move continues the expansion of the CMS real-estate practice which began earlier this year with the merger in London of CMS Cameron McKenna with the firms Olswang and Nabarro, the latter enjoying an unparalleled reputation in the English real-estate sector. More than 800 associates now make up the CMS Real-Estate Practice Group.

Pierre-Sébastien Thill, Chairman of the CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre Board of Directors, comments: 

We are very pleased today with the arrival of this first-class team within our real-estate department, giving us unique resources in all aspects of real-estate law, both on a national and international level.

With the addition of this new team, the firm will have almost 420 associates, including 108 partners.

About the team

Pierre Popesco, Florence Chérel and Benjamin Bill, partners.

Pierre Popesco, 63, member of the Paris Bar since 1991, when he joined Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés. He founded a centre for specialised research in planning law, which he managed prior to heading up the legal department at Espace Promotion (subsidiary of Unibail), a company that focused on developing shopping centres. In 2005, he joined the Paris office of law firm Herbert Smith, where he became Head of Real Estate. Pierre has 30 years’ experience in real-estate and his clients mainly comprise French and international institutional investors and developers. He advises clients on all aspects of real estate law, including investment (asset deals and share deals) and divestment, creation of funds and partnerships, property development transactions and commercial leases.

Florence Chérel, 45, has been a member of the Paris Bar since 2001. Florence was a partner with the real-estate practice of the Paris office of law firm Herbert Smith since 2009, having joined in 2005 after working for five years for Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés. She specialises in public law, property development and related environmental issues. In that role, Florence assists investors, developers and planners on all aspects of public law affecting their projects, from land management to contractual arrangements, through to planning procedures and incorporation of environmental constraints.

Benjamin Bill, 38, is a member of the Paris Bar and qualified in Germany as a Rechtsanwalt. An associate counsel with the real-estate practice of the Paris office of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, Benjamin advises public and private clients, including numerous domestic and international investment funds and property companies, on complex real-estate transactions focusing on investments and divestments (acquisitions or disposals of real-estate assets or companies, French or pan-European portfolios), structuring and real-estate financing as well as on contractual aspects related to construction projects and commercial leases. He has been appointed associate counsel within the new team.

Jean-Marc Peyron, associate counsel.

Jean-Marc Peyron, 50, member of the Paris Bar since 1995 and Of Counsel with the Paris office of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills since 2011, is an expert specialist in real-estate asset management and more specifically in commercial leases. He is a recognised expert in off-plan lease agreements. Jean-Marc Peyron advises investors and end-users on transactions and disputes involving involving all types of properties (hotels, office buildings as well as retail and logistics premises). He will be associate counsel within the new team.

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