Head of the Paris Commercial & Civil Litigation Practice, Philippe handles major disputes involving banks, corporates and other business organizations. He also advises clients on a range of complex restructuring and insolvency matters.
Widely respected for his "extensive litigation experience" (Chambers Global 2013), he supports clients when litigation is needed to enforce domestic and international court judgements. However, not all disputes need to end in litigation, and Philippe ensures that his clients are provided with the full range of dispute resolution options available.
Philippe also has a significant track record of helping banks through difficult periods. He has overseen numerous actions in civil and criminal courts to enable banks to limit their losses, and to pursue the liability of borrowing corporations. Philippe also regularly assists major French and international construction companies with litigation involving injunction applications aiming to prohibit the payment of first-demand bank guarantees. He has helped his clients to secure several favorable decisions in such matters before the French courts.
In addition, Philippe is praised for his "significant expertise in handling contentious matters relating to restructuring and insolvency proceedings" (Chambers Global 2014). His insight and experience in this area also helps him to advise companies seeking to buy assets that belong to companies in bankruptcy proceedings.
Philippe assisted a French company in arbitration proceedings relating to a post-acquisition dispute, and the termination of a supply agreement.
Philippe assisted a French company in summary proceedings of first instance before a Paris court, and in the ongoing appeal for trademark infringement, and regarding the merits for unfair competition, before a Paris commercial court.
Real Estate Company
Philippe successfully represented a real estate company which owns numerous shopping centers, in a dispute with a lessee related to its past and future subscriptions to the storekeepers' association. This dispute followed a Supreme Court decision confirming the nullity of the lessee's membership of the storekeepers' association, on the grounds of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Major French Bank
Philippe assisted a major French bank in connection with investigations by the American and French regulatory authorities.
Helvet Immo case, 2013 - ongoing
Philippe is assisting a major French bank faced with criminal and civil charges of commercial malpractice (duty of information, duty to warn, duty of advice, unfair term, legality of escalator clause) in the context of a class action, brought by consumer associations and hundreds of individuals, relating to a portfolio of real estate loans which were granted to individuals in a foreign currency. Proceedings are under criminal investigations and pending before the civil and commercial courts. As well as legal advice on regulatory issues connected with the charges.
Restructuring and insolvency:
Leading supplier of manufacturing solutions
Philippe advised the company regarding its financial restructuring. This was a first-of-its-kind restructuring transaction in France, made by converting a high yield bond debt into capital shares, so that the bondholders became the majority shareholders of the group. Its particular complexity was due to the number of parties involved and the legal and tax constraints linked to the international nature of the group.
Majority shareholder of an energy company
Philippe assisted the majority shareholder of a listed company regarding the restructuring of an energy supplier.
Potential investor in maritime transportation
Philippe assisted a potential investor in the negotiation of a conciliation agreement with a company involved in maritime transportation, as well as with its creditors.
Holding company in financial difficulty
Philippe assisted a holding company that had encountered financial difficulties, and helped to negotiate extensions of the length of its bank loans. He also advised the company as to whether to enter into conciliation or safeguard, as well as combining this procedure with a US Chapter 11 procedure.
French producer of construction materials
Philippe helped a French manufacturer of construction materials to renegotiate its debt, and to restructure its industrial sites pursuant to a French amicable pre-insolvency procedure (mandat ad hoc).
Conferences on "The New French Bankruptcy Law", March 2005 and 2007: Paris, (lecturer and co-organizer with Les Echos)
A conference on "French Bankruptcy Law", September 19, 2006: Paris, (lecturer) (organized by La Revue Banque)
A conference bfinance on the topic of "corporate governance and internal control", December 10, 2003: Paris, (lecturer) (organized by bfinance)
A conference on the topic of "Corporate Governance – Enjeux et implication des nouvelles regulations", March 25, 2003: Paris
Last Offer Arbitration, Option Finance, March 22, 2004, (co-author with Mark Cohen)
Last Offer Arbitration, Les Echos, November 17, 2003, (co-author with Mark Cohen)
Interview published, relating to the reform of the French bankruptcy laws, Lexbase Hebdo (Lettre Juridique Publishing), November 6, 2003
Mise en cause des dirigeants: les garanties possibles, Banque Strategie, March 2003, (co-author with Francois Leloup)
Leading Lawyer (Band 3), Litigation, Chambers Europe 2019
"Philippe Métais acts on banking and financial litigation, as well as contentious mandates in the retail and energy sectors. Sources admire his ‘great mastery of the subjects, very good knowledge of the files and good advice in strategy’."
Leading Lawyer, Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 EMEA 2018
"Practice head Philippe Métais stands out for his 'tactical vision, creativity and constant support' and has 'great knowledge of the banking world'"