PARIS – The international law firm Bryan Cave LLP today announced the addition of two new lawyers to the firm’s Paris office. Constantin Achillas joins the firm’s Commercial Litigation Client Service Group and International Arbitration Team and Jean-Norbert Pontier joins the Financial Services Client Services Group.

“Constantin and Jean-Norbert will add tremendous depth and experience to our firm both in France and the EU, as well as across other international borders,” said Joseph Smallhoover, Paris office managing partner. “They will play a key role in our ongoing efforts to further enhance and expand Bryan Cave’s global reach in key practice areas.”

Achillas’s practice includes more than 20 years of representing clients before the French courts in complex civil and commercial cases, as well as through international and domestic arbitration. He has extensive experience in litigation and ADR. Achillas counsels international corporations and financial institutions on a wide range of pre-contentious and contentious matters, including contractual disputes, professional liability, product liability, insurance coverage as well as other commercial and financial law issues. Achillas also has developed a practice in the litigation aspects of corporate insolvency. He takes part in pre-formal insolvency proceedings and has advised investors, shareholders and creditors of French distressed companies. Prior to joining Bryan Cave, Achillas led his previous firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice in Paris.

“The strength of the firm’s dispute resolution platform presents clients with a core team of experienced professionals dealing with international disputes,” Achillas said. “I’m delighted to be a part of this team in Paris.”

Pontier focuses his practice on domestic and cross-border banking and financial services, corporate finance, project finance (including energy finance/alternative energy), PPP/infrastructure, commercial and residential real estate finance and structured finance, as well as investment bank and capital markets disputes, with a particular emphasis on complex structured debt and capital markets transactions. He has split his time for a number of years between Paris and London.

Since the commencement of the ongoing credit crisis, he has been engaged on various financial restructuring (project finance, CDO/CFO, LBO…), insolvency and workout transactions in different European jurisdictions. He represents both debtors and lenders involved in liquidity facilities, debt-to-equity exchange transactions, out-of-court sale processes, debtor-in-possession financings, forbearance agreements, plan of reorganization exit financings, bankruptcy sales and the interpretation, negotiation and resolution of complex intercreditor and subordination issues.

In his field of practice, he has advised many underwriters, arrangers, project finance sponsors, senior and mezzanine lenders, real estate debt funds, rating agencies, servicer/special servicer and originators on transactions involving a variety of different underlying assets and enforcement/exit strategies for those balance sheet and securitized assets.

“Increased capital/prudential regulation will affect a range of businesses involved in the financial markets and will require serious reorganization and restructuring,” Pontier said. “I’m excited to join Bryan Cave at such an interesting time.”

Achillas and Pontier have worked together in the past on a number of pre-contentious and contentious financial and corporate matters for international financial institutions (including insurance companies).

“The synergies between Constantin and Jean-Norbert will well serve the firm’s client needs and expectations in Europe and around the world, as well as the cross-practice strategy within the firm,” said Joseph Smallhoover.