France > Dispute resolution > International arbitration
Index of tables
- International arbitration
- Other recommended firms
- Public international law
- Leading individuals: internatonal arbitration
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Shearman & Sterling LLP
Allen & Overy LLP
Castaldi Mourre & Partners
- DLA Piper
- Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier
Other recommended firms
Public international law
Leading individuals: internatonal arbitration
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s 28-lawyer practice in Paris is underpinned by the firm’s impressive global reach. The team’s lawyers regularly act in an advisory capacity and as arbitrators in cases. Investment disputes are a key area of strength and the firm represents state entities and private investors in some of the world’s largest cases in the power, oil and gas sectors. The team also has expertise in international public law and is representing several state entities before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The firm also handles a high volume of commercial cases. Peter Turner is ‘a master in his field’, and Georgios Petrochilos, Elie Kleiman and Noah Rubins are also recommended.
Shearman & Sterling LLP’s 43-lawyer team in Paris attracts some of the world’s largest arbitration cases. The practice covers 20 languages, and has a good balance between the representation of private investors and states, including Algeria and Egypt. Practice head Emmanuel Gaillard is a market-leading figure in investment and energy arbitration, and head of the public international law practice Yas Banifatemi advises state-owed entities and corporations on a wide range of matters including state succession, sanctions and maritime boundaries. The firm is handling a high number of gas price review disputes and is representing Yukos’ former majority shareholders in the world’s largest investment dispute to date. Construction is another strong area of practice, particularly for Todd Wetmore and Mark McNeill, and the team is acting for Areva in a major construction dispute concerning a nuclear power plant in Finland. Fernando Mantilla-Serrano is also developing the firm’s caseload in Latin America and is representing the Republic of Venezuela in three ICSID arbitrations. Philippe Pinsolle left the firm.
Bredin Prat has a growing caseload of large commercial and investment arbitrations, where its lawyers act as either counsel or arbitrator. Energy and mining disputes constitute a significant portion of the team’s workload, and the practice also acts for several state entities and is well established among Middle Eastern clients, as well as some US, Brazilian, Indian, Russian, and Turkish clients. Louis Christophe Delanoy, Raëd Fathallah, Tim Portwood and José María Pérez jointly head the 11-lawyer team.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s expertise encompasses sovereign and public international law matters as well as commercial arbitration. Its high-profile caseload includes strategic investment gas disputes in Eastern Europe and Russia. The firm is a regular adviser to the Russian Federation, which it is representing in the huge Yukos case, and also acts for Argentina and Republic of Congo as well as numerous blue-chip corporations. The team leaders are Claudia Annacker, Jean-Yves Garaud, senior counsel Robert Greig, and counsel Roland Ziadé.
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has ‘a rare ability to look through things, identify real issues and plead with daring when required’. The 11-lawyer team is an active part of the firm’s global practice and is particularly adept at representing states and state-owned entities in oil and gas or construction investment cases. Key clients include Sonatrach and the republics of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The team also acted for the Republic of Algeria in an ICSID dispute regarding taxes applicable to an oil project. The ‘quick and shrewd’ Peter Wolrich heads the practice, and Geoffroy Lyonnet and David Hesse are also recommended. Of counsel Nadia Darwazeh joined from the ICC.
Dechert shows ‘a great deal of professionalism and a profound knowledge of issues under consideration’ in investment arbitrations. The practice deals with major energy, oil and gas, mining, infrastructure, and commercial cases, and is notably increasing its Hispanic investment caseload. Philip Dunham shows ‘unreserved commitment towards his clients’. José Manuel Garcia Represa, Pierre Mayer, Xavier Nyssen and Eduardo Silva Romero are also recommended.
Derains & Gharavi’s ‘very business-oriented’ practice provides ‘top-quality services’, and its lawyers are ‘extremely open-minded’. The firm has achieved major successes in large investment cases and handles a growing commercial and investment caseload from many parts of the world. Highlights included representing Repsol and Gas Natural in a $3bn UNCITRAL arbitration against Sonatrach regarding a liquefied gas exploitation contract. Yves Derains is a highly rated arbitrator who also acts as counsel in cases; Bertrand Derains has great experience as counsel and arbitrator; and the ‘very committed, hardworking and knowledgeable’ Melanie van Leeuwen ‘knows her files inside out and has a good eye for detail’. Hamid Gharavi is ‘a very impressive expert’, ‘extremely practical and sharp’, and ‘able to solve complex matters under both common law and civil law systems’.
The highly regarded Eric Schwartz and James Castello head King & Spalding LLP’s eight-lawyer team, which has a strong practice particularly in construction and energy cases. Joël Alquezar joined from Winston & Strawn.
Michael Polkinghorne heads White & Case LLP’s practice in Paris, which fields 37 dedicated lawyers, whose level of service matches ‘the highest standards’. The practice is one ‘the top law firms in the field of international construction’, with the ‘highly respected’ Christopher Seppälä and the ‘excellent’ Charles Nairac leading the experienced team in this area. The firm is involved in several large-scale disputes in the nuclear and gas sectors, and is representing Naftogaz in a series of SCC arbitrations regarding the transit, purchase and supply of gas into Europe via Ukraine from 2005 to 2010. The firm’s caseload also includes numerous ICC cases and investment disputes. Christophe von Krause and Matthew Secomb are also recommended along with Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall, who re-joined the firm in 2012.
Dentons’ Barton Legum, who heads the firm’s global investment treaty arbitration practice, is highly regarded. Legum represents companies and states in major disputes arising from bilateral investment treaties or NAFTA. The ten-lawyer practice also handles a large number of ICC arbitrations and cases with an eastern European element. Jean-Christophe Honlet heads the practice in France, with Karen Nelson also a key member of the team.
Eversheds LLP is ‘certainly a leader’ in the international public law field, and is representing several states – including Cambodia, India and Colombia – in ICJ proceedings, notably on maritime boundary issues. The practice also frequently advised on sanctions pertaining to Iran, Libya, Cuba and Syria in 2012. The 13-lawyer team also acts for a growing number of private investors and companies in investment and ICC disputes. The team has strong oil and gas expertise, particularly thanks to David Sellers, and represented fertiliser manufacturer UAB Arvi in an ICSID dispute regarding business expropriation in Serbia. Practice head Rodman Bundy is ‘exceptional’, and Will Thomas gives ‘commercial and always adapted advice’. Of counsel Loretta Malintoppi provides ‘truly exceptional’ service.
Clients praise the ‘professional skills and client-oriented approach’ of Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s 20-lawyer team, which manages many ICC cases and can call on an international network of offices to comfortably handle work in London, Warsaw and Hong Kong. The practice recently won a major victory for Areva when an ICC tribunal ordered Siemens to pay $920m for breaching a joint venture agreement. Members of the team also act as arbitrators. Christian Camboulive is ‘a clever technician with great tactics and real managerial qualities’, and UK barrister Rupert Reece is a ‘very down-to-earth’ adviser with ‘great tactical, pleading and cross-examination skills’. Pierre Raoul-Duval and Carole Malinvaud are also recommended.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice has particular strength in the energy and mining sectors, and is also increasingly acting for French technology companies in commercial disputes. Recent cases include gas price reviews and tax matters pertaining to concession agreements and environmental remediation liability. Charles Kaplan co-heads the global practice, which has benefitted from increased resources in Asia, following the firm’s recent merger. Isabelle Michou and Emmanuelle Cabrol are also recommended.
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is a key practice for representing energy clients such as Statoil and its investment practice is also growing. Highlights included representing the Mongolian government and uranium development company MonAtom in an UNCITRAL dispute brought by Canadian company Khan Resources regarding uranium exploration. The firm is also acting for the Republic of Venezuela. Carmen Nuñez-Lagos, who joined from Bredin Prat, will help to boost the practice in the Spanish-speaking world. Laurent Gouiffès is ‘very talented and very good under pressure’. Jean-Georges Betto left to found Betto Seraglini.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP handles large ICC cases in the energy and project sectors, and is also involved in a major patent arbitration. The team also handles investment work, where it is representing the Republic of Lithuania, and members of the team are also regularly appointed as arbitrators. The four partners are José Rosell, Axel Baum, Marc Henry and Marc-Olivier Langlois.
Jones Day’s ‘very professional, experienced’ and multicultural 12-lawyer team is led by the ‘reliable, honest and good strategist’ Michael Bühler. The practice is handling major infrastructure and construction cases in the Middle East, which led to Pierre Heitzmann relocating to the Dubai office, and Jean-Pierre Harb joining from Baker & McKenzie SCP. The firm excels in commercial arbitration and has a growing investment practice. It recently represented Gazprom in two multibillion-dollar gas price review arbitrations. Consultant Sigvard Jarvin is also highly regarded, notably for Swedish law cases.
Orrick Rambaud Martel’s senior counsel William Laurence Craig and Laurent Jaeger, who co-manages the firm’s global practice, have a great reputation in ICC cases. The firm represents several large French, US and international companies, notably in major gas and construction disputes in Africa, and also acts for state-owned entities in investment arbitrations.
Allen & Overy LLP started its arbitration practice in January 2012 after hiring a team from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. The group is led by Michael Young, a highly regarded adviser who charms clients with his great professionalism and personality; Young ‘has the wit of a master, knows ICC rules inside out, and never loses’. The six-lawyer team handles a busy ICC caseload, particularly in gas, energy and shareholders’ agreement matters. Clients include Airbus and Dexia.
Newly created arbitration boutique Betto Seraglini was founded by former White & Case LLP lawyer Christophe Seraglini and former Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP partner Jean-Georges Betto, who has an excellent track record and is praised for his ‘excellent relationship skills’. Gaëlle Le Quillec and Thierry Tomasi, who joined from Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP and STC Partners respectively, are also part of the eight-lawyer team. The firm represents high-profile clients and has been instructed on strategic cases in the defence sector.
Castaldi Mourre & Partners manages a prominent caseload. Alexis Mourre is a well-regarded arbitrator.
Clifford Chance signalled its ambitions by recruiting two major figures from the ICC in 2012: former deputy secretary general of the ICC Simon Greenberg and Jason Fry, the former secretary general of the ICC, who returned to the firm to co-head the practice globally. Jean-Pierre Grandjean and counsel Peter Rosher are also key elements in the team, which has strong technical expertise in commercial arbitration. The practice recently acted for Siemens in an ICC dispute.
Michael Ostrove heads DLA Piper’s five-lawyer arbitration team, and is involved in large investment cases, notably in the telecoms industry. The practice also handles commercial cases and is representing the Republic of Moldova in an ICSID arbitration with a private investor regarding alleged expropriation.
Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier’s Matthieu de Boisséson and Pierre Duprey have a great reputation and act for major clients.
Ginestié Magellan Paley-Vincent’s partners act as arbitrators in large ICC and investment disputes, especially in the oil and gas sectors. Jacques Salès is highly regarded, and Steven Merino is also recommended along with new hire Jalal El Ahdab, who joined from Orrick Rambaud Martel.
Latham & Watkins’ Rachel Thorn represents international corporations in ICC disputes. The firm’s caseload includes energy price reviews and breach of long-term supply agreements.
Lazareff Le Bars regularly represents clients in ICC cases, and practice head Benoît Le Bars is also often appointed as an arbitrator. The firm has a strong focus on Africa-related cases and expertise in OHADA law. The firm reinforced the team by hiring Raphaël Kaminsky from Latham & Watkins and adding two new of counsels.
Teynier, Pic & Associés is ‘recognised by the main players of the international arbitration world’. Eric Teynier, Pierre Pic and Laurence Kiffer, who act as counsels and arbitrators, ‘adapt their advice to their clients’ needs’. The firm handles major commercial and investment cases for clients such as Thales and The Czech Republic.
Winston & Strawn handles commercial and investment cases for companies and sovereign entities, particularly matters pertaining to the energy sector and North Africa. Sovereign clients include The Republic of Ecuador and the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as corporations such as Veolia Propreté. Counsel Maria Kostytska is a key figure in the team, which recruited of counsel Philippe Cavalieros, who previously headed Renault Group’s international arbitration department. Joël Alquezar joined King & Spalding LLP.