France: Arbitration 2018

In this chapter we highlight 97 of the leading arbitration counsel and arbitrators in the French market.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Emmanuel Gaillard Shearman & Sterling LLP, Paris
2. Philippe Pinsolle Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, Paris
3. Eduardo Silva Romero Dechert LLP, Paris
4. Alexis Mourre Independent Arbitrator, Paris
5. Yves Derains Derains & Gharavi, Paris
6. Yas Banifatemi Shearman & Sterling LLP, Paris
7. Noah Rubins Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Paris
8. Pierre Mayer Pierre Mayer, Paris
9. Hamid Gharavi Derains & Gharavi, Paris
10. Roland Ziadé Linklaters LLP, Paris
11. Michael Polkinghorne White & Case LLP, Paris
12. Brigitte Stern Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris

DECHERT sees four arbitration practitioners recognised this year for their exceptional expertise in the field.
Eduardo Silva Romero is among the foremost arbitration lawyers in the country, as identified in our research. Sources describe him as “fantastic” and “really up there with the best”. He is particularly well regarded for his work on energy disputes as well as investment arbitration proceedings.
José-Manuel García Represa is “a young and up-and-coming name” who boasts “much more experience than his seniority would expect”. Respondents particularly commend his “impressive management of arbitration cases”.
Philip Dunham “does great work” in the arbitration space, where he is well known for his adept handling of cases both ad hoc and under various international rules including ICC, LCIA and ICSID.
Xavier Nyssen wins international recognition for his superb arbitration practice which encompasses disputes across a range of sectors from pharmaceuticals through to telecoms.

LINKLATERS also performs well this year receiving four nominations in this chapter.
Roland Ziadé is one of France’s most prominent arbitration practitioners. He is “extremely well respected”, most notably for his work in relation to the Middle East.
Christian Albanesi is “an excellent lawyer” who draws high praise for his impressive understanding of arbitral proceedings. He leads the firm’s Latin American arbitration practice and is known for his work both as counsel and arbitrator.  
Clément Fouchard is “one of the very best” in the arbitration field in France and stands out among peers who note, “He is clearly very good and is definitely going places.” 
Pierre Duprey is recognised for his strategic approach to complex arbitration proceedings and is commended by sources, one of whom notes, “Pierre is a bright mind and has the capacity to keep calm in a difficult situation.” 

SHEARMAN & STERLING sees four practitioners recognised for their excellent work in arbitration proceedings.
Emmanuel Gaillard is “an exceptionally smart lawyer” who is highlighted for “the impressive quality of his work” on large international disputes. Sources consider him “an outstanding figure” in the French market who “always delivers the goods”.
Yas Banifatemi stands out as “very impressive counsel” who “knows the cases inside out”. She is “very well respected” for her work under a range of international arbitration rules including ICSID and UNCITRAL, where she never fails to “dig deep into the key issues” of a case.
Jennifer Younan is “an extremely bright lawyer” according to respondents who describe her as “a big name of the future”. She is commended for her expertise advising states and state-owned entities on both commercial and investment-treaty proceedings. 
Mohamed Shelbaya is praised as “one of the greatest arbitration minds of his generation” and wins plaudits from sources as being “a calm, composed and efficient practitioner".

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER sees four arbitration practitioners highlighted in this chapter.
Noah Rubins boasts a great reputation among peers and clients as “an excellent and very bright counsel” and is highlighted for his particular expertise on quantum issues. One source effuses: “He is better on damages issues than most quantum experts.”
Ben Juratowitch QC is recognised as “a young and very talented practitioner in all types of arbitration” by respondents who highlight his strong expertise across commercial, investor-state and arbitration-related litigation proceedings.
Elie Kleiman is “very well regarded for commercial arbitration” and is commended by one respondent as “one of the best francophone arbitration lawyers” in the market.
Peter Turner QC is “excellent counsel and arbitrator” according to impressed sources who recognise his extensive experience handling arbitration proceedings relating to both institutional and ad hoc rules.

QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN achieves four nominations this year.
Philippe Pinsolle is “a big player in both commercial and investment-treaty arbitrations” according to sources who note, “He is one of the absolute masters in the field.” He is regarded as “a great oral advocate” who is “one of the most impressive names around at the moment”.
Isabelle Michou is “a real player” in the French arbitration space who wins commendations from peers for her “tough, well-prepared and very professional approach” to proceedings.
Michael Young QC is internationally recognised as a top-tier arbitration practitioner. He wins particular praise from respondents for his leading expertise in disputes across the energy sector.
Thomas Voisin is also highly recommended for his first-rate arbitration practice. He continues to impress sources who note, “He is always calm and composed and is a pleasure to work with.”

WHITE & CASE also sees four individuals recognised in this chapter.
Michael Polkinghorne is “definitely number one” in the French arbitration market according to one source, while others describe him as “a very good advocate in commercial and investment cases”. He receives widespread plaudits for his particular expertise in energy and contracts law.
Charles Nairac impresses sources who note he is “becoming one of the top arbitration practitioners in the country”. They praise his “well-respected practice” as well as his “excellent work” handling energy and construction-related proceedings.
Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall is “hugely experienced in construction arbitration” and is “very impressive” when it comes to handling related disputes in the EMEA region.
Christopher Seppälä enjoys “a great reputation” in the French arbitration market, according to interviewees. He is a firm favourite among clients who commend his “very impressive knowledge of his cases”.

BETTO SERAGLINI sees three lawyers highlighted this year.
Julien Fouret is “very reliable and great on French law” according to market commentators who note him as a highly active figure in the arbitration field. He is recognised for his work as both arbitrator and counsel across a range of proceedings.
Jean-Georges Betto stands out as “a very well-known and successful figure in the market”. He is recognised for his “excellent work” and vast experience handling proceedings across a wide array of sectors including construction and energy.
Christophe Seraglini is commended for his “very pragmatic and strong approach to commercial cases” and is highlighted for his impressive work as arbitrator in international disputes.

DERAINS & GHARAVI also achieves three nominations in this chapter.
Hamid Gharavi is “a really great arbitration practitioner” who focuses his world-class practice on commercial, institutional and ad hoc arbitration proceedings. One source comments, “He is really strong in the investment space.”
Yves Derains is “a smart and very well-respected lawyer” who is described as “brilliant as both counsel and arbitrator”. He is particularly recognised for his superb work in investment proceedings, where he is “splendid as arbitrator”.
Melanie van Leeuwen is “highly recommended for her clear and strategic legal thinking” when it comes to complex arbitration proceedings, and is highlighted by one source as “one of the true leaders in the field”.

GIDE LOYRETTE NOUEL receives three listings this year.
Carole Malinvaud is “a well-respected name” in the arbitration community, where she draws high praise for her first-rate work as both counsel and arbitrator in international proceedings.
Christian Camboulive wins international commendations for his excellence in the arbitration space. He is noted for his superb representation of states, corporations and state-owned entities in a range of proceedings.
Alexandra Munoz is “definitely a worthy adversary” in arbitration disputes according to peers, one of whom notes, “She is efficient, to-the-point and concise, and she gets the job done.”

CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON’s Claudia Annacker is “one of the most respected lawyers in the arbitration field” according to respondents who praise her highly for her exceptional work on investment proceedings.
Laurie Achtouk-Spivak is a well-recognised name in the French market who is commended by various sources, one of whom considers her “the best young investment arbitration lawyer in Paris”. 
Jean-Yves Garaud continues to impress sources who consider him “excellent counsel” when it comes to international arbitration proceedings.

At ORRICK RAMBAUD MARTEL, Laurent Jaeger is “a very thorough and extremely impressive arbitration practitioner” who is “always at the top of his game”. Respondents commend his “very analytical legal mind” as well as his “impressive level of service”.
Charles Kaplan gains recognition as “a clever and knowledgeable lawyer” with a strong international reputation for his work on arbitration disputes, most notably across the energy sector.
Laurence Craig is “a very good arbitrator” who receives widespread plaudits for his invaluable experience handling complex international commercial arbitration proceedings.

Jason Fry at CLIFFORD CHANCE is “one of the principal arbitration lawyers in the world”, according to sources. They commend his “top work” handling international proceedings across multiple sectors including energy, infrastructure and aerospace.
Simon Greenberg is highlighted by peers as being “a star” in the market. “He is doing a great job as both counsel and arbitrator,” comment sources,  one of whom considers him “one of the best lawyers I have seen”.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Alexis Mourre draws widespread plaudits as one of the leading practitioners in the international arbitration market. His world-class practice encompasses both ad hoc and institutional proceedings.

Georgios Petrochilos at THREE CROWNS is a well-respected figure in the French arbitration space where he boasts a great reputation as being “excellent for public international law matters, especially gas pricing disputes”.

BREDIN PRAT’s Raëd Fathallah stands out as “a very knowledgeable and excellent advocate” and is widely recognised for his top-tier work handling Middle East-related arbitration disputes.

INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER Pierre Mayer is recognised as “one of the leading arbitrators in France”. He is described by sources as “extremely impressive” and “a superstar arbitrator” who “always maintains a high quality in his work”.

Brigitte Stern of UNIVERSITÉ PARIS I, PANTHÉON-SORBONNE is lauded as “one of the great arbitrators” by sources. Another impressed peer comments: “Brigitte is a first-class arbitrator who is skilful in applying all of her experience and knowledge in extremely complicated, high-profile disputes.”

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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