France: Arbitration 2019

In this chapter, we highlight the 103 foremost arbitration specialists in France. They have been selected for their expertise and experience in a large variety of disputes across myriad sectors, operating under major institutional rules or on an ad hoc basis.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Emmanuel Gaillard  Shearman & Sterling LLP, Paris 
2. Alexis Mourre  Independent Arbitrator, Paris
3. Eduardo Silva Romero Dechert LLP, Paris
4. Pierre Mayer  Pierre Mayer, Paris
5. Laurent Jaeger   King & Spalding International LLP, Paris 
6. Fernando Mantilla-Serrano  Latham & Watkins, Paris
7. Isabelle Michou   Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, Paris
8. Charles Nairac  White & Case LLP, Paris
9. Eric Teynier  Teynier Pic, Paris
10. Michael Polkinghorne  White & Case, Paris 

Powerhouse full-service firm Shearman & Sterling demonstrates the strength and depth of its arbitration team with five practitioners listed here.  
Emmanuel Gaillard is celebrated as a pre-eminent arbitration practitioner whom peers designate “one of the leaders of the field”. He possesses considerable experience in high-value international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations across the oil and petrochemical sectors.
Yas Banifatemi draws acclaim as “among the biggest stars of the French market”. She specialises in advising and representing states and companies in matters relating to investment protection, and oil and gas.
Jennifer Younan is “an excellent practitioner” with experience under most major arbitration institutional rules. She focuses her practice on investment treaty and commercial disputes in the energy, banking and construction sectors.
Mohamed Shelbaya is “a very impressive lawyer” and “one of the rising stars in the field”, say sources. He has represented states and state-owned entities in disputes within the energy sector.
Coralie Darrigade elicits praise as “a great name” in the market. Her practice is geared towards representing public and private sector clients in investor-state and commercial arbitrations.

White & Case achieves highly this year, with five of its number securing a listing.
Charles Nairac is one of the heavyweights of the French market when it comes to arbitration. One source says he is “impeccable in arbitration and is great at managing cases” while another effuses that “everything is of great quality”.
Michael Polkinghorne is distinguished as “a leading practitioner in Paris”, whom peers describe as sitting “at the top” of the market. He is well versed in advising commercial and sovereign clients on disputes pertaining to the energy, telecommunications and infrastructure sectors.
Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall receives recommendations from market commentators across Europe and North America for his excellent work handling joint venture, energy, M&A and IP disputes.
Christopher Seppälä is “massively well regarded” by market commentators. He is a specialist in international commercial and construction arbitration, and is particularly skilled in FIDIC arbitrations.
Sylvain Bollée has “one of the finest minds in France” impart peers who add he is “a very good arbitrator”. He has experience acting as expert witness, counsel, and arbitrator in before various international courts and arbitral institutions.

Dechert distinguishes itself in the market this year with four of its practitioners listed.
Eduardo Silva Romero is “a major star and thought leader in the space” with “a strong arbitration practice”. His expertise lies in representing states and state entities in disputes relating to the construction, mining and telecommunication sectors. 
José-Manuel García Represa is described as “simply the best in the market”, and is recognised as a practitioner who “displays an unmatched mastery of every detail of a case”.
Philip Dunham is acclaimed as “a very strong practitioner” by respondents. He has over 27 years of experience acting as counsel in international arbitrations under institutional or ad hoc rules
Xavier Nyssen has over 30 years of experience acting as counsel in international arbitrations pertaining to the telecommunications, energy, pharmaceutical and military procurement sectors.

Derains & Gharavi performs impressively in our research, with four listings.
Yves Derains is recognised as “a leading arbitrator in France” who is “ extremely well known and well respected” for his considerable experience in commercial and investor-state arbitration matters, as both counsel and arbitrator.
Hamid Gharavi is a standout name in international arbitration who is highlighted for his “very strong Africa practice in particular”. He has significant experience in commercial and investment arbitrations across the energy, telecommunication, media and aviation sectors.

Betto Seraglini sees three of its arbitration specialists listed this year.
Jean-Georges Betto is “a well-known” name in the market who focuses on international arbitration across the defence, aviation, engineering and construction sectors. 
Christophe Seraglini is highlighted for his “extensive arbitration practice” by sources this year, who stress that he is “to be praised for his academic approach”. He specialises in international disputes pertaining to the construction, energy and technology markets.
Julien Fouret is well liked by peers in the market, and is described as “a very good and ambitious all-round lawyer, with a strong academic background and knowledge of investment arbitration”.

Bredin Prat counts three of its number listed in our research into the French market.
Raëd Fathallah is recognised as “a rising star” in France for arbitration matters, particularly  acting as counsel in international commercial and investment arbitrations under many of the major arbitration institutions.
Tim Portwood receives plaudits from market commentators across Europe for his experience as counsel in international disputes related to the energy, oil and gas, construction, and telecommunications sectors.
Louis Christophe Delanoy is a respected figure in the French market whose expertise lies in acting as counsel in ad hoc, ICC and ICSID proceedings pertaining to M&A, foreign investment and construction disputes.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has three practitioners recognised for their arbitration practice.
Jean-Yves Garaud is “a well-known lawyer” whose practice focuses on a range of finance, M&A and investment-treaty disputes.
Claudia Annacker wins acclaim as “a very high-level” arbitration specialist with extensive experience in ICSID arbitrations, representing nation states on a variety of matters.
Laurie Achtouk-Spivak frequently represents investors and sovereign states in ICSID proceedings. One peer highlights her “impressive strategic analysis and speedy mind, as well as her deep and broad knowledge and immediate response time”.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer sees three of its lawyers achieve a listing this year.
Noah Rubins has “an excellent practice” and is “a highly regarded figure” in the market. His expertise lies in commercial and investment treaty disputes across the construction and energy sectors. 
Ben Juratowitch QC is “an outstanding advocate” who is well versed in representing states, foreign investors and commercial parties in disputes in the oil and gas and energy sectors.
Peter Turner QC is lauded by peers across the US and Europe as “excellent both as counsel and arbitrator”. He wields over 20 years of experience in arbitration matters across the energy investment banking, mining and construction sectors.

Gide Loyrette Nouel performs well this year, with three listings.   
Christian Camboulive is “sharp and to the point” while also being “a pleasure to work with”. He acts as both arbitrator and counsel under ICC, ICSID, VIAC and CAS rules.
The “excellent” Carole Malinvaud is endorsed by market commentators as “an absolutely outstanding practitioner”. She has experience with domestic and international commercial arbitrations pertaining to the energy, defence and construction sectors.
Alexandra Munoz is “an assertive and very efficient practitioner” who has “a very good reputation in the French market dealing with commercial arbitration cases for French and French-speaking African clients”.

Jones Day counts three of its lawyers among those listed here.
Market commentators highlight Jean-Pierre Harb as “a great advocate”, and highlight his “successful construction practice”. He brings over 20 years of experience as arbitrator and counsel in construction, aviation, and oil and gas disputes.
Elie Kleiman is praised for her “diverse practice, very effective work and her client-oriented approach”. She has over 30 years of experience in international arbitration matters, particularly in joint venture, contracts, licensing and distribution disputes.
Michael Bühler is lauded by clients as “a wonderful professional who is ready to meet the client’s highest expectations”. He is experienced at handling civil construction, engineering and hotel development disputes.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan sees three practitioners listed this year.   
Isabelle Michou sits among the most prominent arbitration specialists in France. She wins praise as “an extremely competent practitioner, who is a fast thinker and never loses sight of the commercial and strategic drivers”.
Michael Young QC is recognised by peers across Europe and the US for his “strong oil and gas experience”. He represents international clients under various international rules and on an ad-hoc basis.
Thomas Voisin is “highly regarded” among peers. He has “perfect bilingual skills” and “a very client-focused practice” that centres around investment, energy and other commercial disputes.

Teynier Pic performs well, with three of its lawyers listed in this year’s research.
Eric Teynier is “an extremely brilliant and well-prepared lawyer” who has more than 30 years of experience representing clients before the major arbitration institutions and on an ad hoc basis.
Pierre Pic is a respected member of France’s arbitration community. His expertise lies in commercial arbitration, and he is experienced in disputes pertaining to the telecommunications, space, arms and construction sectors.
Laurence Kiffer is experienced as both arbitrator and counsel, and focuses on representing states and foreign companies on construction, finance and insurance matters.

Independent arbitrator Alexis Mourre “is at the top of the market” and is described as “doing exceptional work at the ICC and as an arbitrator”. He has significant experience and expertise as arbitrator and counsel across most major institutional rules.

Independent practitioner Pierre Mayer is one of France’s foremost arbitrators. Respondents consider him “one of the best-known names in the field” who “does fantastic work”.

Brigitte Stern at the Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne is “a terrific” practitioner in the market who is recognised as “one of the top five in France for investment arbitration”.

Simon Greenberg with Clifford Chance Europe has “a huge reputation in the market” and is “a highly respected figure” among peers in France. He has considerable experience in disputes arising from the aviation, construction, telecommunication and energy sectors.
Jason Fry is acclaimed as “an outstanding lawyer” and “very knowledgeable and capable” by sources. He brings over 25 years of experience acting as both counsel and arbitrator in international disputes in the infrastructure, energy and aerospace sectors.

Michael Ostrove of DLA Piper achieves recommendations from peers across Europe, the US and the UAE for his work on investment treaty and commercial arbitrations in the mining, agriculture and pharmaceutical sectors.

Laurent Jaeger at King & Spalding International is “a very famous name” in arbitration circles, and is praised as “a great lawyer”. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in international disputes, and has particular experience in the energy sector.

Fernando Mantilla-Serrano with Latham & Watkins is “a super lawyer with a very strong character” who is well versed in commercial and investor state disputes. One peer effuses that “he is amazing at what he does”. 

Georgios Petrochilos of Three Crowns is “very well known for public international law and investment treaty work”. He has “a very strong reputation”, with sources imparting that he “does a terrific job”.
Todd Wetmore wins high praise from peers who note he is “good at technically complex disputes in the construction and technology sectors”.

Roland Ziadé at Linklaters is “an accomplished practitioner in France”, who is “extremely smart and super client-oriented”. One peer stresses that he is “great to deal with”.
Pierre Duprey is hailed by respondents as “very famous as counsel” in the market. He has over 20 years of experience acting as counsel in domestic and international commercial arbitrations spanning a wide array of sectors.

Dany Khayat at Mayer Brown is recognised as “a brilliant practitioner” by peers and specialises as counsel in commercial arbitrations pertaining to the construction, IP, defence and infrastructure sectors.
Alejandro López Ortiz is “a very sharp, hard-working lawyer who is a pleasure to work with”. One peer effuses that he is impressively “results and detail-oriented, creative and a master of his areas of practice”.

Jennifer Kirby at Kirby is “a top name in the market” and is lauded by sources as “an excellent arbitrator, with a reputation for being efficient and thorough.”

Nathalie Meyer-Fabre of Meyer Fabre Avocats is recognised by peers as “a really terrific practitioner, who is one of the great private international law specialists in France”.

Bart Legum at Dentons enjoys “a big reputation” for his arbitration practice, and is identified by peers as “an excellent lawyer in both commercial and investment treaty work”.

Peers “have high regard” for Laurent Aynès of Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier. They report that he is “an excellent practitioner, and one of the preeminent arbitrators in France”. 

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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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