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Thought Leader

WWL says

Patrick Hebreard is held in high regard by market commentators who applaud his deep expertise in high-value energy arbitrations.

Questions & Answers

The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.

Patrick is an experienced testifying expert who has acted in many complex and high-value arbitration proceedings in the energy sector in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Patrick acts as quantum expert and as an energy industry expert providing opinion on industry practice and market development thanks to his 17 years of experience in the energy industry. He has testified in French and English and is also fluent in Spanish.

Describe your career to date. 

I have spent more than 12 years in the energy industry, working for EDF in Paris and BP in London, as market analyst and then negotiator. I moved into consultancy in 2015 at a boutique firm before joining FTI Consulting in 2019, and am still very involved in the energy industry. In the past five years, I have been appointed testifying expert in many complex and high-value arbitration cases in the energy sector. I also advise energy companies on economic, commercial, regulatory and strategic issues, in projects and contracts.

How has your previous experience in the energy industry enhanced your current practice as an expert?

My industry experience has undeniably been the key enabler of my career as a testifying expert. It remains a key differentiating factor compared to some of my peers who may not have first-hand experience in the industry.

In addition to the knowledge and expertise acquired in the energy market, having been on the client side allows me to understand clients’ expectations better and to have efficient communication with them. I also reckon that leading complex and high-profile negotiations has prepared me well for cross-examination.

Most importantly, my experience in the industry is not behind me!

I continue to develop it by being active and present in the market and advising companies. It is very important to me to maintain an advisory practice, to keep abreast of market trends and recent developments.

What types of matters have you worked on recently?

I have been working on very diverse arbitration matters over the past few years, predominantly on energy matters. The most recent cases I have worked on include an investment dispute over a gas pipeline in South America, a power-pricing dispute in Africa, a gas-pricing dispute in Asia, another one in Europe, an investment dispute over a hydropower plant in Europe… all fascinating cases!

What do you enjoy most about acting as an expert?

I enjoy the variety of cases, both in terms of topics and geographic scope. I consider each case to be a new challenge as there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Finding the right argument, the right approach, the right explanation in a complex, high-profile and high-value case requires a lot of hard work, which is both challenging and appealing. I take a lot of satisfaction in deploying a combination of hard and soft skills in my day-to-day work.

It is also extremely stimulating and humbling to be working in such an international environment, among brilliant people from very diverse backgrounds and cultures. Working in three different languages (French, English and Spanish) is a true pleasure.

How does FTI differentiate from competitors?

I think that FTI Consulting’s key differentiation comes from the extent and the quality of its network.

As a company, FTI Consulting has a unique ability to offer the right expert with the right expertise and experience, on both quantum and industry-specific issues. FTI Consulting’s experts are used to work in collaboration across borders and practices to offer the best service to our clients.

Our experts and staff are all top quality. We are regularly top of the class in various rankings of expert firms and have a larger pool of experts than any of our competitors.

Which trends do you see emerging in disputes in the energy market over the next few years?

Covid-19 drastically affected the world economy and its impact will be long felt. As I mention in my article on the impact of covid-19 on the energy market, I would expect it to lead to an increasing number of contractual and investment disputes. 

Notwithstanding the covid-19 crisis, the energy market is subject to major changes in policy, regulation and trade induced by climate change and the required energy transition. In an article I co-wrote, we argue that many more climate change-related disputes are to be expected in the coming years, which would be a challenge in terms of damages valuation.

How would you like to develop your practice in the next five years?

I would like to contribute to the development of our Paris arbitration practice and of our next generation of experts.

Energy is an obvious driver for our growth, with our Paris team being a centre of expertise able to work across the energy sector and different geographies. Building on our expertise in the energy sector, we would continue to expand to other network industries.

I would also prioritise the strengthening of our collaboration with our colleagues across the globe. Our clients will always benefit from existing experience acquired in other locations.

Do you have any advice for practitioners seeking to transition to an expert from an industry role?

First, build a strong network. It is key to have insiders who you can refer to, who trust you and could recommend you. This will increase your network and your visibility.

Second, get as much experience as you can in-house, attend hearings, review arbitral decisions - it is crucial to know where you are heading.

Third, stay true to yourself.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"Patrick is a true expert with first-hand industry experience"
"He possesses clear-mindedness and strong organisational skills"
"He's got a very precise and clear drafting style"
"Patrick is an excellent specialist of the energy sector who is a pleasure to work with"

Biography

Patrick Hebreard is a managing director with FTI Consulting, based in Paris. Patrick is an experienced expert and adviser with over 17 years of experience in the energy industry. Patrick has been appointed as testifying expert in many complex and high value arbitration proceedings. 

Patrick acted as expert in many energy contracts and energy infrastructures related cases. He also worked on other industry sectors including aeronautics, transportation, consumer products and real estate. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Patrick worked successively for EDF, BP and CEG Europe.

Patrick assisted major companies and leading law firms in various regions across the world, including Europe, Africa, Middle East and South America. He worked on large and complex cases where damages claimed exceeded $1bn.

Patrick acts as quantum expert, valuing damages. Thanks to his career in the energy industry, Patrick acts as well as energy industry expert providing opinion on industry practice and market standard regarding contracts and project development in the energy sector. 

Patrick also advises companies on economic, commercial and strategic issues in the energy sector. Throughout his career, Patrick acquired a significant experience of the energy markets across their value chains, with a focus on long-term gas and LNG sales and purchases agreements 

Patrick is fluent and works in English, French and Spanish. 

Patrick is a trained engineer with a Master of Science, specialised in Energy and aeronautics. He also holds a Master's degree in marketing and a Master degree in arbitration law.

He is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

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