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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

Gide Loyrette Nouel

09 March 2017

One of the partners received a high-profile sports appointment and chaired a US$15 billion ICC case

People in Who’s Who Legal 2
Pending cases as counsel 12
Value of pending counsel work US$5.2 billion
Treaty cases 1
Current arbitrator appointments 8 (of which 7 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 4

Gide’s international arbitration practice goes way back: Philippe Nouel, who co-founded the firm in the 1950s, was a well-known and respected member of Paris’s arbitration community.

Partners Christian Camboulive, Carole Malinvaud and Pierre Raoul-Duval spearhead the practice these days. Malinvaud was recently appointed as president of the ordinary division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. Camboulive featured in GAR’s “45 under 45” in 2006.

Work covers the whole gamut of industries, with the usual focus on energy and mining disputes, and includes investment treaty work. Recently there’s been an uptick in cases relating to joint ventures, construction, defence and telecoms.

Network

There are five partners in Paris with arbitration credentials and others in London and Warsaw. The wider firm has boots on the ground in Belgium, Morocco, Russia, the US, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam and China.

Who uses it?

Clients range from governments and state-owned entities to private companies. Senegal has used the firm for a high-stakes ICC case in the mining sector. Comoros has retained it for an oil and gas dispute being heard in London at the ICC. Morocco used it for a dispute with Italian construction group Salini over a ring-road project. Other clients include Deutsche Telekom, Orascom, Areva, French insurer Covéa and the International Chamber of Commerce.

French mortgage provider Crédit Foncier retained the firm for three ICC arbitrations against a Saudi company and its guarantor over the financing of a hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Centenarian Spanish publisher Victor Pey Casado has used the firm for an investment treaty claim against Chile over the expropriation of the family publishing business during the dictatorship of President Augusto Pinochet – ICSID’s longest-running case (see ‘Recent events’).

Track record

One of the practice’s biggest wins was in 2011 on behalf of French nuclear company Areva in an ICC arbitration against Siemens. The German side was ordered to pay Areva more than US$925 million for breaching their joint-venture agreement by planning a tie-up with a Russian rival.

In 2012, the firm triumphed in an HKIAC arbitration brought by a French industrial company against a Chinese former business partner. The client won damages and a permanent injunction ordering the Chinese party to withdraw parallel court proceedings in China that had prevented the client’s managing director from being allowed to leave the country.

The firm also obtained wins for a French bank in two high-value parallel ICC arbitrations that included enforcement proceedings in the Middle East.

A while ago, the firm helped telecoms operator Orascom in a dispute with the central African state of Chad. A team led by Camboulive won an award for the client in France, then successfully enforced it in the UK, in what now stands as a landmark case on sovereign immunity under UK law.

Recent events

Pey Casado’s resubmitted ICSID claim against Chile, worth US$340 million, was thrown out in September 2016, some two decades after the dispute first went to arbitration. The claimant’s subsequent attempt to disqualify two of the arbitrators was blocked by the president of the World Bank but other ICSID proceedings continue.

The firm has been advising an Italian contractor in a US$900 million ICC claim over the construction of a gas treatment facility in Algeria.

As mentioned, Malinvaud was elected to preside over the CAS ordinary division in late 2016, replacing Egypt’s Nabil Elaraby. That role gives her control over arbitrations arising from commercial contracts relating to sport. Earlier in the year, she presided over the CAS division set up to hear doping disputes at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

She also found time to chair an ICC tribunal that heard a mammoth US$15 billion claim brought against Telecom Italia by former business partners in Brazil. The case, which concerned allegations of coercion, corruption and industrial espionage, was thrown out in its entirety in September 2016.

Alexandra Munoz was promoted to the partnership at the start of 2017.