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GAR 100 - 11th Edition

Teynier Pic

04 April 2018

Obtained a headline-grabbing attachment against Equatorial Guinea

People in Who’s Who Legal 1
People in Future Leaders 1
Pending cases as counsel 21
Value of pending counsel work US$1.5 billion
Treaty cases 5
Current arbitrator appointments 14 (of which 4 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 4

Eric Teynier and Pierre Pic founded one of Paris’ oldest disputes boutiques in 2004 after working for many years at Shearman & Sterling in Paris alongside Emmanuel Gaillard. For a while the duo were also part of the legal arm of professional services firm EY.

In 2007, they brought in Laurence Kiffer from Derains & Associés and a number of younger lawyers from well-regarded arbitration shops such as Jeantet Associés. She is a member of the Paris Bar Council.

It took a decade for the firm to recruit a fourth partner, Raphael Kaminsky. He joined in 2017, having worked at Latham & Watkins and Lazareff Le Bars and as a solo practitioner.

Teynier Pic has worked for a variety of clients including aerospace and defence contractors, telecoms companies and modelling agencies, often on ICC matters. It also handles investment treaty matters for investors and states alike. It has a particular niche helping clients facing difficulties in French-speaking countries such as Niger, Equatorial Guinea and Lebanon.

In 2016, the firm forged an alliance with Griffin Litigation, a London and New York-based boutique set up by Peter Griffin of Slaney Advisors, which has a primary focus on enforcement against sovereign states.

Teynier, Pic and Kiffer regularly sit as arbitrators. Teynier was part of the tribunal in the famous Getma v Guinea case, which saw a clash with the OHADA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration over the arbitrators’ remuneration.

The team includes one counsel and six associates, with capability in French, English, Spanish, German, Tamil and Hindi.

Who uses it?

Clients include Orange, Thales, GE, Total, French supermarket chain Auchan, cereals trader Sougglet, Maroc Telecom (part of the UAE’s Etisalat group) and Turkish contractor Cengiz.

In investment treaty cases, it has defended the Czech Republic and acted for French clients in claims against Vietnam.

Track record

One of Teynier Pic’s first successful collaborations with Griffin came in 2016 when the team won the seizure of a Boeing 777 jet used by Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang Nguema at Lyon airport, as part of its efforts to enforce a €135 million ICC award in favour of French telecoms group Orange.

It helped a Franco-Algerian joint venture prevail in a €110 million arbitration against an Algerian state-powned oil company over performance of contracts for the provision of security for oil and gas pipelines. The claimant prevailed on its claims in 2016 and won enforcement of the award. Quinn Emanuel was on the other side.

Another recent success was for a US military contractor in a €70 million ICC case against a Middle Eastern state over the breach of an agreement for the upgrade of engines for the state’s air force. The arbitration took place in Geneva and was settled in 2016, with the state agreeing to pay all the client’s outstanding debt.

It has also helped a leading French defence company prevail in a €40 million ICC case against the navy of a Central Asian state relating to an anti-submarine war system; and won an award for a leading telcoms company in Morocco against a Belgian telecoms carrier.

For the Czech Republic, it defeated a €80 million claim by German investor Rupert Binder in 2011, breaking what until then had been a losing streak for the state in bilateral investment treaty cases.

It helped a French client defeat a €325 million claim by an Alstom subsidiary concerning a liquefied natural gas containment system in an ICC arbitration seated in London. It also won related actions in the English and French courts.

In another matter, it represented a telecoms company in a billion-dollar arbitration with Lebanon over the cancellation of a contract to build a GSM cellular telecoms system.

Recent events

Teynier Pic helped British Virgin Islands company Africard enforce a US$26 million award against Niger in the French courts, despite the state’s allegations of fraudulent collusion between the sole arbitrator, the claimant and an expert witness. In an unprecedented move, Niger tried to obtain judicial review of the confirmation order.

The firm is defending a telecoms client against a €30 million ICC claim brought by an African state in the wake of an attachment against the state’s assets.

Raphael Kaminsky is handling a US$50 million UNCITRAL claim on behalf of a Russian client against Niger over the allegedly wrongful termination of a public procurement contract.

Alongside London boutique Fietta, he is also acting for US national Vincent Ryan and his private equity firms Schooner Capital and Atlantic Investment Partners in set-aside proceedings before the French courts, where they seek to revive a US$185 million ICSID additional facility claim against Poland that was dismissed in 2015.

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