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GAR 100 - 12th Edition

Gide Loyrette Nouel

05 April 2019

Settled a series of cases for Italian contractor Saipem relating to projects in Algeria

People in Who's Who Legal 2
People in Future Leaders 1
Pending cases as counsel 15
Value of pending counsel work US$2 billion
Treaty cases 1
Third-party funded cases 0
Current arbitrator appointments 7 (5 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 2

Gide’s international arbitration practice goes a long way back: Philippe Nouel, who co-founded the firm in the 1950s, was a well-known and respected member of Paris’s arbitration community and appeared in some seminal cases of the 1980s, including an ICC case over an Iranian nuclear power plant; and Klöckner v Cameroon, which gave rise to the first ever ICSID annulment decision.

Partners Christian Camboulive and Carole Malinvaud subsequently steered Gide’s arbitration department, together with Pierre Raoul-Duval (who left the firm in 2017).

The two practice co-heads are both highly regarded in the field. Camboulive is a former vice chair of the IBA arbitration committee, while Malinvaud is president of the ordinary division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Other partners to know are Michel Pitron and Alexandra Munoz in Paris; English and French-qualified barrister Rupert Reece in London; and Piotr Sadownik in Warsaw.

Network

The arbitration team is centred in Paris with other partners in London, Warsaw and Moscow.

Gide has additional offices in Brussels, Algiers, Cairo, Casablanca, Tunis, Istanbul, New York, Beijing and Shanghai. In 2017, it opened an office in Tehran.

Who uses it?

Government clients include Comoros in a dispute over oil and gas rights; Ivory Coast in a maritime boundary dispute with Ghana; and Morocco in ICC and ICSID cases concerning road projects.

It has defended French aerospace and defence companies Dassault, Thales and Safran against a claim by Taiwan. Other clients include Deutsche Telekom, Orascom (in a dispute with Chad), Areva and French insurer Covéa.

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

Gide had been advising Spanish publisher Victor Pey Casado in a long-running ICSID case against Chile over the expropriation of his newspaper business during the Pinochet regime. Following Pey’s death in 2018 at the age of 103, the firm continues to pursue the claim on behalf of his daughter and a foundation set up in his name.

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.

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

Recent events

The firm helped Italian contractor Saipem settle three ICC arbitrations against Algeria’s national oil and gas company Sonatrach in 2018 over the construction of oil and gas facilities, which had involved claims worth billions of euros. The settlement came six months before a Milan court found Saipem guilty of paying bribes to Algerian public officials to procure the projects.

In other Algeria-related work, the firm obtained an ICC award for a French engineering company against an Algerian public enterprise regarding the construction of a water treatment plant.  

It is representing a Turkish construction company in an ICC case against an Algerian company regarding a turnkey contract for the construction of a real estate project.

Gide is advising an Ivorian oil and gas company in two ICC arbitrations. One is a US$200 million claim against a Nigerian oil and gas company; the other is a dispute with a UK company over the purchase of a share in an oilfield in the Republic of Congo.

The firm also continues to act for a Chinese consortium in a case at the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre relating to the construction of tunnels for a hydroelectric project in Vietnam.

In the English courts, it helped Turkish waste management company Recydia obtain a worldwide freezing order against a British company in aid of a Zurich arbitration concerning licensing of waste recycling technology.

It also helped Italian defence companies Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani and Finmeccanica defend two ICC awards against a challenge by Iraq in the French courts. The awards concerned the sale of battleships.

Insight

Reviews

Regional analysis from arbitrators around the globe, focussing on key developments in specific industry areas and jurisdictions.

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The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review 2019

Highlights

CRCICA Overview

Ismail Selim and Dalia Hussein

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Overview

Alec Emmerson

DIFC Arbitration Institute (DAI)

Robert Stephen, Matthew Harley and Katy Hacking

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre