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GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier

18 February 2011

The arbitration group at this blue-chip M&A boutique was set up by Matthieu de Boisséson and Pierre Duprey in 1995.

People in Who’s Who:
1
Pending cases as counsel:
9
Value of pending counsel work:
US$1.2 billion
Treaty cases:
0
Current arbitrator appointments:
8 (of which 4 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
3

They joined the firm from Gide Loyrette Nouel, where they worked together on among other things arbitration over the Eurotunnel. As well as its impressive client-following, the firm is known for its partner-to-associate ratio (23 out of a total of 50 lawyers are equity partners).

Current clients include Euromissile, in its long-running dispute with Thales over a series of joint-venture agreements to develop and market air defence weapons systems; and Renault, in a dispute arising from Volvo’s acquisition of Renault Trucks. Arguably the firm’s most high-profile recent case is an arbitration at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. The firm’s client, French dairy group Danone, eventually settled a claim brought by the Chinese soft drinks company Wahaha hours before an award was issued. Wahaha paid €300 million for Danone’s 51 per cent stake in a joint venture. De Boisséson says the result was positive since “enforcing arbitration awards in China can be an uncertain process.”

More recently the firm has been retained by Elf Neftegaz – a former subsidiary of French oil and gas group Elf Aquitaine (now part of the Total Group) – in an ad hoc arbitration under UNCITRAL rules brought by Russian claimants.

In 2002, the team was joined by US expatriate Andrew Plump.

Recent events

De Boisséson was part of the working group that drafted France’s new arbitration law and, according to GAR reports, one of the driving forces in persuading the government to press on with the reforms.

Duprey meanwhile was appointed to the ICC’s arbitration commission. This year the firm added former judge Christophe Ingrain as a partner.

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