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09 June 2020

All-women international disputes boutique opens in Paris

Four-partner team pledges to donate proportion of fees to anti-discrimination causes

By Ben Rigby

Medici Law Firm Team

(l-r) Marie-Laure Bizeau, Delphine Pujos, Valence Borgia and Caroline Duclercq

Four women disputes lawyers, all with strong international law experience, have combined forces to set up Paris-based litigation and arbitration boutique Medici Law Firm.

The four partners — Marie-Laure Bizeau, Valence Borgia, Caroline Duclercq and Delphine Pujos — said in a statement they would work within an innovative and flexible structure.

They have also promised to donate 10% of client fees, by prior agreement, to an endowment fund which will promote equality, address gender-based violence and campaign against discrimination.

'We have the will to embody the values of excellence, efficiency, enthusiasm and ethical commitment,' they said, adding that they aimed to turn litigation risk into an advantage.

Bizeau began her career with Lazareff Law Firm — now Lazareff Le Bars — and worked at Derains & Gharavi for more than 11 years, including as a partner from 2018 to 2020.

With more than 17 years of experience in international arbitration, both as counsel and as an arbitrator, she has worked across cases heard in all the major arbitration institutions, including the ICC’s International Court of Arbitration, which is based in Paris, as well as in investment arbitration proceedings. 

Duclercq spent eight years at Altana, working as both counsel and as an arbitrator. Her practice includes complex construction and engineering proceedings and she has experience with both common law and civil law disputes.

She is active in the French Arbitration Association, serving on its council, and in the ICC, where she is part of the French delegation. 

Borgia is formerly of K&L Gates, where she was a counsel. She is a member of the Paris Bar Council and has also been active in civil litigation associations and in arbitral circles. She has a strong track record conducting pro bono work in the diversity and inclusion arena.

Her practice covers disputes in the energy, transport, aeronautics, media, agri-food, recycling and infrastructure industries and includes Africa-related disputes; Paris is a hub for Francophone dispute resolution for French and African counterparties.

Pujos has more than 15 years’ experience in commercial litigation and international arbitration. She joins the boutique after running her own law practice for two years. Before that she worked at the Paris office of Linklaters as a counsel for nearly ten years, having initially qualified as an M&A lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton. 

Pujos has recently supported the development of mediation initiatives to resolve potential Covid-19 disputes, led by trade association Paris Place de Droit and supported by the Paris Bar, senior corporate counsel network the Cercle Montesquieu and the association of French in-house lawyers AFJE, all under the aegis of the Paris Commercial Court.

In February, two former Paris-based Jones Day disputes specialists, Marie-Laure Cartier and Alexandre Meyniel, set up Cartier Meyniel, offering arbitration and business litigation services to a corporate and investment fund client base.

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