In Kabab-Ji SAL (Lebanon) v Kout Food Group (Kuwait) [CA Paris, 23 June 2020, n°17/22943], the Paris Court of Appeal refused to set aside an arbitral award handed down by an ICC Tribunal seated in Paris, although the same award had been denied enforcement and recognition in England on the basis that the award was made against a non-party (our post on the English decision can be accessed here). The French court expressly rejected the argument that it was bound by the English decision.

This case is another illustration of the differences in approach between French and English courts with respect to (i) the identification of the law governing the arbitration clause and (ii) the extension of arbitration agreements to third parties.

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Herbert Smith Freehills has promoted seven disputes lawyers to its partnership, out of a total of 22 worldwide. The promotions in the disputes practice, which take effect on 1 May, 2019, span right across the firm’s global network including: London, Paris, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney.

Of these new partners, three are arbitration specialists, reflecting the strength and importance of this ever growing practice area to the firm.

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Almost 18 years after the Uniform Act on OHADA arbitration law was adopted and the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration created (the CCJA), the OHADA Council of Ministers has adopted three new, very important, texts for arbitration and dispute resolution within the OHADA area: a largely modified Uniform Act on arbitration law, revised CCJA Arbitration Rules, and a new Uniform Act on mediation. These new texts aim at strengthening and promoting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in the OHADA area.

The arbitration reform aims to promote arbitration within the OHADA area, offering expedient, effective, and transparent arbitral proceedings and easily enforceable awards. The reform is also aimed at making the CCJA more attractive as a centre for arbitration by bringing its modus operandi closer to the international standards of other centres for arbitration, in order to position OHADA as a serious competitor on the African continent, including as a suitable venue in many respects for arbitration within the OHADA area.

The new Uniform Act on arbitration, the revised CCJA Arbitration Rules, and the Uniform Act on mediation were published in the OHADA Official Journal the 15 December 2017 and will entry into force on 15 March 2018. This blog piece addresses the first two texts.

For a French language version of this blog post, please click here.

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Environmental and Human Rights issues in Africa have international implications – know what rights and remedies apply

In the first of our regular Africa themed webinars, on Thursday 5 October 2017, 1.00 – 2.00pm BST, we will consider the international implications of environmental and human rights issues in Africa, including:

  • The extraterritorial impacts of a local crisis: international treaty claims and the growing trend of class actions
  • To stay or to go: the risks of exit vs. remaining in-country following a crisis
  • The importance of investment structuring to maximise protection
  • Relying on treaty rights in Africa if things go wrong
  • Preventing and managing crises in Africa


John Ogilvie, Partner, Dispute Resolution, London

Andrew Cannon, Partner, International Arbitration, Paris

Laurence Franc-Menget, Of Counsel, International Arbitration, Paris

To register for the webinar, please contact Prudence Heidemans. Continue reading

Article: Paris Court of Appeal upholds UNCITRAL award in Ukraine v OAO Tatneft

Laurence Franc-Menget has published an article in the Revue de l’arbitrage, the journal of the Comité Français de l’arbitrage, discussing  the Paris Court of Appeal’s decision on an application by Ukraine to annul an $112 million UNCITRAL award against it in favour of OAO Tatneft.  The article, in French, considers the interpretation by the Court of the definition of emanation for the purpose of establishing jurisdiction of an investment arbitral tribunal. To read the full article, please click here.

This article was first published in the Revue de l’arbitrage, 2017, n°2, p. 500 et seq. Continue reading

The Impact of the Arab Spring on International Arbitration

Laurence Franc-Menget, Avocat à la Cour and Of Counsel in Herbert Smith Freehills' Paris office, has published an article in the International Business Law Journal, examining the impact of the Arab Spring on international arbitration. The article considers a tentative classification of arbitrations relating to the Arab Spring, followed by an analysis of the possible consequences of the revolutions on the use of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism in the region. The article is published in French and English. To read the full article, please click here.

This article was first published in the International Business Law Journal (La Revue de Droit des Affaires Internationales), No. 2, 2017, and is reproduced by kind permission of Thomson Reuters (Professional) UK Limited. 

For further information, please contact Laurence Franc-Menget.

Laurence Franc-Menget
Laurence Franc-Menget
+33 1 53 57 73 70


Tribunal des Conflits clears jurisdictional divergence between French Supreme Court and Conseil d’État regarding enforcement of awards rendered in connection with certain public law contracts

In Tribunal des Conflits, 24 April 2017, C4075, the Tribunal des Conflits considered whether the administrative or ordinary courts had jurisdiction to hear an application to enforce an arbitral award made in respect of disputes arising under two public services contracts.

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French Conseil d’État rules on scope of powers to set aside arbitral awards / Le Conseil d’État s’est prononcé sur l’étendue de son contrôle s’agissant de l’annulation d’une sentence arbitrale internationale

In a decision of 9 November 2016, the French Conseil d’État, France's highest administrative jurisdiction, ruled on the extent of its scope of review as regards annulment of an international arbitral award. The decision relates to an ICC arbitral award made in Paris arising from a dispute between Fosmax, subsidiary of French power utility Engie (formerly GDF), and construction consortium STS.  The Conseil d’État's decision represents the latest in a series of cases following the "INSERM" decision (referred to in our blog post here), giving administrative authorities jurisdiction over appeals of international arbitration awards issued in France which relate to administrative contracts. This approach derogates from Article 1519(1) of the French Code of Civil Procedure ("CPC") under which an action to set aside an award is brought before the Court of Appeal of the place where the award was made and seems to establish a dual regime for review of arbitral awards, depending on whether the award involves a public entity.

Please read on for further details and a French-language version of this blog post.

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