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Former Minister Noëlle Lenoir Joins Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's Paris Office
October 12, 2004

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is pleased to announce that Noëlle Lenoir has joined the firm as Of Counsel, resident in its Paris office. Ms. Lenoir will contribute to the firm’s practice in the areas of M&A and strategic alliances, particularly in matters raising issues of EU regulation or public law. As a former judge, she will also support Debevoise’s international dispute resolution practice.

Ms. Lenoir has had an illustrious career as a government official and jurist in France. Most recently, she was the French Minister of European Affairs for President Chirac from June 2002 to March 2004. In that capacity, she was deeply involved in the development of EU law and institutions and the political and economic affairs of the member states. Previously, Ms. Lenoir served a nine-year term on the Conseil Constitutionnel, the highest court in France for constitutional matters. Ms. Lenoir was the first woman and the youngest person ever to have served on the Conseil Constitutionnel. Ms. Lenoir also served as Mayor of the City of Valmondois from 1989 to 1995.

Ms. Lenoir has been a member of the Conseil d’Etat since 1984, and was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Minister of Justice in 1988, where she served until 1990. She was subsequently appointed by the French government to prepare a report on French and international bioethics laws. The report served as the basis for the modernization of French law in the area. Prior to joining the Conseil d’Etat, Ms. Lenoir served from 1982 until 1984 as Director of regulatory matters at the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (Data Protection Governmental Committee) and an Administrator of the Senate between 1972 and 1982.

Ms. Lenoir chaired the European Ethics Committee (the EU advisory group on ethics in science and new technologies) between 1994 and 2001 and was Chair of the International Committee on Bioethics of UNESCO between 1992 and 1998. This advisory committee drafted the Human Genome and Human Rights Declaration, which was endorsed by the United Nations in 1998.

Ms. Lenoir is a graduate of L’Institut d’Etudes Politques de Paris and of the Faculté de Droit de Paris. She has been a professor at each of these institutions, as well as Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, and is currently an Associate Professor at the H.E.C. Business School where she presides over the European Institute. She is a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, an Officer de l’Ordre National du Mérite, an honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn in London and a member of the American Law Institute.

Antoine Kirry, Managing Partner of the Debevoise Paris office, said, "We are honored to have such a distinguished member of the French legal community join us. The transactions on which we work are becoming increasingly complex and tend to involve a broad range of practice areas, including EU regulation and French public law. In an age where financial activity is becoming more and more international, Ms. Lenoir’s arrival in our Paris office will allow us to even better serve the leaders of the business community."

Ms. Lenoir said, "I was intrigued by the opportunity to join a sophisticated international firm of Debevoise’s caliber and to help in building a premier French and European legal practice, consistent with Debevoise’s recognition as one of the very top firms in the U.S. Debevoise has a rare mix of expertise in complex transactions and congenial firm culture, which makes it a very special institution."

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a leading international law firm, representing a wide range of clients around the world. We have offices in New York, Washington D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The firm now has close to 600 lawyers, including approximately 100 lawyers in Europe.



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