Floriane Lavaud is a member of the firm's International Dispute Resolution Group in New York and Paris. Her practice focuses on public international law and international arbitration, with a focus on the Middle East. She is admitted to the New York and Paris Bars, in addition to being a solicitor in England & Wales.

Ms. Lavaud advises and represents multinational corporations and sovereign States in a variety of jurisdictions and fora on issues of civil and common law, public international law, and treaty and contract interpretation. Ms. Lavaud currently represents the State of Qatar before the International Court of Justice in a case against the United Arab Emirates related to claims under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), twice prevailing in proceedings on provisional measures. She recently represented the State of Qatar before the International Court of Justice in a proceeding under the Chicago Convention and other international agreements, obtaining a unanimous decision in Qatar’s favor, and is now representing the State of Qatar before the Council on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In addition, Ms. Lavaud represents the State of Qatar in two separate proceedings against the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia before the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination under the CERD, resulting in a historic decision to constitute ad hoc Conciliation Commissions to consider Qatar’s complaints. Ms. Lavaud also represents Qatari entities in both investment treaty and commercial arbitrations.

Ms. Lavaud advises and represents pro bono clients on both domestic law and public international law issues. She was part of the team that secured the release of César Roberto Fierro Reyna and his return to Mexico after over 40 years of imprisonment on death row in Texas. Mr. Fierro is one of the individuals involved in Debevoise’s representation of Mexico before the International Court of Justice (Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States)). Ms. Lavaud also works closely with human rights organizations to defend the interests of individuals who have been subject to human rights violations around the world.

Ms. Lavaud has been nominated for five consecutive years as a Future Leader in Arbitration by Who’s Who Legal, an edition focused on a selection of outstanding attorneys aged 45 or under, and was recognized in the “Most Highly Regarded” section of the “Future Leaders” list. According to Who’s Who Legal, her peers describe her as “phenomenal” and as a “shining star in the field of international arbitration” with “perfect knowledge of regulatory law.” Previous editions of the guide have described her as “one of the most polished lawyers in the field” and “one of the best practitioners in her field. She pays attention to detail and is very talented in respect of analyzing and constructing legal arguments.”

Prior to joining Debevoise in 2007, Ms. Lavaud worked at Total, the world’s fifth-ranked integrated international oil and gas company. As a member of Total’s Exploration & Production legal division, Ms. Lavaud gained in-depth experience with the oil and gas industry and the agreements specific to this industry such as joint operating agreements and production-sharing agreements.

From 2009 to 2011, she clerked for the Hon. Douglas P. Woodlock of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Ms. Lavaud is among the few civil-law-trained attorneys who served as a federal law clerk. During her two-year clerkship, she was involved in a wide variety of civil and criminal cases under federal and state law and participated in numerous trials and motion hearings.

Ms. Lavaud regularly speaks and publishes on international law-related issues. Her recent articles include “Arbitration: Paris Court Explores the Post-Award Impact of International Sanctions,” Debevoise & Plimpton Client Update (June, 2020); “Arbitrator Disclosure Requirements: First Insights from the International Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal,” Debevoise & Plimpton Client Update (June, 2020); “French Law: COVID-19, MAE Clauses, Force Majeure and Hardship,” Debevoise & Plimpton Client Update (March, 2020); “Litigation in France: Evolving Landscape,” Debevoise & Plimpton Client Update (January, 2020); “Vienna Arbitration Days: How to Deal with Biases and Cultural Differences and Other Practical Issues,” Kluwer Arbitration Blog (April, 2019); “U.S. Supreme Court Curtails International Organizations’ Immunity from Lawsuits,” Debevoise & Plimpton Client Update (March, 2019); “Damages Principles in Investment Arbitration,” The Guide to Damages in International Arbitration - Third Edition (November, 2018); “European Funds Comment: Sovereign Wealth Funds Respond to Climate Change Risks and Opportunities,” Issue 53 (October, 2018); “U.S. Supreme Court Limits Enforcement of Terrorism-Related Judgments against Foreign Sovereigns,” Debevoise & Plimpton Client Update (March, 2018); “Damages Principles in International Arbitration,” The Guide to Damages in International Arbitration - Second Edition (March, 2018); “Arbitration Guide - United States,” IBA Arbitration Committee (February, 2018); and “Damages Principles in Investment Arbitration,” GAR, The Guide to Damages in International Arbitration (January, 2018).

Ms. Lavaud currently serves as an arbitrator including on the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal (QSAT). She also recently served as a New York Regional Representative of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum. She is the Co-Chair of the International Arbitration Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and sits on the Arbitration Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She is also a member of numerous arbitration organizations including the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Advisory Board representing Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Finally, she is a member of the Justice Circle, an initiative of the International Justice Program of Human Rights Watch.

Ms. Lavaud received an LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2007 and an M.A. in Litigation and Arbitration from the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas with honors in 2005. She is a native French speaker and is also proficient in Spanish and has basic knowledge of Dutch.

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2007, LL.M.
  • Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, 2005, M.A.
  • Université de Toulouse, 2003, M.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Paris
  • Solicitor, England & Wales