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, international arbitration, and complex litigation, with a particular emphasis on the Middle East. She is admitted to the New York and Paris Bars, in addition to being a solicitor in England & Wales.

With over fifteen years of experience, 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. For example, she recently represented the State of Qatar before the International Court of Justice and the International Civil Aviation Organization, in addition to representing Qatari entities in both treaty and commercial arbitrations. She sits as arbitrator, including on the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal, and serves as counsel in a broad range of international matters.

Ms. Lavaud advises and represents pro bono clients on both domestic law and public international law issues. Most recently, she has worked with Legal Action Worldwide to seek justice for the Rohingya before the International Criminal Court and for the Tigrayan people before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. She has also worked with the Clooney Foundation for Justice on a number of high-profile cases seeking the release of unlawfully imprisoned journalists.

In recognition for her Dispute Resolution work in Qatar, Chambers Global (2022) commends Ms. Lavaud’s “strong knowledge of public international law, in addition to being very practical and strategic in responding to her clients’ needs." Ms. Lavaud is recommended by Chambers USA (2022), where she is described as “an incredible lawyer” who has “precision, dynamism and passion for her work that inspires the trust and appreciation of her clients.” She is also recognized as a “Rising Star” for International Arbitration by The Legal 500 US (2022) and by the Euro Money Legal Media Group (2021-2022), which are awarded to the most promising lawyers in the region. In The Legal 500 US, she is described as “a legal surgeon” and “impeccable and greatly motivated.” Ms. Lavaud is recommended as a Global Leader for Arbitration by Who’s Who Legal (2022). Previously, she was nominated for five consecutive years as a Future Leader in Arbitration by the guide. 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.”

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 and therefore has strong experience in U.S. litigation. During her two-year clerkship, she was involved in a wide variety of civil and criminal cases.

Prior to joining Debevoise in 2007, Ms. Lavaud worked at Total, one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies. 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.

Ms. Lavaud serves in a number of leadership positions. In 2022, she was elected to the Board of Directors of ArbitralWomen, an international organization that promotes women and diversity in international arbitration. Ms. Lavaud also currently serves as Co-Chair of the International Arbitration Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), and as Co-Chair of International Law Weekend (ILW) 2022. She is also a member of numerous arbitration organizations, including the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Advisory Board representing Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. She also recently served as a New York Regional Representative of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum.

Ms. Lavaud regularly speaks and publishes on international law-related issues. Her key publications include: “Reinvesting in international law: five key takeaways,” Global Arbitration Review (2021); “A Duty to Disclose, a Duty to Inquire: French and European Courts Address an Arbitrator’s Independence and Impartiality,” LexisPSL (2021); “Damages Principles in Investment Arbitration,” The Guide to Damages in International Arbitration - Third Edition (2018); “Arbitration Guide - United States,” IBA Arbitration Committee (2018); “Damages Principles in Investment Arbitration,” GAR, The Guide to Damages in International Arbitration (2018); “Corruption in International Arbitration: Challenges And Consequences,” Global Arbitration Review (2018); “Corporate Responsibility For Human Rights Violations After Urbaser,” International Bar Association Oil and Gas Law News (2017); “Valuation Date in Investment Arbitration: A Fundamental Examination of Chorzów’s Principles,” Journal of Damages in International Arbitration (2016); “Forum Non Conveniens as Bar to Enforcement,” The Arbitration Review of the Americas (2017); “Recognition of ICSID Awards in the United States: Are Ex Parte Petitions Allowed?,” The Arbitration Review of the Americas (2016); and “Determining Compensation for Expropriation In Treaty-Based Oil & Gas Arbitrations,” Leading Practitioners’ Guide to International Oil & Gas Arbitration (2015).

Her recent speaking engagements include teaching “Investment Treaty Arbitration Practicum” at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas, Dubai Campus (2022); “The Illegality Defense in Investment Treaty Arbitration,” Kuwait Business Law Forum (2022); “Arbitrating in the MENA Region: Dos and Don’ts,” Dubai Arbitration Week (2022); “Coercive Diplomacy in the Skies: Dispute Resolution Mechanisms and Legal Remedies for States” International Law Weekend (2022); “Reforming the U.N. Security Council to Address Modern Challenges” International Law Weekend (2022); “The US BIT Policy in light of NAFTA Cases” Annual Investment Treaty Conference (2022); “Arbitration and Human Rights” Istanbul Arbitration Week (2022); “Breaking Barriers to Success in International Law Careers” WILIG Annual Career Panel (2022); “Arbitrating Human Rights Disputes,” Mute Off Thursdays (2022); “How to Address Issues of Alleged Corruption,” CILS International Arbitration Symposium (2022); “Investment Arbitration in the Middle East,” Alternative Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Forum (2022); “Walking the Thin Line: Jurisdiction and Admissibility,” 10th ICC MENA Conference (2022); “Notion of Investment: Definition, Legality, and Corruption,” ICSID-ADGM Joint Conference (2022); “Sixteenth Vis Moot Practice,” ICC International Court of Arbitration / USCIB Webcast (2022); “Discussion on Energy and the Middle East,” IEL International Practice Committee Virtual Book Club Webcast (2022); “Recent Arbitration-Related Developments in the Middle East,” ABILA / ICC Webinar (2022); “Women in Arbitration,” Columbia Law School (2021); “The Role of the ICJ in State Intervention by Non-Parties to a Dispute,” and “Disappearing Land and Displaced Persons: Climate Change and International Law,” International Law Weekend - 99th Annual Meeting of the American Branch of the ILA (2021); “Developments in International Commercial Litigation and Investment Treaty Arbitration Case Funding,” IMN Litigation Finance Conference (2021); “The Choice of Valuation Date in Unlawful Expropriations: The Cleaver Should Fall on the State,” Expert Witness Debating Series 2021 (2021); “Hearings and Cross-Examinations,” Harvard International Arbitration Law Students Association International Arbitration Workshop (2021); “Getting Up With Energy: A Discussion on the Human Rights Contributions of the Energy Industry,” Institute for Energy Law (2020).

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.


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

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Paris
  • Solicitor, England & Wales