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, in particular in 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. For example, Ms. Lavaud recently represented 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 also represented the State of Qatar before the International Court of Justice in a proceeding under the Chicago Convention and the International Air Services Transit Agreement, obtaining a unanimous decision in Qatar’s favor.

Ms. Lavaud advises and represents pro bono clients on both domestic law and public international law issues. She is part of the team, with the Clooney Foundation for Justice, that represents Cameroonian journalist Paul Chouta who was released in May 2021 after nearly two years in arbitrary detention in Cameroon. She was also a member of the team that represented César Roberto Fierro Reyna in relation to his release 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. Most recently, Ms. Lavaud was recognized as a “Rising Star” for International Arbitration by The Legal 500 US and by the Euro Money Legal Media Group, awarded to the most promising lawyers in the region. 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 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). She is also a member of numerous arbitration organizations including the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Advisory Board representing Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Ms. Lavaud regularly speaks and publishes on international law-related issues. Her key publications include: “A Duty to Disclose, a Duty to Inquire: French and European Courts Address an Arbitrator’s Independence and Impartiality,” LexisPSL (September, 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 “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); “International Law Beyond the Horizon,” 2019 ASIL Research Forum (2019); “Using Arbitration Funding to Finance Cross-Border Disputes,” PLI International Arbitration Funding Interview (2019); “Developments in International Commercial Litigation and Investment Treaty Arbitration Case Funding,” The 2nd Annual Financing, Structuring & Investing in Litigation Finance (2019); “A State’s Many Roles in International Adjudication,” 2019 ASIL Annual Meeting (2019); “Corruption in International Arbitration - Understanding the Risks and Remedies,” IAA’s 3rd Annual International Arbitration Conference (2019); “Impact of Sciences on Arbitral Proceedings,” Vienna Arbitration Days 2019 (2019); and “Young Lawyers Roundtable,” 6th Annual ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration (2019).

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