Four female arbitration and litigation specialists have formed a new disputes boutique firm in Paris.
Medici Law, which according to one of the partners opened for business on Monday, was founded by Marie-Laure Bizeau, Valence Borgia, Caroline Duclercq and Delphine Pujos, who will share duties as partners.
All bring extensive experience with major law firms and in international arbitration, and a commitment to pro bono work and supporting social causes.
Borgia comes from K&L Gates, where she practiced for 11 years in litigation and arbitration, rising to counsel. She also had stints at Eversheds Sutherland and was a trainee at Shearman & Sterling.
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Pujos, who had her own firm, practised previously at Linklaters and at Debevoise & Plimpton, while Bizeau comes from arbitration specialist Derains & Gharavi International, where she practiced for 11 years, rising to partner.
Duclercq comes from Altana, where she was a partner for eight years, after also practising at Derains Gharavi.
“We grew up together, professionally, and have wanted for a long time to create our dream firm: one where we could choose our partners, choose how we serve our clients, and bring a flexibility and an agility to arbitration practice,” Borgia said.
Their plans became more concrete toward the end of 2019, well before the COVID-19 crisis emerged, Borgia said.
She believes that Medici’s approach would be particularly well-timed now as companies confront their need for conflict resolution against the backdrop of the global pandemic.
“We can make the process lighter and less cumbersome for companies,” she said, noting that she and Duclercq created a professional group, Wake Up Arbitration, seven years ago to study how the practice could evolve.
The partners propose to donate 10% of their fees, subject to prior client consent, to an endowment fund for organizations that work for equal opportunity and against discrimination and violence.
“In the coming months and years, we will be very busy with the firm and client work, so we will have less time for pro bono,” Borgia said. “The fund is one way we can continue to contribute.” In France, lawyers have been slowly returning to work as the nation lifts lockdown restrictions