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June 23, 2011 8:15 PM

Foley Hoag to Open in Paris with Winston & Strawn Hires

Posted by Dana Olsen

Foley Hoag is beefing up its international arbitration practice and will soon open an office in Paris, the firm announced on Thursday.

The firm has hired Bruno Leurent and Thomas Bevilacqua of Winston & Strawn to head up the newest Foley outpost. The two--Leurent already has joined the firm and Bevilacqua will join on Monday--will practice as part of Foley's international litigation and arbitration practice, led by Washington, D.C. partners Paul Reichler and Ronald Goodman.

"Bruno and Tom are widely recognized in the field of international litigation and arbitration," Goodman said in a statement from Foley.

According to Jasmine Trillos-Decarie, Foley Hoag's director of marketing and business development, it was Goodman who initially approached Leurent and Bevilacqua about joining the firm and launching the Paris office. The three attorneys worked together at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal 30 years ago, she says, and have remained in touch since then.

The Paris office is Foley's first outside of the U.S. "We already have a few French clients, but this expansion isn't really because of our existing clients," Trillos-Decarie says. "It's about access to lawyers who know French civil law and jurisprudence and are familiar with the courts."

The Paris Bar must approve the move before Foley officially can start business in the City of Light. That approval should happen soon, Trillos-Decarie says, and the expectation is that Leurent and Bevilacqua will move into the Paris location by the beginning of July.

Leurent represents both private companies and sovereign states. He specializes in arbitration on a variety of issues, including mergers and acquisitions, distribution agreements, and construction, development, natural gas, and hotel management contracts.

Bevilacqua, also an arbitration specialist, advises clients on institutional and commercial arbitration matters. He counsels clients in large investor-state arbitration disputes, as well as counselling clients on other civil and common law matters.

The duo will work with Foley attorneys in both Boston and Washington, D.C. Foley's investor-state arbitration practice has counseled government and state-owned business entities in disputes between investors and sovereign states at many of the world's top arbitration forums. The firm has successfully represented sovereign states in disputes with other states, and it has one of the largest caseloads of any firm at the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

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