Maude Lebois is a partner in the International Arbitration practice.
She has over 15 years of experience advising on arbitration and projects worldwide, with a particular focus on Africa. She has represented States, State-owned entities and companies in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, ad hoc (including under UNCITRAL Rules) and under the Rules of the ICC and ICSID. An important part of Maude’s work also consists of contract and claim management within the firm’s construction practice. She also acts as arbitrator.
Maude features in Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration – Future Leaders 2020, which notes that “she is held in high esteem by sources who say she really ‘fights for her clients and is always courteous with opposing counsel’. Maude is also recommended in Who’s Who Legal: France 2020 which reports that “Maude Lebois is a ‘highly effective counsel’ who ‘masterfully fights for her clients and remains courteous with opposing counsel at the same time’”. The 2019 edition noted that Maude “is a well-recognised name in the French arbitration market where she stands out for her impressive work handling Africa-related disputes”. She is recognized as a “next generation lawyer” in The Legal 500: Algeria – Foreign Firms 2019 and 2020. She also features in Jeune Afrique’s ranking of the 50 most influential business lawyers in francophone Africa in 2018.
Construction and Engineering
- An international joint venture, project owner, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Paris initiated by an oil field services provider. The dispute arises from an EPC contract for the construction of upstream facilities in Africa. Issues include liability for delay, additional works and disruption.
- An international organization, Claimant in an ICC arbitration against a consortium of European contractors. The dispute arises from a FIDIC contract for the upgrading of sewerage and water distributions networks and associated pumping stations.
- A North African State-owned mining and chemicals company in relation to substantial claims for project delays, associated costs and alleged scope changes relating to the construction of two large scale chemical processing plants. The claims are subject to expert determination in accordance with the ICC administered expertise procedure.
- A French Overseas Territory’s administration, Respondent in an ad hoc arbitration in the Caribbean initiated by a French contractor. The dispute arises from a contract for the refurbishment and expansion of a road. French law applies.
- An African company in relation to negotiations to settle $50 million construction claims (EOT, prolongation costs, Liquidated Damages) following the mechanical completion of a treatment plant.
- Sonatrach, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Geneva brought by Saipem SpA and Saipem Contracting Algérie SpA. The dispute arose from an EPC contract for the construction of gas liquefaction facilities. Algerian law applied. Over €2.6 billion was at stake.
- Sonatrach, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Paris brought by Saipem SpA and Saipem Contracting Algérie SpA. The dispute arose from the performance of an EPC contract related to the construction of an LPG pipeline. Sonatrach was further seeking the reimbursement of certain sums following a breach of contract by the Claimants. Algerian law applied.
- Sonatrach in a UNCITRAL arbitration in Geneva against Repsol and Gas Natural. The dispute arose from delays in the completion of an integrated project including the development of existing gas fields, the construction of a liquefaction gas plant and upstream facilities, and the commercialisation of the liquefied gas. The applicable law was Algerian law and the proceedings were conducted in French. The Arbitral Tribunal held that the termination of the agreement by Sonatrach was lawful and justified, and that Sonatrach was entitled to keep all of the equipment, installations and works completed (valued at $580 million) before the termination of the agreement. The Tribunal also dismissed the Respondents’ $3.1 billion counterclaim in its entirety.
- A subsidiary of an African energy company, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Paris brought by a European contractor. The dispute arose from an agreement for the construction of gas distribution infrastructure. The law of the Respondent’s State applied.
- A French-German consortium in an ICC arbitration in Stockholm against a Finnish utility company. The dispute arose from an agreement for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Finland. Finnish law governed. Over €6.1 billion was at stake.
- A North African subcontractor, Respondent in an LCIA arbitration in London initiated by an Asian construction company. The dispute arose from an agreement for the construction of buildings in an oil refinery. English law applied.
- An African energy company, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Paris initiated by a European company. The dispute arose from a gas pipeline extension project. The law of the Respondent’s State applied.
- A major North-African company on all aspects of the negotiations for the construction, financing and development in Algeria of one of the world’s largest petrochemical plants, and the setting up of several joint ventures to handle the various aspects of this multi-billion project.
- A North African company, Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Geneva initiated by an Iberian contractor. The dispute related to a major infrastructure project in North Africa. The law of the Respondent’s State applied. Over $200 million was at stake.
- An African State-owned energy producer, Respondent in a UNCITRAL arbitration in Geneva initiated by the African subsidiary of a large North American energy company. The dispute arose from a unitization agreement in relation to a petroleum field. The law of the Respondent’s State applied. Hundreds of millions of US dollars were at stake.
- The Government of an African country in the development of shale gas activities and negotiations with a potential investor.
- An African State-owned energy producer in conciliation proceedings with a large North American energy company. The dispute was in relation to the adoption by the host State of new tax legislation (windfall profit tax).
- A North African energy producer, Respondent in a UNCITRAL arbitration in Geneva against one of the world’s largest petroleum and gas operators. The dispute arose from the performance of a farm-out agreement by which the foreign operator sold to the North African company 40% of its rights in a production-sharing contract for the increase of the rate of recovery of the reserves of a petroleum field in North Africa. The law of the Claimant’s jurisdiction applied. Issues included, inter alia, the conditions of payment by the North African company of the price foreseen in the farm-out agreement and the performance by the foreign petroleum and gas operator of its contractual and professional duties to carry out the enhanced oil recovery on the field.
- A North African energy producer, Claimant in a UNCITRAL arbitration in Geneva against one of the world’s largest petroleum and gas operators. The dispute arose from the performance of a production-sharing contract for the increase of the rate of recovery of the reserves of a petroleum field in North Africa. The law of the Claimant’s jurisdiction applied. Issues included, inter alia, the performance by the foreign petroleum and gas operator of its contractual and professional duties on the field and the interpretation of a specific contractual term providing for the revision of the production profile in exceptional circumstances. More than $2 billion was at stake. The case was successfully settled after a partial award.
- The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Respondent in an ICSID arbitration initiated by Ortiz Construcciones y Proyectos S.A. (ICSID Case No. ARB/17/1). The dispute related to housing and public infrastructure projects. The claims were brought under the Algeria-Spain bilateral investment treaty.
- A North-African company in the context of pre-arbitration negotiations with respect to port equipment and machinery. Over €10 million at stake.
- A privately-owned Algerian company in negotiation for the acquisition of shares of an energy company from a private financial services group active in the Middle East, and in an arbitration proceeding initiated in parallel to the negotiation process.
- Electricité de France (EDF), Claimant in a UNCITRAL arbitration against the Republic of Hungary. The dispute arose from the termination of Power Purchase Agreements put in place during the privatisation of the electricity sector. The claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty.
- The Republic of Gabon, Respondent in an ICSID arbitration brought by Participaciones Inversiones Portuarias Sarl (ICSID Case No. ARB/08/17). The dispute, which was brought under the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union-Gabon bilateral investment treaty, arose out of a concession to manage two Gabonese ports.
- Algeria’s Fonds National d’Investissement (FNI), a strategic investment fund, on the acquisition of a 51% stake in Omnium Télécom Algérie SpA (“OTA” or “Djezzy”, formerly known as Orascom Télécom Algérie SpA) from Global Telecom Holding (“GTH”), a subsidiary of the VimpelCom group, for a price of $2.643 billion.
- The Democratic Republic of Algeria in an ICSID arbitration initiated by Mærsk Olie, Algeriet A/S (ICSID Case No. ARB/09/14). The arbitration, which was brought under the Algeria-Demark bilateral investment treaty, was in relation to windfall profit tax in the context of a production-sharing contract. Over $3 billion was at stake.
Harvard Law School
Université de Liège
Law degree (summa cum laude)
- New York
- Brussels, Belgium
- Member, Association française du Contract Management (AFCM)
- Member, Belgium Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI)
- Member, International Arbitration Institute (IAI)
- Member, Young Women in Energy
- Member, Women in Energy
- Member, Réseau International des Juristes Africanistes (International Network of Africanist Lawyers)
- Moderator, Arbitrage-ADR discussion list