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.
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’”. 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. She also features in Jeune Afrique’s ranking of the 50 most influential business lawyers in francophone Africa in 2018.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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.
- A subsidiary of an African energy company as 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.
- Sonatrach as 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.
- A French Overseas Territory’s administration as 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 transportation authority in an ICC arbitration initiated by two contractors. The dispute arises from a contract for the renovation of railway systems. The law of the Respondent’s State applies.
- A North African State-owned mining and chemicals company in relation to claims for delays, associated costs and scope changes relating to the construction of two chemical processing plants.
- An African transportation authority in the management and negotiation of a contractor’s claims. The claims arise out of a contract for the construction of a railway line. The law of the authority’s State applies to the contract. Over €850 million is at stake.
- A large mining company active in Africa in relation to pre-arbitration negotiations and financial claims related to port facilities. Over €15 million at stake.
- A North-African company in the context of pre-arbitration negotiations with respect to port equipment and machinery. Over €10 million stake.
- Advising African company in the context of negotiations to settle $50 million construction claims (EOT, prolongation costs, Liquidated Damages) following the mechanical completion of a treatment plant.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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).
- 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-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
Liège University (Belgium)
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