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Louis Degos

Managing Partner, Paris Office
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Louis Degos is a highly regarded litigation and arbitration lawyer. He heads the Litigation and Arbitration practice at K&L Gates Paris. Louis Degos has been elected as a member of French National Bar Council for a three year mandate (2015-2017) and he is chairman of the Commission on Future, Prospective, and Innovation of the legal profession (CNB). From January 2012 to December 2014 Louis Degos has served with distinction as an elected member of the elite Council of the Paris Bar Association.

In his areas of expertise, Louis Degos has two official professional accreditations from National Authorities: he holds the national certificate of specialist lawyer in Arbitration Law, and he is accredited by the French Lawyers National Mediation Centre to practice as Mediator. These professional qualifications reflect his strong experience and practice in commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He pleads regularly before French state courts and arbitral (ad hoc and institutional) tribunals in domestic and international disputes.

Louis Degos has taken part in more than 95 arbitrations as a counsel or as an arbitrator (President of Arbitral Tribunal, co-arbitrator or sole arbitrator) in domestic and international arbitrations, ad hoc or following arbitration rules (ICC, CMAP, AFA, Swiss rules of international arbitration, UNCITRAL etc.).

Louis Degos frequently represents parties in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. He advises parties within the framework of mediations and other alternative dispute resolution modes, such as assisted negotiation or mini-trial.

He is also a regularly appointed mediator, both in domestic and international disputes, on high profile cases in a wide range of industry sectors (aerospace, automobiles, chemicals, construction, energy, engineering, high-tech, mining and metals, oil & gas, telecom, transportation).

Louis Degos is also well-known for his particular knowledge in arbitration law and his experience in disputes following or related to arbitration. He represents parties before state courts within the framework of proceedings related to arbitration (temporary and protective measures, appointment of the arbitral tribunal, appeal, annulment recourse and execution of awards). He has been counsel, co-counsel or consultant, in over 20 recourses against or enforcement of arbitral awards in France and abroad. He is also the regular counsel of an important institution of arbitration and often represents arbitrators whose liability is engaged before courts.

Professional Background

Before joining K&L Gates LLP, Mr. Degos was a partner first in a French law firm and afterwards, in the Paris office of a British law firm where he practiced commercial litigation and international arbitration.

Mr. Degos has written numerous articles about domestic and international arbitration, both in French and in English. He also held conferences in France and abroad.

Selection of publications and work:

  • "L'art délicat de la clause attributive de juridiction", co-authored D. Akchoti, in La semaine juridique, Ed. G, n°5, 28 janvier 2013, p.183 et s.</li>
  • "L'histoire du nouveau décret, dix ans de gestation", in Th. Clay (dir.) : Le nouveau droit français de l'arbitrage. Actes du colloque du 28 février 2011, Lextenso Editions, 8 novembre 2011
  • "Contrat d'arbitre: de la responsabilité contractuelle à la responsabilité délictuelle", in Petites Affiches, 11-14 novembre 2011, n°225-226, p.10 et s.
  • "L'absence de pouvoir d'injonction du juge étatique envers l'arbitre en application d'un principe de non-interférence", in Cah. de l'arbitrage N°2010/3
  • "La révélation remise en question(s) ", in Cah. de l'Arbitrage N° 2009/4, Gaz.Pal., 13-15 déc. 2009, p.6 et s.
  • "Inappropriate Application of Regulation Brussels 1 to International Arbitration (Critics of the "Heildelberg Report")", Le Barreau autour du Monde, BAM, n° 21, Février 2009.
  • "La consécration de l'arbitrage en tant que justice internationale autonome", in Le Dalloz, n°21, 29 mai 2008 p.1429
  • "L'évolution du droit dans l'entreprise - le juridique face aux défis de l'économie", in La Tribune, 16 avril 2008, p.24.
  • "La CNUDCI abandonne l'exigence d'écrit pour la convention d'arbitrage", in Cah. de l'Arbitrage N° 2007/1, Gaz. Pal., 22-24 avril 2007, p. 5 et s.
  • "Quel résultat pour l'honoraire de résultat en arbitrage ?", in Petites Affiches (oct 2007)
  • "La Recusacion con base en opiniones previas del arbitro. ¿Hemos abierto la caja de Pandora?" in Arbitraje Internacional, Tensiones actuales, Legis, 2007, p.273.
  • "Civil Liability of Arbitrators: New Inroads on the Arbitrator's Immunity From Suit – a Worrying or Welcome Development?", in Stockolm International Arbitration Report, 2006 #1, p.149.
  • "Stratégie du contentieux : l'arbitrage constitue-t-il une bonne solution?", in Option Finance, mai 2005, pp 39-41
  • "La percée de l'arbitrage dans la justice administrative : le contentieux du contrat de partenariat", in Décideurs Stratégie Finance & Droit, 15 mars - 15 avril 2005, pp. 94-95
  • "Arbitration in a European context", in Revista Brasiliera de Arbitragem 36 (July- Aug 2003)
  • "La Cour de Cassation consacre l'autonomie de la clause compromissoire en arbitrage interne", in Le Dalloz n°17, 24 April 2003 p.1117
  • "The new provisions of French law relating to the arbitration clause", in RDAI/ Int'l Bus. Law J., 2001.653 (édition bilingue)
  • "La clause compromissoire réhabilitée", in Gaz. Pal., 13-14 June 2001, Doctrine, p. 6.
  • "Médiation et équité", Rev. jur.comm., no. 6, 2001, p.147, avec B. Moreau, conference held on December 2000 the 4th at the Tribunal de Commerce of Paris
  • "Arbitrage interne et international: unification des conditions de la compétence du juge des référés pour accorder une provision ?" in Revue de l'arbitrage, 1998.673
  • Chronique de jurisprudence française, Revue de l'arbitrage, 1997.583
  • Contributions to the Revue de l'Arbitrage; responsible of the electronic version of the Revue de l'Arbitrage (distributed on CD Rom by Kluwer Law International)
  • Training for arbitrators and mediators at the CMAP near the CCIP
  • Training during sessions organized by permanent organizations of arbitration and mediation (CNEJITA-CMITA, Federation of Cocoa Commerce) for arbitrators and mediators
  • Member of the Comity of Reform of French law on Arbitration
  • General Secretary of the Work Team n°1, presided by Prof. E. LOQUIN, on the Arbitration Agreement within the framework of the workings of the Committee of inquiry of the French Arbitration Committee


In France
Ranked in Litigation and Arbitration of the magazine Décideurs Stratégie Finance Droit, in 2016 and 2017:

  • Category "International Arbitration": graded 3rd group "Strong reputation" (2017)
  • Category "Commercial Litigation": graded 4th group "Well-known practice" (2016)

Recognized amongst leading France Arbitration lawyers by Option Droit & Affaires in 2017

K&L Gates Paris, represented by Louis Degos (Partner, Paris) and Peter Kalis (Chairman, worldwide) was distinguished as "Rising team and firm" in the category  "International Law Firm 2010" during the 9th Ceremony of the Trophy of Law and Finance (11 March 2010)

Listed in Who's Who Legal / GAR: Arbitration 2017 and in Arbitration - Future Leader 2017

Listed by Who's Who Legal 2017 among top lawyers in mediation:

  • The “very active” Louis Degos at K&L GATES is a seasoned practitioner in all forms of dispute resolution, including mediation. His expertise in oil and gas, construction and high-tech matters makes him a popular choice.

Listed by Who's Who Legal 2016, 2017 among top litigation lawyers in arbitration and commercial litigation:

  • Arbitration: With experience in over 95 high-profile cases, Louis Degos of K&L Gates is recognized as a "leader" in international arbitration proceedings across a range of industry sector. Peers praise his "sound judgement" and "strong negotiation skills".
  • Commercial Litigation: K&L Gates' Louis Degos is a "top litigator" with significant experience in domestic and international commercial litigation proceedings.

Ranked "Band 3" in Chambers Global and Europe 2017 - Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration - France

  • Louis Degos of K&L Gates represents clients in complex commercial disputes and international arbitrations, as well as assisting with alternative dispute resolution matters. One client says: “When he speaks, people listen and his words are influential,” adding: “People respect him, he is very client-oriented and always tries to defend his client's position.”

Ranked "Band 2" in Chambers Global and Europe 2016 - Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration - France

  • Widely respected in the French market, Louis Degos heads the department at K&L Gates. He is described by market sources as "a wise and practical lawyer" and is adept across a range of commercial arbitrations . He recently formed part of the team advising Akzo Nobel on civil liability claims and industrial risk.

Recommended in Legal 500 EMEA 2017 for Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration

Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in France for Arbitration, Mediation and International Arbitration in 2016 and 2017

Selected by the Legal Media Group Guide to the World's Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration (among the 50 practitioners selected for France in 2016)

Named in the Global Arbitration Review 2011 - "45 under 45" – a guide to leading figures in international arbitration

Quoted in Global Arbitration Review as the "first international arbitration specialist for decades to be elected to the Paris Bar Council"

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Former member of the elite Council of the Paris Bar Association (2012-2014)
  • Elected member of the French National Bar Council for a three year tenure (2015-2017, Conseil National des Barreaux — CNB)
  • Chairman of the Commission on Future, Prospective, and Innovation of the legal profession (CNB)
  • Appointed, in January 2014, by the Paris Bar Association to lead the newly-created Public Affairs Department
  • Chairman of the Commission "International Arbitration" of the Paris Bar Association and member of the Arbitration Group of the French National Bar Council (CNB)
  • Appointed co-chair of the National Commission of Non-Judiciary Dispute Resolution (Résolution extra-judiciaire des litiges) by the National Board of the ACE (Avocats Conseils d'Entreprise)
  • Professor in civil procedure (Free Faculty of Law and Economics) and arbitration (University of Versailles -Saint-Quentin and HEC )
  • Member of the Board of the French Committee of Arbitration (CFA ) since 2001
  • Member of the International Arbitration Institute (IAI), of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), of the French Association of Arbitration (AFA) and of the Swiss Association of Arbitration (ASA)
As a counsel in arbitration:
  • Counsel of a leading French group within the framework of a dispute following the acquisition of a group of societies, subject to ad hoc arbitration
  • Counsel of a Tunisian society in an arbitration against a leading European group in the area of distribution
  • Counsel of an American group in an ICC arbitration of 50M€ (Icelandic law applicable) against an Icelandic company in the field of telecommunications
  • Counsel of a French company in an ICC arbitration of 10M€ (English law applicable) against an American company in the pharmaceutical and medical area
  • Counsel to a Portuguese company in an ICC arbitration against the State Treasury of the Republic of Poland according to Polish law in the area of construction and civil engineering
  • Counsel of a French Company in a very important arbitration against a German company in the area of construction and development of tramways
  • Counsel of a Belgian company in an ICC arbitration (French and Belgian laws applicable) against a French company in the area of energy
  • Counsel of an Italian company in an arbitration against a French entity based into the French West Indies in a dispute regarding electric installations
  • Counsel of a franco polish distributor in an arbitration of 25M€ (Japanese law applicable) against a Japanese constructor in the area of automobile and motorcycle
  • Counsel of an American group in a mediation with its French concessionaires in order to resolve a conflict arisen from a breach of contract with a commodity trader (15M€ asked)
As a counsel in judiciary litigation (the names of the parties or clients are mentioned only when the decision has been publicized or published):
  • Counsel of the Eurotunnel Group within the framework of disputes against insurance companies regarding important industrial risks and issues of insurance cover
  • Regular attorney of an international group established in France (Akzo Nobel and its subsidiaries) for its litigations regarding conception, fabrication, use and distribution of industrial chemicals in very various applications (construction materials, technological coating, chemical components, industrial painting…)
  • Attorney of a leading industrial French group in many commercial or post-acquisition judiciary litigations
  • Attorney of an arbitrator in a case involving his civil professional liability
  • Until 2009 (because of his change of law firm), attorney of the Tyco Group (in the following sectors: fire, security and electronic surveillance, and valves and sprinklers) in all its judiciary litigations in France (in the following fields: contractual liability, product liability, corporate litigation, commercial litigation…)
As an arbitrator and mediator:
  • Counsel in a Mediation opposing shareholders of a consultant company
  • Sole mediator in an ICC ADR procedure opposing a French company and Middle East established company in aircraft sector
  • Mediator in a dispute opposing two subsidiary companies member of a same International Group
  • Mediator (as member of a Mediation panel) in a dispute opposing major companies in Oil and Gas sector.
  • Counsel in a Mediation / DAB process in the framework of a construction project.
  • Sole mediation chosen by the parties and designed by the Arbitral Tribunal in a dispute opposing leading Oil Company against a Chemical Company on industry and environmental issues
  • Chairman in an ICC Arbitration in a Telecom sector dispute
  • Sole arbitrator in an investment arbitration between a State of Eastern Europe and a Swiss investor
  • Co-arbitrator in a CNUDCI / UNCITRAL arbitration between a State of Western Africa and an international Consortium
  • Co-arbitrator in a ICC arbitration between an American group and an Italian company in the area of industrial machine-tools
  • Co-arbitrator in a ICC arbitration concerning a dispute in the area of the distribution of electricity in France
  • President of an arbitral tribunal in a dispute between a contractor and his client regarding the construction of an industrial site – environmental and insurance law aspects
  • President of an arbitral tribunal in an ad hoc arbitration regarding a conflict which occurred following a contract in the mining area
  • Co-arbitrator in an AFA arbitration between a German pharmaceutical group and a Franco-English group
  • Co-arbitrator in an ad hoc arbitration concerning the industry of paper recycling
  • Co-arbitrator in a ICC arbitration between a Latvian company and an English company in the oil and gas field
  • Co-arbitrator in a Swiss arbitration between a French group and a German group about a company conflict related to the sale of industrial installations
  • Co-arbitrator in an OHADA arbitration in the field of telecommunications
  • Co-arbitrator in a ICC arbitration between a Korean automobile manufacturer and its French supplier