AREA OF PRACTICE

Litigation & Arbitration

Biography

Sébastien Bonnard is Managing Partner of Brown Rudnick’s Paris office. An experienced International Arbitration specialist, he has been involved as counsel in numerous arbitration proceedings both institutional (ICC, ICSID) and ad hoc, as well as in post-arbitral disputes (annulment and enforcement) for both private and public operators. He is also active in alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as mediation or conciliation. Sebastien, an ICC France registered arbitrator, is particularly active in disputes relating to construction, mining, telecommunication, joint ventures and distribution agreements in Africa and the Middle East.

Sébastien also has significant experience in the negotiation and monitoring of construction contracts (EPC contracts, lump sum contracts, etc.). He is the author of the France Chapter of the PLC Cross-border Constructions and Projects Handbook 2014/15. Sébastien is a lecturer in the International Business Law Master’s 2 degree at the University of Paris XI.

Sébastien’s native language is French and he is fluent in English.

Awards

Representation

Arbitrator

Sole arbitrator appointed by a West African state court in a dispute relating to the construction by a Middle Eastern company of a facility in West Africa (ad hoc arbitration, English).

Co-arbitrator in a dispute between a European company and a North African State relating to the construction of a water plant (ICC arbitration, English).

Co-arbitrator in a dispute relating to the construction of an infrastructure in the Middle East (ICC arbitration, English).

Co-arbitrator in a dispute between a North African company and a French company relating to the termination of a long-term distribution contract (ICC arbitration, French).

President of the arbitral tribunal in a dispute between an Austrian company and individuals from the Middle East relating to the performance of a share purchase agreement regarding an Omani company and a bank guarantee (ICC Arbitration, English).

Co-arbitrator in a dispute between a French company and an American company relating to the construction of a factory (ICC Arbitration, English).

Emergency arbitrator in a dispute between a Belgian and a German company relating to the acquisition of petrochemical industry activity (ICC Arbitration, English).

Co-arbitrator in a dispute between a French company and a Serbian company relating to the performance of a sale agreement and a bank guarantee (ICC Arbitration, English).

President of the arbitral tribunal in a dispute between an Italian company and an Algerian company relating to the performance of a project management contract (ICC arbitration, French).

Sole arbitrator in a dispute between two French companies relating to the performance of a sales agreement in the aeronautics sector (ICC arbitration, French).

Sole arbitrator in a dispute between an African State and multiple companies relating to the termination of a long-term agreement (ICC arbitration, French).

Co-arbitrator in a post-M&A dispute relating to a fund’s investment in a company in Senegal (ad hoc arbitration).

Sole arbitrator in a dispute between a company from the United Arab Emirates and a U.S. company on a sales contract (ICC arbitration, English).

Co-arbitrator in a dispute relating to a partnership between construction companies in the Republic of Congo (OHADA arbitration – CCJA, French).

Counsel

Counsel to a group active in the airline sector in an arbitration opposing it to an African State relating to the execution of an agreement between shareholders (ICC arbitration, head office in Paris, French law)

Counsel to German and Brazilian subsidiaries of a French water management group against Swiss and Brazilian subsidiaries of an American energy group in connection with the construction and operation of a water treatment plant in Brazil (ICC arbitration)

Counsel to a French investor in annulment proceedings against a UNCITRAL arbitral award rendered in accordance with a bilateral investment treaty (Paris Court of Appeal).

Counsel to an investor in a dispute with an African state in relation to the expropriation of its assets in the aviation sector (ICC arbitration).

Counsel to a company active in the aviation sector in the context of the execution of an ICSID arbitration award rendered against the Republic of Niger.

Counsel to an Ivorian company in the context of the execution of an arbitration award rendered against a French construction group

Counsel to a Saudi investor in an arbitration relating to the performance of a partnership agreement over the management of a public cement plant in North Africa.

Counsel to a joint venture against some of its shareholders and directors in relation to the violation of long-term commitments and fiduciary duties (ICC arbitration, Paris seat, French law).

Counsel to a pipeline operator in relation to the termination of long-term agreements (three ICC arbitrations, Paris seat, French law).

Counsel to a company in an arbitration relating to the breach of several contracts in the luxury sector (ICC arbitration, Paris seat, French law).

Counsel to a former partner in a brokerage firm in the space sector in an arbitration against its former partner and the company (ICC arbitration, Dubai-DIFC seat, French law).

Counsel to a world leader in industrial and military vehicles sector in several arbitrations relating to consultant contracts and representation in North Africa and the Middle East (ICC arbitrations, Paris seat, French law).

Counsel to a listed Australian company in an arbitration concerning the misappropriation of its shares in a mining company in North Africa (ICC arbitration, Geneva seat, local law).

Counsel to an investor in multiple disputes relating to a telecom project in Central Africa (ICC arbitration, mediation ICC ADR, local judicial procedures, and the Cayman Islands).

Counsel to a Saudi conglomerate leader in the distribution of satellite programs in the Middle East & North Africa region in a dispute with a Qatari operator (ICC arbitration, Paris seat, French law).

Counsel to an African state in a dispute over the termination of mining concession contracts, port and rail agreement with a global leader in the steel industry (ICC arbitration, Paris seat, local law).

Counsel to Jordanian and Saudi investors in a dispute relating to a partnership with a public company in the sectors of construction and shipping in North Africa (ICC arbitration and arbitration LMAA).

Counsel to North African state in a dispute over a contract to build a highway (ICC arbitration).

Counsel to world leader in the commercial vehicle sector in a dispute over distribution contracts in Algeria (ICC arbitration).

Counsel to world leader in the commercial vehicle sector in a dispute over distribution contracts in Tunisia (ICC arbitration).

Counsel to a bank in a dispute over funding for a hospital project in Saudi Arabia (ICC arbitration).

Counsel to a bank in a dispute concerning the involvement of a guarantee by an officer (ICC arbitration).

Counsel to an African government in a dispute concerning a contract for exploration and mining (ICC arbitration, French).

Counsel to a US contractor in a dispute relating to an EPC contract in North Africa for the construction of a gas processing facility (ICC arbitration, French / English).

Counsel to a Lebanese construction company in a dispute over financing and construction of a building project in Morocco (ICC arbitration, French).

Counsel to a French company in a dispute relating to the defense industry (ICC arbitration, English).

Counsel to an Egyptian investor in a dispute relating to a telecom project in Africa (ICC arbitration, English).

Counsel to a construction company in the context of recourse action initiated by a bank guarantee on first demand (ICC arbitration).

Counsel to a manufacturer in the automotive industry in a dispute over the termination of a distribution contract in Algeria (ICC arbitration, French).

Counsel to defendant (Morocco) – Moroccan-Italian bilateral treaty – actions for annulment (ICSID arbitration, French).

Counsel to a UK bank in a dispute relating to a privatisation operation in Africa (ICC arbitration, French).

*Some of the above matters were handled by Sébastien prior to joining Brown Rudnick.

Education

University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas – DJCE and DESS
University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas – Magistère in Business Law

Bar Admissions

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Languages

French
English
Publications
Author, “Les lois de police dans l'arbitrage international - Exemples de sentences récentes” / “Mandatory Rules in International Arbitration - The Example of Recent Awards,” 2015(5) RDAI / Int'l Bus. L.J. 453 (with S. Touchard)
Author, "PLC Cross-border Constructions and Projects Handbook: France," Practical Law Company (2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015)
Author, “Extension of the Arbitration Agreement to Non-Signatories in Subcontracting Relationship: Mere Involvement or Interference?” Les Cahiers de l’Arbitrage / Paris Journal of International Arbitration, No. 1 (2013)
Co-author, “La rédaction de la clause compromissoire dans l'arbitrage CEFAREA,” Revue CEFAREA (Centre Français d’Arbitrage d’Assurance et de Reassurance), No. 16 (2011)
Professional Affiliations
International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)
Comité Français de l’Arbitrage (CFA40)
Collège Européen de Règlement des Conflits (CERC)
International Arbitration Institute (IAI)
Awards and Honors
Chambers Europe/Global, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, France, Multiple Years. Clients described “his calm temperament combined with his legal skills ensure that his analysis is always listened to with the greatest attention."
The Legal 500 EMEA/Paris, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, Multiple Years
The Best Lawyers in France, Arbitration and Mediation, International Arbitration, Litigation, 2019-2022
Décideurs Magazine Leaders League, Highly Recommended, Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration, Multiple Years
Who’s Who Legal, Arbitration, 2014-2021. WWL says “Sébastien always goes the extra mile to protect the interests of his clients…He has proven himself to be a well-rounded arbitration practitioner…Sébastien is brilliant."
Option Droit & Affaires, International Arbitration, 2019-2021
Please click here for full bio in French