François de CAMBIAIRE has been a lawyer for more than 10 years. He specializes in strategic litigation, white-collar crimes, in particular in the areas of corruption and breaches of probity – financial opacity and tax evasion often being an effective cover for environmental violations -, and more generally in corporate social responsibility (CSR).
After several years in a law firm specialized in financial litigation, in 2016 he became a partner in Lysias Partners, law firm founded by Jean-Pierre MIGNARD, specialized in fundamental freedoms and press law, as head of the Corporate and Criminal Business Department.
In 2018, with his 4 partners, Emmanuel Tordjman, Maud Touitou, Sébastien Mabile and François Ronget, he took part in the founding of Seattle Avocats (today made up of 5 partners, 9 associates and 3 employees), based on a common conviction: to embody an original conception of the lawyer profession, combining commitment, rigor and excellence in order to satisfy the interests of its clients in the general interest, whether it be local, national, European or international.
He advises and defends before the courts leading French and international groups, as well as NGOs, which he assists in their pleadings and in the development of strategic litigation.
Working for companies and NGOs allows him to develop a balanced vision of environmental and social issues, while working to promote the respect of the law by companies:
Recently, he combined his skills with his partner Sébastien MABILE to develop expertise in CSR litigation based on the Duty of Vigilance Law adopted in France in 2017. They have brought before the courts the first two litigations for French and international NGOs (Notre Affaire à Tous, Sherpa, Envol Vert, Mighty Earth, FNE, South American NGO coalition) against environmental violations in the area of climate and deforestation.
He also works alongside his partner Emmanuel TORDJMAN who has been the lawyer of the online newspaper Mediapart since its creation. This has led him to defend the newspaper against defamation lawsuits, claiming the fundamental right to inform on subjects of general interest and to act as a “watchdog” of democracy according to the expression of the European Court of Human Rights. He advises political leaders and associations in the context of legal proceedings for defamation, insults, provocation to hatred, violence and so-called “societal” discrimination
AWARD AND PUBLICATIONS
Laureate of the 1st Palmarès Giverny – Le Point gathering 50 committed leaders under 40 years old who contribute to the acceleration of the ecological and social transformation of France (https://www.forum-giverny.fr/palmares-giverny-lepoint-2021/)
François is an expert at the European Centre for Economic Law at ESSEC Business School. He is a member of the “Responsible Economy” commission of the endowment fund “Intérêt À Agir”, a collective of legal experts allied to engage societal and environmental responsibility and to advance general interest causes in the field of human rights and the environment.
Le devoir de vigilance au-delà de la contrainte, Tribune Les Echos, 21 April 2021, R. Mouton, S. Mabile, F. de Cambiaire https://www.lesechos.fr/idees-debats/cercle/opinion-le-devoir-de-vigilance-au-dela-de-la-contrainte-1308751
“A Guide to Human Rights Due diligence – chapter 4 French Duty of Vigilance Law” – International Human Rights Committee, American Bar Association (to be published)
Contribution “Devoir de vigilance des entreprises” in Dictionnaire permanent du changement climatique, edited by Marta Torre-Schaub, ed. Mare & Martin
L’industrie pétrolière à l’épreuve du devoir de vigilance : le cas de Total face au risque climatique, in Les dynamiques du contentieux climatique, Usages et mobilisations du droit, edited by Marta Torre-Schaub, Mare & Martin (collection of the Institut des sciences juridiques et philosophique de la Sorbonne)
L’affirmation d’un devoir de vigilance des entreprises en matière climatique, S. Mabile and F. de Cambiaire, in M. Torre-Schaub and B. Lormateau (eds.), les recours climatiques en France, Dossier spécial Énergie-Env.-Infrastr. mai 2019, n° 5, étude 21 ;
“Bold ideas, disciplined execution and the strength of a team.”
(SEATTLE AVOCATS client testimonial in the Legal 500)
SEATTLE AVOCATS takes its name from the Native American fight to which it pays tribute.
“Seattle” was a great Chief of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes, born about 1786 on Blake Island in Washington State. He died on June 7, 1866 on the Suquamish Reservation in Port Madison, Washington. Chief “Seattle” was made famous in the 1970s by the broadcast of his reported January 1854 speech to the U.S. government negotiator. Although probably a far cry from the original speech, this text is a testament to the American Indians’ attachment to their land:
“The land does not belong to man; man belongs to the land”.
We chose to name our law firm after him because the values that the great Indian chief “Seattle” defended correspond to the conception of the legal profession that we claim: combative in litigation, constructive in negotiation, never losing sight of the fact that only the interests of our clients come first. Murray Morgan, writer and historian, said of him (Skid Road, 1951) that he was exceptional “in that he distinguished himself as a warrior, but in peacetime he was primarily a negotiator”.
Like the courage of the American Indians, we practice our profession with fighting spirit, rigor, conscience, independence, creativity and commitment in order to satisfy the interests of our clients in the light of the general interest, whether local, national, European or international.
The strategies we develop with our clients can only be understood and shared if they take into account the general dimension in which they are inserted in order to contribute to human development while respecting the common values of democratic societies.
Seattle Avocats currently has eighteen lawyers, including five partners, eight associates, and one office manager. Four Of Counsels, professors and consultants, participate in the work of our firm.
Areas of expertise
Our firm is expanding rapidly, and our skills now cover many areas of law both in consulting and litigation:
criminal law (economic criminal law, financial criminal law, environmental criminal law, etc.),
civil liability law,
criminal law of persons (tort and criminal).
public law (local government law, electoral litigation, etc.),
environmental law (polluted sites and soils, classified installations, protection of water and nature, etc.),
press law, media law, and personality law (right to privacy, right to image, right to presumption of innocence),
labor law (individual and collective law, criminal labor law, etc.),
commercial law, company law and banking law,
intellectual property law and new technologies,
We are, above all, a firm convinced of the importance of collective thinking in our cases and of the essential contribution to judicial strategy of developing an open, alert and creative mind. Although each of us is specialized, experience has taught us that it is rare for a case to call upon only one expertise. Today’s legal counsel hybridizes knowledge, not separates it.
This is why our cases are usually handled by several partners to allow for a confrontation of ideas and to develop solutions adapted to the issues involved. Our conception of the lawyer is, in fact, that of an enlightened professional whose thinking must be enriched by the contribution of all the members of his firm and by exchanges with his client. This approach is intended to enable him to offer his clients an effective and sometimes innovative solution.
Judicial intervention as well as consulting activity requires the ability to combine national and international law, press law and information law, business law and intellectual property law, criminal law and civil law, public law and environmental law, while never forgetting the requirements of the general interest.
For the year 2021, SEATTLE LAWYERS is ranked in Legal 500 among the top law firms in the following areas:
“TIER 4 – renowned practice” in DISPUTE RESOLUTION : WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
“Seattle Avocats defends large corporations and also acts for NGOs. The firm regularly handles cases involving public procurement criminal law, labor criminal law, environmental criminal law and press criminal law. It acts in cases of corruption, abuse of corporate assets and favoritism. In particular, the firm successfully represented EDF in the so-called Mallay case concerning a corruption scheme set up by a former employee. It also represented some sixty investors in the Aristophil case. The practice is co-led by Emmanuel Tordjman, François de Cambiaire and Maud Touitou who specializes in personal criminal law.”
“TIER 4 – renowned practice” in DISPUTE RESOLUTION : COMMERCIAL LITIGATION
“Seattle Avocats is recommended for handling sensitive tort litigation, particularly in the banking, financial and healthcare fields. The firm is involved in several significant cases. It is representing several investors in the Apollonia case, and is defending UCB Pharma in the Distilbene drug case. The practice is co-led by François de Cambiaire and François Ronget who joined the firm in 2019 from Stinger Ronget Lewi. Emmanuel Tordjman also assists with certain cases.”
“TIER 1 – market leader” in MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT: NEWSPAPERS
“Emmanuel Tordjman is the key name at Seattle Avocats, acting as main adviser to online newspaper Mediapart, which generates a significant number of cases. In a recent high-profile highlight, Tordjman represented the paper in a defamation case brought by a former French minister, in relation to the publication of a key witness interview. The team, which also features litigator François de Cambiaire, is retained by public policy makers, business executives, political figures and artists for privacy cases. Private and contract law specialist François Ronget is called on for matters pertaining to reputational damage.”
“TIER 2 – excellent” in MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT: CINEMA
“François Ronget, previously a partner in a production company, is the key name at Seattle Avocats. Ronget advises independent production companies, authors and directors on IP, production and contractual matters relating to feature films. Contentious work is also taken on, with copyright disputes as an area of particular strength.”
“TIER 3” in ENVIRONMENT
“Seattle Avocats acts for major French companies, as well as for NGOs and public authorities. The firm is involved in particularly novel cases involving environmental protection. Acting for the Calanques National Park, it was involved in the first case recognizing an ecological damage concerning illegal poaching activities. It is also the representative of 14 municipalities and 4 NGOs that are suing Total for inaction against global warming on the basis of duty of care. Finally, the firm assists companies in pollution and protected species cases. The practice is headed by Sébastien Mabile, who also relies on the litigation and criminal law skills of Emmanuel Tordjman and François de Cambiaire.
SEATTLE AVOCATS has been recognized as one of the top 2021 law firms in environmental law by Le Point.
SEATTLE AVOCATS was also ranked by the MAGAZINE DÉCIDEURS as one of the firms with a “strong reputation” in 2020 in :
– Environmental Litigation,
– Water and sanitation law.