New Member – Dr Klaus Oblin LLM joins as the Commercial Law Expert in Austria

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Dr Klaus Oblin LLM as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Commercial Law expert in Austria.

Klaus Oblin has been successfully representing prominent businesses and state-entities for many years. He stands out in cross-border proceedings where politically sensitive issues meet commercial matters and has been consistently engaged as lead counsel and arbitrator in a number of high volume arbitrations under various internationally acknowledged rules.

Drawing from both civil and common law practical experience, he is known for his ability to concurrently lead teams from multiple jurisdictions. He has been serving as management board and steering committee member in various international associations of independent law firms.

Klaus is listed as an attorney of confidence of the embassies of the USA and the United Kingdom of England.

Firm Description:

OBLIN was established in 2005 and has become a leading international litigation and arbitration law firm based in Vienna, Austria. We are representing businesses in cross-border disputes, i.e. int’l commercial litigation and arbitration proceedings (incl. enforcement) as well as white collar crime matters. Our team consists of 16 counsel covering 6 jurisdictions (bar admissions).

The specialized members of our team combine their multi-disciplinary and international backgrounds to provide profound yet practical solutions. We rely on our expertise and international relations to achieve the expected results.

Our firm is member of four different leading independent legal networks totaling more than 600 firms covering 160 jurisdictions. Our team has been recognized by various int’l institutions and media thus having received 27 awards for its achievements in commercial litigation and arbitration since 2011.

Our core focus lies in the management and resolution of commercial disputes. We assist and represent during all stages of the dispute resolution process striving to develop actionable legal strategies to match our clients’ aspirations in wide-ranging industry sectors. Many of our cases have been referred to us by other attorneys. We are also often asked to act as co-counsel in commercial arbitrations and litigations around the globe.

New Member – Andri Andrason joins as the State & Municipalities Expert in Iceland

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Andri Andrason as our exclusively recommended & endorsed State & Municipalities expert in Iceland.

Andri is an Icelandic-qualified attorney with rights of audience before the Icelandic Court of Appeal. Andri has worked at Juris since 2013, and completed an LL.M. from the University of Leiden in 2017.

Areas of expertise

  • Constitutional and Administrative
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Property


  • Landsréttur Appeal Court Attorney 2020
  • Universiteit Leiden, LL.M. in International Civil and Commercial Law 2017
  • District Court Attorney 2015
  • University of Iceland, Faculty of Law, mag. jur. 2012
  • University of Iceland, Faculty of Law, B.A. in Law 2010

Firm Description

Our firm traces its origins back to 1953, however the firm in its current form was created as a result of the mergers of the practices of a number of leading Icelandic lawyers between 2006 and 2011. Today we are one of Iceland’s largest and most highly regarded law firms and are home to some of Iceland’s most preeminent practitioners.

We are corporate-focussed, providing our clients with comprehensive, practical and commercial legal advice on all aspects of their businesses and operations. We represent clients from all business and economic sectors, from governments and local authorities to operating businesses, financial institutions and investors. We pride ourselves on developing long-term relationships with out clients, enabling us to tailor our approach and add additional value through our knowledge of their businesses and sectors. Sectors in which we have particular expertise include fishing, energy, hospitality and tourism, property and development, pharmaceuticals and biotech, media and telecommunications.


New Member – Shunsuke Inoue joins Leaders in Law as the M&A Law Expert in Japan

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Shunsuke Inoue as our exclusively recommended & endorsed M&A expert in Japan.

Shunsuke Inoue is a partner at Hibiya-Nakata with extensive experience and expertise in competition law, merger filings, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate governance, regulatory compliance. Shunsuke has advised many major global companies, banks, funds as well as small tech startups. Prior to joining Hibiya-Nakata, Shunsuke worked at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Firm Description:

Hibiya-Nakata is a new type of law firm founded by Nobuo Nakata in 2012 to respond to the new market trend and demands. Hibiya-Nakata is a small M&A boutique law firm with global network and international standard of practice and quality. Mr. Nakata had participated in the global management of the corporate practice of Allen & Overy as a board member of the Global Corporate Board, and had established and led the M&A practice in Tokyo Office. Making use of all these experiences, Mr. Nakata started Hibiya-Nakata in such unique setup.

Avocat Mandataire Sportif and Agent Sportif

On 29 March 2023, the French Cour de cassation (civil chamber n°1 -FS-B n°21-25.335), on the ground of article 227-7 al. 1 of the Code du Sport, ruled that only a sports agent can be remunerated on the basis of being an intermediary between parties interested in the conclusion of a contract (either on a basis of a contract related to sport or training activity, or a labor contract related to a sport or training activity).

Is this the end of the Avocats Mandataires Sportifs regulated by the RIN (Réglement Intérieur National) and other related regulations such as the Réglement Intérieur du Barreau de Paris)?

Obviously not. The French Cour de cassation stated that the Avocats Mandataires Sportifs may, within their own regulations, remain players representatives in a context of the contracts listed in article 227-7 al. 1 of the Code du sport.

As such, the Avocat Mandataire Sportif may still represent the interests of players and clubs and may remain a first-choice interlocutor (given his background and knowledge).

Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin, EIRL Me Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin Avocat à la Cour – Barreau de Paris

Up to date 29 March 2023. 


Declaration of Claim and Presumption (Safeguard Procedure)

On 8 February 2023, the French Cour de cassation (commercial chamber; F-B, n°21-19.330) had the opportunity to reiterate that the knowledge of the claim by the judicial representative (mandataire judiciaire) creates a presumption of such declaration of claim by the creditor, but only within the limit of the content of the information provided for to the judicial representative by the debtor (see previous decision of the commercial chamber dated 5 September 2018 – 17-18.516; P+B+I).

Under French law, a creditor has to declare his claim within a 2-month period otherwise his claim is barred by effluxion of time (forclusion). It has to be stressed that forclusion has not the same legal meaning as prescription and is more stringent. This is due to the fact that the commercial activity of the debtor has to be protected.

In the event of safeguard procedure, the receiver (administrateur) has to contemplate the possibility to restructure and to turn around the company. In this perspective, article L622-6 alinea 2 of the French commercial Code states that “The debtor gives to the receiver and to the judicial representative, for the purposes of the exercise of their mandate, the list of his creditors, of the amount of his debts and material ongoing contracts.”

This gives the receiver the possibility to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the company, receiving amongst others, a list of the creditors edited by the company itself. In this perspective, the receiver is informed of the creditors of the company without the declaration of claim of the creditors. According to the French Cour de cassation, such information creates a presumption of a declaration of claim effectuated by the creditor and only within the limit of the content of the information provided for to the receiver by the debtor.

As a result, a difference between the information provided for by the debtor and a separate declaration of claim by the creditor may arise, especially regarding the amount of the claim, the debtor seeking to minimize such amount. In such a context, if a creditor does not declare his claim, he should nevertheless be in the position to rely on the information provided for by the debtor, at least. In addition, if the creditor also declares his claim, such later declaration shall prevail (see on this question F. Pérochon, with M. Laroche, F. Reille, T. Favario and A. Donnette, Entreprises en difficulté LGDJ, 11 ed. 2022, n°2763 et seq., p. 1113).

One should be puzzled to observe that from primary antagonist positions (creditor against debtor) a party (the debtor) can act on behalf of the other (the creditor) to secure a claim against himself. This why this new legal scheme has been named a revolution (see F. Pérochon, op. cit.).

Up to date 8 February 2023.

Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin, EIRL Me Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin Avocat à la Cour – Barreau de Paris 

Criminal procedure and characterization

The French criminal Cour de cassation (n°20-85.968 – FS B) stated on 10 January 2023 (n°20-85.968 – FS B) that article 388 of the French Code de procédure

pénale shall be construed as prohibiting the criminal judge from adding or substituting distinct facts during the characterization process (except with the express consent of the accused).

The import of this decision has to be stressed. The French lower courts (Tribunal correctionnel and Cour d’appel) initially agreed with such unilateral change of characterization. A such, according to the French criminal supreme Court, if the duty of the criminal judge is to restore the due characterization of the facts to name the accurate alleged offence, it is on the condition that there shall not be addition or substitution of facts which are different from those of the initial bill of indictment. Only the accused is entitled to agree with such a change, leading to a potential other more severe conviction.

This is now one of gravity centers of these cases. We know that French doctrine (Bernard BoulocProcédure pénaleDalloz, 27ème éd. n°690, p. 609) clearly mentions the possibility for a judge to change the characterization of facts but not the facts themselves. This later, according to this author, in no events shall be changed. In addition, it is a constant Human Rights principle that any recharacterization has to be made in accordance with the nulla poena sine lege principle. The express consent of the accused carve out has also of course to be applied within such a secular principle.

In light of this, one should always remember that procedure is the crucial element that has to be preserved before stating on the merits of the case. If the power of the judge increases, the Human Rights guarantees have also to be increased within the same intensity. In this perspective, it remains the duty of the lawyers to protect the rights of the accused and ensure that the express consent of the accused has not been obtained by duress (or by any other illegal means).

This decision is in line with the ECHR case law (Pélissier et Sassi c. France – Req.254444/94 dated 25 March 1999 see obs. Sofian Goudjil in Dalloz Actualité 10 February 2023) and France should be welcome for the reiteration of this solution as not only the accused made an appeal before the Court of appeal allowing then the Cour de cassation to state the case but also the representative of the French State (the Procureur de la République). In addition, the French supreme Court also clearly shows its willingness to release this decision within a wide doctrinal specter (due to the B letter classification – formerly “P”).

Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin, EIRL Me Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin Avocat à la Cour – Barreau de Paris

Up to date 10 February 2023.


Robert J. Cosgrove joins Leaders in Law as the Insurance Law Member in Pennsylvania, USA

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Robert Cosgrove as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Insurance Law expert in Pennsylvania, USA.

A courtroom-tested trial lawyer and appellate advocate, Robert J. Cosgrove has handled cases in state and federal venues across the United States as well as in the International Court of Commerce. Bob litigates a very wide range of matters, including premises and liquor liability cases; trucking and motor vehicle claims; product liability and product recall suits; personal care home, senior living and home health aide cases; and cases involving construction defects, catastrophic personal injury and significant property damage claims.

He defends individuals and businesses in complex professional liability and errors and omissions cases, advises clients on fraud-based and other first- and third-party coverage issues, and investigates and litigates fine art, jewelers block policy and cargo cases. A Certified Information Privacy Professional, US, (CIPP/US) and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), he advises on cases related to fraud, data privacy, and cybersecurity claims and investigations.

DLA Piper advises Aumni in its Business Combination with J.P. Morgan

DLA Piper advised Aumni Inc, a leading provider of investment analytics software to the venture capital industry, in its business combination with J.P. Morgan.

Aumni’s proprietary data analytics engine structures, tracks, and analyzes essential legal and economic terms underpinning growth-stage private market transactions, placing critical portfolio investments terms within users’ reach. With a diverse client base of over 300 institutions ranging from emerging and established venture managers to leading, multinational asset managers, Aumni has evaluated more than $600 billion in invested capital across for than 17,000 private companies. DLA Piper previously advised Aumni on its Series A and B financings.

“The acquisition of Aumni boosts J.P. Morgan’s suite of innovative private market solutions, and we are pleased to have played a role in this impactful combination,” said Randy Socol, the DLA Piper who led the deal team. In addition to Socol (San Diego), the DLA Piper team that advised Aumni included partner David Clark and associates Anthony Taranto and Nick Bolduc (all San Diego).

With more than 1,000 corporate lawyers globally, DLA Piper helps clients execute complex transactions seamlessly while supporting clients across all stages of development. The firm has been rated number one in global M&A volume for 13 consecutive years, according to Mergermarket.

DLA Piper’s Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice includes more than 200 lawyers who provide strategic counsel to emerging companies in high-growth industries, including technology, healthcare, pharma & biotech, financial services, manufacturing, and communications. Over the last three years, DLA Piper has completed more than 2,100 financings globally totaling over US$80 billion.

DLA Piper advises on all aspects of the fintech sector, representing a wide range of clients, including banks, private equity and venture capital funds, asset managers, broker-dealers, insurance companies, trading platforms and exchanges, and distributed-ledger technology platforms. The firm’s multidisciplinary team around the world offers integrated legal solutions that help clients navigate the increasingly complex environment at the intersection of transactions, technology and regulation.


New Green Perspectives to be Considered by French Public Purchasers

Law No. 2023-175 on the acceleration of renewable energies deployment dated 10 March 2023 introduces new contracts available to French public purchasers.

Power Purchase Agreements (“PPAs”) are long-term contracts allowing direct sales of electricity produced from renewable energy sources from the producer to the consumer. PPA contracts represent an efficient way to support the production of green energy without further impinging on the State’s budget.

One of the main obstacles to the development of PPAs for public purchasers was article L.2112-5 of the French Public Procurement Code. It provides that all contracts need to be established for a duration that considers the nature of the services and the necessity for a periodic competitive tender procedure. The obligation to consider a renewed bidding of the contract probably held public purchasers back from using long-term PPAs.

Article 86 of the law introduces the possibility for French public purchasers to conclude PPAs.

Such contracts will be governed by the provisions of the French Public Procurement Code, and as such, shall be signed after having been awarded following a tender procedure.

The concrete implementation of such possibility will however raise different questions from a public procurement perspective.

The impossibility for public purchasers to select a locally based electricity provider should be favourable to bigger producers who will be able to offer energy on a more competitive scale. Moreover, the duration of these long-term contracts is not entirely specified, and it seems difficult to conclude PPAs for a specified duration of 8 or 12 years, without having any guarantee from the administrative judge or the French Authorities regarding the compliance of such duration with the French Procurement regulations.

For the Law, please see here.

“Responsible Purchase” Guide issued on 14 April 2023 by the State’s Purchases Department

Implementing the use of public procurement contracts as a ladder towards sustainable development, the French State’s Purchases Department, related to the Ministry of the Budget, published the 3rd edition of its guide on responsible public purchase for public purchasers.

This guide comes after the amendments that were made in May 2022 to article R.2152-7 of the French Public Procurement Code, which will require the award of public procurement contracts on criterion considering the environmental aspects of the offer from 21 August 2026. This reform lacked in precisions regarding what should be understood behind the notion of “environmental aspects” (for a more in-depth article, see here).

The document prompts public purchasers to take into consideration the diversity of environmental, sustainable or social criterion at every stage of the tender process, from their needs’ definition to the selection of their co-contractor.

Pursuant to the Guide, environmental and social requirements shall be explicitly laid down in the procurement contract documentation. These requirements need to be realistic, applicable and measurable during the contract’s performance.

It gives examples of requirements that can be used while preparing for the contract’s negotiation and performance (for example: requesting for environmental labels for certain sensitive products; equal pay for women and men within the company; etc…), thus helping public purchasers see what notions like “environmental” or “social aspects” could entail.

It also warns public purchasers about “greenwashing” behaviors, when operators present an environment friendly policy while in reality not enforcing certain standards.

Although these precisions can be useful, the Guide is still very broad and generic, relying on technical notions that public purchasers are not always well equipped to implement. Publishing specific guides for the different sectors concerned by public procurement contracts could be a concrete way to help public purchasers see how they could implement these broad principles.

The current “Green Industry” draft bill which intends on accelerating the public procurement reform towards climatic transition should be a mean for the government to define more detailed obligations that public purchasers will need to follow when awarding their contracts.

Still in development, the draft aspires to create environmental labels that companies can use to rationalize public purchasers’ selection processes, in particular by implementing one “Triple E” environmental standard. It also intends on allowing for the exclusion of companies from public tenders if they do not comply with environmental transparency obligations.

S.K. Singhi joins Leaders in Law as the Corporate Litigation Member in India

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome S.K. Singhi as our exclusively recommended & endorsed  Corporate Litigation expert in India.

In the modern world, there is a greater respect for ‘how’ over the ‘what’. Clients, associates, employees and other stakeholders are beginning to indicate ‘Don’t just tell us what you will deliver to us, but also tell us how you will do so in a predictable and sustainable manner.’

This is bringing into spotlight a philosophy that is assuming increased importance: Governance.

At our firm, governance stands for two principal realities. One, we believe in holistic integrity – whether this is through communication transparency with our stakeholders, complete compliance with the laws of the land and more than measuring up to the ethical expectations of all those who engage with us. Two, we believe in investing a range of experiences and knowledge in our people, widening their perspectives.

We believe that the combination of subject matter expertise and an ethical mindset can transform realities into the positive with speed. This is how we have enriched stakeholder relationships in the past; this is how we expect to sustain them across the future. This is our simple blueprint of how we expect to make the world a better place for all those who engage with us.

Dentons bolsters its Middle East Energy, Transport and Infrastructure practice

Abu Dhabi — Dentons, the world’s largest global law firm, has bolstered its Middle East Energy, Transport and Infrastructure (ETI) practice with the arrival of veteran ETI lawyers Kenny Paton, who relocates to Abu Dhabi from Scotland, and Edward Rose who joined from Jones Day, Saudi Arabia. Associate Khomotso Kekana has also recently joined from Allen & Overy, South Africa.

Kenny joins as the Head of Oil and Gas for the Middle East and is a highly experienced lawyer with more than 25 years of experience across the oil and gas value chain globally, particularly in the North Sea, Africa and the Middle East, having worked both as in-house counsel and in private practice for international law firms in London, Aberdeen and Cape Town.

Edward, who joined the Firm during March to spearhead its ETI practice on the ground in Saudi Arabia, has been based there since 2014. He has more than 25 years of experience working on Middle East projects, including advising clients on international energy, infrastructure and related corporate matters. During his professional career, Edward has acted for government entities, international energy companies, project developers, contractors and large-scale corporations on a diverse range of high-value transactions. He specialises in advising on the development and financing of infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East.

Khomotso joins as associate in the ETI practice in Dentons’ Abu Dhabi office. He has experience working on a wide range of energy matters, including advising clients on the financing and development of renewable energy projects (solar PV and onshore wind projects).

The Firm also recently promoted Yasser Taqi to partner in the Muscat office to lead its push in the ETI space in Oman. As a native Arabic speaker, Yasser also works across the region (including in Saudi Arabia) where he has been advising on multiple energy-related mandates.

“Our recent strategy review made it clear we would have to invest further in our ETI offering in the region. These arrivals are integral to Dentons’ continued support of our Oil and Gas and ETI clients, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and wider Middle East,” said Jon Nash, Head of the Middle East ETI team, based in Abu Dhabi. “Their arrival further strengthens our already thriving practice and I look forward to working with them on new and exciting mandates. We are looking at significant further investment in the near future.”

“I am very excited to be relocating with Dentons from Scotland to our Abu Dhabi office as Head of Oil and Gas Middle East,” said Kenny. “I’m very much looking forward to working with a great team in a hugely vibrant and exciting region and continuing to work closely with colleagues as part of the Dentons global energy team.”

About Dentons

Dentons is designed to be different. As the world’s largest global law firm with 21,000 professionals in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries, we can help you growprotectoperate and finance your business. Our polycentric and purpose-driven approach, together with our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and ESG, ensures we challenge the status quo to stay focused on what matters most to you.