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With effect as of 1 January 2017, Catherine Schroeder and Sophia von Dewall have been promoted to counsel. The media coverage of these promotions includes an article in Global Arbitration Review, entitled “Derains & Gharavi promotes two to counsel” published on 9 January 2017:
“Derains & Gharavi International has promoted two former senior associates to counsel in its Paris office, Sophia von Dewall and Catherine Schroeder.
Dutch national, von Dewall joined the firm in 2012 after more than seven years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she started out practising corporate law before moving to dispute resolution and worked in the firm’s New York, London and Amsterdam offices. She is qualified in both Paris and Amsterdam.
Since joining Derains & Gharavi, von Dewall’s most notable work includes acting alongside founding partner Hamid Gharavi to secure ICSID wins for Albania in cases brought by Greek fuel distributor Mamidoil and scratch card investors Burimi and Eagle Games.
With Melanie van Leeuwen, she has also successfully represented a leading international engineering procurement construction contractor in an ICC arbitration concerning a power plant and a major Dutch bank in a post-M&A dispute under the rule of Belgian arbitration institution CEPANI. She has also sat as an arbitrator in commercial cases.
During an arbitration concerning the production of TV series, she appeared before Dutch arbitrator Albert Jan van den Berg of Hanotiau & van den Berg in Brussels. He describes von Dewall as “smart, focused and fast [with] a great future.”
Dechert’s Paris-based co-head of international arbitration Eduardo Silva Romero says: “I have seen Sophia in action, and noticed her excellent advocacy skills both for oral pleading and witness examination. She clearly deserves her promotion, and will no doubt be a name to follow in the coming years”.
Schroeder is a dual French-US national who has been at Derains & Gharavi since its inception as Lazareff Derains & Gharavi in 2008, having previously worked at a boutique run by founding partner Yves Derains. She has also worked as an intern at Freshfields and Shearman & Sterling.
Alongside Derains, she has successfully represented a major French civil aviation company as well as Greek and Czech companies in commercial arbitrations under ICC rules.
She also handled cases in the petrochemical, construction, aeronautic, electronic and energy sectors before arbitral tribunals and the French courts, acted as tribunal secretary in investment and commercial cases and sat as an arbitrator in commercial cases.
Arbitrator Bernard Hanotiau, who practises alongside van den Berg at Hanotiau & van den Berg, says “I have had the opportunity to work with Catherine in various cases in which she was acting as secretary of the arbitral tribunal. She is a very intelligent, rigorous and hardworking lawyer. I am very happy that she has been promoted to counsel in this very prestigious arbitration boutique.”
ICC International Court of Arbitration chair Alexis Mourre calls her “a promising young arbitrator and an excellent counsel [who] will greatly contribute to the growth of Derains & Gharavi.”
Hamid Gharavi comments: “These well-deserved promotions occur in the context of the firm’s continued strong growth and is a reflection of the diversity of our practice. At present, we have around 100 arbitrations pending, including a dozen of investment arbitrations as counsel. We are very pleased to be able to staff those cases with our own home-grown talent“.