France’s highest court has put an end to a high-profile and long-running litigation challenge by French businessman Bernard Tapie and his group of companies against Orrick client Consortium de Réalisation, the French government entity responsible for liquidating the assets of Crédit Lyonnais.
The Court of Cassation last week rejected Tapie’s appeal of a decision by the Paris Court of Appeal, which previously denied his bid for more than €1 billion in damages from CDR. This marked the final, decisive victory for CDR in a complex litigation saga that dates back more than 20 years, and at various times involved more than €2 billion in claims by Tapie and other entities.
Tapie sought €1 billion damages from CDR, alleging that Credit Lyonnais defrauded him by undervaluing Adidas when he sold it in the early 1990s. The courts have not only now rejected that claim, but also ordered Tapie to repay CDR more than €400 million that was previously awarded to him in an arbitration proceeding. The Paris Court of Appeal vacated that award in February 2015, siding with our team’s arguments that the underlying arbitration proceeding had been tainted by fraud and was fundamentally unfair to CDR.
An Orrick Rambaud Martel team led by partner Jean-Pierre Martel has been instrumental in representing CDR through these proceedings. In an interview with Global Arbitration Review, Jean-Pierre said, “Tapie must refund in full the €404 million received pursuant to the fraudulent awards. This is now final, and the end of a 24-year story.”
In addition to Jean-Pierre, the Orrick team on the litigation included former Of Counsel Valentin Autret. Partner Diane Lamarche and associate Raphaelle Greffier are now working on the effort to recover the arbitration refund.