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Maxime Desplats

Maxime has exceptional knowledge of the law, is very confident and calm, and is a tough negotiator who obtains the best results for his clients.
Client, Legal 500 EMEA 2020

Maxime Desplats focuses his practice on international disputes resolution, especially in the OHADA zone. He regularly represents clients before arbitral tribunals in proceedings conducted in English or in French. He also frequently assists clients before various French courts and African jurisdictions.

Maxime also participated to internal investigations linked to allegations of corruption and has experience in the practice of public affairs.

Professional QualificationsAvocat admitted to the Paris Bar


  • Represented a major engineering company in relation to an ICC arbitration arising out of the termination of an EPC contract for the expansion and upgrading of a refinery with an amount in controversy of over USD3 billion.
  • Successfully represented a South African company in an ICC arbitration relating to the enforcement of a settlement agreement involving parallel proceedings before State courts in the OHADA zone.
  • Successfully represented a Mauritius company before various African jurisdictions (including the CCJA in Abidjan) in relation to a shareholder dispute and the enforcement of an ICC award in the OHADA zone (amount in controversy of over USD200 million).
  • Successfully represented a Tanzanian telecom operator before an ad hoc arbitral tribunal amount in controversy of over USD150 million).
  • Successfully represented multinationals before the court of appeal of Paris in relation to actions to set aside arbitral awards.
  • Successfully represented an investment fund before French courts regarding enforcement proceedings of foreign judgments.
  • Representation of an investor before a French commercial court in connection with the Madoff fraud.
  • Successfully assisted an NGO in the defense of a Kenyan sentenced to the death penalty and who was later acquitted.
  • French
  • English
  • University of Sydney, master of international studies, 2005
  • University Paris II, master of business law, 2004


  • Blog post: “Investment Arbitration in Africa”, DLA Piper Insights, June 2021
  • Article: “Investment Arbitration in Africa”, in: The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review 2021, Global Arbitration Review (GAR), 2021
  • Blog post: “The end of Intra-EU BITs. Now what?”, DLA Piper Insights, August 2020
  • Article: « Pour une meilleure protection du créancier en cas de recours en annulation devant les juridictions françaises », Les Cahiers de l’Arbitrage, July 2020
  • Blog post: “COVID-19 Litigation and Regulatory Q&A: France”, DLA Piper Insights, May 2020
  • Chapter: “European Union Overview”, The International Comparative Legal Guide to: International Arbitration 2019, 16th edition; pp. 239-243
  • Chapter: “European Union Overview”, The International Comparative Legal Guide to: International Arbitration 2018, 15th edition; pp. 236-239
  • How-to: « Arbitrabilité et droit des sociétés en droit français », n° 3838, Lexis 360 entreprises


  • Conference: "Africa’s Continental Free Trade Agreement: A cause for celebration or caution?", Africa Week 2019, London (United-Kingdom), November 2019
  • Conference: "Take your 'Seat' - a debate on the relative merits of European arbitral seats", London (United-Kingdom), June 2019

Prior Experience

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Maxime worked four years in the international dispute resolution team of a well-established American law firm. Then, he set up his own law firm in alliance with a law firm specialized in public affairs.

Teaching experience

  • Visiting lecturer at the Paris Bar School (Ecole de Formation professionnelle des Barreaux de la cour d'appel de Paris)
  • Visiting lecturer on the seat of arbitration in international arbitration at the summer school in contemporary international legal perspectives at the Institute of Higher International Studies (Paris)
  • Animation of a three day seminar on international arbitration for judges, lawyers and members of the Government of Burundi