Thomas Voisin is the Managing Partner of Quinn Emanuel’s Paris office. He has represented clients in a number of international arbitrations, both ad hoc (including under the UNCITRAL Rules) and under the rules of major arbitration centers (ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SCC, AFA, etc.), with particular focus on investment, energy, construction and commercial disputes. His experience includes international arbitrations in the oil & gas, power, transportation, mining, aviation and chemical sectors.
He has been ranked as a Recommended Lawyer in international arbitration by Legal 500 EMEA since 2016.
In addition, he has been named as one of the Future Leaders in international arbitration since 2018 by Who’s Who Legal, which has esteemed Thomas for his “eloquent advocacy” and his considerable international arbitration experience.
Law 360 reports that his peers are “really impressed […] with the thoroughness of the submissions produced by his firm, for which he was responsible”, and have praised him as “unflappable, invariably courteous and a determined advocate for his client.” Thomas Voisin has also been described as “one to watch” and celebrated as “a truly rare arbitration lawyer who excels both in a common law as well as a civil law framework”.
In 2020, Thomas is named Practice Head and listed in International arbitration by The Best Lawyers in France.
Thomas Voisin is the Assistant Editor of the French International Arbitration Law Reports: 1963-2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 (P. Pinsolle and T. Clay eds., JurisNet). He has published a number of articles in specialized arbitration publications and has spoken at various arbitration-focused conferences. He is a member of the steering group of the IBA Arbitration Guidelines and Rules Subcommittee.
Recent or pending matters on which Thomas Voisin has advised include the representation of:
- Two Lebanese nationals, Messrs Ayoub-Farid Michel Saab and Fadi Michel Saab, who are the ultimate owners of FBME Bank, in an ICC arbitration against the Republic of Cyprus following a series of actions by the Central Bank of Cyprus aiming at taking control of the assets of FBME’s branch in Cyprus with a view to selling them. The dispute exceeds USD 500 million. This arbitration is brought under the Cyprus-Lebanon Bilateral Investment Treaty.
- An African National Oil Company in a major arbitration in relation with the construction and exploitation of an oil and gas plant. The dispute arose out of additional costs allegedly incurred by the contractor during the execution of the project. The dispute exceeds USD 300 million and relates to an infrastructure project which value is in excess of USD 1.7 billion. The seat of the arbitration is Paris.
- A European gas buyer in a major gas supply dispute against a European gas seller in connection with a long-term gas supply agreement in the Italian gas market. The dispute arose out of a price review under a 35-year contract. The dispute exceeds EUR 1 billion. The seat of the arbitration is Geneva. Italian law applies.
- The subsidiary of a European energy company in an arbitration and expert determination proceedings against another European energy company in connection with a long-term gas supply agreement. The dispute revolves around the interpretation of the price review provision and the respective scopes of the arbitration and the expert determination proceedings. The amount at stake is EUR 400 million. French law applies.
- A European energy company, as buyer in an arbitration against another European energy company in connection with a gas supply agreement. The dispute revolves around the validity of the termination of the agreement by application of a hardship provision. The dispute relates to the French gas market. New York State law applies.
- A European energy company in a EUR 700 million ICC arbitration against a financial institution arising out of a failed joint-venture project in Central Europe. Italian law applied. A favorable settlement was achieved.
- A French energy company in an ICC arbitration against a Swiss energy supplier in connection with a long-term cooperation agreement. The dispute revolved around the changes that have occurred in the European electricity market and the parties’ obligation to adapt their cooperation agreement. The seat of the arbitration was Geneva. French law applied.
- The subsidiary of a European industrial concern as Respondent in an ICC arbitration in Paris initiated by two North American companies. The dispute arose from an agreement for the supply of aircraft components. The governing law was French law and the language of the proceedings was English.
- A European chemical company as Respondent in an ad hoc arbitration in London brought by the European subsidiary of a Middle Eastern chemical company. The dispute arose from a long-term supply agreement and involved complex issues of EU competition law. English law applied and the language of the proceedings was English.
- A West African energy company as Respondent in an UNCITRAL arbitration in Geneva initiated by a European energy company in order to take into account major changes in the buyer’s market. The dispute arose from the revision of a price formula in two long-term contracts for the sale of liquefied natural gas. English law applied. A settlement was achieved by the parties.
- A French energy company and buyer, in an ICC price review arbitration against an Italian energy company. The dispute arose from a long-term gas supply agreement and was related to the French end-user gas market. The seat of the arbitration was Lausanne. French law applied.
- A European energy company, as buyer in a long-term gas supply agreement, in an ICC arbitration in London against another European energy company. The dispute arose out of a long-term gas purchase agreement and included issues of disconnect between the price formula and the market price. English law applied.
- A European energy company, buyer in a long-term gas supply agreement, in an ICC arbitration in Geneva against another European energy company. The dispute arose out of a long-term gas purchase agreement and the disconnect between the price formula, based on oil products, and the situation in the buyer’s market, in which market price plays an important role. English law applied. A settlement was achieved by the parties.
- A European transportation company in a dispute with two European railway companies, both before French courts and an ICC arbitral tribunal. The dispute arose from a complex contractual framework and was related to business interruption losses incurred by the Railways. The dispute raised complex legal issues relating to the interaction between arbitral and court proceedings.
- An African State-owned energy company in conciliation proceedings with a large North American energy company. The dispute was in relation to the adoption by an African State of new tax legislation. The amount at stake was several billion US dollars.
- A European power producer as Claimant in an UNCITRAL arbitration against an Eastern European State as Respondent. The arbitration was seated in Zurich and administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague. The dispute arose from the termination of the Power Purchase Agreements put in place during the privatisation of the electricity sector and the claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty. The arbitral tribunal ordered the State to pay damages in excess of EUR 100 million to the power producer.
- A European construction company in proceedings before the Paris Court of Appeal to set aside a partial award rendered by an ICC arbitral tribunal. In its decision of 12 February 2009, the Paris Court of Appeal set aside the award on the ground that a conflict of interests existed between the Chairman of the arbitral tribunal and a party to the arbitration. The decision was later quashed by the French Cour de cassation, which remanded the case to the Reims Court of Appeal. The Reims Court of Appeal confirmed the setting aside of the award in a decision dated 24 November 2011.
- University of Oxford
- University of Panthéon-Assas (Paris II)
(Maîtrise (LL.B.), Hons., 2002; DEA (Masters), European Law, Hons., 2003; DESS (LL.M.), Litigation, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Hons., 2004)
- The Paris Bar
- Shearman & Sterling, LLP:
- Associate, 2007-2012
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Global Litigators Guide, International Arbitration & Disputes, 2023
- The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom Arbitration and Mediation, International Arbitration, 2024
- Legal 500 EMEA 2023: France-in Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (Tier 1)- Leading Individual
- The Best Lawyers in France, 2020-2023, named in International Arbitration
- The Best Lawyers in France, 2023, named in Arbitration and Mediation
- Who's Who Legal, 2022 & 2023, named a Global Leader in Arbitration
- The Best Lawyers in France, 2020, named Practice Head; Next Generation Partner in Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (Tier 1)
- Who's Who Legal, 2020 & 2021, named Arbitration Future Leaders. WWL says : "Thomas Voisin is hailed for his “strategic” approach to arbitration proceedings by peers who commend his “clear and concise writing skills”.
- Who's Who Legal, 2020, Legal Marketplace Analysis for France, Arbitration. Editorial : “Thomas Voisin stands out for his “eloquent advocacy” and his considerable international arbitration experience.”
- Who's Who Legal, 2020, named a National Leader in Arbitration (France)
- Leaders League, 2019, Incontournable en Arbitrage International (Décideurs Contentieux & Arbitrage)
- Assistant Editor, French International Arbitration Law Reports: 1963-2007, 2008, 2009, forthcoming 2010 and 2011 (P. Pinsolle and T. Clay eds., JurisNet)
- Enforcement of Interim Relief in Investor/State Arbitration, in Enforcement of Investment Treaty Arbitration Awards: A Global Guide, Julien Fouret, Castaldi Mourre, Consulting editor, Globe Law and Business (February 2015) (with P. Pinsolle)
- Paris Court of Appeal, 10 April 2014, Pôle 1, Chamber 1, RG N°13/13075, Case Note, European International Arbitration Review, Vol. 3:1, 2014