Ms Gisele Stephens-Chu

Gisele Stephens-Chu

Lawyer biography

Gisèle is a Counsel in Freshfields’ international arbitration group in Paris. Her practice is equally divided between commercial and investor-state arbitration.  She has represented major corporates and states in over 30 disputes, many involving complex and high value claims, under a variety of laws and arbitration rules.  Her caseload spans a range of industry sectors, with a particular focus on oil and gas, power and utilities, mining, aviation and international shipping and logistics.  Gisèle is admitted as an Avocate à la Cour (Paris Bar) and a Solicitor-Advocate (England) and advocates in English and in French.  Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2019 describes her as a “ rising star, who is always on top of matters”.


Arbitration & ADR

French court rules that mandatory expert determination provisions do not render arbitration clauses inapplicable
France | 16 May 2019

The Court of Cassation recently confirmed the quasi-absolute priority given to arbitral tribunals to determine questions relating to their jurisdiction, even when this involves rules of French public order. Although this is well established in French case law, it is the first time that the court has upheld an arbitration clause that conferred on a tribunal the statutory power to value shares in lieu of a party-appointed or judicially appointed expert.

Paris Court of Appeal exerts power to review allegations of corruption during enforcement proceedings
France | 08 November 2018

Consistent with France's reputation as a pro-arbitration jurisdiction, the French civil courts' review of arbitral awards on grounds of public policy is traditionally limited in terms of both standard and content. However, in recent years, the scope of the courts' review in this regard has been tested in certain Paris Court of Appeal decisions which reviewed the underlying evidence rather than the arbitral tribunal's own determinations in the relevant award.