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Lazareff Le Bars Expands its Global Arbitration Practice with Addition of Jean-Claude Najar

Jean-Claude Najar joins Lazareff Le Bars as a partner, after three years as international counsel at Curtis Mallet-Prevost in Paris and in Istanbul, where he focused on international arbitration, pre-litigation work, and compliance, and working on matters in the firm’s Istanbul office.

Jean-Claude Najar will continue to develop his expertise in international arbitration at Lazareff Le Bars, and his role as an expert and highly visible arbitrator will further strengthen the firm’s practice.

“Lazareff Le Bars has an outstanding track record in international arbitration. I am thrilled by the prospect of being able to fully exercise my role as an arbitration specialist within such a reputable, lean and dynamic firm”, states Jean-Claude Najar. He aims to contribute to the firm’s growth in France, internationally, and in Turkey, where he spent his formative years. He adds that the move will also allow him to avoid potential conflict issues given his increasing nominations as arbitrator.

His arrival further enhances Lazareff Le Bars’ position of excellence in arbitration, both in France and internationally, particularly in French-speaking West Africa, where the firm is particularly known for its work. Lazareff Le Bars will also benefit from Jean-Claude Najar’s prior experience of nearly 24 years in General Electric’s legal department in various positions covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the world, as well as his leading reputation as an international arbitrator.

“Jean-Claude brings a wealth of experience in international arbitration, pre-litigation work and compliance. His extensive experience in the legal department of one of the largest international groups means that he understands, just as we do, our clients’ expectations and the value of delivering tailored legal advice”, states Benoit Le Bars.

Additional information about Jean-Claude Najar

Jean-Claude has a diverse European, Turkish and Lebanese heritage, and speaks fluent French, English, German Italian and Turkish. He started his career in arbitration in Coudert Frères, where he practiced for eight years. He held various positions at General Electric for close to 24 years, including 10 years as associate general counsel and general counsel for the EMEA region at GE Medical Systems (now GE Healthcare); six years as global group general counsel for GE Oil & Gas in Florence; five years as senior counsel and chief compliance officer for the EMEA region at GE Capital in Paris and London; and two years as senior counsel Europe and general counsel for France in Paris.

He is the founder of the Corporate Counsel International Arbitration Group (CCIAG) where he continues to be active on the steering committee. He is also chair of CPR’s European Advisory Board and a member of the global Board. In addition, he is a member of the Arbitration Commission of the Centre of Mediation and Arbitration of Paris (CMAP), of ICCA’s Users’ Council and of the editorial boards of the Global Arbitration Review (GAR) and the Turkish Commercial Law Review. He also served as vice-president of the LCIA Court of Arbitration from 2002 to 2005.

He has received numerous recognitions and awards throughout his career, including an outstanding achievement award from Kluwer and Iberian Lawyer for making the corporate counsel voice heard within the arbitration community, presented to him by the former chairman of the International Court of Arbitration chairman John Beechey during the IBA Annual Meeting in 2012. He has also taught compliance and social innovation at Sciences Po Paris. He currently teaches compliance in a Seton Hall Law/Sciences Po course and at INSEAD.

Jean-Claude Najar has a post-graduate degree in law (DESS) from the Sorbonne-Paris I (1987) and a Licence en droit from the University of Lausanne (1978). He also earned an LL.M. from the London School of Economics (1979).