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Tsegaye Laurendeau Joins Signature Litigation

13 September 2022

Tsegaye Laurendeau joined Signature Litigation in London on 5 September as partner.

A French national born and raised in Ethiopia, Tsegaye spent over 10 years at Shearman & Sterling before moving 18 months ago as partner to Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes, the firm set up by former Shearman & Sterling partners, the late Professor Emmanuel Gaillard and Yas Banifatemi.

Tsegaye focuses on disputes relating to M&A, investment funds, international financing and joint ventures in the oil and gas, energy, mining, construction and telecoms sectors. He has also worked on several disputes involving African interests. Notably, he represented the claimant in disputes arising out of two electricity projects in South Africa with claims worth over USD 2 billion. He was also part of the Shearman & Sterling team that helped Algeria to defeat a US$4 billion ICSID claim in connection with the country’s telecom sector. Qualified in Paris and London, Tsegaye’s career commenced at Allen & Overy’s project finance group where, between 2007 and 2010, he acted for financial institutions and investors in relation to the development and financing of large infrastructure and energy projects in Africa.

Signature is a specialist commercial disputes firms, particularly for financial services, M&A, and complex financial products disputes. This year Signature won The Lawyer’s Boutique Firm of the Year award. Graham Huntley, the firm’s founding partner, notes that Tsegaye “will support our strategic offering of commercial and investment arbitration, including in Africa where we believe our niche focus and flexibility is attractive to our present and future client base.” 

Mark McNeill, head of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s international arbitration practice in New York, says: "Tsegaye is a uniquely talented arbitration practitioner who has successfully positioned himself as a go-to individual for Africa-related disputes. His rare qualities include a sophisticated understanding of project financing, the ability to practice across civil and common law jurisdictions and in multiple languages, and a deeply charming personality. He undoubtedly will be an immense success at Signature Litigation."

In a statement, Tsegaye commented that “Signature’s track record in complex corporate disputes speaks for itself. I very much look forward to building on that with my new colleagues across our three offices, including with our arbitration team in Paris, to bolster our international arbitration offering to clients.”

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