TEAM

A tight-knit and international team

« Our technical and international expertise-as-well-as our experience in the fields of fraud, asset recovery, corruption and economic crime-make us, within our speciality, the equal of much larger firms. »

Stéphane Bonifassi

Meet the team

Stéphane BONIFASSI

Lawyer

T: + 33 (0) 1.82.28.10.81

M: s.bonifassi@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 1991.

International litigator Stéphane Bonifassi directs actions in the areas of complex white-collar crime and asset recovery. Over nearly 30 years representing individuals, corporations and states victimized by economic crimes, he has often acted as a strategist behind the scenes in high-stakes litigation.

Who’s Who Legal: Asset Recovery 2019 recommends him as “one of the premier figures in the European asset recovery market, known for his remarkable ability when it comes to criminal investigations requiring asset recovery.”

Valued for his progressive and creative approach to international parties and complex, cross-border issues, Stéphane regularly assumes a leading role in cases of business crime and fraud, economic sanctions, corruption, forfeiture and confiscation, as well as transnational enforcement of judgments and internal investigations. The Best Lawyers in France© 2020, in partnership with Les Échos, highlights his criminal defense practice.

Who’s Who Legal: Asset Recovery 2015 described Stéphane as the “dean of the Parisian Bar.” He is also knowledgeable about the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar laws of other nations. His peers described him as “experienced, pragmatic and responsive – a brilliant analyst,” in Chambers Europe (White-Collar Crime) 2019.

Demonstrating his commitment to the war against financial crime, Stéphane co-founded The International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators. The Academy is a collaboration of experienced litigation professionals and distinguished academics working to generate solutions in economic crime cases.

Stéphane received Plume D’Or awards from Les Plumes De L’Economie & Du Droit in 2015 and 2016 for his written contributions to Le Monde on international corruption and on the benefits of Deferred Prosecution Agreements to France’s legal system, respectively.

Chambers Europe Leading Firm logo

Work Highlights

  • Represented a French company whose US subsidiary is the target of a DOJ probe and is monitoring an internal investigation into the French entity.
  • Advised counsel to a deposed Eastern European president and marshaled court action to jettison an Interpol red notice.
  • Guided colleagues in the United States and Singapore to challenge criminal freeze orders within the context of the French mutual assistance system, in the defense of companies accused of carbon tax fraud schemes.
  • Collaborated with colleagues in France and four other nations to domesticate a $60 million judgment involving assets hidden in an opaque maze of shell companies.
  • Prevented the extradition and secured the freedom of a Chinese national who was caught up in the investigation of a €17 million impersonation fraud against a multinational.
  • Extricated directors of a $2 billion Bernard Madoff feeder fund from implication in his massive Ponzi scheme.

Publications

  • Marie Poirot and Stéphane Bonifassi, French Chapter: GIR Know-How Extradition, August 2019
  • Stéphane Bonifassi, Arbitration now requires knowledge of criminal law principles, Compliance and Enforcement Blog, July 2019
  • Stéphane Bonifassi, French Chapter: Global Legal Group’s Anti Money Laundering, June 2019
  • Thibault Stumm and Stéphane Bonifassi, Non Bis in Idem in the International Arena and Distinction between Corruption and Trading in Influence, International Review of Compliance and Business Ethics, June 2019

Honors

  • Premier Secrétaire de la Conférence du Barreau de Paris, 1994
  • Plume D’Or award recipient from Les Plumes De L’Economie & Du Droit, 2015 and 2016

Memberships

  • Co-Founder of the International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators
  • Former president of the criminal law commission and member of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA)
  • Past co-chair of the Business Crime Committee and member of the International Bar Association

Education

  • Master’s degree in Law, Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, 1989
  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Sciences Po (Paris), 1984

Spoken Languages

French, English

Victoire CHATELIN

Lawyer

T : + 33 (0)1.82.28.10.82

M : v.chatelin@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2018.

Admitted to the New York Bar in 2017.

Victoire Chatelin advises global clients facing complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation and reputation risk. Her practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, asset recovery, enforcement of foreign decisions, cross-border internal investigations, anti-money laundering and tax fraud.

Victoire represents financial institutions and other companies, liquidators, senior officers and governments before French courts. She acts as counsel for both individual and corporate entities, moving seamlessly between civil party and defense perspectives.

She is the social media coordinator of the French chapter of the Women’s White-Collar Defense Association, which aims to advance women in the legal profession around the world.

Prior to joining BONIFASSI Avocats, Victoire served in the corporate and energy departments of a major English law firm, working on foreign investment issues, as well as on business and human rights-related matters. She also worked on general criminal law and white collar criminal defense matters for a French boutique.

Victoire is a former competitive ice skater who spent her childhood in France and the U.S. She attributes her love for foods and wines from around the world to her sojourn in France and her passion for sports, running and dancing to her American upbringing. She also enjoys traveling.

Work Highlights

  • Working on issues related to fraud, enforcement of foreign decisions and recovering the property of a foreign company.
  • Advising the president of a sports committee who is undergoing a criminal investigation for corruption.
  • Representing a government, pursuing fraudsters in an asset-recovery case involving a state bank defrauded of millions of euros: by demonstrating the fraud, recovering assets, enforcing judgments and dismantling the complex fraudulent arrangements.
  • Advised a company undergoing an internal investigation precipitated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Represented a bank manager in an internal investigation related to a tax fraud case in Germany.
  • Assisting a German citizen facing a European arrest warrant issued from France by challenging the arrest warrant before the French courts.

Publications

  • Stéphane Bonifassi and Victoire Chatelin, France has DPA, but needs more guidance, FCPA Blog, September 2018

Memberships

  • Women’s White-Collar Defense Association (WWCDA)
  • American Bar Association
  • European Criminal Bar Association

Education

  • Master of Laws (LL.M.) with distinctions, specializing in International Law with a certificate in Human Rights Law, from Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), 2016
  • Master’s degree with honors in International Public Management from Sciences Po (Paris), 2016
  • Master’s degree with high honors in Business Law from University Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (Créteil, France), 2014
  • Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) with high honors in Common Law from Sheffield Hallam University (Sheffield, United Kingdom), 2014

Spoken Languages

French, English, German

Elena FEDOROVA

Lawyer – Of Counsel

T : + 33 (0)1.82.28.10.83

M : e.fedorova@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2018.

Admitted to the Russian Bar in 2017.

Elena Fedorova specializes in civil fraud, with an emphasis on asset recovery, and recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards and foreign judgments. She also practices in the area of private international law and handles issues concerning cross-border cooperation in civil matters. Originally from Russia, she joined BONIFASSI Avocats in 2014.

At the firm, Elena has built a successful practice based on recognition and enforcement of complex foreign judgments and the annulment of arbitral awards. She assists clients with obtaining evidence in France for domestic and foreign proceedings. She is also active in criminal proceedings with an international reach, namely, those involving Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

While practicing in Russia, Elena focused on international dispute resolution, including major public international law cases and commercial litigation with components of fraud. She also worked in-house and implemented compliance programs for a Russian construction company.

Elena’s commitment to continuing education and the arts has led her to teach law courses and take courses in art history and art sales, she has also been performing in theatre for more than 10 years.

Work Highlights

  • Assisting with the recognition and enforcement in France of a $200 million U.S. judgment involving a bad bank, and civil fraud litigation for asset recovery involving complex corporate structures in offshore jurisdictions.
  • Worked on the recognition and enforcement in France of a Russian insolvency judgment for the purpose of asset recovery, along with obtaining and enforcing a search order.
  • Involved in criminal proceedings regarding transnational fraud and money-laundering, representing several billion dollars, and including the challenge of a Red Notice and asset recovery for a foreign bank.
  • Worked on an international mutual legal assistance in civil proceeding and obtaining evidence for them in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Successfully defended a $50 million arbitral award in the setting aside proceedings with fraud allegations.
  • Contributed to several complex cases in recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, including many against sovereign entities, and related asset recovery.

Publications

  • Elena Fedorova, A Second Wind for the French Blocking Statute, Asset Recovery Magazine, 2019 n°3
  • Stéphane Bonifassi and Elena Fedorova, In France, Increasing Court Control Over Arbitral Awards, Law360, February 2019
  • Elena Fedorova, Frontière économique aujourd’hui: l’ordre public économique dans les contrats internationaux // Actes de la journée d’études doctorales IREDIES “Etat(s) des frontières” –Pedone éditions, Collection Perspectives internationales, 2017 n°37, pp.147-161 (Economic borders today: Economic Public Policy Exception in International Contracts – in French)
  • Elena Fedorova, La nouvelle loi russe sur l’arbitrage commercial international // Revue de l’arbitrage, 2017 n°4, pp.1271-1290 (New Russian Law on International Commercial Arbitration – in French)
  • Elena Fedorova, The amendments to the Commercial and Civil Procedure Codes of the Russian Federation, International Journal of Procedural Law, 2017 n°2
  • Elena Fedorova, Russian Federal Law on Arbitration, International Journal of Procedural Law, 2016 n°2
  • Elena Fedorova, Russian Federal Law on Jurisdictional Immunities and Federal Constitutional Law on the Priority of the Russian Constitution over Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies, International Journal of Procedural Law, 2016 n°1

Memberships

  • Asset Recovery Next Gen
  • Russian Arbitration Association
  • Young ICCA
  • Société de législation comparée
  • Victims of Crime Association of Lawyers (VOCAL)

Education

  • Certificates in Private International Law from the Hague Academy of International Law (Netherlands, 2011) and Urbino University Carlo-Bo (Italy, 2013)
  • Master’s degree in Private International Law and International Trade Law from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University, 2011
  • Diploma in law with honors from the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (Moscow), 2010

Spoken Languages

Russian, French, English

Louise GERNELLE

Juriste

T : + 33 (0)1.82.28.10.87

M : l.gernelle@bonifassi-avocats.com

Louise Gernelle specializes in cross-border white-collar and financial law.

Louise is preparing a doctoral thesis, examining the evolution of sanctions in business criminal law, with the emergence of compliance mechanisms and new procedural tools. The thesis is entitled “New Sanctions in Criminal Business Law: What Changes for What Efficiency? She also teaches Criminal Law at Versailles University.

While studying in France and Italy, Louise interned in the litigation department of an internationally renowned law firm, where she worked on litigation cases, including white-collar defense. She also practiced general criminal law as an intern at a French boutique law firm.

As a former actress who spent 8 years participating in theatre productions, Louise enjoys attending theatrical performances and reading.

Work Highlights

  • Provided legal analysis regarding jurisdictional matters for an international corruption case in sports.
  • Contributed legal analysis on cases involving international and European criminal proceedings featuring European arrest warrants, extradition and transfer of sentenced persons.
  • Developed legal analysis of major fraud and money-laundering cases.

Education

  • University degree compliance officer, with specialty in anti-money laundering from Versailles University (Versailles, France), 2017
  • Master’s degree in White-Collar Crime from Versailles University (Versailles, France), 2016
  • Master’s degree in General Private Law from Versailles University (Versailles, France), 2015
  • Exchange program at the University of Foggia (Foggia, Italy), 2013

Spoken Languages

French, English, Italian

Pauline HOERNER

Lawyer

T : +33 (0)1.82.28.10.97

M : p.hoerner@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2021.

Pauline Hoerner specializes in white collar and financial crime, with a focus on cross-border cases, advising global clients facing complex, reputational and multi-jurisdictional litigation risk. Her practice also includes international enforcement, asset recovery, anti-money laundering and tax fraud.

Prior to joining BONIFASSI Avocats, Pauline served in corporate, banking and litigation departments of major English and American law firms. She also worked on general criminal law and white-collar criminal defense matters for a British boutique. Finally, she specialized in business and human rights during her final internship at the Paris Bar School.

Pauline has also had various experiences outside of law firms. Pauline has worked several times in the legal departments of large French and Luxembourg companies. She has worked as an anti-corruption consultant in a consulting firm, for two NGOs and also in international organizations.

During her studies, Pauline devoted considerable time and energy to volunteering for good causes. She has helped refugees by giving them French lessons, administrative aid and assistance with exam preparation. She is also a coach for students from disadvantaged areas who wish to enter French universities.

Pauline is a former competitive swimmer and tap dancer. She also enjoys trekking. In fact, every year she independently organizes treks with groups of 5 to 10 people (GR20 in Corsica, Crossing of the Lofoten Islands, Crossing of the Massif des Fiz, Crossing of the Aiguilles Rouges).

Work Highlights

  • She worked for a year with two NGOs fighting against economic crime and in the field of business and human rights. In this context, she created a criteria grid to analyze a law that had just been published in order to help actors from civil society, the legal world and the business community master the law’s intricacies.
  • She conducted an analysis of the law on the duty of vigilance and analyzed about fifty vigilance plans formulated by French companies of the CAC 40 in order to assess the law’s implementation.
  • She assisted a major French electricity company upstream of a project in North Africa, writing a report on the project’s human, geopolitical, reputational, legal and financial risks.

Publications

Memberships

  • Le Grand Continent, think tank
  • Les Vendredis de la Colline, think tank
  • Ambition Campus, association

Education

  • CAPA, Law, EFB (Paris Bar School), (Paris, France), 2020
  • Master’s degree with honors in International Public Law from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris, France), 2019
  • One-Semester exchange program at New York University (French Campus, Paris, France), 2018
  • Master’s degree in Economic Law from Sciences Po (Paris, France), 2018
  • One-Semester exchange program at McGill University (Montreal, Canada), 2017
  • Bachelor’s degree in Law and Political Sciences from Sciences Po (Paris, France), 2015
  • One-Year exchange program at Bath University (Bath, United Kingdom), 2015

Spoken Languages
French, English, German

Laetitia LAMY

Lawyer – Of Counsel

T : + +33 (0)1.82.28.10.85

M : l.lamy@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2010

Laetitia Lamy’s collaboration with BONIFASSI Avocats enables her to use her extensive knowledge of financial and corporate mechanisms to uncover the hidden assets of oligarchs, foreign states and others. Her sophisticated practice also encompasses commercial disputes and arbitration (CCI / ad hoc).

She acquired expertise in high-profile banking and financial litigation while developing her skills in asset recovery on behalf of various international financial institutions. She served as an associate in a French full-service law firm, then as a senior associate in two international law firms over a decade. She joined BONIFASSI Avocats in 2020.

Laetitia is also a highly qualified mediator. And for three years the Paris Bar appointed her to and entrusted her with criminal cases.

Collectively, those experiences enable her to fashion creative strategies, while keeping a focus on business-oriented solutions.

Work Highlights

  • Representing creditors of a Middle Eastern country. Assisting with the recovery of a claim for 30 million euros by pursuing various asset attachments, including ones involving real estate, and through other proceedings that challenge the attachments.
  • Representing a State-related company challenging the enforcement of an award that is worth tens of billions against its assets in France.
  • Counseling and representing a German Public Company and an international bank in their responses to litigation or the threat of litigation issued by French public authorities, in relation to various structured loans and structured swaps totaling several millions of euros.
  • Representing the liquidator of an Irish company in a commercial dispute.
  • Assisting a Moroccan company with a CCI Arbitration (conducted in English) relating to the construction of Molten Salt Storage Tanks being part of a Solar Complex amounting to several millions of euros.
  • Counseling individuals and investment service providers with control or investigations launched by the French financial supervisory authorities (AMF/ACPR).

Memberships

  • Droit et procedure
  • Association des avocats praticiens des procédures civiles d’exécution

Education

  • University degree, Alternative dispute resolution (University of Paris Nanterre)
  • Postgraduate degree in banking and financial law (University of Paris II)
  • LL.M in International Business Law (University of Exeter, England)
  • Postgraduate degree in Private law, with a focus on Economic Law (University of Orléans)

Spoken Languages

French, English

Sinem PAKSUT

Lawyer

T : +33 (0)1.82.28.10.91

M : s.paksut@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2018

Sinem Paksut specializes in white-collar and financial crime, with a focus on cross-border cases. Her practice also includes international enforcement and asset recovery. She is currently preparing the equivalency diploma in Turkish Law to be admitted to the Istanbul Bar.

She gained experience at several international law firms and at a French boutique firm that specialized in criminal law. In those roles, she worked on major tax fraud cases, including the first French Deferred Prosecution Agreements rendered under Convention d’intérêt judiciaire public. She has also gained experience in civil and commercial litigation and joined BONIFASSI Avocats in 2019.

Sinem lived in many countries before starting her career as a lawyer in Paris. She enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures. She is also passionate about the arts, literature and cinema.

Work Highlights

  • Advising the public official of a major French telecommunications firm facing psychological harassment accusations before French criminal courts.
  • Representing various banks in tax fraud litigation.
  • Assisting a German citizen facing a European arrest warrant issued from France by challenging the arrest warrant before the French courts.

Education

  • Certificates of Criminology and Criminal Sciences, Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas University, 2016
  • Master’s degree in Financial Law, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, 2015
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.), London School of Economics and Political Science, 2014
  • Master’s degree in Business Law, University of Cergy-Pontoise, 2013
  • Master’s degree in Business Law, University of Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2012
  • Bachelor’s degree, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, 2011

Spoken Languages

French, English, Turkish

Joséphine PETIT TALAMON

Lawyer

T : + 33 (0)1.82.28.10.84

M : j.petit-talamon@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2021

Admitted to the New York Bar in 2020

Joséphine Petit Talamon specializes in white collar and financial crime, with a focus on cross-border cases. Her practice also includes international enforcement and asset recovery.

Joséphine spent a year as an intern at Bonifassi Avocats before joining the Criminal Law Department of the French Ministry of Economics and Finance, where she assisted French government lawyers in recovering damages for white collar crimes committed against the French State. She also interned for the corporate department of a major French law firm, as well as for a French boutique firm that specializes in white collar crime. She returned to Bonifassi Avocats in 2021.

During her studies she volunteered for the Association d’Aide aux Victims, for the Paris Sciences et Lettres Law Clinic advising entrepreneurs about establishing their businesses, and with the Bobigny Court’s defense attorneys (France).

Joséphine was an accomplished equestrienne in the south of France where she grew up. Today she enjoys running and hiking in nature, both in France and foreign countries, as she likes to travel. She also practices yoga.

Education

  • CAPA, Law, EFB (Paris Bar School), 2020
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.), class valedictorian; earned a tuition-free scholarship, specializing in U.S. & Global Legal Studies, with a certificate in Criminal Law from Case Western Reserve University Law School (Cleveland, Ohio), 2018,
  • Master’s degree with honors in Business Law from University Paris Dauphine (Paris), 2017
  • Master’s degree with honors in Business and Tax Law from University Paris Dauphine (Paris), 2016
  • Bachelor’s degree in Law and Finance, from University Paris Dauphine (Paris), 2015
  • Exchange program at the City University of Hong Kong (Hong-Kong), 2015

Spoken Languages:

French, English, Spanish

Marie POIROT

Lawyer

T : + 33 (0)1.82.28.10.86

M : m.poirot@bonifassi-avocats.com

Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2018.

Marie Poirot specializes in white-collar and financial crime, with a focus on cross-border cases. Her practice also includes international enforcement and asset recovery. She has developed expertise in cases where freezing orders, forfeiture, international mutual legal assistance and extradition issues are at stake.

Before joining BONIFASSI Avocats, Marie practiced in a Paris-based boutique firm, where she specialized in international enforcement and asset recovery. She also worked in the Energy/Infrastructure department of a leading international law firm.

After volunteering for Amnesty International, Marie led projects on extractive industries’ transparency and anti-corruption in Africa with the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic. Also at the Clinic, she was a tutor for several years and worked in partnership with The Carter Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In her leisure time, Marie has been actively involved in theater for almost 15 years, 9 of which she has spent with a semi-professional troupe that performs in local theatres and at national festivals. She is also an avid ballroom dancer.

Work Highlights

  • Assisting an individual facing corruption and money-laundering charges in multiple countries and representing him before French criminal courts.
  • Challenging a confiscation order of a property worth several million euros before French criminal courts.
  • Advising foreign nationals on extradition and handling of red notices risks in France.
  • Aiding a foreign-sentenced French national in his transfer to France.
  • Representing an individual in a complex inheritance matter involving asset tracing in seven countries.
  • Representing various creditors of a Middle Eastern country and assisting them with the recovery of a claim for more than 30 million euros by proceeding with various asset attachments and post-Loi Sapin 2 actions.

Publications

  • Stéphane Bonifassi and Marie Poirot, French Chapter: GIR Know-How Extradition, August 2019

Memberships

  • Association Des Avocats Pénalistes (ADAP)
  • European Criminal Bar Association
  • Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum

Education

  • Master’s degree in White-Collar and International Criminal Law, University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne University, 2018
  • CAPA, Law, EFB (Paris Bar School), 2017
  • Master’s degree in Economic Law, Sciences Po Law School, 2015
  • Bachelor’s degree, Sciences Po (Paris), 2012

Spoken Languages

French, English, Spanish