Jean-Flavien Lalive, partner and founder of the firm, passed away (August 2012)

21 August 2012

We are deeply saddened to announce that Jean-Flavien Lalive, founder of our firm, passed away on 15 August 2012 in Geneva.

Jean-Flavien Lalive was born in 1915 in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel. After studying law in Geneva and in the United States, he was awarded a PhD and was admitted to the bar in 1940. Jean-Flavien Lalive then successively held the positions of Secretary General of the Joint Relief Commission of the International Red Cross for the purpose of assisting civilian populations, first Secretary of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, General Counsel of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Palestine) in Beirut and then in Geneva, and finally, Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva (an organisation dedicated to the promotion of human rights and of the rule of law), before founding LALIVE.

Jean-Flavien Lalive was for several decades an eminent figure in international arbitration, in particular through his involvement in the first major oil and gas arbitrations (Sapphire v. Iran, Texaco & Calasiatic v. Libya, Aminoil v. Kuwait) and more generally in prominent disputes involving states and state entities such as Westland Helicopters v. Egypt. His courses at The Hague Academy of International Law on the immunity of jurisdiction of states and international organizations (1953) and on contracts between states or state entities and private persons (1983) remain seminal studies on these subjects.

Jean-Flavien Lalive was an extraordinary jurist and practitioner, with outstanding strategic sense and an exceptional command of languages. He was the primary source of the firm’s early success and of the reputation it continues to enjoy today. From the very beginning, the firm was marked by his ability to combine his strong professional commitment with his profoundly human values, elegance, open-mindedness, sense of humour, and generosity.

Our thoughts at this time are with his family. We will cherish his memory and will remain forever grateful for his guidance.

Jean-Flavien Lalive

See all news