Xavier Haranger is part of a litigation team that provides advice to clients facing business and corporate disputes, corporate investigations and criminal allegations, and international arbitration. Xavier also regularly handles national and international contract law issues.
For clients in the banking sector, Xavier contributes his experience in complex international debt collection matters in France at all stages of recovery, including research on foreign assets, assessment of the situation, freezing of assets, recognition and enforcement of rulings, and associated litigation.
Xavier is also regularly involved in civil and commercial contractual disputes (termination, negotiation, breach of contracts) and liability disputes (e.g., unfair competition), and the related French procedural issues (including gathering and securing documented evidence and enforcing rulings).
Xavier also has a deep knowledge of the issue of sudden termination of established business relationships (Article L. 442-1 II—former Article L. 442-6 I 5°—of the French Commercial Code). He regularly assists automotive clients on this aspect of French commercial law, which gives rise to numerous disputes and pre-litigation needs, especially for foreign companies that are not familiar with the legal provision. He is the author of numerous legal articles on sudden termination, and his writings have appeared in renowned French publications such as Revue Lamy de la Concurrence, Revue Lamy Droit des Affaires, La Gazette du Palais, and Recueil Dalloz.
Furthermore, Xavier’s experience includes drafting and negotiating complex national and international commercial contracts for various industries. He regularly advises foreign companies that wish to enter into contracts (or general terms and conditions) governed by French law, and also helps companies assess whether an agreement governed by foreign law could be enforced in France or the influence of insolvency proceedings on the agreement. Naturally, he also reviews contracts and disputes in due diligence processes.
Xavier works on global (French and international) compliance issues involving, among other topics, internal investigations (to assess the facts, by reviewing documents and conducting interviews, and the related legal consequences/risk for the company), international investigations (for instance, US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations into Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) related matters), the recent French law statute on anti-corruption (loi Sapin II) and obligations toward companies, and the taking of evidence abroad (including how to take evidence abroad while complying with the French blocking statute).
Xavier also develops new business strategies and solutions, such as for judicial or ad hoc mediation to prevent litigation or resolve matters outside of court or arbitration).
In addition to French, Xavier is fluent in English and German. His law studies focused on law and globalization, and he trained specifically in French and German law as an undergraduate. Previously, Xavier was an associate in the litigation practice of another international law firm in Paris.
Recently, Xavier developed a practice in contractual COVID-related issues. In particular, he focused on force majeure aspects of the pandemic and how it impacted ongoing agreements (see selected representations below). He was also part of the Morgan Lewis COVID-19 task force for Europe. Xavier also leads the pro bono practice for the Paris office.
Advising a foreign bank in its recovery of multimillion-Euro debts from different wealthy foreign individuals who have assets in France at all stages of the recovery; research of foreign assets in France, filing of requests to freeze said assets, defending the company against related claims, recognition and enforcement of the favorable foreign decisions in France, and advice regarding the effect of foreign bankruptcy proceedings in France
Advising two subsidiaries of a major industrial group (automotive) in connection with its €3,000,000 dispute before French courts and an arbitral tribunal (ICC arbitration) against a supplier related to an alleged wrongful termination of an established business relationship
Advising a subsidiary of a major French energy group in connection with a €300,000,000 dispute before an arbitral tribunal based in Paris (ICC arbitration) and, subsequently, French courts against a ship manufacturer relating to manufacturing issues with liquified natural gas (LNG) carriers
Advising a major industrial group (aeronautics) in connection with its €700,000 dispute against a supplier related to an alleged wrongful termination of an established business relationship
Examples of contract drafting/review: drafting a complex software contract for a multimillion-Euro startup project; drafting a distribution agreement for a leader of the franking machine industry; drafting a database licence agreement; drafting of several complex escrow and settlement agreements; reviewing numerous agreements during due diligence processes in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals; reviewing general terms and conditions of numerous foreign companies based in France; reviewing a major distribution contract for a major food retailer; reviewing several cooperation agreements for a major chemical group
Advising a former Italian employee of a major French bank in connection with the US government investigation of LIBOR (SEC investigation); conducting interviews, reviewing documents, and assessing the legal risk for the employee relating to his involvement in the potential fraud
Advising a major healthcare company in an FCPA-related internal investigation in the drug prescription field (gifts sent to the doctors and their spouses by the pharmaceutical company); conducting interviews, reviewing documents, and assessing the legal risk for the company
Representing the supplier of the firefighting device of a cruise ship following a fire on board in connection with two matters: (1) an expertise proceeding where all the parties (insurers, ship owner, ship manufacturer, engine designer, and firefighting device provider) filed technical briefs in an attempt to convince the appointed expert that their thesis should prevail; and (2) proceedings on the merits where the insurers filed a $23.8 million and $3.2 million (these amounts are not final) claim
Advising a major group in the toys industry in connection with its $3.7 million dispute against the French Customs following an investigation by the EU commission and advising the French entity in its dispute against a Chinese supplier
Representing several Nigerien and Chinese subsidiaries of a Chinese world-leading government-held oil and gas group in a dispute relating to the termination of a contract for the exploitation of oil fields in Niger before the Nigerien courts and the OHADA court of justice and arbitration in Abidjan
Advising a leading Swiss franking machine manufacturer and its new French subsidiary (that would like to start its activity on the French market) in connection with two disputes against a former distributor: (1) an unfair competition dispute (we won the summary proceedings and the proceedings on the merits are pending) and (2) a dispute relating to patent and trademark infringement issues
Representing a Japanese manufacturer in a dispute against a French distributor involving the termination of the distribution agreement for breach, the freezing of the distributor’s assets, the filing of a request for arbitration in Tokyo, and negotiations with the opposing counsel; among other tasks, Xavier participated in many calls with the client team and drafted the ex parte request to be authorized to attach the debtor’s assets
Advising a shareholder and executive of a financial company regarding his shareholders’ agreement and the decrease in his compensation
Defending a real estate company that sold property in the context of warranty claims from both the lessee and the buyer
Representing a French drug manufacturer against a supplier relating to unpaid invoices and the ownership of intellectual property rights and know-how (including the review of highly sensitive pharmaceutical regulatory issues)
Representing several clients on the consequences of COVID-19 on ongoing contracts such as international distribution contracts (e.g., representing a raw material distributor, representing a health ventilators manufacturer) or agreements related to the tourism industry (events); Xavier also advised clients on the potential criminal liability of companies related to COVID-19
Advising a leading US metals company on a pretrial dispute relating to the supply of metals to a subsidiary of the French group, which involved force majeure issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Advising on a pre-trial dispute between a market research company and an American daily newspaper relating to the current and future business relationship with alleged breached commercial mandatory laws
Advising on litigation relating to the contractual dispute between two pharmaceuticals companies, which resulted in a claim bought before the Paris commercial court
Drafting and negotiating various French law agreements and review of contracts to verify the compliance with French mandatory laws or to adapt US and UK law agreements to French law (e.g., reviewing and adapting to French law several service agreements to be entered into between a service company and its providers)
Assisting a major multinational chocolate manufacturer in the negotiation, with a distributor, of a major distribution agreement in France
Reviewing French commercial lease agreements for a US-based chemical company
Reviewing a service agreement for a manager of a US entity having a French subsidiary
Reviewing various click-thru agreements of a major US software company and comparing them to the adverse GTCs
Drafting and reviewing various nondisclosure agreements
Participating in numerous due diligence work in M&A transactions (review of contracts and litigation documents and drafting of due diligence reports)
Advising a major US wine importer in an ICC arbitration against a French wine maker in connection with a $4 million dispute related to a share repurchase linked to a put option set forth in a French law–governed shareholder agreement
Advising a major UAE oil company with the enforcement, in France, of a $3 million Russian arbitral award, declared null and void in Russia, against an airline company; representing the client in the proceedings initiated by the airline to try to set aside the award, assisting the client with the enforcement of the award through multiple bank account seizures, and representing the client in the proceedings initiated by the airline to challenge the validity of such seizures
Assisting a major worldwide retail company in several disputes with two of its French suppliers and, subsequently after the opening of bankruptcy proceedings, against their liquidators; negotiating with the liquidators to find a settlement
Advising several Chinese subsidiaries of a Chinese world-leading government-held oil and gas group on the enforcement of pipeline-related contracts in the context of an alleged force majeure issue (linked to a coup) in East Africa
Advising a major Saudi distributor in the negotiation of a major French law–governed distribution agreement with a major French manufacturer
Assisting a US-based group and its EU subsidiary in a DGCCRF investigation related to social marketing practices
Assisting a Japan-based group and its French subsidiary in a dispute with a former French distributor relating to the termination of the commercial relationship and competition law issues
Assisting a well-known US youtuber with the negotiation of an agreement to be authorized to organize an event (broadcasted on YouTube) at the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Assisting a China-based group and its French subsidiaries in the restructuring of the group in France, including the liquidation of one of the companies
Advising a French-based steel company to assess whether it could file a claim against a former manager who put in place a corruption scheme to increase the company’s market shares
Pro bono matter: Assisting a victim of the 13 November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, including correspondences with the indemnification fund to try to maximize the indemnification amount
Pro bono matter: Assisting a world-class NGO regarding the export of goods for a demining program in Syria
Pro bono matter: Drafting a platform agreement for the online sale of products for a French NGO
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), 2004, Diploma
Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2005, D.E.S.S. (Law and Globalisation)
Université de Paris X Nanterre, 2003, B.A. (French and German Law)
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, France (Recommended), Dispute Resolution: Commercial Litigation, France (Highly Recommended), and Dispute Resolution: Financial Litigation & Equity Financing, France (Recommended), Leaders League and Décideurs (2021)
Recognized, Arbitration & ADR, Leaders League (2018–2019)
Recognized, Litigation & Competition, Leaders League (2018–2019)